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DIY NYE Ball Drop

Hello all! I am seeking some suggestions on creating a mechanism for dropping a 20-25lb. New Year's eve ball. We used this Instructable to make our Godzilla sparkleball as an NYE ball, and it's pretty rockin' (thanks vwluvrs).

We dropped the ball from my friend's attic last year, lowering it by hand. Manual lowering is SO last year, and we're looking to improve the drop by automating the process.

Oh, and we'd like to keep this at $20 or lower :)

Any ideas? Thanks for any input! I will be happy to post a vid of the drop, even if we end up lowering by hand.

Picture of DIY NYE Ball Drop
I'm going to attempt to do this using a motor for a mirror ball (for DJs) with a pulley wheel attached. Secure the rope from the sparkle ball to the pulley wheel, then regulate the power to the motor via dimmer switch to make it the speed you want. The size of your pulley wheel will have an effect on your speed as well, bigger wheel will be slower, smaller wheel will be faster. You can still use the pulley on the end of the board coming out of your friends attic.
Kiteman5 years ago
Cut the rope with a crossbow bolt, catch the globe in a blanket...

Or, a motor from an electric scooter or buggy should be strong enough to safely lower that down - fix a pulley-wheel to the shaft, and make sure there are flanges on to stop the rope slipping off the side.