26 Dec 2018
When our customers want to know, how to make a dancing fountain, they turn to us for advice on their project. In this post, we summarize what are the steps to be followed in order to get, in a technical and commercial way, the development of a dancing fountain. As the guiding thread of this post, I will use the documentation of one of our latest projects.
Those are the general steps to be followed for any marketing, technical development, and execution of a dancing fountain:
Define the physical setting of the cybernetic or dancing fountain
The fact of defining correctly the dancing fountain scenario determines the rest of the project. What I present below are the requirements that we need to start working on our musical fountain project.
Fountain nozzles: to start working we need to define the number, type, location, height and departure angle of all the water jets that are in the cybernetic fountain. The arrangement of the nozzles will be crucial so that we can then define one or another water choreography for the dancing fountain.
Water pumps. It is essential to consider the following points:
Choosing between dry pumps or submersible pumps. The choice between one kind or another depends on the type of dancing fountain you're making.
Nozzles fed by each water pump. This choice is critical for the further development of the aquatic choreography that could be performed by the dancing fountain.
Choice of pump power: once we have chosen the type of pump (submerged or dry) and the nozzles, we choose the power of these bombs. This will be determined by the pressure and flow of data that have to be provided to the nozzles. This information is contained in the product data sheet of each of our nozzles.
Determine if the pumps will be controlled by a frequency converter or if instead will be direct starting. In cases where you want the water jets to ascend and descend in a controlled way, we will choose a frequency converter, whereas if this issue is not necessary, we will opt for a direct starting water pump. That reduces programming complexity and cheapens much the electric part of the project, as frequency converters are expensive items.
Solenoid valves: we must determine which nozzles will be controlled by solenoid valves (submersible or not) because this will determine the interactivity with each water jet and ultimately the dynamism of the musical fountain. Although the ideal choice is that each nozzle has its own solenoid valve, this can also be done by submersible pumps (as shown in the map of this project, due to the particular customer's choice)
Fountain lighting. When facing cybernetic fountain lighting, we must take into account the following considerations:
Determine the type of submersible lights: choosing between LED (white or RGB) or filament (white or color using filters) with the advantages and disadvantages of each two options.
Deciding the layout of the underwater lights: the lights electric groups determine the possibilities of enlightenment, you can control each water jet color separately or perform different combinations. The more control you have over each light, more options when setting the musical fountain, but also the cost of the DMX Control Panel, will increase.
Decide the number of lights that will go into the fountain so that, as an overall purpose, the decorative lighting exceeds the environmental.
Fountain accessories: All other accessories of the dancing fountain, common to any other facility such as the anemometer or level control, should be considered in order to design the control panel.
3D dancing water fountain animation
Is there a better way to sell a dancing fountain, that watching it running before installing it? In SafeRain we believe that it doesn't, that is why we offer this exclusive service for our Partners worldwide. This cutting-edge technology tool will allow you to present to your customers, how water will dance to the beat of the music in a 3D video.
To develop the 3D video of your project we will need, in addition to the requirements listed above, the following information:
Pictures of the location where the musical fountain will be built. This is optional, you can always virtualize the dancing fountain in 3D without including background, but there is no doubt that adding the location of the fountain will give more realism to dancing fountain 3D video.
Song needed for the musical choreography. For a musical fountain, we need you to provide us with a song that does not exceed 2 minutes. In those cases where the cybernetic fountain doesn't have music, we obviously don't need any song.
DMX technology Control Panel Design
When facing the design of a Control Panel for a cybernetic fountain, we must start by choosing between the DMX or PLC technology.musical fountain: we will always use the DMX protocol by integrating a computer (or tablet PC) in the Control Panel. DMX512, often shortened to DMX (Digital MultipleX) is an electronic protocol used in lighting technologies to control shows lighting, allowing communication between the lights control equipment and light sources. In the case of musical fountains, we use the DMX protocol and specific software that allows us to integrate the musical choreography with water features and lights.
Based on the detailed requirements at the beginning of this article we will develop the control panel to rule your dancing fountain.
Interactive fountain without music: depending on the complexity of the project we may use the PLC or DMX protocol. Usually, we resort to DMXprotocol to control a large number of elements used independently and to PLCin cases where there are more physical groupings of common elements.
Anyway, SafeRains technical department always makes the decision based on technical and economic criteria that best suit your dancing fountain project.
Preset the Software for a DMX Control Panel.
Once designed and manufactured the Control Panel needed to control the cybernetic fountain, it is time to develop the water features that we have previously defined in the 3D video. At this point we can help you, leaving in our hands the following points:
Setting the logical scene in the Software: Based on all project requirements, we configure the software that is integrated into the computer's control panel, so that all components in the dancing fountain project are set correctly in the program. We believe that this step will save you hours of work, for a task we are used to developing.
Implementation of a non-musical show. Musical fountains usually run without music, music just sounds for specific events. For non-musical fountains and musical fountains operating without music, we define a show where water features are not supported by music, but the jets and lighting are synchronizing themselves. This show will be repeated cyclically while the fountain is operating. It will be long enough so that the viewer is unable to remember the sequence.
Setting the Musical Water Show: Once configured the logical setting we have to program how we want the water jets to dance, depending on the chosen music. To do this, the software, based on a common timeline to the music, lights, and jets (pumps, frequency converters, or solenoid valves), developing operating sequences that will make all the components synchronized and totally coordinated. At this point is where creativity and experience of the programmer are fundamental. If you want, we put all our knowledge at your service.
We hope to have helped you to understand the steps that we must take to be able to market, develop and implement any project. All about how to make a dancing fountain.
Keywords: musical fountain
Originally published 26 Dec 2018, updated 26 Dec 2018.