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Discussion Starter #1
I spent the last year working on a new show for my small (16X20) front yard haunt.

Here's the daytime show (without musical interlude)

Here's the nighttime footage- complete show

Here's the controller setup.

Almost everything you see here was built custom for this year. I purchased some core items like lifters and tombstones but constructed the columns, toepincher, mummy construction site and the characters themselves. I got voiceover from DJ Chris Baker and did al the programming myself.

You will see lots of elements represented (although my video is mostly unedited and not that good) - pneumatics, electronics, set design, custom show writing, airbrushed bucky lids, custom columns, it was a lot of fun to put together.

I want to point out that I took a ton of inspiration from this site and the folks that produce incredible work that I can only aspire towards in this obsession...

I hope you find it amusing...

Freshly Doug
 

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Kewl!I would like to do something like this;so do you have a how to on the controllers?or at least a parts list so i could buy these parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No How to but I can help

I used part predominantly from a number sources:
- EFX-tek.com for boards and controllers
- monsterguts.com for pneumatic parts
- monoprice.com for super cheap but good cables for anything
- partsexpress.com for audio parts
- cowlacious.com for the jaw flapper (scary terry) sc-200 boards and kits
- allelectronics.com for cheap electronics parts and relays
- servocity.com for servos and servo parts

You could start with an EFX-tek kit with say the prop-1 and possibly add any of the following -
- an RC-4 to switch up to 4 channels AC on and off
- an FC-4 to fade incandescent lights
- DC-16 to switch on and off DC
- cowlacious SC-200 installed in or near a skull with servo to make it talk
- some audio source with sound set up to make the jaw flap ( there lot's of ways to do this

If you go the route of using AC please be VERY sure of what you are doing and where it is placed. No one wants anyone hurt or killed.

Also, if you go the route of pneumatics I personally believe one should only use commercial products not hacked screen door closers or PVC pipe. I would rather save up and get the good stuff than have the hacked stuff that ultimately won't work well (I want my stuff to last a long time) and could seriously hurt someone.

A good first project might be a talking skull where the SC-200 board get's powered up through a prop-1 and program, maybe based upon a PIR (passive infrared) sensor when someone walks by and start saying whatever is on an audio track that is on repeat....EFX-tek and cowlacious also have audio boards that you could use to trigger some saying and wag the skull jaw with that and it would say exactly what you want. I went the way of using a Rogue robotics MP3 player because I wanted a full show and much longer segments than I could put on the small sound effect boards.

Let me know what you are thinking of building and I can certainly chime in with some ideas....in fact start a new thread and all the brains here can participate.

Freshly Doug
 

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First off, very enjoyable. I'm sure the kids loved it too. Nice job with the graveyard look and props also.

I've always been amazed by this kind of stuff. This year I started assembling some stuff to make better props with but I'm thinking controller boards and such might be still off a ways for me. How much would you estimate it costs to get involved in something simple like one or two talking props? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Basic Two skull dialog

If you did everything yourself (but no soldering) I would think about $100 - $175

2 servos @ $15 per
2 skulls (lindburg) @ $20 per (although any hollow skull in which you can mount a servo would work)
2 ST-200 boards from cowlacious to actuate the jaws @ $40 per
1 MP3 player ? you can find some for $5 - $10 dollars
Audacity to edit audio (free)
Power supply or wall warts ? maybe $20

This is not pneumatics or body movement or anything like that , but it would be two characters that could have a dialog back and forth. You could most certainly find most of this cheaper. If you hacked two Gemmy skulls you could probably do it cheaper than the lindburgs and servos.

Last year I bought one assembled skull from Cowlacious ($99) to start and have been assembling them myself since. I like the lighter weight Lindburg in general.

Freshly Doug
 
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