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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,
I am about to start yet another thread on creating a 3 axis talking skull. I am doing this to pay tribute to Halloween bob and his singing quartet. I have always loved Disney World (especially the animatronics) but never could get started on a project. I saw Bob’s work on You Tube and was hooked. Without his help (and evilbobs work as well on YouTube) this would likely have never happened. So I wanted to pay back this forum and although I will be doing about the same things over again , Maybe I can help someone else the way I was helped. Now let’s get started.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Getting Started

All about Bucky,
I purchased 2 Bucky skulls from Boneyard Bargans in Toronto (see web site) for $15 Cdn each
as well as a prototype scull plate. Paul was very helpful and told me his CNC machine would be producing more of these when he had time. Everyone was saying the Bucky quality was degrading and they are right. Let me say this right off the bat…..DO NOT USE A BUCKY SCULL FOR THIS PROJECT , I’ll tell you why.
- They are mis-formed (a it took half an hour with a heat gun to get the plate to fit and the jaw to work straight).
- They are too heavy (Too thick, too mush nasal detail and heavy mould material). Servo’s will take a beating.
- They are terrible to cut (plastic melts behind the cut and takes forever to work through).

These are for medial purposes and display but horrible to animate. Having said that I had two of them and the principals are the same for any skull so I pressed forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Digging out the Bucky

I used a dermal with a wand attachment and a 1 ½ abrasive disk (used to cut off bolts) . I thought this would make quick work it. Boy was I wrong. 45 mins and a huge mess and smell later I was done. The problem was the material has such a low melting point that it seals up right behind the cut. The trick was to cut a little then goes to another area while that one cooled and start again. In same places the skull was ALMOST AN INCH THICK! I wanted to widen the hole in the base for two reasons.
1- To give the rod end more play (rotate nod and tilt)
2- To reduce weight
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
The gimble gamble

I copied the information for the rod ends directly from the Halloween bob forum. I didn’t look too close enough at the size. It was too small. Halloween Bob’s design is for a milled rod but I wanted to use evil bobs threaded rod idea. The problem was that inside diameter was too small and the rod was only 3-16. This was far too flimsy for my 4 lb Bucky. The answer was to buy some ½ inch aluminum rod and tap it so the 2-24 (3-16) rod fit inside.
I used compression fittings (Thanks Evil Bob) but they are for ¼ rod so they are sloppy. I will have to change them later. The aluminum strip I wanted for the bracket was $15.99 but an aluminum ruler was only $6.99. That’s why my bracket has numbers on it. So long story short, USE A BIGGER ROD END IF YOU WANT TO USE THREADED ROD
I won’t know till the end if it all works but onwards and upwards.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Parts is Parts

I called around to the local hobby stores to see if anyone had the 425 servo. I found a place and talked to an RC airplane guy. He set me up with some parts (see picture).
I also needed a tap for 4-40 screws and other things I already had.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Servo mounts

I made and mounted my new bracket. This is the part I know nothing about I sort of eyeballed both bob’s design and made my own. Halloween Bob’s is at the back were mine is at the front like evil bob. I don’t know if this is right or wrong but I know the bucky is front heavy so I put it at the front. Same with the Jaw servo bracket I put my servo on the side. Will it work? I’ll find out soon.
 

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Your new project

Great project, If you send your complete mailing address, I will send you a free sample of the new design 3 pc skull from MrSkeleton.com. It is half the weight of the old bucl y skull, which means less jerk action when the servos recover from the max movement range.

It also has all the original internal landmarks for plate mounting.

Thanks,

Jeff Nix
Mr Skeleton - Your resource for Bucky's best props and accessories (soon to be retail)
678-776-8861
[email protected]



Hi all,
I am about to start yet another thread on creating a 3 axis talking skull. I am doing this to pay tribute to Halloween bob and his singing quartet. I have always loved Disney World (especially the animatronics) but never could get started on a project. I saw Bob’s work on You Tube and was hooked. Without his help (and evilbobs work as well on YouTube) this would likely have never happened. So I wanted to pay back this forum and although I will be doing about the same things over again , Maybe I can help someone else the way I was helped. Now let’s get started.
YouTube - Classic 3 Piece Skull IMPROVED DESIGN INFO
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks

Wow, thank you for the offer Jeff. I plan to build a few of these and would love to see how your product compares. I sent my address. And thanks Dr Morbius for the comment. As far as the current project it going I am setting up the servo’s and will be posting the results tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Houston we have a problem!

I started positioning the servo linkages keeping in mind to make them as perpendicular as possible (thanks HB) and really was happy with the tilt and nod. When it came time for the rotate I wanted to keep the rod as horizontal as possible so I put a ¼ pvc spacer in between the plate and the servo.
* valuable machining tip – always drill holes first in the large material then cut it into little tiny pieces with the holes already in place. I didn’t and had a great deal of problems trying to hold the small buts of pvc in my vice to drill it.
I cut and tapped the travel arm for the rotate from my trusty ruler and this time I followed my machining tip and drilled the holes before I cut it into a tiny little piece.
It this point I was feeling pretty good about myself. Here I was almost done the mechanical and no major problems. You see I do a lot of embedded electronics and that never ever works the first time. Any way I should have known it was too good to be true because when I tried the nod servo it slammed right into my turn linkage. It can look down but not up. You can see by the pictures it is directly under the servo DUH! I haven’t had time to work out a solution but my two factors are how deep the skull it to lower the servo even more and I will probably have to cut a new mounting plate and make a longer threaded rod. I hesitate to post the pictures but at least everyone can see HOW NOT TO DO IT.

Picture 1 is from the top Leaving the rods long makes it easier to position them perpendicular.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The right way…..I think

I couldn’t sleep thinking about the servo problems so I got up and attacked it.
The first thing I did was cut off all the access rod end with the dermal wand. Then I put the plate in the scull to see what kind of room I had. To my surprise it moved pretty good but the nod was still not enough looking up and the rotate did not have enough room in the skull swivel. I saw that by removing one nut I could drop the rotate rod down another ¼ inch or so and then I needed to add a couple of washers to the servo mount to bring it down as well. I put it together and IT WORKED! Then marked on the skull were the rotate was hitting and using the dermal (very useful tool) hollowed out the inside. It spins freely now. Now I can sleep and dream about how I am going to get the jaw to work.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Case Of Mistaken Identity

After a few hour of reading HB’s million page thread I mixed up Evil Bob and CAPTAIN JACK SPARROW. EB informed me of this, but I also have researched EB’s work as well and have learned as much from him. But he modifies prebuilt kits so it’s slightly different, anyway sorry for the mistake I will add more coffee to my research time.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Talk’ in bout Talk’ in

The jaw was trickier than I thought it would be. I forgot it had to be hinged. The internet had a site that said to use zip ties but I needed something more durable. I decided on the threaded rod wire 2 gauge. I drilled some holes in the scull and jaw and bent it inside so it would hold. It worked. The next thing was positioning the jaw rod. I eyeballed it and was out so the hole is ¼” too round. The inside of the skull cap had to be dremeled out. Then the thing that I had been ignoring since I started this whole project reared it ugly head big time….. THIS SKULL IS WAY TOO HEAVY!!! I needed to counter the weight or the servos would only last a few seconds. I drilled and tapped a spring to the back of the head. It’s not pretty but it might just work. Anyway here are some more pic’s
 

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Discussion Starter #14
IT’S ALIVE!!! ….But not perfect

This was the moment I was waiting for. This was the realisation of my childhood dreams. Finally I would be in control of my own ANIMATRORIC TALKING HEAD. I paid for and downloaded the VSA software. I bought the Lynxmotion hardware and hooked everything up. After a small problem with the baud rates (That HB Thread warned me about) IT WAS ALIVE. Or should I say the jaw moved The nod and tilt chattered and stalled and the rotate plane broke. But I did not care …. For the brief 3 seconds before everything went to hell I WAS AN IMAGINEER. I went to sleep and dreamed of ways to make movements as smooth as silk.
PS when I finally translated my SCULL into VSA I was out several starting points from 127. In order to avoid actually learning the program I disassembled the skull and re-assembled it with the correct starting points. See pics…
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Now The Fun Stuff

I rebuilt the head from the ground up tightening every servo rod and nut I could find. I put a more beefy spring at the back of the head and set to work programming a small test.
The power supply was too weak 6V 500 mA so I split the power and added another 9 volt 1 amp supply just for the servos. This worked great. I then read that the servos will fry at anything over 6 volts so I dug out an old power supply I got at P.Auto . It said it could supply 5 volts at 15 amps. I hooked up my amp meter to see the stress on the servos. Tilt, talk and rotate were all about 200 mA but nod (remember buck is front heavy) was 700ma. Any way. I shot a quick and dirty video of it, just to prove I wasn’t lying about it actually working. I will post much better ones when I get it working better. I still don’t know what I am going to do with it yet.
 

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Hey Snap.

Did our office get that sample MrSkeleton Max Skull out to you??
Something about the post to Canada??
Let me know at [email protected].. or call at # below - recall our 3 Pc Skull exactly half the weight of the bucky skull but has the same internal landmarks for mounting...

Jeff Nix
MrSkeleton.com

678-776-8861


The jaw was trickier than I thought it would be. I forgot it had to be hinged. The internet had a site that said to use zip ties but I needed something more durable. I decided on the threaded rod wire 2 gauge. I drilled some holes in the scull and jaw and bent it inside so it would hold. It worked. The next thing was positioning the jaw rod. I eyeballed it and was out so the hole is ¼” too round. The inside of the skull cap had to be dremeled out. Then the thing that I had been ignoring since I started this whole project reared it ugly head big time….. THIS SKULL IS WAY TOO HEAVY!!! I needed to counter the weight or the servos would only last a few seconds. I drilled and tapped a spring to the back of the head. It’s not pretty but it might just work. Anyway here are some more pic’s
 

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Discussion Starter #18
YouTube Blocked Bucky

First of all thanks for the comments, MrSkeleton thanks again for the offer I just thought you were busy, and azdude I used DU-BRO E-Z Connectors and the adjustable horn that came with the servo (I included Pictures). I bought them at a Toronto Hobby store.. Now about You Tube. I spent the better part of an hour syncing Uncle Buck to the classic song Mana Mana from the Muppets. It was actually funny and showed the whole range of motion. I didn’t do the whole song just the first part. I taped it and downloaded it to YouTube. To my surprise they disabled the audio because of copyright laws. This was not the latest pop song it was a 30 year old Muppet skit. Oh well back to the drawing board. I will post the video when I can figure a way around this with a different sound bite.
 

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Looking good, here is how I got around You Tube, I use Photobucket. The account is free and I haven't had any problems with them at all. All you do is upload your video to your account then download it to here! There might be easier ways to do it but I'm not real good at all the uploading pictures and videos, I have done some but it took me a while to do it. LOL!!
 

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Good Work Snap!

SNAP!
Good 'work, cant wait to see the next one with our new design skull.. It will post to you by Friday!

Thanks,

Jeff Nix
MrSkeleton.com
Jeff Nix – Atlanta GA-USA
678-776-8861
MrSkeleton on Facebook
YouTube - mrskeletondemos's Channel


othe
First of all thanks for the comments, MrSkeleton thanks again for the offer I just thought you were busy, and azdude I used DU-BRO E-Z Connectors and the adjustable horn that came with the servo (I included Pictures). I bought them at a Toronto Hobby store.. Now about You Tube. I spent the better part of an hour syncing Uncle Buck to the classic song Mana Mana from the Muppets. It was actually funny and showed the whole range of motion. I didn’t do the whole song just the first part. I taped it and downloaded it to YouTube. To my surprise they disabled the audio because of copyright laws. This was not the latest pop song it was a 30 year old Muppet skit. Oh well back to the drawing board. I will post the video when I can figure a way around this with a different sound bite.
 
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