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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I'm sure it's been asked hundreds of times. Hell, it proves it in the search box. :rolleyes: But, I can't find what you guys are using to run the voice through your skulls from the computer.
Now remember I'm just starting so I have no clue on anything. What I want to start with is the computer program that you can load music or voices into, then run to the skull. What are you guys using? What is the best out there for around $200 or less?
I'm not sure what type of skulls I have on the way. I forgot to ask Scourge what type they were. So I figure I would start with the program for the computer and then get into servos and such.

Thanks guys for all the help.


Growler
 

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skull software

i am not sure as to your use for the skull but i am putting one together right now i am going a difrent route with mine it isent going to run on a computer i am running it on a airplane radio so i can interact with the people as for the jaw i made the scary terry audio to servo driver and using a boom mic from radio shack for $21 the audio servo driver cost me around $20 to make but one can be ordered for around $30 to $40 now if you need to run this on a computer there are a few other things you will need like servo controler / still need the audio to servo controler + programing knolage in the type of computer you plan to use like pc or mac and there are different ways of doing that also if using a pc you can use a basic stamp or leave it connected to your computer but at any rate i dont know of any software out there that you can just buy that is just plug and play unless you want to pay the big bucks if so check out gilderfluke.com or you might want to try Robot Parts, Electronic Robot Parts, Mechanical Robot Parts join there forum the people on there are all about robotics and might know of something else out there as for the audio servo driver audio-servo or Computer & Electronic Services
 

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Hey Growler, the skulls are just a bit smaller than standard Buckys. If you have a bucky skull you will see they are the same mold. For what ever reason it is just shy in size. I have been looking into this too. scareisburg is right on about the VSA from Brookshire, it seems to be the preffered route. It looks like you need a servo control board, Lynxmotion Robot Kits has the SSC32 controller wich runs one skull through a USB in conjunction with the Parallax board. I could be way off but this is what I understand from EVERYTHING posted. Again, I have yet to build one. Maybe some one here can correct me (please) or back me up. I really want to tackle the 3 axis monster myself.
 

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I used the SSC-32 board from Lynxmotion for my 3-axis skull and it works very well. I think it is about $40. However, it is controlled via a RS-232 serial connection rather than a USB connection. I will warn you that some people have computers that do not have serial connectors on them so they have purchased USB-RS-232 adapters and had problems - just something to keep in mind. I don't know what the "parallax" board is - parallax makes many boards for different things but if you have the SSC-32 servo controller and a PC with a serial port (and the VSA software) that is all you need for a 3-axis setup.
 

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I have read that VSA is the route.I belive guitarist is the man to talk to about this.there is a board that runs the servos but I don't remember what they are.I too would like to build one this year.
 

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Captain o'th Black Pearl
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Aye, the controller is the Lynxmotion SSC-32 from www.lynxmotion.com, run into a real serial port. Running with a USB-Serial adapter be -very- unreliable. Many 'ave tried, few 'ave succeeded.. Find an' ol' 486 or Pentium I/II computer, desktop or laptop fer cheap an' use real serial ports.. You can probably add a PCI-I/O card to a desktop fer true DB9/DB25 serial ports.. but USB -Serial adapter just is nigh worth th' trouble ta set it up..

Servos, be HiTec, specifically which ones depend on the skull yer usin' an' if fer jaw or 'ead movement.. Model HS-425's run approx $13.75, -645's(higher torque) abt $27-$28(list is $32+) I'll run several bulk buys during th' year fer these.. I usually need 'least 12 servo order (approx 3 skulls worth) ta get th' discounted prices.

The software ta run the board is Visual Show Animation, or VSA, from www.brookshiresoftware.com, the software is download only, no disk be available for it, 'cept fer bulk purchases. Abt May/June I'll run a Group Buy thru Brookshire fer VSA, and 'nother abt Aug/Sept.. usually 'bout $5-$7 off th' normal $55 price..

As fer voices, music, songs, dialogue, check my VSA, Font Music page (sig line..)

Capt Jack
 

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I second everything that the Capt. said.....except I speak English, not pirate.

I believe that the latest version of VSA now runs about $65.00.

Group buys are always a good thing.
 

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im new to the idea of a 3axis skull setup and im very interested. but no one has said anything about how it starts . the prop1 and prop2 and propsx has input for pir , swtich matt ,etc.

so im curious about the servo controllers and the vsa or vixen software. do any of them have inputs to start the skull or do you have to hit the play button on your computer each time you want to start the routine
i dont have the servo controller or software but i want to do the 3axis skull just have alot of ?'s

thanks for the help
 

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im new to the idea of a 3axis skull setup and im very interested. but no one has said anything about how it starts . the prop1 and prop2 and propsx has input for pir , swtich matt ,etc.

so im curious about the servo controllers and the vsa or vixen software. do any of them have inputs to start the skull or do you have to hit the play button on your computer each time you want to start the routine
i dont have the servo controller or software but i want to do the 3axis skull just have alot of ?'s

thanks for the help
From what I've read on this forum, using the Exorcist product from Skulltronix seems to be the best way to allow external triggers to start a VSA routine. You can find details on it at the Skulltronix site - skullTronix. It's a little pricey at $300, but seems to offer a lot of nice features. I'm looking forward to their enhanced DMX version - DMXorcist. It will offfer even more flexibility. You can read some of the details on this thread - SkullTroniX (tm) Support :: About DMeXorcist


Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I just checked the dmx skull at skulltronix and it's like $1600.00! Can you say, HELL NO! There is no way I can afford one of those. Geeez, it just went out of reach of the back yard haunter. Guess I'll try to build my own somehow.

Thanks all for the input. Now I need to find out where to buy some of the stuff. I would really like a preassembled blucky servos and then just create my own program. Any clue?
 

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I just checked the dmx skull at skulltronix and it's like $1600.00! Can you say, HELL NO! There is no way I can afford one of those. Geeez, it just went out of reach of the back yard haunter. Guess I'll try to build my own somehow.

Thanks all for the input. Now I need to find out where to buy some of the stuff. I would really like a preassembled blucky servos and then just create my own program. Any clue?
A popular source for 3-axis skull components is 3-Axis Graveyardskulls - Animatronic Skull They are in the process of changing the site, so everything is out of stock at this time. You should be able to pick up an assembled 3-axis skull for around $300-$350. They are also working on a new and improved version of their design which is discussed in the long 3-axis skull thread starting on page 155
http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/62161-my-3-axis-skull-progress-155.html
It will be more expensive than the current design, but might be worth waiting for depending on your budget.

Here are a couple of threads you may want to review
http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/62161-my-3-axis-skull-progress.html - Very long thread - lots of info
http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/74115-morbius-3axis-skull-kmart.html - alternative lightweight skull from Kmart build including 2-axis eye movement

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Thanks Mark. I was watching the long thread but, it was so confusing it was making my head hurt. That is one of the reasons that I just wanted to buy complete setup. I was going to buy from Graveyardskulls but, as you said everything is listed as out of stock and it's taking forever to get the new stuff up and running. At least that is how I feel. I want to buy now and next month while I still have money and before the summer hits. Also, I want to start them now so I have months to work the bugs out. I'm sure it's their off season so there is no hurry. I'll just have to work on other things to keep me busy. Thanks again for the help.
 

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I was going to buy from Graveyardskulls but, as you said everything is listed as out of stock and it's taking forever to get the new stuff up and running. At least that is how I feel. I want to buy now and next month while I still have money and before the summer hits. Also, I want to start them now so I have months to work the bugs out. I'm sure it's their off season so there is no hurry. I'll just have to work on other things to keep me busy. Thanks again for the help.
It can be a little frustrating ordering from them. It appears they have been somewhat overwhelmed with an increase in orders. But it looks like they're taking steps to beef up their inventory so hopefully you won't have to wait too long. Despite the delay, I've been very happy with their customer service as I've always received a quick reply to my questions.
I became interested in the 3-axis skulls just after this past Halloween, and was planning on building one based on a Bucky skull. I saw the thread by Dr Morbius on his Kmart skull with the 2-axis eyes. So I picked up a few of those skulls on clearance and decided to use that as a foundation. I was concerned over the learning curve, so when Dr Morbius offered to sell complete assembled skulls, I ordered one. I plan on building a few more using his as a guide.

Mark
 

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Guys, I FINALLY have a day off from work..I just got the final components in for the 3 axis skulls and will begin assembly-line builds. From that, I will post pics of the build on my 3 axis skull thread, if anyone is interested how to put one together. I do already have the plates assembled, but one without linkages so when I get to that plate, I'll post pics of linkage assemblies too for that. Hope it'll help, as the plate assembly is the same for all GYM kits.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Dr Morbius, do you have a site? I can't remember if you did or not. Do you sell the complete assembled kit that I can drop into my own skull? Premade programs? Custom ones? Please let me know. Can't wait to see what you have done so far.
 
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