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Funeral Crasher
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is the reason it took me so long to finish my Pumpkinrot. I kept trying to think of a way to make a full size prop that would realistically crawl across the yard. After finally finding the right parts and MANY hours of labor I am well pleased with the result: my Animated Crawling Skeleton !!


Here is a pic of the basic MOTOR and linkage assembly:


I found a dual shafted 6 RPM DC gear motor from Surplus Center. They also had the swivel ball joints I needed to attach to both motor shafts to make the arms move like I wanted.


The motion of it working is basically like rowing a boat. I attached the left arm ball joint to the motor shaft 180 degrees from the right arm ball joint to make it crawl one arm at a time.
The right arm assembly rotates clockwise, so as the arm rotates around and hits the ground the gear motor continues to turn and lifts the body up and forward (turning it slightly to the left) as the arm keeps rotating then sets it back down on the ground again. Immediately after that the left arm assembly (which is rotating counter-clockwise) is just hitting the ground to lift the left side of the body up and forward (turning it slightly to the right), then setting it down on the ground again and it all starts over again. This motion makes it look like it is really crawling and also keeps it going in a straight line.
At 6 RPM it travels roughly two and a half to three feet per minute in the yard.

I wanted to try making another one, but make it faster if I could find the right motor. I have since found that Surplus Center no longer has the 6 RPM, but now has in stock the same dual-shafted motor in an 18 RPM version. I think this one would work better being quite a bit faster. That should make it move about 9 feet per minute.
http://www.surpluscenter.com/item.asp?UID=2005051318292626&item=5-1562&catname=electric
This is the swivel ball joints I used:
http://www.surpluscenter.com/item.asp?UID=2005052419423336&item=1-2292&catname=misc
I have since found they are now out of stock, but I think these others should work:
http://www.surpluscenter.com/item.asp?UID=2005052419423336&item=1-2293-R&catname=misc

If you think you will have any interest in building one of these you might want to order the motor now, because Surplus Center can sell out of something and not replenish it.
I plan to use one of the wireless keychain remotes from Lowe's to turn it on and off. (If they sell them with the Xmas stuff again.) What I like about them is you can buy several for the same frequency and have them all activate from a single remote switch. The ULTIMATE would be to make 3,4,5 of these crawling things power up simultaneously. Make your own Army of Darkness on the lawn!! That would be a sight !!
The cost in materials was about $45.00 and I don't want to even guess how many hours of labor.


Here is a link to my complete album of pictures:
http://photobucket.com/albums/v630/DaveNTracy/Crawling Skeleton/

I will be glad to help anybody who wants to try making one.
 

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Royalty Unleashed!
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Dave

that is freakin' impressive!! Wow wee......!
 

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I love it. Can it go backwards too? I see with all the kids toys in the background that you could use it to give kids rides.

Sorry, I need a nap. I have been working double hours to pay for my Halloween props for this year.
 

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cheap and easy
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If you want a faster motion use a wiper motor and use the linkage for the kicking legs but use it in the arms. It will crawl and have enough power to even crawl over thing.

To make it 100% mobile use a car battery and madr a whole zombie crawl. Put the wiper motor in the chest and the car battery in the butt. Since this prop will be on the ground you can't see under it. So to hold the weight of the battery put a piece of plywood down his pants. Connect some roller to the plywood and you have a prop that will crawl and crawl and crawl.......till the battery runs down.


(edit) BTW I forgot to say, great prop!!!!!!!!! And check out Big Lots for that wireless remote...I saw it for, I think 7 bucks!
 

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Wow, just about the time I think I have my schedule planned out for the summer... somebody has to come up with a must have prop! I love it!
 

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I am the last.
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(sniff sniff sniff) I
(pause) I
(longer pause) I love you man

dang it I got too much going on and you throw this out there! I take that back, I hate you. How am I suppose to make the silly phone ring, rig the air cannon, tinker with the switch mat pad, finish the corpse, build the automated control for the haunt, press Empresses T's, work, play with my daugher and the wife [ :) ], AND NOW....BUILD THIS!!!! ALL BEFORE HALLOWEEN!!!! I TAKE BACK HATE, HATE IS TOO NICE!!!

;)

PS. Excellent job!
 

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SWWWEEEETTT!!! You sir are a mechanical genius and just plain wrong in the head. That crawling out of the bushes towards the TOTs...you are going to have so much candy left over! Add that to my '06 build list:)
 

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Outstanding!!! Fantastic!!! Creepy!!! and a few more adjectives of admiration.
Too much to do for this year but it definitely has possibilites for next.
What is your base made from? In a few of your pictures it looks like painted foam board but I can't quite tell.

Great job!
 

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Wow, makes me wish i made my own one instead of buying it from spencer gifts. Great job!!!!
 

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That is sweet! I am off and flying...what inspiration, as in "do I paint it metallic like terminator with glowing red eyes, or do I rot it out with a moaning zombie sound emitting from it? Oh the possiblilites to the demented mind, you are my hero.
 

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Funeral Crasher
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Gee, thanks a lot for all the great compliments. I was anxious to post it on the Forum because I had never seen anything built like it before. I know last Halloween Spencer had a crawling zombie for sale, but I never saw one and had no idea how it worked. I just sat down and drew possibilities of what might work for me, picked the best/easiest one and was lucky enough to fine the two main parts to make it work (the dual shafted gear motor and the swivel ball joints). I planned in the beginning on making another one so I drew a basic pattern with measurements of the various pieces I used to make the base of the thing. I would be glad to copy them a send them to anybody who wants them. My loss is your gain (timewise). You wouldn't have to waste as much time on mistakes as I did.
Deathtouch-No, it can't go backwards. Unless I mounted the motor backwards. Also I don't have any kids-those are MY toys. Just kidding--I tell the kids if they don't clean their rooms and eat their vegetables they can't ride on the bucking skeleton today !!

Madmax-Thanks for the tip on the Big Lots remote controls. As far as the car battery I don't think the aluminum stock I used for the arms would be able to lift that weight. Unless Lowe's sells titanium metal stock.

Dead Pilot- I don't know about me being a mechanical genius. Just hard-headed and stubborn about making something work that (in my head) should work.

Lewlew--The base with the motor assembly is really just scrap wood spray painted black. Any lightweight wood will do.

Jon--How does that Spencer crawling zombie work? Is it the same kind of mechanism?

Hecate-- That was another option. If it was too time consuming to make the ribs, just use some chicken wire and an old ripped up shirt and make him a crawling zombie instead.

john--It crawls in a straight line. (If you used a single shafted motor with one arm hooked to it, it would go in a circle.) I guess I will be "walking briskly" after it since it only travels about 3 ft. per minute. Until I try the 18 RPM motor.

Thanks again everybody for all the comments. I figure if I can make something that impresses the Forum, then the general public should be blown away.
Let me know if you want to build one and need help.
 

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Dave I am impressed with you in more ways than one! You have managed to catch the attention of the grinch that stole Halloween (a.k.a my hubby). The evil little grin that spread across his face when he saw it was priceless. I poked fun of him for a bit , his only defense was that it had a motor and he was the mechanic in the house - as for the rest it just needed a diffrent kind of body work! So please forward all the info on it to me. I am sooo excited! Oh, by the way thanks - now maybe I can get him playing in monster mud before the summer is over!
 

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Dave, the spencers crawling zombie doesnt actually crawl on its own sadly. I havent opened it up but its basically a remote control car and its arms are moved by a seperate motor im assuming. So its arms dont actually drag him. It just makes him look like he is dragging himself.
 
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