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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So a few years ago a fellow forum member, Otaku, helped me create two talking skulls. They ran great telling jokes all night but changing out the 9v battery was a bit... tiresome.
We would like to use the skulls this year and are wondering if we cut out the 9v battery attachment and replace it with a plug-in wall ac adapter, is there anything we should know?

Is changing a battery to a plug in as easy as finding a 9v ac adapter, or can we use a 12v, 15v, whatever volt, and be safe? Is there anything I need to make sure of? amps or something?

Hope I am clear for all you electricly inclined members!


thx
 

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Hello cbhaunt,
Not sure how you "wired" your 2 skulls. But a few years ago I built 2 skulls talking to each other following this tutorial (not mine) so use it as you will.

http://www.hauntforum.com/showthread.php?t=27940

I used a 9V AC adapter and a color organ to make the jaws move and LED eyes "blink" to my sound track using the software Audacity. I was able to place the AC adapter and color organ inside the skull so the only thing coming out of the skull was the AC cord from the color organ that needed to be plugged in. You don't want to touch the color organ when it is plugged in...that's 120volts, that's why its good its inside the skull, no chance of touching anything "hot" when its plugged in. The only other thing I can think of is try different 9V adapters....the more mA (milliamps) the better. I think the ones I used had at least 750mA, just look on the AC adapter...it will tell you what its rated at.

Hope that helps you a little bit...good luck
 

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Without knowing the voltage requirement of your setup, I would stick with a 9VDC power supply. A 1000mA supply should be enough but it doesn't hurt to go with more capacity, just be sure it's a REGULATED 9VDC. If the power supply is not regulated, it could output more voltage than the listed rating.
 

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I'm no electronics genius, and I'm sure one will correct me if I'm wrong, but batteries are DC, not AC. You can use a DC power pack/ wall wart to power battery powered lights or motors by stepping down the voltage as needed by using capacitors.
 

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You should replace the 9V battery with a 9V regulated power adapter (the unregulated ones are much cheaper and can spike their output up to 13 or 15 volts and fry your stuff. Ask me how I know!)

Here's a link to one on Jameco's site:
http://www.jameco.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product_10001_10001_252786_-1

Try going to that link, then clicking on the link for the catalog page, there's a whole bunch of them for different voltages. I tend to get the "slimline" ones at the bottom of the page, since they don't take up so much space on the power strip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi everyone, thanks for the help so far
I will check the requirement of the skull as I do not know offhand. Otaku helped me a lot to build it, even sent me some parts!
But I think what TRYINGTOLEARN posted about the color organ way, is what I did.
Will check shortly.....
 

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Just thought, how do you know if it is a regulated or unregulated power supply?
Check the voltage using a meter with no load on the power supply. If it's regulated, the reading will be the stated voltage. If it's not regulated, the reading will be much higher than the stated voltage. As mentioned earlier, if you have been using a 9V battery, just stick with a 9VDC power supply.
 

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Just thought, how do you know if it is a regulated or unregulated power supply?
If you're buying a new one the description will usually tell you if it's regulated. If it doesn't say anything, it's usually not. I was going to post a link to a site with some that are and some that aren't when I cam across this adapter with the perfect description: http://www.allelectronics.com/make-a-store/item/dctx-936/9vdc-300ma-wall-transformer/1.html

"A Note on Wall Transformers: A.C. and D.C. Wall Transformers are not regulated unless otherwise stated. They provide a specified voltage at a specified load. If the load is lower than specified, the voltage will be higher then specified. With a higher load, the voltage will drop below that specified. For example, a 12 volt 500 ma. wall transformer may read 20 volts with no load or 9 Volts with a 600 ma. load."

That sums it up pretty well.
 
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