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Hauntless
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My first pneumatic prop is done!!! I'm so excited to get all the components working so I wanted to show you all how it has gone. I already can see that I will need to cut some more holes in the coffin to let light out and I will need to jazz up (more fighting) the routine more. But, overall I'm very pleased.

This is a VSA routine using Enttec Open DMX, DMX relay, DMX lights and fog.

I want to super thank Guitarist155 and Phoenix UK for all the help they have given me. If it wasn't for them, I would have given up long ago. I also want to thank JonF3 and Scareseeker for their MiB's inspiration.

Okay, here it is:

 

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You really did a Great job on this, I love seeing how you did your set up, your going to scare the candy out of the TOTs. Now go and do some more with your haunted control skills.
 

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OK now I justy finished my toe pincher, and was wondering what to put in it, now i have a good idea. how much is the DMX set up, and where do i go to get that stuff, OH YA GREAT JOB!
 

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demonic animatronic
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810 Posts
check out my howto for dmx control in the how to section and I can help with any questions you might have
 

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Hauntless
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Discussion Starter #6
OK now I justy finished my toe pincher, and was wondering what to put in it, now i have a good idea. how much is the DMX set up, and where do i go to get that stuff, OH YA GREAT JOB!
Thank you :)

To answer your question...Well, brace yourself: To get the flexibility that DMX allows there is a pretty good investment upfront. Total cost not including the coffin build ($70) and the compressor ($200) was about $625. Here's the breakdown:

$65 - VSA program (program that the routine is written in)
$70 - Enttec Open USB DMX (allows computer to put out a DMX signal)
$55 - 3-pin DMX cables (50' and three 5')
$3 - 3 pin female to 5 pin male adapter (converts initial 5 pin DMX to 3 pin)
$10 - DMX terminator (tells DMX chain that it is the end)
$26 - 1" bore, 3" stroke, single-acting pneumatic cylinder
$50 - 110 v ac solenoid hook-up kit
$12 - 2 foot brackets for cylinder
$50 - Subwoofer & speakers
$100 - DMX relay (allows non-DMX solenoid to be controlled via DMX)
$40 - Chauvet Hurricane 650 fogger
$24 - Chauvet DMX-3F converter for fog machine (allows DMX control of fogger)
$120 - Two Chauvet Color Splash Jr. RGB LED DMX lights
 

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demonic animatronic
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810 Posts
terra, keep in mind you could run some cords out of the coffin connected to the relay packs other 3 channels and be able to run lighting, props, etc. basically using the coffin as a hub, that way you can get full use out of that relay pack
 

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demonic animatronic
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810 Posts
Thank you :)

To answer your question...Well, brace yourself: To get the flexibility that DMX allows there is a pretty good investment upfront. Total cost not including the coffin build ($70) and the compressor ($200) was about $625. Here's the breakdown:

$65 - VSA program (program that the routine is written in)
$70 - Enttec Open USB DMX (allows computer to put out a DMX signal)
$55 - 3-pin DMX cables (50' and three 5')
$3 - 3 pin female to 5 pin male adapter (converts initial 5 pin DMX to 3 pin)
$10 - DMX terminator (tells DMX chain that it is the end)
$26 - 1" bore, 3" stroke, single-acting pneumatic cylinder
$50 - 110 v ac solenoid hook-up kit
$12 - 2 foot brackets for cylinder
$50 - Subwoofer & speakers
$100 - DMX relay (allows non-DMX solenoid to be controlled via DMX)
$40 - Chauvet Hurricane 650 fogger
$24 - Chauvet DMX-3F converter for fog machine (allows DMX control of fogger)
$120 - Two Chauvet Color Splash Jr. RGB LED DMX lights
i really didn't want to think about what i have been spending lol ;)
 

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Hauntless
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8,374 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Oops, I forget to say where I got all this stuff:

Cylinder, solenoid and fittings (Fright Props)
DMX cables, lights, DMX 3-pin adapter, fog machine and fog machine converter (Musician's Friend)
Enttec Open USB DMX (Enttec)
VSA (Brookshire)
DMX Terminator (bhphotovideo.com)
 

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Hauntless
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8,374 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
terra, keep in mind you could run some cords out of the coffin connected to the relay packs other 3 channels and be able to run lighting, props, etc. basically using the coffin as a hub, that way you can get full use out of that relay pack
Oh wow, great idea! Thanks, I will do that.
 

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Wow! that was amazing, too high tech for me but amazing! Maybe someday:confused:
 

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Hauntless
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Discussion Starter #12
I thought it would be helpful to those that are new to DMX and VSA to see how I programmed all of this. First off, here is the schematic: For a bigger picture, go to this link and click "full size": MiBschematic.jpg - Image - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting



Now here is a screen print of the actual routine on the computer:



Now before you can write any routine, you have to designate the devices that you are going to use. To do that, bring up the settings window. This is what you see:



Under the tracks and names, you see that for DMX I have several 'tracks' for the DMX light. That is what is so great about DMX. One light, in a way, is four lights. One dimmer/strobe light. One red light. One green light and one blue light. To top that all off you can combine the colors to get yellow, purple, turquoise, white and every other color combination you can think of. Isn't that neat!

Looking right again you see 'Type'. For DMX devices, there are only two 'types' you can select; DMX dimmer and DMX relay.

Continuing to look right, you see 'ports.' On this screen print, you see "none" but that is because this is a screen print on my office computer, not the actual laptop. If I had done a screen print from the laptop, you would see "Enttec" under the ports. That is because Enttec is loaded on the laptop computer, not my office one. This is important to designate or else the DMX signal wouldn't be sent through the Enttec. Your DMX light would just look at you and do nothing to your utter frustration!!!! Not that I didn't do that dumb mistake... LOL!

Anyways, continuing on...As you look right, you will see the 'address' that is important. DMX allows you 512 addresses. That is bleeping amazing! For my little MIB I think I used a grand total of 11 addresses. I just scratched the surface of what DMX is capable of.

The next area to the right is the values and that is what you set the perimeters of what you want the device to do. For example, on the DMX light value 0-1 is blackout, value 2-127 is slow strobe to fast strobe. Value 128-255 is intensity (dimming) of 1-100%. Is that cool or what?! The flexibility is mind-blowing.

This shows what window pops up when you click on one of those blue bars (events). This is where you tell the device what to do:




This is another event that I double-clicked on to show that in order for my solenoid to fire, I had to change the event to be a pulse bar:



Well, I hope this gives everyone a better idea of DMX and VSA programming. This is my first try at this and I'm sure anyone could easily top this and make an awesome prop.
 

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wow Terra that is awesome! I was always somewhat confused about the DMX stuff but now looking at your setup it's really actually fairly easy. I really want to do this now lol. At least I have some of the stuff already (compressor, VSA, speakers). I can see tying in my 3-axis bucky routine with other animated props. I may have to hold off until next year though... since Halloween seems to creeping up super fast now. Great Job!!!
 

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Insane Genius
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Congratulations and thanks for the thanks.

Very nicely done, and a great illustration of what can be done with DMX using mostly off the shelf parts..... this is not high tech, once you know the Basics all the stuff Terra is using is plug-n-play, its no more complicated than setting up you TV/DVD/VCR/sat box

The great thing about this prop is it only uses maybe 20 DMX channels out of 512, and now you have the start of a DMX infrastructure you can just plug the next prop in to this one and run them all off of a single computer.
 

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demonic animatronic
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Congratulations and thanks for the thanks.

Very nicely done, and a great illustration of what can be done with DMX using mostly off the shelf parts..... this is not high tech, once you know the Basics all the stuff Terra is using is plug-n-play, its no more complicated than setting up you TV/DVD/VCR/sat box

The great thing about this prop is it only uses maybe 20 DMX channels out of 512, and now you have the start of a DMX infrastructure you can just plug the next prop in to this one and run them all off of a single computer.
sure setting up the vcr is one thing but programming it is another :eek: lol, i agree completely, now you can connect just about anything to dmx so the possibilities are endless.
 

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Well, I ordered the Enttec Open USB DMX and the DMX relay/timer box last night. Yours looks so good, I think I will do that to my coffin. I already have VSA, the solenoid, cylinder, speakers, fog machine, lights, etc. Still have to get theChauvet DMX-3F converter for my fog machine. Started to order it, and the place has a store local that I can pick it up from. You did a great job on yours Terra.
 

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demonic animatronic
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Well, I ordered the Enttec Open USB DMX and the DMX relay/timer box last night. Yours looks so good, I think I will do that to my coffin. I already have VSA, the solenoid, cylinder, speakers, fog machine, lights, etc. Still have to get theChauvet DMX-3F converter for my fog machine. Started to order it, and the place has a store local that I can pick it up from. You did a great job on yours Terra.
do you have a chauvet fogger? there is a chance it could work for other fog machines but i don't know which one's , and as terra figured out, it won't work with the cheap one from cheap lights
 

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do you have a chauvet fogger? there is a chance it could work for other fog machines but i don't know which one's , and as terra figured out, it won't work with the cheap one from cheap lights
I've got one of the bigger ones, but I may have to buy their Chauvet Hurricane 650 to use with it. I don't want to put my big one in it.
 

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Hauntless
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Discussion Starter #20
Well, I ordered the Enttec Open USB DMX and the DMX relay/timer box last night. Yours looks so good, I think I will do that to my coffin. I already have VSA, the solenoid, cylinder, speakers, fog machine, lights, etc. Still have to get the Chauvet DMX-3F converter for my fog machine. Started to order it, and the place has a store local that I can pick it up from. You did a great job on yours Terra.
Cool! Don't forget the DMX terminator, the 5 pin to 3 pin converter and DMX cables. The DMX terminator is put at the end of your DMX chain to tell it that it is the end. The Enttec outputs the DMX signal via a 5-pin DMX so you need the 5 pin to 3 pin converter so you can plug in your other DMX items (cables, lights, fog adapter) that use 3-pin DMX. A caveat about the cables: some places call their microphone cables DMX cables. They are not the same! Get true DMX cables not ones that use XLR (microphone) cables instead. They look the same but the insides are different.

In regards to the fog machine, I recommend to anyone reading this to stick with the Chauvet brand foggers. I tried a cheapie fog machine that the company said would work. NOT! It damn near fried my DMX chain. You see, some fogger's remote outlet has power that comes out of it. Well, a lot of electricity through your DMX chain is bad, very berserky bad!

I like the size and output of the Chauvet 650 Hurricane for inside my MIB. I had plugged in my Chauvet 1050 for testing and quickly realized that it was waaaayyy too much fog. Plus, it will get too hot in my vamp's coffin.
 
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