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Discussion Starter #41
CDW, thanks so much for your additional input. I am begining to understand the complexities of hacking this alert system. So, since I am totally inept at electronics and circuits and basically do not understand anything about this, I am thinking I will just go back to my original idea of a simple to set up and use PIR alert that uses the sound from the driveway alert to trigger a sound activated prop.:eek:
 

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Yes I kind of got off on a tangent trying to explain the hack for those wishing to trigger props through their Step pad, try me, or other switch port.
Scary, if you wish to use the sound output you can also remove the little speaker and extend it's wires enough to place it over (or near) the prop's sound sensor.
In the case where you don't want any sound, you could likely start off with a high resistance (1 meg ohm ?) resistor in series with your direct connection, to limit the chance of damaging the prop. If that isn't enough voltage to trigger the prop, keep cutting the resistor value in half (1 meg ohm becomes 500K, then 250K, etc.) until it reliably triggers from the chime signal.
 

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Discussion Starter #43
Hey BobbyA,well alrighty then. I think I may be able to do this. As I understand it I can (1) use the speaker on the driveway alert and simply remove it from the case and add wiring to the speaker to extend it to be near the sound sensor on the prop or (2) if I do not want any sound coming from the speaker I can cut the speaker wire and add a resistor as you described between one lead from an LED light on the alert and one of the the wires of the sound sensor microphone (or whatever it is called) that I remove from the prop. in this application the speaker on the alert would be cut out completely and the speaker wires would not be used for anything. As I have said before the sound of the driveway alert on low setting really cannot be heard in the Haunted Forest with all the other noises but I might be skilled enough to try this to eliminate it completely. However, I believe I am right that if I decided to try to ue this system to replace a "try me" button I would need to use the realy as you mentioned before. Here is a simple drawing of what I think I am doing to cut out the speaker.
Drawing.jpg
 

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Hey Scary, That should work.
I was also thinking that you could be better off to take a 10uf capacitor and use the wires that went to the speaker and connect them to the wires that went to the sound sensor.
In you diagram above you would change the words "led light leads" to the words " speaker wires", and change the "appropriate size resistor" to "10uf capacitor".
If it is a very expensive prop I might leave a 10K or so resistor in line as you have it shown, and put the capacitor in series with it.

Confused yet ? lol
 

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Discussion Starter #45
BobbyA, WOW! Information overload. By the time you are finished with me I will be an electronics techniician for sure.:eek:. Seriously, I really appreciate all the help. However, in accordance with my life long rule to "never do anything for yourself that you can get someone else to do for you " I am trying to figure out some way for you to just do this for me. I don't suppose you would want to take a trip to Missouri would you?:D Well maybe I can muddle through with your excellent guidance. Does it make any difference if the capacitor is in line before or after the resistor? In other words between the receiver speaker wire and resistor or between the resistor and the prop? Also, do you think this circuit would work to replace a motion sensor photo cell trigger? Thanks again.
 

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Oh Scary that is unfortunate, our rules seem to be in conflict on this. My rule is: Never put off for tomorrow that,
which I can get out of entirely.

I would be happy to take questions, make suggestions, or help troubleshoot. As for the light sensor, I don't think I have taken one of the props apart to see how they did them. So the short answer is, I don't know. I could do it with how I would have designed the light sensor, but that may not be how they will have done it.

Keep things simple, put the resistor in one wire, and the capacitor in the other wire. lol
Either can come first if placed in the same wire.
For electrical things to work, what ever goes up one wire has to come back on the other. (probably more than you wanted to know, I do that sometimes...).
The purpose of the resistor is to keep the energy intended to drive the speaker from overloading the sound sensor circuit.
The purpose of the capacitor is to block DC voltages, and only let the chime signal get through to the sound circuit.
Don't use the capacitor if you are going to connect to the receiver's LED.
 

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Discussion Starter #47
Thanks again BobbyA. Oh Man...I thought for sure I could figure out some way for you to do this for me but it looks like our two opposing philosophies are like matter and anti-matter coming together. Not a good thing:D. Actually, I am not completely inept at electrical circuits. By this I mean I can handle household wiring and circuits like that. I can handle these circuits just fine. But I know next to nothing about electronics so this is where I am having trouble understanding what comes first the capacitor or the egg....errr I mean the resistor. I knew that resistors would allow only a certain amount of energy to get through based on their design but I thought capacitors stored energy until a switching component of some sort triggered it to release the stored energy. So I was trying to figure out how the energy from the capacitor was going to be released without adding something like a transistor or something to the circuit. Now I know that I didn't know what I thought I knew. Or something like that anyway. I am planning on giving this another try tomorrow. I do think I am going to try the wiring circuit that utilizes the speaker wires simply because it will be easier for me to solder these wires and not melt any connections on the circuit board than attempting to solder onto the leg of the LED light. As I said before I greatly appreciate all your help and patience with my somewhat dumb questions. And if I don't electrocute myself in the process I will let you know how it turns out. BTW...there really isn't any chance that if the prop gets a sudden burst of energy it will come alive and attack me like Frankenstein's Monster is there?:eek:
 

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Discussion Starter #49
tinafromidaho, Glad you like this idea. I don't know how it got on Pinterest but I'm happy that you found it. It really does work well for a simple PIR trigger. However, be sure to try some of the modifications that BobbA has posted here. They are not difficult and they make the prop trigger even better.
 

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Thanks ... I don't get the newspaper & it says right on the image "original coupon must be presented" so I cannot use a printed up image. Bummer.
 

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Discussion Starter #53
Halloweenkat,ok try these ideas. First I would print the coupon that BobbyA posted and march right down to the local Harbor Freight store and buy a driveway alert or 2. But this coupon is only good until July 31 so you better hurry. I think they will accept the coupon as it looks like it might be from an on line ad but if this fails go to Harborfreight.com. They usually have a page of coupons. If this driveway alert isn't listed with a coupon try the next week. Keep trying until they finally put it on sale with a coupon. When you find it just print out the coupon. I know from doing this myself that our local Harbor Freight store will accept any coupon that you print from their on line ad. These driveway alerts are listed quite often locally in a Sunday newspaper ad page. Like you I do not subscribe to the local paper so I get my Harbor Freight ad every Sunday from a relative who does get the paper. Also, if you go to the local Harbor Freight store they always have a flyer with coupons and many times they have these driveway alerts listed. While I have never seen them locally as low as $10.99 I have purchased several here for $12.99 on sale. Sometimes they are put on sale with no requirement for a coupon. Also, I have never found any store here that will not accept their online coupon that you have an image of on your smart phone so this might also be a possibility. Another possibility is to subscribe to Harbor Freight's monthly ad. I get a new ad flyer every month in the mail with lots of coupons as well as a 20% off coupon on any purchase. If all else fails I will be happy to send you a PM the next time I see them on sale here or send you a coupon by snail mail. I am assuming that if something is on sale at Harbor Freight locally it will be on sale in all their stores. Usually you can purchase up to 6 using only 1 coupon and I noticed that the coupon that BobbyA posted offers a limit of 6. If you do buy more that one be sure to get each one that works on a different channel.
 

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I just picked up 3 of these last weekend, they work like a charm. Thanks for the outstanding idea!!!:eek:
 

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I picked up a few the other day but the ones in my HF did have the channel number on the box, i asked an employee and he didnt know why it was now missing
 

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Discussion Starter #58
Hey BobbyA, just finished one of the driveway alert modifications that you have been helping me with. I tried the extend the speaker wire trick because it looked to be the easiest to start out on. I removed the speaker from the alert, extended the wiring and put it next to the sound sensor in my zombie groundbreaker. It worked great. Next I'm going to attempt the modification with the capacitor to bypass the speaker altogether. Then MAYBE I will be confident enough to think I can do the relay option for one of my props with a "try me" button. Possibly my animated pirate parrot.
 

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Glad to hear it Scary.
You can also insert a resistor inline with either of the speaker wires and lower the volume of the chime if that is useful for you.
 

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Discussion Starter #60
Thanks BobbyA, I think I will try that resistor idea. I did notice that when I just held the alert speaker above the sound sensor of the prop it was practically inaudible even on the Hi setting. And it triggered the prop beautifully. But after I hot glued it down the sound level was louder and about the same as when it was in the alert. Not quite sure why. Anyway, do you think a 10K resister would be about the right size? I have several of diffrent values that I bought to work on this project with.
 
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