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Make magazine put out this simple suggestion for using an Arduino to control multiple props and set up sequences provided the prop has a "try me" type button. If you've long ago gotten rid of the button from the box, there's usually a two-pin terminal connection somewhere in the store-bought prop that you can connect to instead. Check it out here: Arduino prop control.
 

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Thanks for the link. I'm familiar with Make Magazine and hope we will be able to attend the Maker Faire this coming year. I know last year the SF Bay faire had a halloween section represented.

Just tonight I persuaded Hubby to sign us up for a beginning Arduino class through Tech Shop. Figured he'd find it something interesting to do together, and myself of course I have plans for controlling halloween props down the road. Came here tonight looking to see what kinds of things people have done with their Arduino boards so your recent post had excellent timing. When we get to the programming stage in our classes I will definitely remember the article and try his code out on some of my Try Me props. Earlier tonight we watched a few very informative and well presented videos on the product and some beginning projects on the Arduino website before signing up for class.

BTW Maker Faire in the SF Bay area will be May 16 & 17, 2015.
 

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Thanks for the link. I'm familiar with Make Magazine and hope we will be able to attend the Maker Faire this coming year. I know last year the SF Bay faire had a halloween section represented.

Just tonight I persuaded Hubby to sign us up for a beginning Arduino class through Tech Shop. Figured he'd find it something interesting to do together, and myself of course I have plans for controlling halloween props down the road. Came here tonight looking to see what kinds of things people have done with their Arduino boards so your recent post had excellent timing. When we get to the programming stage in our classes I will definitely remember the article and try his code out on some of my Try Me props. Earlier tonight we watched a few very informative and well presented videos on the product and some beginning projects on the Arduino website before signing up for class.

BTW Maker Faire in the SF Bay area will be May 16 & 17, 2015.
Wish I lived in the Bay area. Would be fun to go--on the other hand, I'll be on a Mediterranean cruise during that time, with additional overland time in Rome and Paris (possibly London too). So I can't complain. :) That travel is heavily subsidized by my Miles and Points hobby. As was my Thanksgiving trip.

While visiting relatives and friends over Thanksgiving in Boston, I stumbled upon a MakerBot store on Newbury Street displaying at least half a dozen 3D printers in action. So cool to see these things operate in person, and the variety of items people have fabricated with them--also on sale in the store.

Back to Arduino--some guys both where I and my wife work are pushing RaspberryPi vs. Arduino. If I want to start building things using these types of controllers, I may go with the former due to having local help. Dunno. Or may purchase one of each and see how I like them.
 

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mikeerdas - The Raspberry Pi vs. Arduino is at this point, purely a matter of choice. There are tons of info about both of them. The key thing is that you will eventually have to learn to program to get the effect you want. Because the Arduino has been out longer there are more examples of haunt-related code for them.

But if you've got someone local who is willing to help you get up to speed, then that's the best answer. Also, the Raspberry Pi people just shipped an even less expensive version of the board ($20.00!) which is probably more than you need for most stuff.
 

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For everyone else - I'm part of a group that had a big haunted house at the Bay last year at the Bay Area Maker Faire. I programmed a lot of the effects in the booth (the mad scientist lab and the zombie warehouse). We got covered by Adafruit!

http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2014/10/23/draw-inspiration-from-haunters-group-maker-faire-exhibit-to-create-your-own-teachable-haunted-house-electronichalloween/

Unfortunately, the camera just didn't pick up much of the sound...it was a lot different in person.

And we're doing it again next year, so if you go, please make sure to drop in!
 
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