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I decided to purchase this Gimbie animatronic from a vendor (gore galore) at the HAA show. We purchased it in 2013 and never set it up until this year. It turns out that all the stuff we asked to have programmed on it - was not done. We went back to the manufacturer and they want to charge us an arm, leg, and kidney price to have it reprogrammed. Does anyone know if there is a program that we can do this personally? I cant see paying another 1/3 of its price to have it reprogrammed. I am very disappointed with the purchase and manufacturer, but im trying to make the best of the situation so I don't have discard such an expensive piece. Any help you guys have is much appreciated.

Thanks!
 

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If there isn't any contract /documentation to resolve the issue, do you have any documentation on the prop itself that might describe the type of controller that is used? If that was known you might be able to reprogram it yourself or at the least get some outside help.
 

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I've been doing a lot of homework, and since I'll have a spare set of SIM cards, I'm going to try program it myself, if I can find a software that will control it.
 

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Darkacres,

I am Kevin Alvey, the owner of Gore Galore.
I am sorry to say this but you are misrepresenting the situation. There is nothing wrong with your animatronic. It is fully functional, and programmed with everything you asked for. ALL it needs is Air and power and it will work with several songs, and rules for your customers for years and years. It is one of the single best built animatronics in the industry, and with that being said high end amusement park quality products are not cheap, and built to last with 14 points of bearing loaded articulation.

John told me personally that he just wanted another set of programs to run to change it up. He wanted a full set of new songs and rules tracks. that takes up to a couple weeks to do. 1 song takes from 3 to 5 hours to do. And someone gets paid to do that, but you seem to expect we do it for free.

You are welcome to reprogram this prop yourself but make sure you know exactly what you are doing. It is a really good idea to learn everything you can about the products you purchase. But trying to reprogram without knowing what you are doing, will void your warranty and make it more difficult for us to help you remedy the situation.
The new program has already been paid for. And is underway right now. But again, this is a very time consuming process so your patience is necessary.
FYI, so you can do your research. For example it doesn't use Sim Cards, it uses a micro sd card in the HC8 and an SD card in the AP-16.


The animatronic uses EFXtek's HC8

and the AP-16 audio board


and if you go to their forum you can find lots of information to help you learn more about the hardware.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hi Kevin,

Thank you for responding to this thread.

First off, I did not say anything was wrong with the animatronic, it is a very "neat" piece. However, I was having issues with the programming done to it. I dont expect anyone to do anything for free, so please dont say that im expecting it. I dont know how you got from me asking how to program it myself to expecting it for free. I may have mentioned that reprogramming by OEM is extremely expensive.

However, when John purchased it, we tried coming up with a list of things we wanted to put on it, someone disagreed to our suggesttions and put what you had for it. Now, He is asking for different stuff because Movie Intro's and playing "house rules" once every 30-40 minutes does not work for us. For $50+ an hour - I wish we would have programmed it correctly the first time.

While speaking with John - I was under the impression that he has no idea if he will receive the "new programming" in time and I suggested we remove this prop from out of the Haunt because of it.

As for programming it - You are correct - I wrote Sim instead of SD - Ive done my homework and it looks like you have to know how to program - and since I do not write code - I probably wont be able to it.

Im not a fan of purchasing a prop that we cannot edit or fix if something goes wrong, especially such an expensive one, but that is something I will take up with John, as he did decide to purchase this.

Thanks for your response and i look forward to seeing what comes programmed on the new cards that he paid for.
 

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I just spoke to John,
I am sure you guys will be talking about this.
The files that were programmed were agreed upon up front.
But it doesn't mean You or John had to like them. That is ok.
We will fix it and then you will have 2 different SD card and Micro SD cards you can switch out anytime. Just keep them paired together so things don't get mixed up.

Yes, the programming is difficult, but that is because it is such a complex high end product. And you can't program something like this with push button controllers.
I wish I could post links. But I can't yet. I have to post atleast 3 times before I can post links. after I reach that # I will post links to the boards and forums etc... SO you can understand more about the products we use.
You can even get a starter kit from Efxtek to help teach you how to program. It has a learning curve but I know many haunts that strictly use Efxtek products because of the customer service and the quality of the products so I would check them out.

John recently asked for some specific files so those are what is being programmed as we speak, and they should be done within a couple weeks. LIke I said it takes alot of time.
You will receive a new SD card and micro SD card. ALL you have to do is switch those cards.
We are working to build a library of program files and after that we should have more files to reprogram with. At that point we won't have to charge for the files.

By the way, I LOVE the vintage horror movie trailers. I think they are some of the coolest weird little things you could possibly have. AND most are so old you don't have to worry about licensing issues.
 

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Oh, and if you have a question please contact me directly at info at gore-galore.com, or call me. John has my phone #.

Please also realize we have been in business 16 years. We have one of the best reputations in the business for customer service and building quality product. So, just know John Purchasing our products is an investment in the future. We aren't in this business for 1 sale. We are in this business to build long term relationships.
 

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On all the Gimble Animartonics we use two HC-8 controllers from EFX-TEK http://www.efx-tek.com/topics/hc-8.html and an AP-16 for audio http://www.efx-tek.com/topics/ap-16.html

The two 8 channel controllers are linked via DMX to create16 channels of out put running from 1 program. The first of these two controllers uses a MicroSD card to store .BIN files. These are files that are output from a free program called Vixen. http://www.vixenlights.com/downloads/vixen-2-downloads/ Vixen was orignally desinged to automate 100's of channels of christmas lighting. The creators added some add-ins that allow it to work to program EFX-TEK controllers via a time line, instead of being hard coded via Pbasic or Propeller.

The files that get loaded onto the HC-8's are in the below link.

http://www.efx-tek.com/php/smf/index.php?topic=2069.0

These programs take the HC-8 from being a standard output slave board, and make it a stand alone controller. All the set up, connection, and programming information can be found at the beginning of the programs in the above link.


For the AP-16, we take the audio file that we programmed to, and save it with a corresponding name to the program file on the HC-8. For example, when vixen03.bin gets triggered on the HC-8 via a sensor, it triggers the AP-16 to play SFX03.wav. vixen10.bin triggers SFX10.wav, etc.

I hope that helps, if you want to try programming your self.

For reference, it takes no less than 2 hours per minute of programming on average. This is because of having to sync the mouth movements, to the audio tracks. After that, there are 13 more channels of movements that need to by synced to the mouth. It's alot of work.
 

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Brian, thank you for posting the links etc... for the programming.
Darkacres, I hope that helps if you want to learn to program the boards in the future.
 
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