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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I love the scare a simple blast of air gives. The initial sound is startling if loud enough. How is this achieve? Is it something I can buy off the shelf and do before Halloween or do I need to order parts? If I can buy off the shelf can someone tell what and how to do it. I can always wIt till next year if it is too late. Thanks in advance. I do have a small craftsman compressor. Last time I did it manually but I would like a louder blast sound and automate it too.
 

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Depending on how much free time you have and how well you can program an Arduino, it's possible. I built one a few years ago using an "air popper" kit I bought off of thehauntstore.com, powered it with a 12v battery, then used a relay hooked up to an Arduino Uno with an ultrasonic distance sensor as the trigger. The Arduino detects a change in distance when someone walks in the path of the sensor, and triggers the relay to close the 12v circuit to the air popper for just under 1 second. Assuming you have a decent amount of air pressure, your guests will both feel a blast of air as well as that pneumatic hiss you want. If the sound isn't loud enough though, you could also have the Arduino trigger a MP3 or WAV trigger board as well. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not at the moment. Is it something I can source at harbourfreight or fastenal? My local fastenal store says they carry solenoid valves. I should add they look expensive. Is the proper one very expensive?
 

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Yeah, you're not gonna want to get one there. A decent solenoid is around $25, ebay is the best place but you're running out of time. You'll need a way to trigger and control it, how do you wanna trigger it?
 

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Sometimes called a quick release valve, I bought mine (3/4" one) at Fastenal.

The idea is the irrigation valves are typically too slow for a good release, but once the irrig valve just starts to open, the slight pressure differential triggers the quick valve. This unit uses about 40 psi and is operated by 2 push buttons on a little controller (so not remote). One button opens fill valve and charges the cylinder, and the other opens a discharge valve, which is only used to trip the quick release. I have about 50' of air hose and maybe 50' wire harness so it's no big deal for one of us to trigger it at an opportune moment. Very effective!

 
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