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I will show you mine if you show me yours.

5973 Views 48 Replies 12 Participants Last post by  Specter
No that’s not what I am talking about. What I am referring to is my Halloween prop control center. I live in the Arizona desert and we do not have lawns in our front yards. What we do have is a lot of rocks and very hard dirt.

That makes for some very difficult Halloween setup. So I have been working on this setup for a number of months.

The first picture show the control box without doors, you can see a number of shelf with different components. Each following pic moves down the inside of the control box.

Things of interest.

Keyboard with six switches above.
Two computers with KVM switch.
Six K74 boards
Six plugs on the outside / Wiring to the plugs outside
Orange wire below the plug, this will plug into a 220V line that will be split into two 110V circuits.
Outer wrap for power lines.
Black (Snake) (Thanks Randy for the name)) Prop power line.
The back of the box without doors.

More to come.

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I use LED flood lights for my ground lighting. Very easy to make (hmm I have a couple more to make. Maybe I should create a tutorial on what i did.) anyhow, I can run all my ground lights via a single computer power supply. Using low voltage wire (i use cat 5 cable currently with rj 45/11 jacks and ends to connect groups of lights to a single cat 5 cable. Also use quick connects for the flood lights. Using ultra bright leds they put off quite a bit of light. LEDs are not like they used to be. I know my ultra bright LEDs are bright enough that they blind you if you look directly at them. You could easily create them with pvc end caps and leds super glued in to holes created in them. I went a little overboard and put mine on round boards (PCB boards.) Just a thought. LEDS are cheap as well if you buy them from teh right source and more than a couple at time.. UV LEDs are the bomb.
I agree with the LED lights. Low voltage is much easier (not to mention safer) to work with, and it's easier on the electric bill, too. I've put together a how - to for some inexpensive and really easy LED spot lights here. You could scale them up using larger PVC fixtures and multiple LEDs to light a bigger area.
I used the runner caps for chain link fence (the kind used for joints in pvc bodies.) so it was easier to aim the way i wanted to. I run mine off of 5 volts from a computer PSU.
I've never used LEDs for floodlights, just spots. A spotlight is focused on a much smaller area, so it doesn't have to be as bright to highlight something. I'm lucky enough not to have a streetlight nearby, so I'm not fighting too much ambient light.
Also i have a small write up at scaryrednecks.com. Nothing fancy but gives you some basics of LEDs. I have used LEDs for both spot and ambient light. IF you get the right LEDs you can put out a lot of light for very little voltage. For me, since i use ultra bright leds and not the standard type. I only use 2 LEDs per spot. Now as far as how many LEDs to use for 9Vs that is a trick question. What you want to do is figure out the forward voltage and such of the leds. (in most instances all colors but blue generally have a forward voltage of about 2-2.5 volts.) also you need to know the resistance of the LED itself. Once you have that you can use a simple calculation to figure out the size of resistor you need in the circuit. (even if i was using 1 LED at exactly 2.5v i would STILL use a resistor.) In general a 1ohm resistor will work in most applications for anything under 12v HOWEVER the closer you get to the actual resistor you need the better since the resistance will affect the brightness of the LEDs. also you always want to run the LEDs in a circuit in series not in parallel. For my stuff i can run about 25 LED spot lights with 2 leds each with one 5v circuit out of a computer Power Supply. (a computer power supply has different voltages for each color of wire and will run as low at 3v to as high as 24 (+ and - 12v wires) Also you can create a small circuit which will let you change the voltage out of the 24v circuit to anything from 1.2v to 23v using a simple potentiometer.) Computer PSU is great and cheap but i digress.

Also the type of LED determines the type of light it will produce. For spots i use LEDs whose angle of light is about 30degrees versus a standard LED which has a angle of around 100 or so. those are great for ambient light. The stuff you can get at radio shack will not cut it. the link given in the above post is where i go to figure out my resistors. Also their write ups are good as well. I get my LEDs from Futurlec they are as reasonable as i have found in price and the more you order the less they become. I can't beat $0.20 per LED when i buy in bulk. I just wish they had the UV ones in stock. Now I am not an expert when it comes to LEDs or electronics but i am learning.
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do you ahve any sort of GFi or circuit protection coming back in to the electrical connection?
1 - 4 of 49 Posts
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