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Hello Fellow Haunters,

This Halloween will be my first haunt and I am very new to servos, programing, and pneumatic props. I've done so much research on the forums plus on many Youtube Channels. As I was on Youtube tonight, I did a lot of research on the Arduino and came across a lot of really cool projects with them. The first I wanted to share was a Tiki Shelf constructed by Sam Towler, this project is runs off an Arduino Uno and a MP3 trigger. I would love to know how this works and was wondering if anybody could help me out on how it works. Another video I found was a reaction on the Tiki room that used the same thing but with an animatronic bird. Another question, do you think that an Arduino would be a great thing to use for future animatronics or prop controlling?

Thank you everybody :D

Tiki Shelf by Sam Towler
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWR2Z8C8c-M

Homemade Tiki Room by FieryFate
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDbv9R7wmxA
 

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You should check on www.hauntforum.com as well.
There is more general Halloween activity here, but Hauntforum tends to get deeper into the technology, and some arduino projects are detailed there.
 

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Another question, do you think that an Arduino would be a great thing to use for future animatronics or prop controlling?
Responding to your last question in particular, it's a trade off. I have an animatronic project underway that's powered by an Arduino (http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/140771-3-axis-skull-build.html) and you gain a lot and you lose a lot.

Using an Arduino introduces a lot of complexity. If you're wanting to create a complex show sequence where actions of the animatronic are synchronized with music or something, and all the animatronic does is loop through that show over and over again, then a solution like VSA may be more suitable. If you're looking for something more dynamic, like remote control or dynamic re-ordering of the show, then an Ardunio gives you that sort of flexibility. With the flexibility comes complexity. That's the trade-off between an Arduino and other solutions: the flexibility is proportionate to complexity, and it's not always worth having that flexibility if the project takes 3x as long to complete.

That all said, Arduinos are truly awesome little microprocessors that are well-suited in many ways to Halloween props.
 

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Using microprocessors like the Arduino is very useful for running automated parts of your Haunt. To really be able to use them, you will need to learn some basic electronics, and some computer programming. These days there is a ton of this info out there, and you will be able to teach yourself pretty much anything you want. But it's a bit of a learning curve to get to the level of the two tiki projects you linked to.

Start with the tutorials on Adafruit and Sparkfun. Both sites have excellent info and can supply you with the parts you need for different projects.
 

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There is a learning curve.... but when it clicks you can make what you want. I just received 20 nanos from china. 2.50 each. with just those I can trigger video, create cave eyes, trigger store props. By adding relays, mp3 and a pir sensor I can make prop controller for 20 bucks. most of these sketches are floating around the net.... it is just to copy, past and customize. Customizing means working out the bugs...and that is when you learn.

if you want to do a lot and do not have the 80 -150 for a finished prop controller.. your only route is arduino.. there are other microcontrollers and timers...other solutions and methods but if you stick to one that is has all the capabilities and support I would say arduino nano.

I think you are looking for DIY and cheap, but if you are looking for the bigger shows with multiple props, lights, servos, and relays... you will need VSA

good luck.
Fletch.
 

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hi,
I have been ordering from aliexpress... have ordered many products from many sellers no problems other than 2 - 3 week delivery.

The China nano uses a different usb driver but i have had no problems. every project i have tried with these works 100 percent... new price.... 2.25 free shipping.

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/1PCS-Nano-3-0-controller-compatible-with-nano-CH340-USB-driver-NO-CABLE-NANO-V3-0/2035011839.html

i have other links for the relays, mp3, and Pir sensors if needed.

have fun.

Fletch..
 
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