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Discussion Starter #1
I was hacking my first PIR tonight and I think I have it right. While I was testing in on my Spirit Jumping spider, some how the prop has got out of timing. Now it starts and ends in the middle of its routine. Anyone know of a way to reset it? In addition, I was wondering if that was caused by it being triggered to manytimes in close proxcimity. Worried about hooking to a different prop.
 

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When you unplug everything and plug the power cord back in, does it rest to cocked position? I've been fooling around with 2 spiders, pulling the plug when the spider is fully extended to take measurements. When I plug them back in they fully reset. And I was setting the one off in pretty quick sequence.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
No sir, tried pulling batteries several times and I did it at different locations in the cyle, no go. It is a 6 volt, maybe hooking it up with a plug might do something.
 

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If you have a 6v adapter around, sure, give it a shot. Otherwise, I wonder if there is a reset gap in a cog wheel that has slipped? I have a battery powered Addams Family bank from the 60s that i took apart and fixed. On one of the gears inside there is a gap that opens the circuit at the end of the cycle. You start the cycle by going around thegear and closing the circuit by another route. Then the gear circuit takes over until the gap. I don't know if there is a setting on a circuit board, or something as simple as the set up in the bank, but it might be worth a look.
 

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From the Spirit prop motion sensor thread:

I basically hacked the PIR to a 12v and then inserted the two appropriate wires into the foot pad slot. First attempt and I was following some directions I was sent. Very possible I messed up something, but the spider works with the current connection. Just incorrectly. I want to prevent this from happening to some of my more expensive or harder to replace props. Thus I need to understand what I have done or why.
First, what kind of PIR is it? Do you have a link from where you bought it, or a model number? Second, the foot pad used by the jumping spiders works because it has a little piezoelectric disk inside, which produces a very quick spike of voltage when it's disturbed. I don't know exactly how the trigger sense circuitry on the jumping spiders works, but I do know that it expects to see a quick, low-current voltage spike, rather than a solid 12V, so that could definitely be causing you problems.

In general, the two things you need to be aware of when looking to trigger a prop are what kind of trigger the prop is looking for, and what voltage (if applicable) the prop is looking for. There are typically two kinds of electrical triggers: a completion-type trigger (try me buttons, older step pads), or an externally-generated trigger (newer Spirit (Tekky) step pads). With completion-type triggers, you're looking to close a connection - basically to flip a switch so two wires are connected to each other. You don't have to worry about voltage for these types of props, because the prop generates the electrical signal. To use your PIR with this kind of prop, you'll need to get a relay. You connect the output from the PIR to the coil of the relay, and the wires from the prop to the switched contacts.

For an externally-generated trigger, like with the jumping spider, the prop is looking for an expected signal from something outside the prop - in this case, the piezoelectric disk. One wire serves as a voltage reference, like a ground, and the other provides your signal. This is where you have to find out what voltage it's looking for. This can be hard to determine for the piezo, since you can't easily just measure the output with a multimeter. I saw this post, where the poster figured out a simple circuit with an AA battery to emulate this kind of pad, but I haven't tested it, so I can't speak to how well it works. Maybe if you drop the voltage on your PIR output with a zener diode that might work. I don't know, though. I've heard reports that a few people have successfully triggered their spiders just by bridging the two contacts, but I suspect that only works because the circuit is already looking for such a small output from the piezo that the electrical noise created by the device bridging the contacts is enough to set it off.
 

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Not sure about the Spider needing to see a voltage spike to trigger. I use a PIR/timer controller that dry-triggers my Spider (via a relay) and it works every time. I suspect something else, like the worm drive gear has gotten out of position, and could possibly even have a stripped section.
 

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Hmm - I really need to get my hands on one and see for myself. Every spider I've seen takes one of those piezo mats, and those are definitely generating a signal, rather than connecting the leads. Is it possible there are multiple versions out there, with different trigger inputs?
 

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Could be, the one I have was purchased the first year they were available. AFAIK, the pads are all the same. The light sensor in the head doesn't work in the dark and the "Step Here" pad just seemed so obvious, so I used the controller I mentioned. No problems at all.
 

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Interesting. I still think that, given the sensitivity a piezo sensor pickup would likely have, the electrical noise of closing the connection might be enough to do it, but the consistency with which yours works is odd if that's the case.

As to Castart's problem, I think a video of the problem could be very helpful. I'm having some trouble understanding exactly what's happening. Is just the motion out of sync, or are both the sound and the motion picking up in the middle? My understanding of how these work is that there's a sensor to detect when the lever is fully cocked, and that's what stops the motor. The only way I can think of to square that with what you're describing is if, like Otaku suggested, the last tooth or two on the drive wheel is broken, so it draws it back far enough to push (apparently the forum won't let me use the singular form of a synonym for rooster) it against the sensor, but then immediately loses hold as it rolls onto where the last tooth should be. Does it seem like, when you trigger it, that the spider stays extended for a while, then starts cocking back, seems to get all the way retracted, then immediately launches again, and the motor noise simultaneously stops? If it's a stripped tooth, then just the motion should be out of sync; the sound should start when triggered and run as normal. If both the sound and the motion are messed up, then it seems more likely to be a controller issue.
 

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I have a question, which jumping spider should I get? The brown one or the black one? The brown one seems as if it doesn't jump as far as the black one, but I'm afraid of the black one breaking after the first year of use. Which one and why?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well the one that is misfireing was also from the first year. I bought a new one, since they are about 30% off right now. Guess no point in trying to wire a PIR to it with all the stuff I have read on this board. Good news, it should trigger fine right now, it is only after a year or two of use that I see deteriation. Gives me the 2014 to figure it out.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
The spider is starting and ending fully extended. The sound begins and it starts cocking, once it is fully seated it releases and remains until the next stimulus.

As far as the PIR, person who gave it to me did not thing it would of caused the issue as I hooked it up. I can dial the voltage down, I hooked a wall wart to the PIR. Do you think experimenting with the new spider at a lower voltage would put the board on the new spider at risk? How far up or down do you think I could dial it and be safe in regards to the new spider?
 

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Not that this helps, but last year the sample jumping Zombie demo at our local Spirit store was doing the same thing you described - starting the cycle fully extended, retracting, springing and stopping. And those mechanics are the same as the spider.
 
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