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Discussion Starter #1
I am planning on adding a thunder/lightning machine to my yard this year. I am a bit overwhelmed but what to choose and what to expect. I want something that i can use in a very realistic manner. So, what to choose? The FX boxes are super cheap, but how many would i need to make it work?

Lightning FX?
Pico Storm?
Zombie?
 

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Typical Ghoul Next Door
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The Lightning FX box (there are x-mas and Halloween versions but it's the same box with different colored plastic):

Sound Activated Christmas Tree Lights - On Sale - Things for Christmas - Things You Never Knew Existed

This is a cheapy sound sensitive effects box - it can take I think up to 3 or 400W. This is VERY effective if you get a photographer's flash bulb from a photo supply, put it in a simple plug-in clamp holder like this:
8.5 In. Incandescent Clamp Light - E-245 at The Home Depot

and stick it up a tree. As long as the sound source is close to the FX box, it's VERY effective at creating a great lightning effect. One super bright bulb would work great for this effect.

The other ones are going to be more money...
 

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i have the I-zombie for good reason . i love it , but you should really consider getting the multi-channel one you can control up to 4 lights.
 

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Bête noire
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I'm with Frankie's girl - the FX box works well. I run two at 500W each, using photoflood bulbs. You can plug the sound source directly into the box. They sell for as little as $12 at times.
 

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I've also used the little FX box and it worked great. I bought another one this calendar year for $8 at Tuesday Morning (weird place, I know--but I've found some good H'ween stuff there at great prices) and someone recently posted on HF that they've seen them still for sale there (it's the Xmas version tho). So you might want to check out Tues Morning...
 

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I'll have to agree with dept1031. I just got the I-Zombie box and it's awesome. The price is steep but it definatley delivers on its promises. There are cheaper options but they take some inginuity to create them. Do a search on the sight and there are several tutorials on how to make all this on the cheap.
 

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Psychomaniac
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I have four of the Lightning F/X boxes (well, mine are Christmas F/X but it's the same thing) and I've been very pleased. I used one running two photo flood bulbs at the bottom of my driveway and another by my porch. I run them with boom boxes and little MP3 players (which I start at the same time so the sound is synchronized). All four were only $40 so I have no complaints (and I have two extra for other applications)!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well I'm kind of leaning toward the I-zombie I guess. If i have to hook up 3-4 of the little boxes, I would probably rather just get one self contained box. Seems like on beneift to the picostorm is that the sound is internal, so you only need to plug in powered speakers and lights and turn it on, no cd player needed.

So dept1031, the 2 channel unit says it can handle over 2000 watts. I could just run a splitter to as many lights as i want right? I know they wont all flash independently though.
 

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Save yourself some money and just buy one of the lightning fx boxes. They support up to 500 watts of power. That should be plenty of lightning! they have/had the X-mas version at Tuesday Morning for only 7.99.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well for $7.99 I would give it a shot, but all the online retailers are selling it for $30+. None fo the tuesday mornings in my area have this unfortunately. Any suggestion on an online retailer that has them that cheap?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Oh, I didn't notice the link that Frankies girl posted. Thanks! I will try a few of those and see if it is powerful enough for what i am trying. Thanks for the input guys.
 

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Grand Poobah
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I also have about 4 of those FX boxes from another site that sold them dirt cheap. They are very useful, as you can put them in various places and require zero intellect to set up. ;-)

Don't get me wrong, I'm a nerd... but simple rocks sometimes.
 

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I can't say enough about the little "Lighting F/X Box"... I got the last one from Spilsbury.com, just missed their $9.99 price, bought it for $19.99 and it was still worth it!

In fact I see that site FG posted ships to canada and it's only $12.99!... not bad even witht he exchange!... I may get a few more at that price. If anyone's going to order some at that price do it now cuz it may go up closer to Halloween/Christmas like mine did!

I love mine! I only have the one and I can't decide to use it for lightning or to operate my hacked Gemmy skull?!?!

I now have a Chauvet 2000s Technostrobe which seems to work amazingly with the F/X box! It has a audio-activated mode but there's no line-in so it may pick up other ambiant sound and flash. Whereas plugging it into the F/X box I can use the line in and it looks amazing!
 

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yes, you could buy a fx box and probably save yourself some money. i have no experience with them i just have learned my lesson many times over. YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR !!! but for under 1o dollars you dont have to much to loose .
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah I just ordered a couple. Guess I will give them an early trial run when they come in. I should have enough time to order the I-zombie or similar product if it doesn't work out the way i want.
 

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Mill Creek Haunted Hollow
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The Lightning FX box (there are x-mas and Halloween versions but it's the same box with different colored plastic):

Sound Activated Christmas Tree Lights - On Sale - Things for Christmas - Things You Never Knew Existed

This is a cheapy sound sensitive effects box - it can take I think up to 3 or 400W. This is VERY effective if you get a photographer's flash bulb from a photo supply, put it in a simple plug-in clamp holder like this:
8.5 In. Incandescent Clamp Light - E-245 at The Home Depot

and stick it up a tree. As long as the sound source is close to the FX box, it's VERY effective at creating a great lightning effect. One super bright bulb would work great for this effect.
You are just a fountain of information this evening!!

I am also hoping to do a lightning effect from one of my towers. Are you saying that you stick the "box" next to a speaker or something? So you play a soung of thunder and that triggers the flash?
 

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Grand Poobah
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The lightning FX boxes react to sound in the air or you can plug in an audio source via a RCA cable. You adjust the sensitivity with a knob.

I like to put one or two units next to our main speakers... we have some creepy cloth infused with lights, and some strobes, etc... that react to the music. It's pretty cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Well I bought 3 and they came in today. I am pretty impressed I must say. I think I am going to use 2 different sound sources for the thunder sound so I can get 2 different reactions from the lights since there is only 1 channel coming from the box
 
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