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Hey guyz how’s it going? Let me start off by saying sorry for being so long but I really need help and seeing that Halloween is gone it’s time to start lol. Some of you know me some don’t but I have been running a home haunt for the last 9 years called DONOVAN VILLE PENITENTIARY and this year with the opening of my online store NORTHERN SCREAMS FEAR STORE it helped open the doors for us to bring are Haunt and store into are Downtown local Mall. Witch was a great success for us and the 1st of it’s kind up here in Northern Ontario Canada. We had a huge haunt but need to improve….. I have most of this covered from all new wall panels and paint to a full off theme. But I am need of some help, any one out there that can lead me on the right path of us going to that PRO level. I need a mentor of such lol someone that would be willing to give me that leg up. Now I don’t have a lot of funds for the help but will being willing to discuss. I can build about anything on the lower level stuff but am a quick learner.

Now what I am really wanting is a way to control my whole haunt from a master control room, at the push of a button so to say. I would like a easy and cheap way to monitor every room and then be able to control the action, for the other rooms and hallways I would use motion sensors. The real reason for this is the haunt will be in the dark the group(guests) walking threw will be using a FLASHFRIGHT LIGHT (that I will have full control of) and as they walk into the different rooms that’s when the Action lights/props/sound/scares will come on! And with the cam’s I will be able to trigger it off when I see it is the right time. Also for those hallways I want to use motion sensors here to trigger air canons and pneumatic whips and some other stuff. I have always really just controlled everything from the different rooms in my home haunt but I just don’t have the actors to do this in are now grow haunt. So a master control unit would do the trick, I am new to all this Comp. stuff VSA? DMX and all this sounds like it would be what I might need but I really need someone to walk me threw this and help me take Northern Screams to the next level. I have been reading so many things and taking in so much info I think I am confusing myself and anyone that good help would be so appreciated…

Thankz Robby.
 

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No expert here, but as far as theory.

Whatever you can sense can result in a response. So if you are using camera's to visually monitor the various hallways and spooky spots, then manual control of props is the result of your visual sense. Now motion detectors can provide either direct response or assist in manual response.

Your concept of central control is certainly doable, but what I sure many of the experts here are going to ask is.

How much automation do you want to incorporate?
How much prop control do you want to manually control?
What levels of complexity are involved? IE Animatronicsi, Sound, Light, Etc.

My suggestion is this.

Draw up an overhead view of your haunt. Include all props and a description of their function and effects. Provide intended path for viewers and include time delays as well.
Once you create an overall view, I am sure the individuals that have experience in this area will be able to guide you.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
wow never thought of writing it all out....All start on that...
 

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This is exactly how I did my haunt for 7 years. I had IR cameras and hidden wireless mics so I could see where everyone was.

Then when the time was right, I activated the props. I also ran an interactive skeleton that talked to guests when they entered.

I did it all remotely.

I used all manual triggering by me, but many things you could use a motion sensor or some other trigger for so you don't have to keep track of so many things.

For me, I didn't trust that just because the motion sensor triggered meant that it was the exact best time to set off the prop, so I kept it manual.

There does come a time when there gets to be too many things to keep track of, however.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
right on!!! that's what I have been trying to figure out if you could give me some insite...
 

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You Rang?
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I'm no expert but from following some of the discussion here I think what you need/want is to use DMX control. If I have this right one of the advantages of DMX is you can run multiple props, lights etc using the same cable. I have no clue as to how much it would cost, I sure you'll have to define the type and nuber of things you want to control to determine the equipment required and extract the cost from there.

You might hit up Pheonix UK or Guartist they both use this and have a lot of experience/knowledge.
 

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DMX control would be great for controlling lots of props with a minimum of wiring and also being able to dim lights, run timers on fog machines, etc.

However, it won't help you if you need a visual cue to see exactly when someone is in the right position for you to activate a prop.

It all depends on the type of effects and props you have as to whether it's worth it to go DMX.
 

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DMX control would be great for controlling lots of props with a minimum of wiring and also being able to dim lights, run timers on fog machines, etc.

However, it won't help you if you need a visual cue to see exactly when someone is in the right position for you to activate a prop.

It all depends on the type of effects and props you have as to whether it's worth it to go DMX.
Then why not use pressure plates and sensors like those from banner? I have tried some for prop triggers and they work well. They have lots of different types. They are used for automation control of production lines where position of objects is critical. With some thinking, possible multiple sensors" and a Skulltronix Exorcist one could automate a lot of positional sensing.

Checkout the Exorcist tutorial on their page.... unfortunately their site is all flash and i cant give you direct link but go to products/exorcist and then click on tutorial link on left side.

skullTronix
 

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Insane Genius
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I put the Exorcist Demo on YouTube, this is only really a demo of the point-n-click programming methodology, and the version of Exorcist used then is pretty old, but the methodology is the same.

YouTube - Exorcist Demo

I think I've already discussed the DMX options with the OP in another thread so have not felt the need to 'push' DMX further in this one, If you decide DMX is the way you wish to go forward then always happy to help


You can, use DMXorcist as part of a manually operated control room just don't bother with automatic inputs and use the buttons on the IO box, or wire the inputs up to your own switch array... I actually did manual control form my MiB this year.
 
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