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Discussion Starter #1
I've got a few Sally's styrofoam heads and a disco ball motor. But most Flying Crank Ghost plans look to be beyond my ability to construct. Can I repurpose or mod any pre-existing props currently for sale to make a FCG, or something close to one? I'm actually a bit surprised FCGs aren't sold in stores. Or are they?
 

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The problem with disco ball motors is that they have practically zero torque to them, so they.aren't super useful for much.

The Styrofoam heads, though, are awesome for stuffing masks for dummies, or with some clay, makeup, acrylic teeth, and eyes, they can become super gory display props.

I think the reason the FCG's aren't sold in stores OS because finding a slow motor with the higher torque ratings is a bit difficult to do at a lower price.
 

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There are various sellers online of the FCG although the typically sell them under a different name. As far as a retailer selling them, the history of the FCG is well documented and its creator, Doug Ferguson made it available to the public and never patented it. Ernstdesigns is correct about the motor requirements for the FCG. A powerful and relaible motor doesn't come cheap. The price point for something that has plans on the internet to build isn't very good. An FCG can built in an afternoon for less than $50. They really aren't that difficult to make.
 

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They look challenging at first. I can't tell you how long I put off building one. Finding a good motor is key. You should have something close to
Dougs original specs. If you find a motor, there are tons of how to's online. (I even have one on youtube!)
 

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Yep...I am a middle age housewife and figured out one all by myself...hubby is NO help for things like that :)
I followed the plans online but soon discovered I could alter them like using 1x2's instead of aluminum. My biggest break was that the place everyone was buying the motors,Grainger, is closeby so the motor/collar was easily found. Good luck!
 

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Deadna:1140229 said:
Yep...I am a middle age housewife and figured out one all by myself...hubby is NO help for things like that :)
I followed the plans online but soon discovered I could alter them like using 1x2's instead of aluminum. My biggest break was that the place everyone was buying the motors,Grainger, is closeby so the motor/collar was easily found. Good luck!
Yep. It took us 2 afternoons, but we made ours out of 1x2's as well. Here's a link: http://ernstdesigns.com/site/portfolio/non-graphic-projects/
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks everyone. It really does have to be Dead Simple--pun intended. Using wood vs. aluminum stock sounds easier.

For example, making a green laser vortex may sound Dead Simple to most. My solution was to find a pre-existing unit at Guitar Center for USD $50, remove one plug inside of it, and bingo. Add fog and instant green laser vortex effect. I'm always looking for simple. I don't enjoy the build process generally speaking. Just the effect and its impact on trick or treaters. Some love the build process. I'd rather buy, and tweak slightly, than build from scratch.

Not sure where I read it was possible to use a Disco Ball motor. Will have to search for the link. Evidently it *is* possible to use one. But the materials would probably have to be lighter. Wondering what, for example, but be lighter than old-style wire coat hangers to reduce weight. That would hold their shape but not require as much torque. If it's completely unfeasible, then I suppose I could use the disco ball motor, and disco ball that came with it, as a ghost / gobo type projector effect.

I'm looking for a one afternoon short build. More than that and I'm looking at other projects.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Could I harness an oscillating fan motor for an FCG? I don't mean the fan blowing on something to generate motion, but actually translating the motion into what you need for a traditional FCG. I saw one link for this, but it was "fake." e.g. you lost the marionette effect of the arms rising and falling. A PVC pipe cross-type set-up was used, and it got the motor to be left/right but not several separate up/down motions. Liked the simplicity but it's not the same effect. Wouldn't even call it a FCG. Maybe an oscillating ghost. Hands did not move.
 
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