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Discussion Starter #1
This probably belongs under one of the other threads but I was looking to see if anyone had posted the whole shebang!
I mean what they use for sound and for control the whole package?

I'm using scary terry's boards for the jaw and I plan on using prop 1s for the neck axis. But I see very little details on tying this all together? I think I'm going to use a EFX-TEK AP-16 (when they come out) to tie the sound into the activation of a PIR.
This is very adventerous for me but I don't want to reinvent the wheel if possible.
If this thread should be under one of the others I'll understand if Larry moves it... (Larry leave me a few bread crumbs to follow... :)

Vista.. :confused:
Vistaphotography
 

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It can be done Vista, although you'll probably run out of memory trying to drive a 3 axis setup with the Prop-1. I built a 2 axis using a ST100 board for the jaw motion triggered by a Prop-1 and with ALOT of help from Jon at EFX, I got the action I wanted, but used all the available memory the Prop-1 had to offer. IF you just want nod-n-turn, the Prop-1 can handle the job. I used mine to trigger an mp3, turn on the ST100, and run the nod-turn servos. All goes like clock work without any hitch.
 

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Well, if you know how to do the Prop 1 (which I don't), then you probably know how to play the soundtrack off of it while playing back the servo routine. All you would need to do is connect the audio out of the prop-1 to the audio in on the ST board, and hook your speakers to the ST's out port. Is that what you're asking?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
what do you do for multiple heads?

I'm already aquainted with John and jon and both were instrumental in my MIB last year (big success).
I'm in the play around phase to see what it takes to do a two to three head set up.
I've got several prop ones but it would be better to have one board control all so that they are easier to get to work in unison.
I've hear about the memory issues with the prop 1 and heard that at that point you move to a SX or prop 2...


right now I plan to use the scary terry board for the voice/jaw movement and I'm still up in the air on how to control those. They just take audio input to move the jaw servo and I'm in the process of hooking that up. I'm still trying to hook everything together.
Dean at Monster guts has a control center for $100 that will out put up to 8 channels of two minute recordings (one at a time) so I don't know if that will work.
It's the coordination of all the parts that seems to be the fly in the ointment...
Does this make sense... Should I be looking at something much more powerful (and more $$) or is there an easier way that I haven't found yet.

I've seen some really elaborate set ups on youtube and I'm hoping I can start much simpler before going crazy... plus my wallet isn't bottomless...

Vista
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Discussion Starter #5
that's a portion

Well, if you know how to do the Prop 1 (which I don't), then you probably know how to play the soundtrack off of it while playing back the servo routine. All you would need to do is connect the audio out of the prop-1 to the audio in on the ST board, and hook your speakers to the ST's out port. Is that what you're asking?
That's a portion of it and I haven't tried that... Ok I didn't know the prop 1 had an audio component. I thought I needed an ap8 or ap16 hooked to the prop 1 to run audio. I'll go reread the manual again... my bad...
It's the control of all the parts... I post a bit on this a few seconds ago and it went to the moderator. This time I won't put a link in it and see if it gets by...

To me the whole orchastration of the event seems disjointed and I was wondering what haunts do to control all the events into a unified show.

IE, PIR starts event, heads move jaws move with speakers putting out sound and possibly two heads with associated voice routines...

It's the control that has me wondering...

Thanks
Vista
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Quite often routines using 3-axis skulls are controlled with a PC running Brookshire's VSA software. VSA allows you to sync servo control to an audio track, so all you need to do is trigger the routine. VSA allows control of multiple controllers at once, so syncing control of lights, sound, and multiple props is possible.

I've never used a prop-1 but from what I understand, you'd use a trigger (PIR, mat switch, etc.) to start the routine. The prop-1 would then trigger the ap-8 or 16 to start playing your audio, and the pan/tilt/nod would be controlled by the prop-1 independently of the audio playback. Since you're using the ST servo controller, the jaw movement would always be in sync with the audio. I've heard nothing but great things about EFX-TEK, and rumor has it they'll all but write your program for you if you get stumped.
 

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All the items in my 2-axis (Prop-1, ST100 and speakers) are individually powered up by an outside switch, in my case, an X10 remote switches on the 110v outlet into which the wallwarts are plugged, although any other trigger would do. All that the trigger does is fire it all up at the same time, then the Prop-1 starts the mp3 by means of a relay, which in turn starts driving it's audio signal through the ST100 to run the jaw servo. The Prop-1 then begins it's routine for the head movements, ends it's program, shuts down the mp3 and goes into reset. Since I use an X10, I then shut down the power feed and wait for the next performance. Audio output is just one of the cheap mp3 players seen here in other posts, modified per Bourno's instructions so that it can be triggered by a Prop-1. I just use a cheap set of amplified speakers that are driven on the output side of the ST100 board. You'll need to use a small relay as a cold-contact trigger for the mp3 player because this type of player reads a voltage signal as a 'record' order rather than playing.
 

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Vista,

I haven't used a Prop-1 controller before, but I've used the BASIC Stamp II that the Prop-2 is based off of.

Several years ago, I made a Frankenstein display that had Dr. Frankenstein (2-axis neck, air cylinder for arms raising up together), The Monster (air cylinder to go from lying to sitting up), and Igor (air cylinder in knife switch on the wall). The BASIC Stamp II was connected to an original SSC (8 servo, Serial port control), and a self-built relay board. So, the relays triggered the air cylinders, and the SSC controlled the servos in the neck. Also the SSC was controlling a servo set up to press play on a CD player - I think... although it could've been a minidisc player, cuz it was that long ago. :)

Unfortunately, as always, this came together at 5pm or so on Halloween. So, programming time was... umm... limited. The quality of neck animation took a hit, as a result.

I'm not sure how people do this with the Prop-1 nowadays, but when I did it on the BS2, with all the programming done serially, it was kinda hard to make any changes. If I noticed that a part earlier in the show wasn't sync'd up quite right, I'd have to shorten that, and then lengthen the delays afterwards. Also, unless you used something like a timed lookup table, it's probably pretty difficult to animate coordinated motion on multiple servos. [Someone please edumacate me, if I'm wrong]

The other route I've tried is, like hedg12 said, using VSA. IMO, going this route makes this much easier to animate coordinated routines, and easier to change things, in general. To do things this way, you'll need a computer running VSA, and a servo control board. In this case, you no longer need a sound board, because the computer provides the sound (from .mp3 or .wav). You animate by creating 'events' for each servo, on a timeline. Once you've got your audio, and head animation, you can go one of two ways for the jaw animation. A) you can run the audio for the voice from the computer into a ST board to run the jaw. B) you can animate the jaw yourself using VSA. Option A) will take about 5 hours less per minute of dialog. Option B) will look better :) VSA also has a feature to auto-animate to audio, but IMO, it still needs tweaking after the fact.

The only bummer about using VSA is that methods for automatically triggering routines are either expensive, or impractical (again, IMO). Without any additional hardware, you set off a routine by pressing play in the software, or hitting 'Enter'.

Hope this helps,
- Hook
 
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