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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, so I was planning on building a animated standing zombie and a monster in a box/coffin for next Halloween. But now I am thinking about doing something different with my yard.

I am going to keep my 3 witches, but I am thinking of moving my cemetery, reaper and ghost over to the neighbors yard. In place of the cemetery I was thinking of building a rickety looking shack, like it is the home of the witches. I am also thinking about building some big spooky trees with big spooky mouths and eyes and branch arms/hands looking like they are reaching out for people to put near the shack. I also want to make a large hanging birdcage with a 36" skeleton sitting inside wearing a costume and put it over by the witches. I want it to look like it was a TOT from a while back who got nabbed by the witches.

I still have my large spider to figure out where to put. Should I make it look like the witches pet and keep it near the witches, or should I put it over by the shack and trees?

Anyways I need a startle prop. Something that goes off by a motion sensor. I can't do pneumatics. I just don't have the materials or the skills to do them. So I prefer something that runs on a motor.
 

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Actually, I saw something really kind of clever this year that I might try next year. There was a really obvious zombie prop right out in the middle that everyone kept watching, figuring it was going to move. But it never did. What moved was another zombie prop right behind it that jumped out at people (in this case, straight up). I watched it for a while and it got every single person that went by, without exception. Maybe you could modify the idea into something in theme?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Actually, I saw something really kind of clever this year that I might try next year. There was a really obvious zombie prop right out in the middle that everyone kept watching, figuring it was going to move. But it never did. What moved was another zombie prop right behind it that jumped out at people (in this case, straight up). I watched it for a while and it got every single person that went by, without exception. Maybe you could modify the idea into something in theme?
That might do the trick. I was thinking about how to create a prop that looks like someone is tied up in a gunny sack or burlap sack and wiggling around like they are trying to get out. I thought maybe modifying a leg kicking prop, or using a shiatsu neck messager somehow would do the trick. Maybe if I can make it, folks will have their attention on that and then something could pop up from behind it. Might use a step pad instead of a motion sensor. Thanks for the idea.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
How 'bout a simple animated toe pincher. Not a real big scare but it does get your attention. Here's the one I made last year, the lid rattle is pneumatic but it can easily be done with an electric solenoid instead.
http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/158473-animated-toe-pincher.html
I have been wanting to build something like that to put in my cemetery. I could maybe rig it up like a monster in a box, only it would be a coffin. Thanks for the idea. I forgot that it was called a toe pincher coffin.
 

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I have been wanting to build something like that to put in my cemetery. I could maybe rig it up like a monster in a box, only it would be a coffin. Thanks for the idea. I forgot that it was called a toe pincher coffin.
The parts for those are dirt cheap too. You can get a pair of doorlock actuators over on Amazon for less than $10.
 

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Is this what you are referring to?
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00PWLJ2OC/ref=sspa_dk_detail_1?psc=1

How do they work, or how do you get them to work? Remember you are talking to someone who is not very mechanically inclined. lol.
Yeah, something like that. As you apply power, they pop up and when you turn power off, they go down. So all you need is a controller that will turn the power on and off, mount it up against the lid, and the lid will jump. That's what I'm using for the thumper in the crypt I'm building next year. It's a smaller effect than a motor with an eccentric cam.

Actually, this is a good look at wiring them: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=et_16NHSdrw
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Yeah, something like that. As you apply power, they pop up and when you turn power off, they go down. So all you need is a controller that will turn the power on and off, mount it up against the lid, and the lid will jump. That's what I'm using for the thumper in the crypt I'm building next year. It's a smaller effect than a motor with an eccentric cam.
Cool, thanks for the info. What kind of controller are you going to use?
 

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Cool, thanks for the info. What kind of controller are you going to use?
You can really use anything that runs on 12VDC. I'll probably put an arduino or something in there, but you can also put in a motion sensor, a button and do it manually, whatever you want. It depends on the specific effect you're looking for. You can even throw it on a timer, which I might also do, which are cheap.

https://www.amazon.com/Delay-Relay-Board-Switch-Module/dp/B00VFUG3KK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1509746642&sr=8-3&keywords=12VDC+timer&dpID=41YFv2IL5JL&preST=_SY300_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
 

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Doorlock actuators may not have enough power to bounce the lid on a full size toe pincher. The specs state 13 lbs. of force which should work.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Doorlock actuators may not have enough power to bounce the lid on a full size toe pincher. The specs state 13 lbs. of force which should work.
Thanks for the info. I'd have to get an idea of weight of the lid before I decide which way to go. Still have another year or so, to figure it out. But I'm keeping all this info. jotted down in my ideas book. I've decided I need to start keeping an idea book, so I can figure out what materials and such I will need for various props. What kind of motors and power supplies, controllers, sensors and what nots are especially important to keep track of so I can be watching for them when perusing the stores, auctions and yard sales.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks Bosco for the link, that is a very cool build.

Maybe I could use some foam for part of the lid and coffin to lighten it a bit, but still have it heavy enough for the effect. Best of both worlds.

More to add to my ideas book.
 

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Okay, so I was planning on building a animated standing zombie and a monster in a box/coffin for next Halloween. But now I am thinking about doing something different with my yard.

I am going to keep my 3 witches, but I am thinking of moving my cemetery, reaper and ghost over to the neighbors yard. In place of the cemetery I was thinking of building a rickety looking shack, like it is the home of the witches. I am also thinking about building some big spooky trees with big spooky mouths and eyes and branch arms/hands looking like they are reaching out for people to put near the shack. I also want to make a large hanging birdcage with a 36" skeleton sitting inside wearing a costume and put it over by the witches. I want it to look like it was a TOT from a while back who got nabbed by the witches.

I still have my large spider to figure out where to put. Should I make it look like the witches pet and keep it near the witches, or should I put it over by the shack and trees?

Anyways I need a startle prop. Something that goes off by a motion sensor. I can't do pneumatics. I just don't have the materials or the skills to do them. So I prefer something that runs on a motor.
I used an old chest and put it as a photo op...everyone sat down on the chest which was surrounded by scary static props..once they were ready to get a picture..I activated a Christmas tree remote that was attached to a electric drill that had a block of wood attached to it and the whole contraption was inside the chest..worked like a charm..everyone jumped ....
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I used an old chest and put it as a photo op...everyone sat down on the chest which was surrounded by scary static props..once they were ready to get a picture..I activated a Christmas tree remote that was attached to a electric drill that had a block of wood attached to it and the whole contraption was inside the chest..worked like a charm..everyone jumped ....
That is a cool idea. So did the thing shake or vibrate when activated?
 

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It rattled..I left the drill loose inside the box which made it louder ....not enough to make the whole box shake..enough to be loud..the main thing..want some more fun...get a metal length of chain...about a foot and have the drill closed on the end of it where you would normally put in a drill bit...so it swings around..even more noise
 
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