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I am starting to build a five foot tall bat with wings that open up and flap. I am wondering how to control the air cylinders without having to do it manually. I would like to have it set up so it takes care of its self on cue. Is there software out there that will do this. Any help would be grateful. I was looking at brookshires vsa but have never done anything computer operated so i am in the dark and did not know if it would do what i want. The cylinders will be controlled by 24 volt solenoids
 

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livin Halloween every day
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There are alot of different prop controllers that can be used, you will have to do your research on this one but i know of a couple that are very popular.
check out some of theese.

EFX-TEK

Fright Ideas, Control the Fear

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hopefully this will help you a bit. For the 2 props i just finished building i used an rct and a combo flex from hauntmaster products.
 

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You Rang?
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VSA is great and is really very easy to use, it can be coordinated with music or speech. However, you need a relay like the kit 74 to actually control the prop. also VSA is not easily set off by a motion dector so you have to set if for a timed repeating interval or manually trigger it and its not stand alone so your prop must be connected to the computer

I would go with a key banger type controller, these are very easy to use you just push the button for on or off and it remembers the sequence, most can be triggered using a motion sensor or pressure mat, etc and some can control more then on event.

I'd use a double acting cylinder and a 4 or 5 way solenoid.

Here are some key bangers

Haunted Enterprises - Special Effects ( order early from these guys)
Haunted House Boards (basic no frills)
picoBoo FI-104 : Fright Ideas, Control the Fear (controlls 2 events and has intergrated sound)


Kit 74 board Search Results
 

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I second scarisburg's remarks. If the bat is by itself, it's probably best to go with some dedicated boards to toggle your solenoid valves.

On the other hand, if you'll be using the bat as part of a bigger scene (other mechanical props, lights, sounds, etc), VSA is the right tool for the job. If you do end up wanting to use VSA with relays, but don't have a parallel port on your computer, take a look at the [URL="http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/77066-new-dmx-controlled-prop-interface.html]project[/URL] I've been working on.

- Hook
 
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