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Singing Pumpkins

9246 Views 39 Replies 14 Participants Last post by  solmann
I've had a couple people ask how I'm making my singing pumpkins so I thought I'd start a new thread. Note that it's still coming together, so these are by no means my final attempt. As always comments are greatly welcome.

First, you will need VSA by brookshiresoftware, a KIT 74 (parallel or serial doesn't matter), and a WAV or MP3 of the music you want to play. I'll use This is Halloween as an example but you need to record just the vocal portion of the track. I used Audacity for this which is a free audio software tool. Follow this thread for some good tips:

http://www.halloweenforum.com/showthread.php?t=60671

The reason for this is VSA will pick up the music and vocal tracks and the end result will not look like the pumpkins are singing. Here comes the fun part. Once you have this plain vocal track (don't worry nobody but you will ever here it) Load it into VSA and run the wavemotion analysis. Now you should have distinct pulses that match the original song. Simply load the original WAV/MP3 back into VSA and you should now have the original song with distinct pulses.

You'll have to play it a couple times and make minor changes but for the most part, it should be very close. This is 75% of the work. The rest is wiring the KIT 74 to lights and cutting up the pumpkins which I haven't gone into great detail at home yet.

The KIT 74 will support up to 8 pumpkins, skulls, etc.

Z
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So if Scareisburg is correct... then here is my dumb idea of the day... why not help each other out... Instead of each of us sitting in front of our computers and singing halloween, and drawing a bunch of blue boxes.... when someone get a wicked combo set up why not post the finished VSA file online . then the rest of us can buy the VSA software, kit 74, download the same MP3 file (from itunes or some other legal site) and get running in hours instead of days? I realize that we all like to be different, but heck we all have FCG, buckys, etc and as each of us would build a different light/skull display... there would be differences and tweeks. again dumb idea, but we share so much other stuff that we all copy... just think the coolest poster would have their work running on haunts across the country! just an idea - thinking out loud.
-gdg-
 

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I hate to sound like an idiot, but you have to sound like what you are. I'm not to sure I can build the kit74 or create the sound.n I guess I am a little slow. Is ther a way or place you can buy a kit already assembled. I don't have unlimited funds, but maybe a trade. I am a industrial sales rep and sell alot of things usefull in building props.Check out my company web site www.bostwick-braun.com and our ecat. Maybe a opportunity for some of us. Thanks, Rick
 

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So if Scareisburg is correct... then here is my dumb idea of the day... why not help each other out... Instead of each of us sitting in front of our computers and singing halloween, and drawing a bunch of blue boxes.... when someone get a wicked combo set up why not post the finished VSA file online . then the rest of us can buy the VSA software, kit 74, download the same MP3 file (from itunes or some other legal site) and get running in hours instead of days? I realize that we all like to be different, but heck we all have FCG, buckys, etc and as each of us would build a different light/skull display... there would be differences and tweeks. again dumb idea, but we share so much other stuff that we all copy... just think the coolest poster would have their work running on haunts across the country! just an idea - thinking out loud.
-gdg-

I would appreciate the file!
It will take me weeks to figure this all out. :eek:
 

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Well I am not quite to the programing point, but inching closer, My props are run off of ECT or motion sensors, which I hate (the latter) I am going to try a 3 channel light organ and see if that will give me a somewhat decent results, If not I may jump into the programing fray. If I do I'd be happy to share. The kit 74 looks pretty stright forward. The VSA software can be used for other applications like servos, How much is the VSA software?
 

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What is the Amp rating per channel for Kit 74?

At QK they say the board cannot handle the 10A per channel the relays are rated for. (That is understandable, 2 active 10Amp draws on a single outlet would probably trip the circuit breaker.) They say unmodified Kit 74 can handle 2-3Amps, but it sounds like that is for the whole board, not per channel. Does anyone know?
 

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Death,

I thought when they said 2 amps... their talking about each relay and board that supports it. Also they mention a solution of using beefing up the board and/or relay. Lastly they talk about putting a second relay inline.

The relays are rated at 10Amps for 125 volts but the PCB and connectors would never handle this. The relays were selected to be at least twice what the current flow would be in order to have a long life span and good reliability. In order to have the PCB carry up to 5 amps of current you would want to add capacity to the PCB traces. The kit not modified would be able to carry 2- 3 amps. You could scrap of the solder mask and tin the copper trace or use copper wire from point to point. If it keeps its cool, it will last longer and be more reliable. In order to drive even larger loads use a relay specific to your load. Electrical supply houses sell large relays with double poles for switching large AC loads safely. Use the contacts on the QK74 to supply the coil voltage to the larger relay. Safety first, make sure you do not make any short cuts where large loads are concerned.
Maybe someone else with more electrical knowledge should respond?

-gdg-
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ok,

I've posted a video and the VSA routine on my website. This is a very early version but you get the concept. I'm still updating the routine, but I ask if you download it please share your final version. I need to find white C7 bulbs hence the colored bulbs in some sockets.

http://www.deadmansinne.com

Note: Download the video before playing on your computer.

Z
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yes, you need to have a computer hooked up to the KIT 74 and run the VSA software. This is different then a basic stamp in that your really programming the routine graphically. I use VSA or the Prop-1 when building, depending on the prop.

If you used a basic stamp you would be doing all the programming manually which would be near impossible, not to mention time consuming. Also, for a routine this long, it would not fit on a Prop-1.

Z
 

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I really need to do some research on all of the components, but if I understand you correctly you can download smaller routines to a prop 1 board and use it to controll a kit 74 or other device. I was just trying to find a way to avoid lugging a computer out into the middle of the yard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Read up on the VSA and RAPU board at www.brookshiresoftware.com.

Then, check out efx-tek.com for the prop-1. With the prop-1 you can connect a host of other boards (sound, relay, PIR) that efx-tek has out.

If your just beginning, you may want to pick up the book "What is a microcontroller?". It goes over a lot of the basics you would use for prop building: basic stamp programming, LEDs, servos, buttons, etc.

Z
 

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ok guys so i picked up a cheap pc machine for halloween that can run the VSA Software. and i want to set up some singing pumpkins for the entrance of my home haunt so here is my question.
if i buy Kit74 then i have to have the comp. close to run the routine right? thats not a big problem.
but can i loop it to keep playing or can i put it on a timer or sensor?
if i go with the prop-1 Controller then it can be programed and run by its self right?
some one plese let me know would like to order this week
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I can put my KIT74 about 25' away from my computer, because that is the length of my parallel cable. Also because the lights are 120V I have 8' (and I'm sure you can go long here) extensions to each pumpkin. So to answer Q #1 you can go pretty far.

Don't confuse this with when we use VSA with a USB device...then the computer has to be pretty close. At least for me because I only have 6' USB cables.

VSA will let you loop the routine...simple.

Prop-1 will never be able to fit a long routine.

Z
 

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ok so i want to use Kit74 that i can loop with my singing pumpkins setup?
(found a 60 ft usb on ebay)
then use a prop-1 for a pop up and a monster in a box i have in the works?
or do i get 3 KIT74 and run all three props off one computer?
whats the best way for these 3 props?
 
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