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Discussion Starter #1
This guy did. I blame some of you forum people. I told myself.. DONT join the forum this year.. you took a year off.. you spent nothing last year.. don't do it. Then I read one post.. and fell into the trap. I've past the $1K mark this year and I don't know how the hell I did it. I saw a cool effect dvd.. then had to have it. Then I thought I didn't have enough fog, so had to buy another fog machine just in case. Last two years my chiller was 12' plastic corrugated crap with holes in it and stuffed with ice.. it wasn't that great. So this year I need to make not one but two chillers.. so I bought the igloo containers and all the PVC elbows and crap..

But the real problem for me started when I read the DMX guys.. Brother Grimm, Phoenix, etc.. it's all their fault. I couldn't help myself. I bought a DMX USB adapter, the DMX remote for the 2nd fogger (ADJ 1200), 2 DMX LEDs, and today, just in case I can figure something out, a 4 channel DMX relay thingy. WTF? I tallied up my costs now.. hell the stupid PVC stuff for the chillers cost me almost $120 including the two igloo coolers! I think with candy, a few small props (spider, ghoul that can have fog come out of it..hence the 2nd machine..), I am up to around $1K now!

And the kicker is.. I seriously doubt ANY of the DMX stuff I got will get any use via DMX.. I have to work all weekend + family coming over + set up some sort of graveyard with the few tombstones I have, build the chillers, web up the yard.

I am seeing some amazing props and setups here this year (well every year) so I am sure I am not the only one that went way over budget. Confess.. don't leave me alone in this.. help me feel better that once again I over did it for my favorite holiday!!

P.S. I don't blame anyone.. in case text, as usual, is misconstrued as being serious.. I am not. Grimm, Phoenix and the few others on those threads I've been chatting on have been spectacular! I can't wait to see some of their after-party/after-halloween pics/videos!
 

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Without this forum, I would have spent more. The people on this forum are great about helping save some coin here and there. Several posts about sales or deals on products allowed us to purchase things at a discount. I thank everyone for their assistance and input and I look forward to a great Halloween. I know my kids are excited to finally see stuff appearing in the yard.
 

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I hear you andjarnic. These good folks here got my Halloween junkie in high gear and I'm at about $600 to date. The creativeness and sharing spirit here is amazing. The technical aspect is what got me in the "money is no object" mode. The 3-axis skulls are what pushed me over the edge posted from buckaneerdude/babe and HalloweenBob (too many others to thank here). The VSA, boards, lindberg/bucky/blucky skulls and frames, a case of servos, leds, cat5, all the pieces/parts and tools to work them were not even considered in my no longer existed budget. I couldn't get it all done this year either andjarnic, but the good news is.....we have a whole another year to prepare for the best show the world has ever seen....aaahhhhaaaa (evil laugh). Keep in touch buddy.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
@Vince.. yup! That is the plan. I'll be ordering the DMXorcist/software soon as I can put it in the budget, as well as the VSA software. Question for you (or any of you DMX/VSA guys).. the basic VSA program is all that is needed right? Since DMXorcist will actually run the show from the variety of VSA files, I don't need the $250 VSA version since I won't be using it to play back right?

I think I need a couple more DMX LEDs, and one or two of those movable head spots.. so that I can come up with a sort of "show" where I move the spot to one prop, turning out all the lights of the others.. then another prop kicks on and so forth. Not really sure yet though.

Another question.. for those of you that actually do a sort of DMX show between props.. I am curious if while kids are ToTing to your house, you have the show playing, or if you fire it off when it dies down a little.. maybe while others are on the other side of the block.

@Vince, I would like to get a few of the props moving with servos and such.. any tutorials you can point me to that would include links to sites to order things like acutators, servos, and al the DMX fixings?

Thanks
 

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For once I didn't spend enough. Alot of other things came up this year oh well maybe next year. lol
 

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andjarnic. Most of your questions have already been addressed if you search this forum. Spend some time reviewing similar post. I suggest you pm Ms Terra for DMX questions. Next year buddy..........
 

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Insane Genius
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Question for you (or any of you DMX/VSA guys).. the basic VSA program is all that is needed right? Since DMXorcist will actually run the show from the variety of VSA files, I don't need the $250 VSA version since I won't be using it to play back right?
Spending way too much and coming up with creative justifications to the wife is all part of the fun

VSA has changed their pricing plan, the hobbiest version can support 128 channels in a single routine, if you need more then you have a number of options

Providing any single routine doesn't use more than 128 channels (and they dont have to be sequential), then you don't need anything other than hobbiest... DMXorcist can address the full span of 512 channels, so if for example you could have a system like this

routine 1 uses channels 1-126
routine 2 uses channels 101-228
routine 3 uses channels 25-75 and 400-475
routine 4 uses channels 1,2,5,6,8,12,23,456,80,450-500

So you can take advantage of the full range of 512 channels providing you don't use more than 128 channels in a single VSA routine.
 

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I probably did. Luckily last year was most of my big expense - all the electronics. Of course I spent $35 on a sonic rangefinder, about $200 in parts for my scarecrow, $80 in pumpkins, god knows how much in burlap and other odds and ends.

I havent checked out the DMX or any of that, but I highly recommend looking into an arduino board. You need some electronics background, its not completely plug and play, and having a background in a C-based language programming helps. But with a $54 Arduino Mega and some extra parts, I have a scarecrow that activates on a motion sensor, has a sonic rangefinder, speaks, lights up, moves, commands pumpkins to light up and move, as well as dives off his post and auto-rewinds back up. Oh, and I can control him from my ipad. :D

Not for the faint of heart, but absurdly powerful.
 
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Sigh. I always overspend. I blame this forum, and it's members. All their awesome stuff makes me crazy! :) I just bought more this am, good old Grandin Road giving me an extra 40% off. The bastards!
 

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I'm pretty sure I'm upto the grand mark.And thanks to the great people on this forum I would of spent more and gotten less,not to mention the cool stuff I never would of found on my own.The walmart crawling Zombies for 20 Bux,ya cant pass that up.Plus the rock bottom prices at shindigs,WOW.
Thanks again everyone!:)
 

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I won't give a dollar amount because it's too embarrassing but I had the chance of a lifetime a couple months ago to buy off a major pro haunt that shut it's doors last year...I paid about 25% of what the stuff costs new and he's local so freight shipping wasn't a factor...We're talking Scare Factory stuff too!...I bought about 3 pickup truck loads of stuff which equalled about .03% of his inventory (He did a 20,000 sq ft haunt!)...I'd buy more but I'm broke and out of room :( .....What I did manage to get will take my haunt to a much higher level than I ever dreamed it would be....But yeah, you can take solice in the fact that there are more haunters out there that spent way more than they are comfortable with for the sake of "coolness"...HA!.....ZR
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Zombie, that's awesome! I'd be in trouble if I ever found out that was happening.. I'd take a 2nd against my house. ;)

Lordmax, I'm a software guy too, been Java the past 12 years, but done years of C prior. That sounds cool, but with Phoenix and a few others using the board he sells on here to help with it, and having spent a bit on DMX hardware already, I think that may be the better route for me for next year.

Phoenix, thanks for the info.. I seriously doubt any one routine I do would be even 10 channels, much less 128.. since DMXorcist can handle 8 VSA files at once (or did I read that wrong?), I assume that means I could run up to 8 different props off the one board that would use DMX control, all 8 of which could be triggered from various inputs like motion detectors, floor mats, etc.
 

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crossfit zombie
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I won't give a dollar amount because it's too embarrassing but I had the chance of a lifetime a couple months ago to buy off a major pro haunt that shut it's doors last year...I paid about 25% of what the stuff costs new and he's local so freight shipping wasn't a factor...We're talking Scare Factory stuff too!...I bought about 3 pickup truck loads of stuff which equalled about .03% of his inventory (He did a 20,000 sq ft haunt!)...I'd buy more but I'm broke and out of room :( .....What I did manage to get will take my haunt to a much higher level than I ever dreamed it would be....But yeah, you can take solice in the fact that there are more haunters out there that spent way more than they are comfortable with for the sake of "coolness"...HA!.....ZR
Wnat to see pictures of your haunt.It sounds like you got some great stuff I love to look at the scare factory stuff.It's like looking at a toy book for a kid to me.
 

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Wnat to see pictures of your haunt.It sounds like you got some great stuff I love to look at the scare factory stuff.It's like looking at a toy book for a kid to me.
I'll post pics in a new thread someday when I get a chance for sure....Hopefully it will be before it's all set up next year..lol...I got 2 Scare Factory pieces...One is the Fireplace made of skeletons, I LOVE that thing even though it's too tall to set up in my building, it comes in 2 pieces so I will be able to use the top half as a different set piece...The other piece is the floating statue that comes down off the top of the tombstone to face level...Extreme piece for sure!...Things that are not scare factory that I got were portraits, a leaping casket guy, some gargoyles, a five foot death angel statue, and a truck load of camo netting!...Yes, I definitely went over budget this year....lol.....ZR
 

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Overspend :) HAHAHA. Have to keep this economy moving forward...right?

It's not bad when you overspend but when you dedicate yourself to one project, finish it up. I can't tell you how many times you get sick of a project because you have worked on one for so long you want to jump into the next. This can be dangerous in terms ove risk and reward. You will never have anything to show for in the end.

If you build your own stuff you can interchange parts from old props and make them new. This can be great because your props change year after year. This year though I will have a tough time parting with 2 of the pneumatic "scenes" I have created so those will be back in 2012. I will post these 10/30 or 10/31. Now those were not cheap to build from scratch :)

So yes I did spend some cash this year.
 

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I think I just need to spread the spending out over the entire year. That way the wife doesn't know how much my "hobby" costs. After Christmas, I'm gonna start buying. I have a whole list of stuff I need for next year....
 

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Evil Wizard
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Spent considerably more than last year, but haven't totaled it up yet. On the other hand, that means there'll be less stuff that I'll need for next year. ;)

Am sorely tempted by Grandin Road's additional 40% off on the lighted trees, but haven't pulled the trigger yet.
 
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