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1031 Props
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Discussion Starter #1
I still have a lot of time till halloween comes around and i have a lot on my to-do list already. Even though i have a lot to do already i still would like to know everything good and bad about 3 Axis skulls. I am also sure that this thread will serve as a great reference for people like me in the future.

So other than the fact that they are quite pricey what else can you tell me about them? Are they hard to program and set up? Are they worth it?

Tell me everything that you know about them.
 

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Obssessed Haunter
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They are GREAT ! nuff said ! JK .... Programming is really easy if you use VSA. Once you get a feel for it, there really isn't much to it. Time consuming is the biggest issue. The more time spent the BETTER the movements.
One thing I would change about mine is that I powered my controller board with a 9V battery. My routine is just long enough that after many hours for 4 nights... I had to change the batteries a couple times. Not so bad, but when we are in the middle of a night and I am trying to guide people thru our haunt.... it gets hard to get away to replace the battery.

Other than that, mine is going strong and I havent had a bit of trouble with it.
 

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1031 Props
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Discussion Starter #3
Where did you buy yours? Did the software come with it or did you have to purchase that seperately. If you purchased it seperately where did you purchase it from adn how much was the software?
 

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Hi Nick - 3-axis skulls are da bomb. I agree with Lynn that if you use VSA it is not hard to program. Building it will always pose frustrations but when its done and working you will be so glad that you did it. Everytime I ran one of the routines I made it made me laugh out loud. I bought the essential hardware from http://graveyardskulls.com/ which I believe has not started selling stuff for this season yet but I think I saw they will start by the end of Feb. They are also apparently going to release a new skull design so I would wait anyway to see what this new design is.

Go for it!
 

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Obssessed Haunter
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I bought my skull and then components from different sites... I didn't buy the kit, so I made each part from scratch.
VSA you get from Brookshiresoftware.com
And if you read halloweenbobs thread.... my 2 axis skull in progress.... you will find most Everything you need to put one together. It does go thru his trials and tribulations while it was in progress, but that gives you an insight into what does and doesn't work.

My skull is by far the best prop I've ever made.... This year I am changing him from a pirate to a vampire... I use model magic clay ( very light weight) to add facial features and FANGS.

I just have to decide what to have him say!
 

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I can tell you this - it takes the haunt or show to a new heights. Our kits make it easier, but it comes with a price. Most folks out here can build them for around $100 - which I highly recommend by the way. There are many ideas and suggestions out there on how to make them. Once you master building your own, the knowledge you gain will only take future haunts to new levels.

I highly recommend you build one. You will learn much more about how to add special effects to future haunts.

Just my two cents.
 

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1031 Props
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Discussion Starter #7
Do any of these 3 axis skulls fit on the body of a bucky?
 

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Gym Ghost, for my information as well as others, can you elaborate on the advantages and disadvantages of the bucky vs. lindburg skull? I used the bucky skull for my 3-axis because at the time I had never heard of the lindburg. I was amazed at how heavy the bucky skull was and even after going to great lengths to reduce the weight of the skull it was still heavy. Given that the Lindburg skull is plastic, why would anyone use the bucky?
 

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I highly recommend the kits by graveyardskulls (gym_ghost). While we know they're working on a new design, the old design is still very good, and well supported on this forum.

I made one last year, and will be making at least one more this year, just need to buy the servos.

Good luck!
-dgm
 

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EDIT: My grammer is really bad!!!!

I agree with Azdude... the bucky is heavy. We use 625 and soon plan to go with a 7 series servo. Myself, I prefer the bucky for it look's more realistic. But with some aging you can make the Lindberg look real.

Also, never do rapid movements with the bucky. You will wear out servos within in hours. This gets to be very expensive. Trust me on this one: Halloween 2008 I went through 9 625 servos at $33.25 a piece. That is not to say you can't go fast, just do not have rapid movement with quick stops. The servos will fail.

Lindbergs we beat the heck out of the them, even with rapid and quick stops, and we had very little problems.

Joel
 

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Obssessed Haunter
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I made mine out of the lindberg and I have a section in my routine where he is laughing.... I have his head nodding in sinc with the laugh so the movement is very fast..... havent had a problem with it.
I agree the bucky looks better, but then, I put some of the clay on mine to give him a nose and a few features, so the difference in the look is not an issue.
 

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We stretched a panty hose over our bucky skull and then put layers of latex and cotton (and paint) over that so in the end I find it hard to believe that you could even tell which one it is. I am planning on doing another one this year and I am going to use the Lindburg this time.
 

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As an option to a heavy Bucky skull, you might want to take a look at the thread http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/74115-morbius-3axis-skull-kmart.html. It's a relatively light weight skull that is a litlle larger than a Bucky which makes it easier to work in. It utilizes the same 3-axis mechanical components available from Bucky Graveyardskulls - Animatronic Skull. In addition, Dr Morbius created a clever 2-axis eye movement using roll-on deodorant balls. The downside is getting hold of a skull might be difficult since they were only available at K-mart as far as I know. There were a few users that picked up several dozen on clearance, so it might be possible to purchase one from them.

Mark
 

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gym_ghost,

What size and brand are the ball links that you use for the servos on graveyardskulls.com? I took a look at the assembly how-to's and see the ball and socket linkages you use. Are those 2-56 thread rods? They look bigger than that? Are they DU-Bro or some other brand. What is a good source for them?

I've been using the DU-Bro swivel ball links using 4-40 rod. But I like the pop on/off socket style better.

Jeff
 

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Shadow box dancer
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Once you have VSA and you have your skull (or god forbid some other prop driven by servos), how do you get the info from VSA to the servos? Just a general question to throw out to see the different techniques.
 

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BAD INFLUENCE
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Once you have VSA and you have your skull (or god forbid some other prop driven by servos), how do you get the info from VSA to the servos? Just a general question to throw out to see the different techniques.
I have 1 3 axis done and currently working on another with 2 axis eyes. I use a Parallax servo controller. That is what takes the information from the VSA and converts it to signals that make the servo operate. There are several different types available. Check Halloween Bob's thread -3 axis in progress.
 

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Open up and say "Aaaaahh"
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VSA---->PC----->Servo controller board (Parallax or SSC-32. DMX boards like Board of Chuckie etc)----->Servos.
 

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gym_ghost,

What size and brand are the ball links that you use for the servos on graveyardskulls.com? I took a look at the assembly how-to's and see the ball and socket linkages you use. Are those 2-56 thread rods? They look bigger than that? Are they DU-Bro or some other brand. What is a good source for them?

I've been using the DU-Bro swivel ball links using 4-40 rod. But I like the pop on/off socket style better.

Jeff
I recently purchased one of the basic kits, and the ball links are 2-56 thread. $8 isn't a bad price for what they are including in the hardware kit. I'm not sure of the brand, but Tower Hobbies is a decent source for parts if you don't have a local R/C store in your area - Great Planes or Dubro . One difference is these include the brass coupler, washer and nut which are not included with the graveyardskulls kit. But they aren't required when assembling the 3-axis mechanism.

Mark
 
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