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The Mad Lab Memory Transfer Hats - using Dual ElectroShock prop hats

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This is our first project like this, so coming from a newbie perspective. I wanted to do a Mad Lab this year and loved the Gemmy ElectroShock hats that CVS and AtHome carried this year. Decided to turn them into a Memory or "Brain" Transfer experiment between a Gorilla and a Human patient. Got the idea from an old 3 Stooges episode "Spooks!" and preferred that over electro shocking a patient. Hubby did the wiring work since he has better close up vision than me while I grabbed the photos.

--2 Gemmy Electroshock Hats - set switch on the back top of hat to On rather than Sensor position. You'll still be able to use the Sensor mode with the hats later if you want.

--Wiring for extending the range of the hat control (we used a pair of 15-ft modular telephone line cord that we had on hand, it has 4 wires of which we only used 2, and it's gauge was the same as our Gemmy hats--24 gauge). I felt 15 feet of wire off each hat was enough to run from the "patients" to a Control Panel still to be built. Any extra I could just coil up and tie. The length you need will depend on your setup.
--Wire cutter/stripping tool
--Box cutter
--Electrical tape and/or Shrink tubing, we used two different diameters of it in our project
--If using Shrink tubing, a heat source like a long handled BBQ butane lighter works well.
--Solder iron and solder (optional if not making a permanent connection)
--a Momentary DPDT switch. We used a GC Electronics (On) - Off - (On) Miniature Bat Handle Toggle switch, Part No. 35-018, we found at a local electronics supply store. The switch is Momentary if you see the (On) listed on the packaging (not always listed in the text). Photo of this switch is shown in Post #5.

Prepare Your Wiring:

We cut off the connectors that were on our telephone line wire, opened it up, and stripped the ends of the Red and Black wires. As it turned out the wires on the hat were the same 24-guage.

Because we were working with 4 wire telephone line, we taped back the unneeded green and yellow wires.

If you are a newbie to this, you'll want to dial the Cutter/Stripper tool to the gauge wire you'll be working with. Notice position of the dial and the 24.

On the Hat we traced the 2 purple wires going to the Try Me button sensor (double check this on yours). And cut the two purple wires mid-way up the hat. This allowed us room to work with the wires. The switch we will be installing will take the place of the sensor in the circuit. We stripped the wires coming from the top of the hat.
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Hat #1 (Making the Connections and Testing)

We started using electrical tape but then decided to use shrink tubing and solder for making our connections. This gave us a cleaner and permanent solution and hubby felt it was easier to work with than cutting the tape and trying to apply to the small wires. However you could twist the wires and use electrical tape instead. Remember if you are using shrink tubing, you want to place it on the wires before you make your connections!

The Hats have holes in the hat band which we took advantage of to thread our additional wire through from the outside of the hat and up to the area for our splice. We partially ran it in between the two bands that comprise the frame. This kept the wiring out of the way, hid it for the most part, and gave stability to the wiring. This also takes stress off of it should it be pulled.

Once the wire was fed through the hat band we were ready to slip on our shrink tubing and connect the wires together.

Here you can see everything in relationship to the Try Me button:

At this point we tested the connection by touching the black and red wires together at the far end of the additional wiring, completing the circuit. Looking good.


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Hat #2

Time to repeat the same steps for the second hat. I will add that at this point my husband felt it would be easier to work with the wires by using shrink tubing on each of the hat wires and then slip the wider shrink tubing over the all wires. Here's photos from that. This may or may not be helpful in your situation.

White tubing heat shrunk.

Hat #2 wiring done after black tubing also shrunk.

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Now for the Switch - Momentary DPDT

This is the Switch we ended up using. It's a Momentary Double Pole, Double Throw (DPDT). We knew we needed a Momentary switch and didn't see that printed on the packaging anywhere. The convention for indicating a Momentary switch is "(ON)" so if you see that on the package or on the switch you know you have one that is Momentary.

Time to connect the hat's new end wiring to the Switch:

Prepared the end wires and connected them through the middle and one of the ends on the switch. Again in our case we decided to solder and use shrink tubing.

Hat #1 is connected

Testing Hat #1 with the Switch:

With the setup we've used the prop hat is activated by toggling the Switch in the opposite direction from where the wires are. So keep this in mind when you are ready to put your Switch into a panel or box.


Repeat for Hat #2 attaching the two wires directly across from Hat #1's. All 4 connections will be at the same end of the Switch. This way when the acuator (toggle in this case) is flipped (opposite direction from the wires) both hats will be momentary turned on at the same time, triggering their routines in unison.

I haven't built my test subjects yet. Or the control panel. Have the switch and a few other things to add to it. When I do and have them all set up with the hats on, I'll come back and post a video of the Mad Lab Memory Transfer experiment in progress.

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks. You know you started us out by recommending the correct switch...and we learned how to tell if it was a momentary one. It's been a nice project for hubby and I to work on together and really pretty easy to do. Now I go solo putting together the patient portion. Definitely not his thing. At least we complement each other in that regard. I think I'm going to have to get prescription magnifying glasses for close up work though. :cool:

Sorry you didn't find a hat at CVS after AtHome sold out of them early on. Wish I would have known. PM'd you.
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