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Discussion Starter #1
Over the past 2 yrs I have struggled to create some of my own prop controllers because I could not find a simple solution to what I needed available anywhere. From joining this forum I read posts all the time where others are struggling with similar problems. So...I have been kicking around the idea of trying to produce some controller products and selling them - so can any of you give me ideas of what they wish was available on the market? I am talking about relatively simple controllers for lighting, motor control, audio etc. with some kind of trigger(s). If you have ideas I would love to hear them and also give me a ball park price of what you would expect to pay for your ideas - THANKS!
 

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Bête noire
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That's a loaded question, alright. There are various needs out there such as one-shot, repeated triggering, sound triggering, lighting control etc. Designing a stand-alone controller to handle a wide array of devices can lead to a very complex controller.
Speaking for myself, the most versatile controller I have is the UDT II IR from Terror By Design. It has controls for delay-before-on, on time, and delay-after-on and is activated by an IR sensor. I've actually been able to trigger up to five different effects from this one device. The only thing I would change on it would be to add a second relay. Sometimes I need to dry-trigger one prop while using a voltage trigger on another. Unfortunately, TBD is no longer in business. Let me give this more thought - there's a lot of possibilities.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
yep - no one controller can meet everyone's needs. My assumption is there are a group of controllers that together could meet the requirements of most home haunters. Please let me know if you think of something on your "wish" list.
 

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Insane Genius
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:)
I did design my own prop control system

It can pretty much do anything I can imagine, and each time someone comes up with something it cant do then it evolves to include that feature as well.
 

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I'd like reasonably priced lighting control (I don't even mind manual, I don't need a Leprechaun board!), and triggers for props.

In all reality a simple board consisting of ON-OFF-DIMMER for every channel, then a few buttons labeled FOG, so we could trigger the foggers from the panel would be completely sufficient for me.

EDIT: On second thought, you might be better off just writing tutorials on how we could build what we need. lol This gets around the "That won't work for mine" problem entirely!
 

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if the goal is to have a controller to meet many needs on a budget i think a modular system would be needed, maybe with the main board able to handle enough for a Small home haunt like 1 prop with a trigger a few lights with dimmers and a fog machine. then maybe a few different style daughter boards maybe 1 would have 4 lights with dimmers and 1 would handle 4 props with triggers. the main board should have an on-board power supply IMHO this would probably limit the amount of daughter boards per main board so i would consider making the main boards linkable to handle the larger haunts
 

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I built my own prop controllers this year but they probably wouldn't work for everyone. They were specific to my applications. That's the problem. A one size fits all controller tends to be complex and expensive.
Agreed. Everyone has different needs for their props and lighting etc. Most times I start with a simple timer relay and then get creative about what I attach to it to control specific props. If I was running a large haunted attraction, I'd be interested in more global control solutions.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
well, obviously I did not do a very good job at asking my question. I was NOT asking "what features would a controller have that met everyone's needs?"...in fact I was really asking the opposite. Perhaps a better way to phrase my question would be "While you were setting up your display this year, was there any kind of a simple controller that would have made your life easier?" For example, when I was building my 3-axis skull this year, I wanted to have the ability to make the LED eyes light up and change the brightness. I made a circuit that allows me to do that using the SSC-32 controller so I can change the brightness using VSA. This type of thing is more in line with what I am asking for your own ideas on.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
yes - it connects to one of the servo channels just as if it was a servo - it is even powered off the servo board as well. The circuit involves a microcontroller with code that I wrote but I would rather not give out the details just yet as this is potentially something I could sell. Would you be interested in purchasing a finished board if the price was right?
 

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Quiet possible that I would purchase one. I am assuming that this would connect to the the servo board? Could it be built to use 3 channels so you could use RBG leds? And what would be the right price?
 

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Discussion Starter #17
ed - I am laying out a 3-channel version specifically for RGB applications - each color will use a separate channel on the servo controller. Just a question for you - how much current are you looking to drive in your application for each color? Haven't really set a price but I was thinking approximately $25 for the single channel version which would include the board and 2 LEDs. For the 3 channel version - don't know - its more complicated because of the price of the RGB LEDs. Maybe $35 + price of the led(s) you choose?
 

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Dame I wish I understood all this talk I am thinking of building my own control board similar to Terror Syndicate's set-up. I just don't understand all the prop controller stuff wish I did now that we got the Haunt indoors and were really steping things up for next year. O well guess all keep reading....
 

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I am working on a prop concept. I need a board that will basically provide the following. I need a two channel board that will put out a fixed voltage based on a particular level of input. I need output to two seperate circuits per channel. This could be a frequency input, like an audio input. Now for the tough part. I want the voltage output to change per channel per circuit on an opposite basis, based on a frequency change. So if the input is say 600hz, to both channels, the output to both circuits for each channel would be 6 volts. Now if I provide an input to channel 1 of 700 hz then I want one side of the output circuit on channel 1 to increase to 7 volts and the output on the other circuit on channel 1 to drop to 5 volts.

The board should have some adjustment capabilty to control how the swing in voltage occurs.

So depending on the frequency inputed to the two channels, the output from each circuit on each channel could be balanced or imbalanced. I am not going to go into detail re why I need this, but lets just say this prop will be silent and provide some interesting aspects of movement.

Spinman
 
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