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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
There is a common connector used on many animated props, to allow a "Try Me" button.
I'd like to do remote triggering with a longer cord, but do not have the original button for all props, so I'd like to be able to get more plugs.

What is the connector type and where would I find plugs? Is it one of the JST series?
 

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Hey Zeph, I think they're mini JST connectors. It's worth it to pay the $17 or so to get a crimper vs. trying to use needle nose pliers.

I've wired stuff up using solid core RJ-11 phone wire I found in the surplus section at a local electronics shop. I connected the wires to a relay controlled by an Arduino and they worked great.

If you run into the newer style props that have the mini jack, they don't quite work the same as a dry-contact switch and instead use foot pads with a piezo circuit. The way I've dealt with this was to connect the 2 wires to my relay but I also added a battery pack with 2 AAA batteries so when the relay momentarily closed it would also close the circuit for the connected batteries. The brief application of voltage to the circuit will consistently trigger the newer props (mimicking a voltage spike like you'd get from the piezo).
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hey Zeph, I think they're mini JST connectors. It's worth it to pay the $17 or so to get a crimper vs. trying to use needle nose pliers.
Do you by any chance have a link to the connectors and crimper?

I'm wondering if they are the JST-ZH 1.5 type (eg: ebay item 111386693154 - I can't post links yet) but there seem to be a lot of JST types.

I've wired stuff up using solid core RJ-11 phone wire I found in the surplus section at a local electronics shop. I connected the wires to a relay controlled by an Arduino and they worked great.
That's exactly what I have in mind!

If you run into the newer style props that have the mini jack, they don't quite work the same as a dry-contact switch and instead use foot pads with a piezo circuit. The way I've dealt with this was to connect the 2 wires to my relay but I also added a battery pack with 2 AAA batteries so when the relay momentarily closed it would also close the circuit for the connected batteries. The brief application of voltage to the circuit will consistently trigger the newer props (mimicking a voltage spike like you'd get from the piezo).
Very good tip - is that like an audio jack? And does the battery polarity matter?

I have only one prop with a round jack (a jumping spider).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The links help a lot - thanks! From the pololu link it's apparently a JST PH 2mm, tho the eBay listing would not be found with those keywords so it helped that you gave both.

Now to find enought time to do some soldering and stringing wires!

Rather than stringing a bunch of wire pairs out the window (I may not have enough 2 conductor anyway), I'm thinking to use cat-5 with breakout boxes (RJ-45 to 8 screw terminals) on both ends.

Next year - wireless!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So far, I'm scavenging the connectors from the TryMe buttons.

And there are two styles of connectors - the tree shakers and the skull-in-a-cage use a larger one, the smaller talking skulls and cheap ground breaker use a smaller one.

It looks like it will work OK to use a pair of 8P8C RJ45 breakouts (half a buck each from monoprice) and a cat-5 cable to wire between the outdoor props, and through a window to a control. I haven't yet wired up buttons.

The built in triggers (mostly sound) are not very reliable, so remote triggering will be good. Next year - sensors and an arduino?
 
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