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Master of Screamyard
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832 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm assuming that much fewer people go into the "request for Tutorials" sub-forum over in the Tutorials section. My apologies if this really isn't the case.

(....Halloween is LOOMING and at least two of us have run up against the same "wall")

I've read over and over that Gemmy props with the "try me" buttons are really simple to hack. So.......I happily started hacking on my Gemmy Skull. I got the button off, then discovered that merely connecting the "try me" wires does not close the circuit that I thought it did and cause the prop to animate.

So, what is the missing piece??

I've spent 3 days searching everywhere online for a discourse by anyone on changing the prop so the wires from the "try me" button can be triggered by a switch. To my surprise nobody has posted this that I can find. I'm not looking to change out the guts to add MIDI sound or anything so extreme....

Anyone know ?
 

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Registered
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1,422 Posts
I did a midi hack and it was simple but you could still hack it another way. Even if you hacked into the try me button all it would do is activate the prop when you switch it. You could hack the LED and motion for the jaw and hook them up to a prop controller. You will need to add some resistors and whatnot but it is very easy. Cut the wires close to the board and rip the board out. There are 4 sets of wires (LED eyes, Jaw movement, eye movement, and motion sensor). You may not have the eye movement because older models didn't have it. Cut out the motion sensor wires. Then hack the battery supply and turn it into a 5 volt power adapter if you don't want to use batteries.

Here is my hack prototype the routine is just a test.

halloweengemmy033.flv video by Industen - Photobucket
 

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Master of Screamyard
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832 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the suggestion...I found your info previously about how you hacked the skull, but it's again way more than what I'm trying to accomplish. Really......all I WANT to do is to activate the prop. For what I'm using it for, I have no need to make any significant change to it.

IS there a way to just modify the "Try Me" button so you can control when it goes off? (that's all I'm looking for...and I believe that's all Eltis is trying to do, as well)
 

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Bête noire
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2,631 Posts
When do you want it to trigger? Every few minutes/seconds, or on demand, like when a TOT approaches?
 

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Master of Screamyard
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832 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
On demand.

Before I discovered that you don't just connect the two wires from the "Try Me" button, my plan was to control it through a DPDT relay that also turns on/off lights around it with the same trigger.

I'm using it as the "surprise" in the bottom of a bottomless pit....so I want to be able to trigger the skull and lights around it when someone looks in...
 

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Bête noire
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2,631 Posts
Sounds easy. Is the lighting that the relay controls part of the bottomless pit? If you want to trrigger the prop at the same time as the lights, connect the wires from the Try Me button to the Com and NO pins on the DPDT relay. When the lights come on, so will the prop. I don't know what is controlling the relay, if it's a different system (not part of the pit) then you may need to invest in a PIR to control the prop.
 

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Master of Screamyard
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832 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
That's what **I** thought. However, the skull doesn't fire if I do so, which leads me to believe that there is more to the little circuit board in the button part of the Try Me cord. Being a total electronics novice...I have no chance of figuring out what else it might be doing .

I also moved the cords to the COM/NC pins and applied power to switch the relay back and forth...it doesn't work in either config.

(I read on just one site that these buttons are a "momentary contact switch", but so far haven't been able to identify exactly what the implications of this might be. Is it possible this is why applying a constant current via the relay switch doesn't work..?)

P.S. - To answer your question regarding the lighting and how the relay is triggered...All of this is part of the pit, and controlled via X10. I have the relay powered from an appliance module, and activate it via an X10 Remote transmitter. The pit is a variant of Chris Olsen's "Pit with a Scare"
 
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