Saturday, January 8, 2011

Gettin it done

I'm feeling good about where I am prop wise. Since I was off between Christmas and New Year's I was able to get some stuff accomplished. I built 3 ground breaker torsos'. These are based on the idea that my props should be modular and disassemble for storage. I asked for money for my birthday (tacky? perhaps) and purchased some picaxe components for the GoE's make and take coming up on Feb 5. I was going to use that money to purchase whatever sound solution I decide on for the props (still undecided), but I have some time to save up. And today I built all the components for the 3 axis mech a la halloween2go for my witch. I am not going to discuss the specifics out of respect for Dave Corr. I feel strongly in copyrights. If someone wants to invent something and give it away, that is their right, but if someone wants to protect that property, that is also their right.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Haunt Controller: What about Box?

So the controller will consist of the Light Objects 12 Channel RF, the Freewire system, a computer power supply, a way to connect all the props to the controller (probably speaker terminals), perhaps a sound system and 110V to power it all. I want to be able to expand on it in the future. Where do I put it all? I want it to be hidden, a part of the display.

I can build this as a cabinet with doors, everything will then be protected from the elements.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Haunt Controller: To automate or not to automate

I've been mulling this around for awhile, but when I came across Pandemic Cemetary's vid on Youtube it got my belly a-rumblin

Right now I use a combination of things:
Hacked motion sensor power strips
Black and Decker Freewire
Light Objects Wireless Remote
The power strips run my Axworthy, gravegrabber, shiatsu grave grabber and banging coffin.
The Freewire runs my pneumatic groundbreaker and the Light Objects runs my other pnematics (pop up, coffin leaper).
Part of the reason I use the remote control on pneumatics is that I have control over it. I press the button, prop turns on, I release it, prop turns off. Pneumatics have a much greater potential to harm than the motors I use in the gg.
I use the Freewire because, well, I bought it first, but it works really well for the pneumatic GB. It triggers a Picoboo F104 that runs the GB sequence. It is a latched switch (press on/press off), whereas the Light Objects is a momentary (it can be latched also, but I run it mom). Even though the Light Objects has 12 channels, they can only be activated one at a time.
The biggest challenge I have had is getting sound to my props, I've tried using mp3 set to loop and then plugging in powered computer speakers but have had limited success. So after watching Pandemic's vid, I was very intrigued with that little black box.
So it is on my wish list (birthday's comin up).
So why would I want to automate?
It would be nice to have a little more control over the props, when they turn on, what sequence they turn on, how long they are on, how long before they turn on again. But do I really need a Haunt Controller per se, or can I get away with a motion sensor and a timer circuit? Or perhaps I could use the motion sensor and a picaxe microcontroller? That would give a lot more options.

Let's begin

My first post and it is on my favorite subject: Halloween. Last year I wrote out my goals for 2010's haunt, what I wanted to build and accomplish. I did ok, I built a pair of pillars, re did my tombstones, upgraded my wiring and lighting and built a stalkaround. This year I plan to expand on some things.
My to do list:
complete the arch between the two pillars
build a 3 axis mech for one of the witches (not sure which design I will use, Dave Corr's or Halloween Bob's)
a centralised haunt control box
ground breaker torso design (currently am working on this)
led lighting
garage wall panels
spider and victim for garage.

I've wanted to do a garage walk through for awhile but I keep adding to the yard. I am hoping this will be the year to manifest the garage haunt but I don't know. I want to build panels a la Terra of Castle Terra but I have not got the storage thing worked out yet