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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My centerpiece prop this year will be a large talking scarecrow figure with the pumpkinrot mask as a head. I want the head to move side to side. Is the oscillating fan motor the best way or is there another type of motor I could use. I've seen instructions on the fan hacks but they look pretty complex.
Also, where is the best source for wiper motors nowadays? Would traditional auto parts stores carry them or must they be ordered online?
TIA
 

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I don't have personal experience with motors, but based on what I've read wiper motors are the best way to go. My searching has shown the ones at MPJA to be among the better deals, especially if you don't want to hunt a used one down in a junkyard. Regarding getting a new one from a parts store, I think you'll find they're too expensive--something like $50 and up, as far as I know.

Perhaps someone with more experience could chime in?
 

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JD,

I tried the fan motor idea. It worked great for about 15 minutes and overheated and nearly started my prop Witch on fire. I haven't heard of this happening with others. The fan blades actually keep the motor cool, so once they are removed, the motor will run hot. See if anyone else chimes in on this thread. Maybe I just had a bad experience with mine. It's to bad too, it really worked well.
 

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I have a grim reaper with a moving head. I used two motors from those Christmas light deer. One is rigged to move the head up and down and the other motor moves it side to side. I also plugged them into seperate flicker circuits so the motors start and stop randomly so that the head moves...err...randomly. The deer motors don't seem to overheat, but I don't run them indoors.
 

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If you put the fan motor in a mask, then yes, it will overheat. If you extend the "reach" of the motor above it and onto a styrofoam wighead that holds the mask, the motor would then be centered in the middle torso of the prop where it can breath.

This is my setup I used a couple years back. I had no problems at all with overheating. The PVC tee is held onto the fan motor housing with a hose clamp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks all for the replies. Good info here. I may try the wiper motor method if I can figure out the linkage. Looks simple enough.
 

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Thanks Morbius. But what about when you place the costume on the PVC figure, it still doesn't overheat or did you leave the backside of the figure open to the air? You always come up with very innovative designs for your props.
Thanks for the nice compliment, Richie! I really appreciate that. To answer your question, as long as the costume is light it should be fine. This prop used burlap as a costume. I wouldn't cover the motor with animal skins or heavy plastic as those wouldn't allow any air flow. If you can, try scarefx's linkage. His is really the best solution for oscillating a head. I didn't have the motor required so that's why I came up with the fan/ hoseclamp idea.
 
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