Haunt Forum banner

1 - 13 of 13 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi folks,

For Halloween 2007, we want to eliminate the use of cassette players triggered by the wireless X-10 system we've been using. Although its worked great when we want to scare unsuspecting visitors at our home haunt, having a self contained unit that does it all, record the phrase or sounds we want, PIR triggering, and be able to reset itself would be great.

I had found a company that sells what's called a, Halloween Howler Pro This unit, although it only records 20 seconds, seems like a great product for the home haunter. From the specs, it does have an internal speaker, and works with batteries or a power adapter, but also has Line Out for an external speaker system or amplification, which I would imagine would be needed for outside. It seemed really great, so I purchased 3 of them with the power adapters. This way I'll have a choice to use them with batteries or not. I'll have them in my hands on 1/11. They have been shipped and are in transit to me.

Has anyone used these before? I'm hoping I didn't waste money on them. Any opinions? Thanks.
 

·
A little bit bent...
Joined
·
3,232 Posts
Is the price shown on the site correct? $120 seems a bit high for what the unit does. I've not used this item before, but have assembled very similar devices using PIR sensors and 20 sec. recorders. My experience with the 20 sec. chip is that the sound is poor, but passable for some props/startle scares.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Hi Otaku,

$120.00 is about the middle of the ground price for them. In fact, just about everyone that sells them have all raised the price for them. I've seen them as much as $140-150.00 Actually, I paid $49.95 for them from the company. The original company I was going to purchase from online started playing with the price after I inquired about them, in fact they doubled the advertised price. So I told them were to stick it.



The reason I got them for such a good price is because the web page I entered the site from doing a Google search showed it as $49.95 rather than the new price of $120.00. The sales rep actually thanked me and offered it to me for the old price. Obviously they've since updated the website.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
Is the price shown on the site correct? $120 seems a bit high for what the unit does. I've not used this item before, but have assembled very similar devices using PIR sensors and 20 sec. recorders. My experience with the 20 sec. chip is that the sound is poor, but passable for some props/startle scares.
I agree with Otaku. That's very pricey. You could do the same thing with a PIR and an EFX-TEK Prop-1 controller and an AP-8 sound board. The cost would be less and you could have a lot more functionality.
 

·
A little bit bent...
Joined
·
3,232 Posts
Richie,
Forgot to welcome you to wrong side of the street! Your profile says you enjoy animatronics - look forward to your posts!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
Gmacted,

I'll look up the components online and see what they cost. If after looking them over I feel I'm able to do the assembly or setup of them, I'll give it a try. Thanks.
Richie,

Here is a link to a thread that has a video of the prop I created last year using these components.

Monster in a Box

It worked very well for me.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Hi there Otaku,

Thank you for the welcome. I just looked over the EFX-TEK Prop-1 controller. I thought it looked familiar. I looked that unit over some months ago. It would do the job for any of my props, but I felt I would have a difficult time programing it because I don't know the basic language. For me, having something that is more in line with plug and play with tuning adjustments would be great.

Those Halloween Howler Pro unit will be here in the morning. If I find they don't do a good job, I'll give the EfX-TEK units a try. I'm sure there are quite a few of you in the forum that use them, perhaps I'd be able to get some help with writing code. Either way I'll let everyone know how the Howlers work and if I'm going to be using them. Thank you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Hi Gmacted,

That Monster in a Box is wonderful! With all those animations, I'm sure the basic stamp code must be really complex. Obviously the EFX-TEK Prop-1 controller and audio board yields totally professional results.

BTW....That "Didn't" audio clip you used is one of the favorites my wife and I use each year. Using a cassette player hooked up to an X-10 unit, we'd trigger is when parents and kids would stand around in our yard admiring our grave yard. Very cool audio clip! Again, we want to eliminate the X-10 and fully automate it with one of the controllers mentioned in this post. Also, for our front door, we wanted another motion trigger audio phrase, I'm sure many of you use it. It's the one that says, "Welcome children, nice of you to come visit us, we've been expecting you"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
511 Posts
Hi Gmacted,

That Monster in a Box is wonderful! With all those animations, I'm sure the basic stamp code must be really complex. Obviously the EFX-TEK Prop-1 controller and audio board yields totally professional results.

BTW....That "Didn't" audio clip you used is one of the favorites my wife and I use each year. Using a cassette player hooked up to an X-10 unit, we'd trigger is when parents and kids would stand around in our yard admiring our grave yard. Very cool audio clip! Again, we want to eliminate the X-10 and fully automate it with one of the controllers mentioned in this post. Also, for our front door, we wanted another motion trigger audio phrase, I'm sure many of you use it. It's the one that says, "Welcome children, nice of you to come visit us, we've been expecting you"
Richie,

The contents of the box and the program for the Prop-1 aren't as complicated as you think. I'm not sure if you saw it or not, but here is an inside look at the crate. All I used was a wiper motor, a fog machine, two speakers and some LEDs along with the Prop-1 and the AP-8. I can send you a copy of the code if you'd like to see how complicated it is (it's not as bad as you think). John Williams from EFX-TEK is very helpful with the code. They also have a forum where you can ask any questions. I've even seen John write the code for you if you give him enough details.

It's funny that you mention that audio clip. I used "Hello children. How nice of you to come visit us. We have been expecting you." as my door greater this past Halloween. I set up my home theater speakers in my front windows and greet all of my guests with it. It feels like the house is speaking to you since I have a speaker on each side of the door. When I open the door, my FCG (Flying Crank Ghost) is there to meet you. Everyone loves it. One child even asks me about Victoria (my FCG) every time he sees me. That's what makes it all worth it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
Hey Gmacted,

That is really great and very neatly set up inside there. I'd love to see the code if convenient for you. I'll PM you about it.

Yeah, that "Hello Children" audio clip is just great. The "Didn't" MP3 we've been using for several years now and is one of those phrases that will always be part of our home haunt. This will be the first year we get to use the "Hello children" MP3, but I know it'll also be wonderful. Thank for the help.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
521 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Hi folks,

I just wanted to let you know that I received the Halloween Howler's today. The units are smaller than what they looked like in the photos and are about the size of a Sony Walkman cassette player. I have to tell you that I'm amazed at this PIR audio repeater. It does everything except you can't set it to play in a loop mode. The PIR sensor could not be any better and the clarity of the Halloween audio phrases are excellent. I tested one using 4 "AA" batteries, and one using the 6 volt power adapter. No difference in performance at all and it's great having a choice on how to power it, especially if A/C power is not available.

You can record your 20 second phrase or sound using a "line in" or from the external microphone, which I figured the internal Mic was junk. I could not have been more wrong. I was eager to try it, so I simply used the external Mic. It recorded so perfectly I'm not going to bother re-recording from "line in" The internal speaker is okay if used inside, but I tested it with a set of standard A/C powered 5 or 8 watt computer speakers.

It plays in mono, but I used a Radio Shack adapter #274-368, so the audio was now coming from both external speakers. Audio was as loud and clear as you would need it to be. I'm totally satisfied with all three of these units and very happy I purchased them at such a cheap price. Now that the price is back up to $120.00 each, if I needed another one, I wouldn't hesitate to get one.

These things are going to be a huge hit with our haunt this year.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,949 Posts
Okay if I wanted to learn the basic for the prop-1 what book would be good to get?
 
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Top