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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm using a 08 Picaxe built to Fritz's VLC design to control my Vampire Pop up. When the Picaxe is triggered, it activates a relay which causes the audio to begin, the solenoid to activate and it turns on a light. After the routine runs, I've set a retrigger delay of 30 seconds before the prop can be reactivated.
Since this prop will be displayed inside, I'm running the pneumatics from an 11 gallon air tank from Harbor Freight set at 40 psi. It should run all night without having to be refilled.


The complete electronics package ran under $50 which included the 08 Picaxe built up as a VLC (http://www.ipprofessional.com.au/VLC%20Servo%20Controller.pdf), a 50 second audio board (http://www.electronics123.com/s.nl/it.A/id.2841/.f?sc=8&category=2 ), a Parallax PIR, a small relay board I built, a small clamp on light from Home Depot with a 25W red bulb and a pair of Big Lot computer speakers.
I know I said I wouldn't build any more Picaxe projects for awhile, but I needed this prop running tonight for a party and the 2 stage timer I planned to use is acting up. So guess what I was doing last night.
Now that the electronics, pneumatics and the mechanical components are completed, I can turn it over to my wife to finish. The inside will be lined in red fabric and she'll be adding to the costume.
If anyone is interested in the code, I'll be happy to post it.
 

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I'd love to see the code, and if you had the 18m2 chip, would you have wired or coded this differently, or do you feel the 08 chip had plenty of "horsepower" to handle this? Thanks for doing such great work with these PICAXE chips, and this is the first pneumatic PICAXE project I've seen posted, so I'm excited to see that it will work with them.
 

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Love the laugh:) Did you record that yourself?

BTW, I think we can crown you King of Picaxe Props now:jol:
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the nice comments. I've had fun putting the Picaxe to work but have to thank Fritz_42 and Hpropman for all the time, help and encouragement they've given me.
Here's the code I used. It's very simple but it does everything I need it to do.

'Coffin popup 08

Init: 'Just a starting point label
debug
Pause 5000 'Wait 5 secs for PIR to 'settle down
Symbol delay = 5000 'Sets variable delay for making the whole thing wait for a while after pressing the button
Symbol time=b1


Testit:
readadc 1,b0 'PIR
debug b0
pause 5 'Brief pause on the checking loop
b0 = b0 + 5 * Pin1
if b0 < 100 then Testit
goto Popup

Popup:
high 2 'Start LED
high 4 'Start relay to trigger audio, solenoid and light
for time = 1 to 26 '30 is the number of seconds of retriggger delay
pause 1000 'Pause for 1 sec
next time
low 4 'Retrigger delay
for time = 1 to 30 '30 is the number of seconds of retriggger delay
pause 1000 'Pause for 1 sec
next time
low 2 'Stop LED
GOTO Testit

I've got 2 18M's on the way so I'll have to let you know on the differences in the setup. For the price difference, I may end up just switching over to the 18M's but part of the fun lately was trying to see how far I could push the 08. As you can see from the code, the 08 has no problem doing this job. In addition to this prop, I've used the 08 to control a micro servo to give my skeleton fish its movement to my butler project that has the 3 servos that provide the 3 axis movement all controlled by a single 08. I currently have 6 props controlled by 08's running servos, motors, LED's or a relay for the pneumatics. If you're willing to spend a little time and effort, you can build some very reasonably priced controllers.
 

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Very cool, some day I hope to graduate to electronics and do some props with something more than the simple motors I use now.
 

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That's a great prop! Did you have the audio on loop and use the relays to turn on the speakers (I have one coming so am interested to know how you did that)? Coding is where I am being challenged. It's another language, literally. What is the purpose of debug in your code? I used it to find the ranges of my LDR but not sure of it's purpose in this context.
BTW, I am experiencing some serious coffin envy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I used one side of the relay to trigger a audio board (http://www.electronics123.com/s.nl/it.A/id.2841/.f?sc=8&category=2 ) and the other side is connected to one side of an extension cord like Darklore shows in this great post - http://www.hauntforum.com/showthread.php?t=19719 where the solenoid and the light plug into. The speakers plug into the main extension cord and are always on.
You can take the debug code out. I had that in to check when the PIR was active but since I added an LED to the circuit, I now can see that.
I'm still learning the programming as well and rely heavily to the more knowledgeable members like Fritz_42 and Hpropman when I have difficulties. Once you start using it more, you'll develop a library of code snippets that you can choose from when putting a program together.
I'm very pleased to have found that coffin. I searched Craigslist for months before that one came along.
 

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Great Job Halstaff.

I wish someone could post a list of ackronyms (SP?), and what they are and what they do.

For example:

LED = Light Emitting Diode---- Produces light by passing electricity through a ..... etc.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
What's a PIR??? I'm guessing it's a motion sensor??

What's a VLC???
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks for calling me on the overuse of the acronyms niblique. I know I'm always having to look up others "vegetable soup" and do know better. I'll at least clear up mine.
LED is a light emitting diode and they are a very efficient light source with a life of up to 100,000 hours. I can't tell you how they work, just that when I hook up an appropriate resistor and a power source, they put out a pretty light. Check this site out to determine what resistor to use with a particular application - http://led.linear1.org/1led.wiz
PIR is a passive, infrared sensor. I use these almost exclusively in my haunt because they are more reliable than motion sensors like the ones that come on most store bought props. They don't rely on motion but compare the difference in infrared temperature between objects as they move across their view.
A VLC is a controller designed by Fritz_42 that utilizes a 08 Picaxe. It stands for "Very Low Cost". You can find the tutorial here - http://www.ipprofessional.com.au/VLC%20Servo%20Controller.pdf
HTHBE. (hope this has been enlightening).
 

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Very nice work Steve.

Just one observation. The prop stops with a hell of a thump. If you Google 'soft close piston' you should be able to find a small $5 device that you can use as a soft bump stop - that should make the prop last longer. I had a popup mechanism like this break an aluminium bracket after just a dozen activates - with the piston (I use them in kitchens I supply) it is fine.

The next thing is to animate a jaw on him! HPropman - where is that Picaxe Scary Terry equivalent you promised???


As for Steve being crowned King of Picaxe, all I have to say is


Grrrrrrrrrrrr :mad:


Oh yes, I agree about the use of TLAs as well

Sorry? What's a TLA?


That's 'Three Letter Acronym'

Lol (oops - another TLA)
 

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Am I the only one who feels foolish, because I couldn't figure out how he was triggering all three devices? Very nice prop. Be sure to share a nighttime video if you have one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
I'll have to pick up one of the soft close pistons Fritz and figure out a good mounting option. I can think of several places those would come in handy.
Sorry Darklore that I wasn't making myself clear in describing my setup. Writing up the process is certainly not one of my strong suits. I've referred to your excellent description on the use of prop controllers (http://www.hauntforum.com/showthread.php?t=19719 ) as well as Skeletal Remains write up on using pneumatics (http://www.halloweenforum.com/tutorials-step-step/77731-beginners-guide-props-pneumatics.html ) many times.
As far as being the King of the Picaxe Props, it's only because the real Kings are on vacation. I'm just the pretender working in the cold barn aspiring to one day be a King. Just wait until Fritz and Hpropman who have both helped me so much, as well as many others, get back into the swing of things. I bet we see some REALLY cool things then!
 

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I am excited to see that the 50 sec USB audio can be triggerd with the picaxe. I have one coming (although it's been coming for 2+ weeks now) and can't wait to start playing with it.
And I agree with you, Steve, I too am excited to see what Fritz, Hpropman, Steve O and all the other Picaxe masters come up with.
These things are so freakin cool!
 

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Halstaff, you know what's missing? A wiring diagram for how you connect the Picaxe board to all the other items. I think that will help people.

Then it should be pretty easy to figure out which parts of the code trigger which devices on specific pins.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Coffin Pop Up Completed

As requested, here's my a night time video of my completed coffin pop up with lights.
I did make one change to my electronic set up by replacing the 3 battery pack with a 5V regulated wall wart that I got for .79 at Electronics Goldmine - http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/prodinfo.asp?number=G17395

 

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Awesome Job there with that prop! I do not know what the picaxe has the reputation of not having that same power as any other controller out there. The picaxe can handle anything that a prop builder could come up with with no problem. It is all it what you connect them to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Well, after reading all the comments and suggestions regarding how violent the prop was, I decided to pull it out and try to remedy that. After playing around with several alternatives, I settled on just adding a long spring. Now it comes to a nice, gentle stop at the top. So smooth now that I'll probably add a talking skull to it next year.
Thanks for all the ideas everyone.
 
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