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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, I have been gone a lot longer than I thought! Anyway, with a marked dip last year, things around here haven’t changed a whole lot. Upon my return, I did notice that a few folks I remember have since departed this plane, so here’s to them, and all those not noted on the boards who no longer haunt these pages. Salud!

Turning to the question at hand, I have a favorite Spirit Halloween prop, the Compost Creep, that I’ve used for years that finally died. 2.5 Ft Compost Corpse Animatronics - Decorations - Spirithalloween.com Long story short, the motor is no strong enough to keep him running. Between the plastic gears and pulleys that Spirit put in it originally, and my hot glue and odds-and-ends handiwork to keep the internal mechanics (the metal pipes that translate the motor turning into the head and arm movement) running, the motor no longer has enough torque to move anything. Spirit, of course, no longer sells this and their Dr. Zombie said that since they’ve taken their animatronics in-house (which timing seems to coincide with their animatronic offerings going to the birds, no offense to birds), they couldn’t help me with that older, not-in-house zombie.

So, I decided to go the wiper motor route, and hoped to simply wire the motor in place of the other one, position the motor so it’d spin appropriately, and be good to go. Should have been fairly simple, I thought, so I ordered a motor from fright props. When I got the motor, I excitedly hooked it up through the zombie’s wiring and got nothing. It was then, of course, that I decided to see how much power the motor needed to run, it certainly wasn’t pulling that from the zombie (I don’t recall the specifics on either what the motor needed or what I was pulling from the zombie off the top of my head.) That’s when I figured I’d need to get an external power supply for the motor directly, which made me wonder if it wouldn’t make more sense to simply go with a small controller (one of the small picovolts, if I’m understanding what I think I am) and essentially rebuild the zombie’s guts. The problem is that, while I understand the basics of wiring and circuitry and such, I’m not very good at any of it. I’m happy to pay to get the right components and study/learn how to put them together, but I don’t know enough about what is being offered to make good decisions.

If anyone have any suggestions about how to achieve the goal of breathing new life into the zombie without replacing all of the guts, or otherwise about what else I need to pair with my motor to get this project underway, I would appreciate it! I’ve posted links to a few things for more info.

My motor, which is sitting in a box without a power supply: Dual Speed High Torque Prop Motor (MOT1)

The set I probably should have bought (and might still get the power supply and a controller, if not the full set if they become available again): Motor, Controller, Power Supply Kit (MOT1)

Many thanks for any thoughts, and happy haunting!!
 

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Thought I had sent a reply, but don't see it posted - so this will be a re-typed / abbreviated version.

Sounds like a path forward depends a bit on the current state of construction - or destruction. If the original motor is still in place, possibly a good cleaning / lubricating of the internal components and a bit of counterbalancing for the added weight would be enough to get the prop moving again?

If you are looking to upgrade, they show that motor running off a 12 volt / 5 amp supply, so if the original prop isn't running that, you would need to upgrade. If the motor runs continuous, then you could just wire the new supply to the motor. Though if the motor is sequenced off/on by the prop, at a bare minimum, you'd need to install some relays to make it work. If relays clicking on/off is not tollerable, then you'd probably have to upgrade to some sort of solid state control - with appropriate surge protection so the motor doesn't blow the solid state components.

If you do go with a fully stand-alone controller, that would offer the most flexibility, but also the most work required. You'd need not only a power supply for the motor, likely a smaller one for the controller, then some sort of interface board, too. I've never dealt with the picovolt stuff, but searching seems to turn up a wide array of control boards to interface a picovolt. Just be sure the board can handle the 12v 5 amp current.


Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you very, very much! It sounds like I can accomplish what I'm looking for with a relay, so I'll do some digging into that. Thank you again, you've helped more than you may know!
 
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