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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Aside from finishing the Crypt, my NEW big prop idea for this year is the Skeleton Comedy Club. Here's the idea for this one...

As you know, I have two buckies that have the capability to "talk" to each other by way of Scary Terry Audio/Servo Driver Circuits. I'd like to keep things fresh by giving them new dialog and a new theme each year.

So, I was thinking, since I'm getting a new shed, I could incorporate THAT into the mix and give them a nice setting. The first setting for them shall be a Skeleton Comedy Club, probably named "The Funny Bone" or something like that.

One of the skeletons will be shackled to the wall with a microphone in front of him doing a stand-up routine ripe with bad Halloween-related jokes. The second skeleton will be seated at a table and will be heckling the joke-telling skeleton.

I also just bought one of those Buck the Talking Deer Heads from a seller on eBay for a great price. I think I'd also like to incorporate HIM into the mix by hacking it to do some maniacal laughter a-la the deer head in Evil Dead 2.

Just brainstorming here... add your own $.02 if you like...

I think to control it all, I'm going to use a prop-1 board from Parallax. The prop-1 can be used to control the three ranges of motion in the Deer Head, control the deer's laughter and mouth motion (with the use of a AP-8 Audio Player or maybe I'll just use a Chipcorder Circuit), and to start playing back the skeleton's dialog. It will all be triggered by a PIR module

For now, I'll still use the Scary Terry circuit for the crude jaw movement on the skeletons, but will be switching from a CD player to an uMP3 Player because it can be triggered by the Prop-1. Because of that, I anticipate having an empty output on the Prop-1 board and I may use it to control some lighting in the room by way of a RC-4 Relay Board.
 

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DeceptiProp
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That sounds like a good idea. How about another skelly at the drums. Everytime the guy makes a joke, the guy on the drums does the old boom boom boom. I don't know what they call that after a joke has been made and the drummer does the drums.
 

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DeathTouch said:
That sounds like a good idea. How about another skelly at the drums. Everytime the guy makes a joke, the guy on the drums does the old boom boom boom. I don't know what they call that after a joke has been made and the drummer does the drums.
It's called a "Rim-shot".

It would take a servo controller board and and some fancy robotics to do that though, unless it was marionetted with a pre-recorded rim-shot.
 

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DeceptiProp
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If you want, I can be the 2nd voice or the 3rd. I could email my voice as a mp3 and you could use it for the prop. Just give me a script. Then you could mod the audio to make it sound scary.
 

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You know, I need to learn to use these parallox boards. I currently use the Kit 74 unit hooked to a laptop. I think these PIC boards would be a lot more flexible for my needs....both at halloween and my christmas lights. The price is definitely a lot more reasonable for the PIC units.

Do you have to have a PIC programmer? Is there anything else you have to buy as far as the prop-1 board goes?

I have a Scary terry servo board already. I'm going to configure a prop to talk this year also. I love the comedian with a rib-shot skeleton........absoluteley hilarious.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The prop-1 boards are like a stripped down basic stamp 1 that are really geared at controlling props. They're programmed with Parallax's PBasic language (which is VERY easy to learn) and there's a free progamming software available for download from Parallax's web site. You will need a serial cable and a serial adapter for the Prop-1 board to be able to load your programs into it.

What's really cool about the Basic Stamps (and I think the prop-1 as well) is that they can be used to control a Kit 74 via a serial cable. randyaz on Halloweenforum.com or the guys on the Parallax forums could probably provide more info on that as I've never tried it yet, but have heard it can be done.

I may work a scare into this scene too. Nobody will be expecting it since it looks like a funny scene. I think it'd be great to have the Comedian skeleton lunge forward (by way of a four-bar) at the end of his routine to scare the patrons. I could make it so the shackles are held to the wall magnetically and when it lunges forward, the shackles release and are drawn back to the wall when the skeleton goes back. I don't know that I could do this with a bucky though, as it may weigh too much.
 

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Skeleton Comedy Club... sounds like a job for MIDI

If you were ever looking for an excuse to use it, this scene sounds like the one. I know the Basic Stamps could probably be used and the logistics behind setting them up to perforn in the way you have your idea laid out will be very interesting.

I know when I read your post on your idea I was thinking how easy it would be to do with MIDI. The other benefit being that every night or every hour you could have a the skeletons doing a completely different show as easy as clicking 'file' and then 'load' in CuBase.

You should think about it... all you need is a PC which I'm sure you have and few other pieces.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Good idea, but I have no idea how to program MIDI. Never even tinkered with it before while I have at least played with BS. I'm still going to be using the scary terry boards for the mouth movement and will only be using the Prop-1 to start/stop the uMP3 at the right times.

Plus, it's all only going to be running for one night, so I don't really need that kind of flexibility.

Maybe if I had some more info on MIDI and how it worked, I could make a better judgement on what I'd like to use. Got any links to any resources?
 

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MIDI really doesn't require "programming" as much as it requires the right equipment.

For example to create a moving prop with 5 pneumatic cylinders you simply assign a key on your MIDI keyboard to each cylinder and play the prop. You would insert your sound files (i.e. comedy club) and then you would tap the mouch key to sync the mouth of the comedian with the words. Then your would do an arm, or a head turn, or a laugh in the audience members mouth... whatever... so when you hit play all of these things now play at once animating your entire scene.

An example is Brent Ross' display that he does every year.. it is run by MIDI and quite amazing if you ask me.

At the risk of cross posting I would mention that MIDI and the Prop-1 basic stamp can work together quite nicely.

I was having a MIDI discussion with someone this week regarding Stamps and MIDI and I thought someone here might find the idea useful. When I use the word STAMP here I mean the new PROP-1 as I think a normal Basic Stamp would have some problems with the voltages I am discussing.

I use MIDI for running props actions... but for many applications (where a set routine of sequential actions is needed) I could activate the STAMP with a single MIDI signal and then the STAMP would take over at the local (prop) location. Would mean alot less wires running to many props...

Now before I get a bunch of messages telling me that MIDI can't talk to a STAMP...

When I say "use a midi signal to trigger the STAMP" I mean as one would trigger any prop using MIDI, the MIDI signal tells the MIDI board to send an electrical signal of 24volts to the prop...

The STAMP can be setup to activate and run it's program just due to power being applied to it (being turned on). If so the computer can send a MIDI signal (24volts) to the STAMP and apply voltage for a sufficient duration needed for the STAMP to run it's program and then stop the signal... rendering the prop powerless...

The Idea being:

1) Show Control sends MIDI signal ON for 5 minutes.

2) MIDI prop controller card converts MIDI signal to 24volts DC

3) 24 volts DC hits the prop-1 thus activating and powering it for a total of 5 minutes.

4) Prop-1 turns on and automatically runs it's program. Program lasts 5 minutes and then the power turns off.

5) Next prop is then activated the same way... or many at once...

If possible the benefit being that instead of having a 5 solenoid prop require 5 MIDI signals and thus 6 wires (5 pos and 1 neg @ 24vDC) running to the prop... You could use 1 MIDI signal and 2 cables (pos and neg) as simply an activation signal AND power.

So every prop controller has it's uses and CAN work together in order to (in my case) streamline your MIDI show and free up midi card outputs for other props.

Some reading material can be found at James' site who also distributes the MIDI controller cards that I use for my system.
http://www.sprawlingdelusions.com/Projects/Midi/MidiControlSystem.htm

Also feel free to keep up on my progress putting my system together on my website which very soon will focus on MIDI animatronics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ok, so I started measuring the shed today and began framing up the bar I intend on installing. It looks like there'll be no room for a cafe table in there with the bar along one wall, so I'm going to have the heckling skeleton sit at the end of the bar facing the comedian skeleton.

The deer head will likely be mounted above the bar and I may mount a skull at the end of the bar opposite to the heckler. That skull may or may not be rigged to laugh at jokes. All depends on money and time at this point.

When I make a little more progress next week, I'll start posting photos. :D
 

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You could always have one skel be the "funny guy" and the other the "straight man" for a comedy routine, have the deer laugh, and a skull sitting on the bar heckling the comedians. When one of the comedians asks what his problem is, have the skull break into a few bars of "Just a Gigolo"

"I..... ain't got noboooody, I ain't got no body at all!"

Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week. Tip your waitress, try the veal! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Torgen said:
You could always have one skel be the "funny guy" and the other the "straight man" for a comedy routine, have the deer laugh, and a skull sitting on the bar heckling the comedians. When one of the comedians asks what his problem is, have the skull break into a few bars of "Just a Gigolo"

"I..... ain't got noboooody, I ain't got no body at all!"

Thank you, thank you. I'll be here all week. Tip your waitress, try the veal! :D
I've done the straight guy/funny guy routine with them in their poker-playing incarnation for two years now, so I'm looking to change it up a little bit. Good suggestion though. :)
 

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Zombie-F said:
I've done the straight guy/funny guy routine with them in their poker-playing incarnation for two years now, so I'm looking to change it up a little bit. Good suggestion though. :)
Oops, never mind *me* then.... :eek:

/slinks into the corner

;)
 

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I'm building a bar for my party and it's shaped like a coffin. Not hard to build, but looks cool. A 'coffin bar' would be a great addition to your comedy club.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Just a quick update... I've finished building and installing all the LED lighting for the scene. The deer head has a blue light on it that goes out and changes to UV lighting when he's laughing. There's two green LED spotlights hanging over the bar. There's also two amber LED spotlights shining up at these skeleton shelves I have installed on either side of the stage area.

And finally, there's a Red LED spotlight that will shine on the skeleton comedian once he starts telling jokes.

On top of that, I have the skeletons mounted in their standing postions, with their speakers mounted into their chests. I just have to wire the audio into the Scary Terry circuits.

All that's left to do now, is put plywood over the bar, apply the scene setters over the walls, wire the UMP3 to work with the prop-1, record the dialog and program the prop-1.

Still so much to do! But I'm chipping away at it. :D

Another random thought... instead of a motion sensor, I'll trigger the scene with a button. That way, I can start the show once the TOTs are settled down and ready to listen. :D
 

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Do you have audio on this? I know, you are thinking DT just wants it for his radio broadcast. And you would be right. I need an audio distored like what you have.
 
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