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This Year's Big Prop

5308 Views 8 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Zombie-F

So, I've decided to pull a complete 180° and build a HUGE animated prop for this year... or at least start it this year and maybe finish it next year.

What prompted me to do this was the discovery of an electronics kit that allows you to program a series of 8 relays to do your bidding that has a built-in PIC controller. This means it's a kit that you program through your computer's serial port and then can disconnect from the PC and have it perform its programmed function on it's own.

I plan on triggering the unit with a PIR kit.

The prop I plan on building around these circuits is a small 4' wide x 8' deep x 12' high crypt that will have a faux steel cage door and caged windows. When the TOT gets close enough to trigger the prop, first, I want a pair of LED eyes to fade up while the sound of a large creature's deep breathing starts up. Then, I'll have a motor start "rattling" the cage door, followed by the door bursting open, the crypt filling with red light and the monster jumps out via a scissor extender powered by either air or an electric motor. I'm thinking air since a motor may move too slowly to be effective.

At the very least, I'd like to have the crypt built this year, as well as the creature within. I'll be playing with the relay kit as well, but since I'll also need an air compressor and some other electronic goodies to make this all happen, I may not have the money to finish it all this year. This one is a HUGE undertaking.

The Crypt itself will consist of some 1 x 4 panels that will assemble to form the frame and roof. The panels will have insulation foam glued on and have a granite block pattern carved and painted onto it. The cage door and windows will be made from good old reliable PVC pipes.

Here's some links to the circuits I'll be using for this project:

Kit 108: Serial Isolated I/O Module
Kit 30: PIR Movement Detector
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Just thinking... I'll also have to construct a small fence around this so the TOTs don't get too close and get bonked by the monster jumping out. I don't need any lawsuits.
I also just came to the conclusion that in order for alot of this to happen, I'll have to learn how to program BASIC Stamps... which are small microcontrollers you can program to control motors, circuits, etc... The Kit 108 can be programmed to tell the Relays to do open or close, but it all happens simultaneously. In order to do things like have relay 1 trigger at one time and have relay 2 and 3 trigger together 5 seconds later, you need to have something tell it to do that stuff and the BASIC Stamp is the way to go.

I'm off to Radio Shack now to get my learner kit for this. Looks like I'll be busy for a while. :D
The company I work for is upgrading alot of pcs, so I'm going to be getting one of the old ones for free to use to drive the kit 108. I'll even do as you suggest and use sound clips on the PC to go along with it.

Now, if only I could get all this new snow to melt.
I bought it from Electronics123. Sadly, I was unable to finish the crypt due to lack of funds to buy the foam for the walls. Long story.. Search the forums and you'll find out why. :(
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