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As we really get into build season, I thought it would be appropriate to start a thread with some useful links to tutorials, info and resources for getting started with pneumatics. This forum is a wealth of knowledge with plenty
of ideas and people willing to help and we hope you take full advantage of all that is available here. For more info, take a look at the following links that should answer most questions however please ask if you have questions or anything is unclear.
First are several outstanding links to tutorials on pneumatics -
Dead Things did a 5 part video broken down into the different systems involved and can be found posted on this forum at https://www.hauntforum.com/showthread.php?t=30092
SkeletalRemains wrote a very good primer at https://www.halloweenforum.com/threads/beginners-guide-to-props-and-pneumatics.77731/page-2 NOTE-the links to these can be found in post #21
but you'll have to use the WayBackMachine to download them.
One more, an olde but goodie at http://www.omarshauntedtrail.com/Props/props.htm
A nice article from Nuts and Volts can be found at http://notepad.org/articles/16-PneumaticRobotics.pdf
Fright Props stocks everything you need to put a pneumatic project together and has plenty of how to videos at http://www.frightprops.com/faq/?sear...archcategory=2 and Scary Guys at http://www.scaryguys.com/aircyl.htm
Another great supplier of pneumatic components is AutomationDirect and can be found at http://www.automationdirect.com/adc/Shopping/Catalog/Pneumatic_Components They also have a how to video series on YouTube.
Tool Barn has a nice guide to compressors at http://www.toolbarn.com/air-compressor-guide.html
A useful pneumatic calculator can be found at http://www.pneumaticsonline.com/calculator.htm
Please feel free to post any links you think might be useful.
 

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I'm starting a prop build at the moment and this came in handy, thanks.

i just needed a 2 port normally closed (NC) valve that would activate a spring cylinder. then let the air from the closing of the cylinder escape out the bleed hole at the top of the stem on the valve. (the black round screw cap has a tiny hole on the side)

after shopping around and playing with valves i found the cheapest to be ebay for what i wanted. every store around me sells normally open (NO) 3 or 5 port valves starting at $35. I need (NC) normally closed.

a hydraulic hose/pneumatic store quoted me $85 for the (NC) valve i wanted..eek!

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/DC12V-Pneuma...231?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item20d4bf7b67

this has an extra port i need to block for my simple 2 port needs, but you can use it as a splitter to another valve

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/1-4-2-Way-No...697?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43d2578c21

this one has a solid core stem so no air bleeds out and the cylinder stays jammed open/extended (not good) but it has what i want in ports & (NC) function.



i was able to swap in a matching hollow valve stem i had, but then had to reverse the air in/out for it function correctly. bit much for the average haunter so i would stick with the 5 port/4 way (NC) valve like on frightprops.

this prop is commissioned and i'm trying to cut costs , an $8 valve shaves $30 off of the valve i originally quoted.

*edit
i should add that using the valves this way (bleed hole for cylinder closing) the air pressure max is about 60-70psi before the bleed valve starts leaking audibly, depends on valve design. the orientation of my scissor lift/cylinder uses gravity/weight to close, so i only need it to open. this lets me get away with using the cheaper valve in this manner.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
My Do It Yourself Animatronics article in Servo magazine this month (November 2015)is on the use of pneumatics for prop building. A good resource if you're just getting started.
 

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My Do It Yourself Animatronics article in Servo magazine this month (November 2015)is on the use of pneumatics for prop building. A good resource if you're just getting started.
+1 I read it and Steve does a terrific job of breaking down the basic components with great examples.

Kudos Steve!
 

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Love all this info! I’m so excited I don’t even know where to start other than I think I want to down load some plans I found here somewhere 🤔. I’ll do a bunch of reading and get started.
 

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I would like to mention that most pneumatic halloween props I see are extremely loud.

Do not buy exhaust fittings!

What you need to do is use 3 inch PVC Pipe and end caps to make a hobby foam filled muffler with exhaust holes on 1 end and fittings on the other end. You should have all of your prop exhaust lines manifolded together and sent to this muffler! This will eliminated most of your air sounds!

I recommend using valves that have the pilot exhaust routed through the actual exhaust port as well... Such as the model 45 MAC Valve.
 
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