After having to give up pyrotechnics, I needed a new hobby. Halloween props allow for mechanical, electronic, and artistic expression, plus they're fun. This page will show different projects and eventually haunts from various years.
I got a lot of really good information from Dave Korr at Halloween2go.com. If you're new to haunting, there's a lot of detailed explanation on electronics, animatronics and pneumatics.
July 10, 2011
Re-constructing My FCG (Flying Crank Ghost) - Part 1
A couple of years ago, I built a flying crank ghost as described on the (now defunct) site, Phantasmechanics.com. It's a great prop that reqires relatively few parts. The original site is gone, but I had the foresight to save all the related files, so I put an archived copy here. I have plans to expand the effect in various ways, but to start, I decided to tear it down and re-build it with some minor improvements to the ghost itself (it was getting a liitle weather-worn anyway). There's a little more detailed explanation at HalloweenForum.com. I've split this into three parts: the head, the body, and the Pepper's effect. Here's what I did for part 1:
Here's the servo inside the cranium. The additional wires you see are for the green LED eyes. You'll notice I've also applied a base coat of grey latex paint to protect the styrofoam from the black and UV spray paint I'll be using later.
Here's the schematic for the circuit that will control the jaw and eyes. It's built around an ATMEGA168 microcontroller and will slowly open and close the jaw as well as pulse the eyes. The code can be found here. The UV LEDs are for additional lighting.
The last step for the head was to build the circuit board. It's pretty straight forward with a 5V power regulator, the MCU, and resistors for the LEDs. It will be powered by 12 volts from a converted computer power supply.
Here's a video of the jaw in action. Don't forget to check out part 2.
Other ProjectsThe final part of my FCG project - November 4, 2011
Re-constructing my FCG - Part 2 - July 24, 2011
A corpse I made from a skull model and latex - October 19, 2005