start by taking a look at the construction of 2 types of event
triggers that you will find yourself using again and agin in
your hallloween animatronics the first one is called a mat switch.
Think of it like a door mat with a built in on/off switch. You
walk on it and it autmaticlly triggers an effect. You can purchase
these or build them yourself. The material list is pretty short
for this project. You need 2 2x 2 sheets of fiberboard, some
heavy duty foil, glue and wire.
You need to glue the foil onto the fiberboard. I use tile
adhesive and a spreader to quickly cover the fiberboard.
gluing down the foil. Trim up the foil edges using a square
and a razor blade. and then go ahead and make the top of the
mat switch. Now here's a couple things for you to remember regarding
mat switch triggers number one NEVER use AC household current
as your power source. You do not want to electrocute yourself
or anyone else. You must only use DC battery power to run
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is the simple circuit diagram OR 'schematic' for your mat switch.
All videos and downloadable media files will allow you access
to all schematics and other files which will help you in building
your control circuits. All are PDF files and most will have
visio attachments so you can modify.
the simple schematic and make sure you have built your mat switch
correctly - Once you have the mat switch together you will want
to test the circuit. I have a battery pack with 4 D cells providing
6 volts to a DC lamp. When I step on the Mat switch, the circuit
is complete (the switch is closed) and the Light illuminates.
switch in action. The hidden mat switch is triggered when someone
walks on it. Placed in a likely path, the mat switch triggers
a motor in a Coffin to Shake violently, providing a Halloween
Scare. Now remember, this is JUST a TRIGGER - And you need event
triggers, as you will see.
switches have many uses but since you cant always put a mat
on the ground for someone to step on, there is another way.
This useful tool is called a breadboard. You can get them at
your local electronics store for about eight dollars. These
boards allow you to insert components into the holes - and they
make the electrical connections without soldering.
Very handy for testing your circuit design before actually building
To measure the resistance I have the volt meter set on OHMS.
before we get into this project, I want to talk about some of
the components. I have the Ohm meter connected to this Variable
resistor to show how it differes from a fixed resistor. With
the Variable resistor - I use a simple screwdirver to adjust
the value of the resistance making it higher or lower.
you want to get serious about Halloween Animatronics you will
need to have a few items.
Ohm Meter - $30 to $100
- $8 to $40
Iron - $10 to $80
loup (to see connections) $10
are items we use all the time
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laser / photocell trigger circuit is very simple to make. You
will need to drop by your local electonics store to get the
parts, or you can order them on-line. I have included all schematics
and detailed instructions and explainations in the video, so
have no fear, it's all taken care of.
will however, include a few of these circuits, with schematics
and so forth for those of you who just want to browse the website,
but really your best bet is to just get a copy of the video
I block the light from hitting the photo cell, the Red LED lights
up! Now Let's solder it in place. Your going to need that component
board. These boards come in several sizes - most of the more
complex projects will need a larger board. I use green telephone
wire for ground and orange for positive battery I also strip
the ends at least an inch
soldering procedure is heat up the wire first, then apply the
solder. It only takes a little solder to make the connection.
Now go ahead and solder your components in place and remember
the transistor is heat sensitive. you need to clip the heat
sink to it before soldering it. Your solder job doesnt have
to look perfect all you need is continuity and to build the
circuit correctly. Now let's test it to see if it works.
yes - it works so now let's add a pen light laser as the light
source Im going to use this tube over the CDS cell to only let
in the laser light. These lasers will are battery powered and
usually work for one entire night I also have included a diagram
to power these lasers using your power supply voltage (then
they never run out)
Laser is aimed at the CDS cell. Each time the Laser beam is
broken by my finger - or someone walking through it the LED
is Lit.. We can use the this circuit to trigger endless effects.
In a real world situation, we the Laser is aligned several feet
away from the Circut.
the beam is broken, the LED is Lit. Now we're not trying to
scare anyone with the LED.. That's just the trigger - which
will tell our actual EFFECT to start! . Here, I have a laser
light directed at our second circuit. When I break the beam
of light, the effect is triggered. In this case - a skeleton
who talks. Use these 2 circuits to trigger your Halloween Animatronics
I know that some of you have never made anything electronic
before. But don't worry about that. That's why this is a step
by step video. But it's easy enough for anyone to do it and
start making awesome animatronics. Just print out the schematic
diagrams for each section and follow along.
that next step and get order your DVD today, or get the digitial
download. It's the same as the DVD video except a bit smaller
in screen size so it will play on your computer. Even if you
just order the PDF download, you can get started right away.
It's up to you.
for you IEEE people, you may have the basics handled, but
that shouldn't stop you from seeing some new applications
first hand! Check it out!
Let's move on to Halloween EVENT TIMERS. Click here, or go
back and click Event Timers on Volume One
Click here for Event Timers section