Halloween Animatronics,Animatronics for Beginners to advanced electronics automation and pneumatic controls


How to Build Your OWN Halloween Animatronics

from Halloween Animatronics VOLUME 1 - EVENT TRIGGERS

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Halloween Animatronics

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I thoroughly enjoyed the video! I have been tinkering with Store-bought Halloween Props for years and never realized I could make better ones myself! Very informative and well put together! Great Video, I can't wait to get the next Volume!
Sean O.
Waycross GA.


Halloween Animatronics

Let's Take a look at EVENT TRIGGERS
selected information from Halloween Animatronics Volume 1 Event Triggers.

Lets 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.

after 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 your props.

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Here 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.
Follow 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.
Mat 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.
Mat 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 it.

To measure the resistance I have the volt meter set on OHMS.
Now 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.

When you want to get serious about Halloween Animatronics you will need to have a few items.

  1. an Ohm Meter - $30 to $100
  2. Breadboard - $8 to $40
  3. Soldering Iron - $10 to $80
  4. Jewelery loup (to see connections) $10
  5. Desoldering kit $10
  6. Heat sink clips

These are items we use all the time

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The 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.
I 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 for yourself
when 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
Standard 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.
Ah 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)
The 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.
when 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 effects.
Now 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. Take 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.

And 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!

So, 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

Here alone you will find a complete guide to making your own Halloween Animatronics. Since building animatronics requires you to be familiar with several technical areas, we are proud to introduce a NEW series specifically focused on Halloween Animatronics.
This 3 part technical series of DVD video's, downloadable videos and downloadable PDF documentations will allow you to begin with absoluetly no electronic knowledge and progress, step by step to creating your OWN working Halloween animatronics! And we're not talking about the cheap junk you find at the superstores, You will be creating Hollywood style animatronics... The type that will, without question, blow away your entire neighborhood!

3 Awesome DVD volumes
Volume 1 - beginning to intermediate knowledge levels
Volume 2 - Advanced animatronics (pneumatics/design and control)
Volume 3 - Halloween Scare Concepts and Designs

Click around the site and Start the Halloween Animatronics learning curve RIGHT NOW!


We have brought all these resources together for the expressed purpose of teaching you step-by-step, not only the mechanics of Halloween Animatronics, but the actual design and construction of the electronic control circuits that make it all happen!

copyright 2008 Dave CORR

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