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Gemmy Santa Hack (Whats on the inside)


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Several years ago I bought a 4' dancing Santa with the purpose of ripping out the Gemmy controller and using LOR...

A while back I started the hack and took out the Gemmy controller (There is a Gemmy Santa hack you can Google.. ).

I found that I could easily open/close the mouth (mouth is closed by default.. apply 12V and it opens.. )

Make him dance with 12V to another set of wires and finally make the head move left and right .. This is was a little more tricky because you have to switch polarity to move the head left and right .. (+ VDC one direction and - VDC for the other..)


So today, I had some time to kill and before putting to much effort into to hack.. I wanted to see what made him tick .. So I removed the Santa Suit and was left with an interesting frame.

All of the motion occurs in the upper torso. The "dancing " part of Santa is basically rocking the shoulders up and down. Without the clothes and just the body frame .. it really looks like you're ringing a bell.

The mechanism is really not TO bad.. its fairly heavy molded plastic .. but .......... the drive mechanism is all just plain 12V toy motors with little O-rings driving gears and a little transmission. Basically... its the grazing deer setup ... (how many animated deer end up in the garbage after 1 season?)


So if your looking join the ranks of animatronics and put on shows like MikeZ ... This is NOT the path to take ..

In fact .. I'm really thinking this Santa is heading for the trash can to hang out with the animated deer from last season ..


The head is kind of cool, its really not a bad puppet and the rotating mechanism COULD be modified to use a servo and maybe add a tilt axis .. but..................

Also the hands aren't to bad ...


I always wanted to hack this thing, build a little booth for him, light it up and have Santa "DJ" the show ..

Don't think its going to happen..


Just thought I would pass along what's really inside the Dancing Santa..

It is an easy hack and might be a cool project for Audrino... but... I think this Santa is done ..




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