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Singing Skulls using the DC card


Jeff Juneman
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Jeff Juneman

I wanted to do the 3 axis type of skulls but didn't have time this year so I made these 4 guys up and tried it out. I am using a 6v DC wall wart transformer with a DC card to make the jaw move. It took me just an hour to hack the skulls and a couple hours to program the song. There is still a little refining to do but the reaction time is not too bad.

Here is a link to the video on YouTube:



I'll have another song to post in a couple of days.
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Jeff Juneman

This is the "Talk Through Boris" skull that I used. There are a few other types of self animated skulls available in the $12 to $25 range. I just tied into the motor and sent a 6v DC current pulse from the DC board to open the jaw. The motor spins and wraps the string around it's shaft. This in turn pulls on the mechanism that opens the jaw. There are also led lights in the eyes but I haven't used them yet. The attachment shows the inside of the skull.






Attached files 158434=9176-InsideSkull.JPG

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Jeff Juneman

Here's another song. I had this one in use last year (Thanks to T. Y.) with light up pumpkins. I had to convert all the fades to solid on/off to make it work better. It still needs a little work but I thought I would post anyway. Hey, I'm having fun with it...

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halloweenqueen

That's fantastic!

This is my first year with LOR so I'm just doing some lightning effects and a ten pumpkin choir this year, but I want to do some animatronics for next year.

I wish they had Boris available. I haven't seen him anywhere this Halloween.

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Jeff,

Looks awesome. Any chance you'd have time to walk the newbies thru a how to on doing this with LOR. This is my first year and I'm doing the pumpkin choir thing, but next year I'd really like to have Boris in the show. I found 1 wired and 1 wireless Boris on ebay. I don't know much about electrical, but I can solder and if I knew what parts to use and what wires to connect I think I could manage. Thanks. :cool:

Daren

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DanglinModifiers

Jeff Juneman wrote:

This is the "Talk Through Boris" skull that I used. There are a few other types of self animated skulls available in the $12 to $25 range...

Great job on this! And thanks for sharing. I'm going to have to keep an eye out for any of these guys on post-Halloween clearance. Looks like they'd be a cheap source for motors. What stores are carrying these?
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Jeff Juneman

I have to agree that GraveYardMadness looks like an excellent place to go to get the 3 axis stuff. I just found them too late this year so I went my less expensive route. You also need a board that will control servos for these and LOR has not come out with their new board that wil control enough servos to run 3 axis skulls. You can bet that I will have a few of the 3 axis skulls in use for Halloween 2009!

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Jeff Juneman

Thanks! I do not have any DMX stuff yet. I was waiting for LOR's new board to come out and just use it. I have been looking around at other options but since I didn't have time to build the 3 axis skulls yet, I held off on the controller cards. I also know you can use one of the 8 channel LOR cards to control 2 servos. I might try that (Since I already have one) first and then see what else is the most cost effective.

Thanks for all the comments and help from this forum! Also thanks to all the other inventive pioneers and their great ideas so I wouldn't have to do all the work from scratch. I am not always the best at creating new ideas but can usually see something I like and build it.

I'll post some details on how I did the current build in a day or so for those who are interested.

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OOOOOoooooo.... That's awesome!!!! I'm so going to buy a DC Card and try this out in the off season. Not enough time for this year. Hope we can find some talking skulls.
Have to see how it goes.. I was going to try the other VDS Software but, that was just more work, I'd rather just keep it all LOR....


Sweet thanks for the Tantalizing ideas!!

Your Video's are great.

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  • 6 months later...

Great job Jeff. What is the name of the song? Can I get it from Amazon or Itunes?

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Thanks Jeff

I was able to download it from Amazon. Great song for talking skulls!

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Jeff Millard wrote:


BTW, did Boris' wind up string fray on you at all? I'll bet I've run the sequence 20 times since I wired them, and the strings are starting to show some wear. I'm just a little worried that they'll fail during the display... and that would stink... real bad... but I can't think of any way to fix it....

Jeff


how about some nylon thread - type used to sew canvas such as on a boat / tent?
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Jeff Juneman

I think that fishing line might be a good choice.

I'll have to unpack my quartet and check the strings for wear. I cycled them quite a few times during Halloween.

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Dan Ancona

cmoore60 wrote:

Jeff,

As I read, the item that came to mind that might help you would be Dental Floss.

Chuck

And would provide the skull with minty fresh breath!
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I hope to have a set of these guys built for this years Halloween display but, I never thought about the string on the motor. Fishing line is a good idea but, it would have to be low test to be flexible enough and may lend itself it to twisting.
I like the Dental Floss idea, that stuff is pretty strong.

Have to see how it works out this season!
Cheers
Evan

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