Thursday, September 15, 2005

Modified a Gemmy Remote

Walmart is selling the Gemmy Fog Machine for under $20 this year. I picked up one to use with my new pop-up. I want to control the release of fog with the same timer that is controling the popup. A regular fogger timer will likely not be in sync with the scare.

Hauntmaster Products does have a solution, however they cannot make the modification during this busy time of the season. I decided to make the modification myself. Basically I installed a low voltage relay connected to a mini-jack in the remote. Then I plugged a wall wart into the remote's jack. The wall wart then plugs into my controller so the timer is able to "push the fog button".

Here's what the inside of the remote looked like prior to adding the relay.

I used 9 volt DC Mini Relay that I got from Radio Shack. The contacts were rated 12A @ 120VAC/24VDC. I used a panel-mount Size M Coaxial Power Jack and a Size M Coaxial Power Plug.

I dry-fitted the relay into the remote to determine the best place to place the jack. I drilled a 1/4 inch hole on one side and checked the fit.

I then followed the diagram on the back of the relay box and wired and soldered the coil pins to the coaxial jack.

I then wired and soldered the common pin to the white wire in the remote. Next wired and soldered the the nomally open pin to the green wire in the remote. I fit the relay into the remote, mounted the jack into place and screwed the case shut.

Here's what the modified remote looks like. I tested it out and it works perfectly.

Boxed an Interface

Jim over at Hauntmaster Products sells a nice little 120 Volt A.C. interface for $6.

It's basically lets a high voltage circuit control a low voltage circuit. I bought a couple to control my new sound recorder/players from Cowlascious Designs.

I like things a little more tidy so I mounted them each in a project box today. Each fits nicely into a 3x2x1 box.

Two Pair

I made the rounds at the discount stores today. I got some of the fake barbed wire from Walmart. It was only $1.94 for 20 feet. That's way cheaper than any other place I've seen it.

I also got the two skulls below from Big Lots. I saw them last year but did not get back before they sold out.

The two gargolyes below came from Target. They are made of resin and were $8 each. That had a larger version too but they wanted $20 each for those.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Bucky Got Aged

Today was a BEAUTIFUL day here in Midlothian. I took advantage of the weather and aged a bucky that I'm going to use in my "Talking Skeleton in a Cage" prop. It's really kinda amazing what a little Aged Oak Minwax Gel Stain will do to enhance the look of those bones.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Pneumatic Cobweb Gun

Lotus, over on HauntForum, built a simple pneumatic cobweb gun. I used his design to make one myself. I bought an 80-watt glue gun for $8.50 from Michaels using a 50% off coupon. I bought 1/4 inch copper tubing, a control valve and a connector to hook it up to my compressor. Total cost of those materials was about $11. So I've got less than $20 in the gun.

Like Lotus, I zip-tied the setup to the glue gun. That makes it easy to adjust the position of the air tube.

I'm going to have to play around with a bit more to learn the proper technique but the design works well. It does eat up glue sticks so I'll be searching for some cheap ones.

Thanks Lotus!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Hellhound from Spirit

Picked this guy up yesterday. He's a nice size at two feet in height. Probably the last prop purchase of the season.

He's going to be an eye-candy distraction :-)

I'm going to place it at the end of our sidewalk on a small, eye-level platform behind a low fence. There will be dim light focused on the Hellhound with a ominous soundtrack with a growling noise playing. As the TOT's approach a burst of fog and red light will be triggered. Just as they near the prop, I'll trigger a pop-up with a monster scream right in front of them.