Halloween props: DMX controlled skeleton

[scarylady] has posted this video about her setup. The skeleton was rigged up to a rotating base with a single pneumatic solenoid to jostle it. She then goes on to show how she has it all connected to her computer with an explanation of the software setup. Though some of us might feel she could have accomplished very similar results with a simple oscillating fan, this is a decent intro to DMX.

We also had several people submit this fantastic list of Halloween projects, The Halloween monster list. There is enough information there to keep you busy for quite a while. We were going to list our favorites, but there are so many fantastic ones, we think you should just go look at them all. Remember to send us more of your projects.


  1. pRtkL xLr8r says:

    …and where do we find this Halloween monster list?

  2. thethirdmoose says:
  3. Caleb Kraft says:

    whoops, thanks thethirdmoose.

  4. The Hare says:

    DMX needs to stick to rapping, and stay away from my hobbies.

  5. darksim905 says:

    I liked the way this was presented and explained. Anybody have links to other videos like this that explain DMX a bit more thoroughly?

  6. dnny says:

    DMX is just like midi, it just has more channels and beter resolution.


    DMX is kind of old protocol… the next thing is RDM


    But if you justh have one solenoid to controll, why bother whit DMX?

  7. Concino says:

    Well, it of course is simple if you have $1000 worth of ready to go equipment/materials etc. :-P

  8. Calebkraft says:

    Go to the monster list. There are people there doing similar things with oscillating fans. That’s real hacking there!

  9. Xeracy says:

    post any questions you have on DMX, i can probably answer them…

    quick primer tho, DMX is a control signal typically used in stage lighting. it consists of a repeated burst of data, in packets of 512 bytes(referred to as channels). depending on the address of your device and how many channels it uses, the values are interpreted and correspond to some abritrary device function.

    as seen in the video, the dimmer pack allows you to choose a start address (set to 1) and each pair of plugs is then addressed 1 thru 4. now any controller you use that outputs DMX will be able to tell that dimmer pack to adjust the voltage being sent to each circuit by changing the DMX channels 1 thru 4 (0 to FF or 0 to 255). an incandescent light bulb plugged into a circuit could then be dimmed on the fly. this is just one example of DMX controlling a device.

    for actual technical signal information, i know arduino has a DMX library that explains a bit of that. I also used to know of a good site that had a lot of technical writeups on DMX, but i cannot find it now.

  10. Blizzarddemon says:

    shouldn’t there be a Halloween tag for all these great hacks?

  11. therian says:

    noooo hallowing attack, 3 more months of hallowing stuff

  12. Gilliam says:

    she would make a good teacher for us when we were in kindergarten.

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