Halloween Hacks: Death throws a party

If you him the Grim Reaper, Azrail, Magere Hein, or simply, ‘Death,’ he sure throws a good party. [Victor] has an anatomical model of a skeleton at his job named [Hein], and for his birthday party, his coworkers decided to throw [Hein] a party.

[Victor]’s first skeleton-based build was last summer. The twinkle of the summer sun in [Hein]’s eye socket made for a great occasion to dress the skeleton up in some summer garb. [Hein] was dressed in a fashionable Hawaiian shirt and put in a window along a corridor. Of course, a skeleton is no good if there’s no element of surprise, so [Hein] held disposable camera that flashed every time someone walked by.

[Hein]’s birthday spectacular required something a bit more shocking. A blowout whistle was added to [Hein]’s mandible. With a PIR sensor and a TI Launchpad, [Hein] was commanded to blow the whistle every time someone walked by.

[Victor]’s builds may not have the shock value – or even be as scary as Halloween necessitates – but he’s got a few good ideas for what could become a great yard display. Check out the video after the break to see [Hein] greeting [Victor]’s coworkers.

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Minimalist DIODER hack requires no external microcontroller

pic_dioder_hack

Hackaday reader [chrysn] picked up a 3-button RGB model DIODER light from IKEA and thought he might as well take it apart to see what he could do with it. Having seen several DIODER hacks featured here, he knew it was easily hackable, but he didn’t want to simply rehash what other had already done.

All of the DIODER hacks we have come across thus far incorporate some sort of AVR chip or add-on board to expand its capabilities. [chrysn] saw that the controller already had a PIC16F684 inside, and thought that installing his own firmware onto the existing hardware would be a far more simple solution. He installed a small programming cable onto the DIODER’s control board, and using his PICkit2 programmer, flashed the chip with a custom firmware image.

His modifications worked great, and [chrysn] says that there is plenty potential in the existing hardware to have all sorts of fun with it. Even so, he notes that there are several AVR-flavored drop-in replacements that can be used if that happens to be your microcontroller family of choice.