[monkeysinacan] wanted to add a fog machine to his Halloween display, but he says that the cheaper consumer-grade models are pretty unruly beasts. He cites short duty cycles and tricky fog control as his two biggest gripes with these sorts of foggers. He decided make the fogging process a little more manageable, and modified his to only generate fog when someone was walking nearby.
One obvious concern with this sort of setup is the warm-up time required to get the device ready to produce fog. If it were to only turn on when someone walked by, [monkeysinacan] would miss his mark each and every time. To ensure that his machine was accurate, he rigged it so that the heat exchanger stayed powered on, triggering the fog juice pump as needed.
To do this, he used an ultrasonic sensor similar to, but cheaper than a Parallax Ping unit. Paired with an Arduino, the sensor triggers the fog machine’s pump for 20 seconds whenever anyone gets within 6 feet of it.
While he hasn’t posted video of the modified fogger at work, it sounds like a solid plan to us.
[Matt] entered himself in a pumpkin carving contest this year, even despite the fact that his artistic skills were a bit…lacking. He knew that he had very little chance of winning the contest unless he had a great gimmick to make his creation stand out, so he started brainstorming.
[Matt] figured that since his design would have to be somewhat simple, he needed something eye catching that he could add to the pumpkin after it went under the knife. Like a bolt of lightning, inspiration struck, and he set off to fetch an ignition transformer along with some wire coat hanger.
He built a makeshift Jacob’s ladder that would fit perfectly inside his hollowed out pumpkin, and proceeded to carve the pumpkin with the “Caution, risk of electric shock” logo, familiar to most anyone that works with electronics. You can see the final result in the video below, which we think looks pretty neat. If he didn’t end up winning the contest, we’d be shocked!
Continue reading “Halloween Hacks: A Jacob’s Lantern sure to win the carving contest”
Typically, when people hear that you’ve made a Halloween costume for your dog, the statement is met with the eye rolling and polite lies about how cute the outfit is. There are few exceptions to this rule, and [Dino’s] latest creation is one of them. For this week’s entry in his Hack a Week series, he created a “Headless Horseman” costume for his dog [Sophie].
The costume borrows parts from one of his previous hacks, the Hexababy. Reclaiming the dismembered head from the disturbing crawler, [Dino] reattaches it to the doll’s body, just not in the traditional manner. He screws the baby’s head to the arm of the doll after fashioning its outfit from some scrap cloth. The doll’s head retains it’s beady red LED eyes from the previous project, but [Dino] added a tilt switch to the setup so that they light up sporadically as the dog runs about.
Be sure to check out the video below to see the final result of [Dino’s] work. The doll looks great, though it seems that its saddle needs some reinforcement to handle [Sophie’s] bountiful energy stores.
Continue reading “Halloween Hacks: The Headless Dogman”
[Shawn] was looking for a way to shake up his decorations this Halloween and decided to build a new prop for his front yard. He had a pair of old oil barrels in his garage and thought they would look great with a little bit of work.
He bolted the pair of barrels together, then slapped a fresh coat of black paint on them before adding a bright yellow radiation trefoil to each one. One barrel contains a pneumatic piston that opens the lid, revealing a light up pumpkin, a fog machine, and a set of water nozzles that spray the area. The second drum houses an air compressor, a wireless router, and an IP camera for recording the action. A web-enabled Arduino triggers the lid and sprayer, both of which can be controlled from the comfort of his house.
We think it’s a creative use of some old scrap barrels, but we’re hoping he doesn’t plan on wetting trick-or-treaters that pass through, as it seems like a good way to get your house egged or otherwise vandalized on Halloween. If the water sprayer were perhaps swapped out with some other cool effects, [Shawn] is far less likely to be the target of some angry, wet teenagers.
Be sure to check out the video below to see the display in action.
Continue reading “Halloween Hacks: A radioactive display with more trick than treat”
The Halloween parties this weekend are over, but that doesn’t mean there’s not time for a few more to finish a build before children start knocking on doors tonight. [formori] at Lakehead University wanted to do something spectacular for a pumpkin carving contest, so he and a few other EE students came up with a tiki-o’-lantern with music.
The guys at Lakehead figured a color organ flashing LEDs in the eyes and mouth of the tiki would be a very good and easy project. The circuit they used is a simple Op-amp setup like one we’ve seen earlier. The entire pumpkin is powered by a 9 V battery and the music is played with an iPod. There are two colors of LEDs – high frequencies flash a blue LED in the eyes and low frequencies flash a red LED in the mouth.
Aside from the added A/V stuff, [formori]’s pumpkin is one of the best we’ve seen on Hack a Day this year. Check out the Youtube of 1st place winner of the Lakehead pumpkin carving contest after the break.
Continue reading “Color organ tiki-o’-lantern”
[Brian] was trying to decide on a Halloween costume this year, and while looking through his lawn decorations, inspiration struck. In his collection he had a 9 foot tall inflatable Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, and being a guy who likes to go big or go home, he knew he had to find a way to wear it.
The first task he had to tackle was ensuring that he could keep the display inflated while on the go. He was dismayed to see that the fan’s power supply was rated for 12v AC, but when he hooked it up to a DC power supply it worked just fine. While he had his speculations, he wasn’t 100% sure why it worked but he went with it anyway, connecting it up to a battery that would keep the costume inflated throughout the duration of a party.
With that out of the way, he focused more on the mobility of the costume, adding a clear window to allow him to see, along with tweaking a few other small items.
The costume looks great, and we’re sure that [Brian] is yet again the hit of the party.
Halloween is the time of year where you can dress up as a pirate, muppet, or superhero and no one will bat an eye. During this holiday of expanded social permissiveness, [Nbitwonder] decided that building an Arc Reactor from Iron Man would be appreciated by his engineering cohort.
The ‘body’ of the reactor was manufactured on the RepRap Mendel we covered from beginning to end. A few minutes with Google Sketchup was all that was needed to generate the files and send them to the printer. In a few short hours, [Nbitwonder] had the body of his Arc Reactor.
The board design was thrown together in Eagle and etched. 11 blue SMD LEDs were thrown into the mix along with some borrowed resistors. Pieces of a hard drive spindle and a little bit of wire rounded out the parts list, and everything was assembled with the DIYers favorite tool, the hot glue gun. Not a bad job for a few hours of work.
The files for the Arc Reactor are up on Thingiverse along with a Flickr photoset.