Halloween Hacks: The Headless Dogman

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headless_horseman_dog_costume

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.

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Halloween Hacks: A radioactive display with more trick than treat

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radioactive_barrel_display

[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.

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Color organ tiki-o’-lantern

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.

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Halloween Hacks: Larger than life costume made from an inflatable lawn ornament

inflatable_stay_puft_costume

[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 Hacks: Arc reactor costume

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.

Halloween Hacks: A light and music show fit for [Jack Skellington]

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singing_pumpkin_halloween_show

[Greg] was looking for something to build using his recently acquired Arduino, and with Halloween approaching, he thought a cool light display would make a great project. He browsed around online and found this tutorial that shows how to build a chorus of singing pumpkins controlled by a computer’s parallel port. Since he didn’t have any computers with a parallel port kicking around anymore, he decided to try his hand at recreating it with an Arduino.

[Greg] gathered eight light up Jack-o-Lanterns, along with a handful of relays and other miscellaneous components. He wired up the relays to trigger each individual pumpkin’s built in light when switched by the Arduino. He sat down and carefully listened through “This is Halloween” from The Nightmare Before Christmas, choreographing each of the pumpkins to take on the voice of one of the movie’s characters.

When the show begins, the display transforms from a group of unassuming pumpkins with candles a-flicker to a chorus of ghouls extolling the virtues of Halloween.

It really is fun to watch, so be sure to check out the video below. If you’re looking to throw together a quick display before the big day rolls around, [Greg’s] source code and diagrams should get you headed in the right direction.

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You probably do not have time to build this incredible Dead Space costume.

What happens when an unemployed sailor has a ton of time on his hands? Well, evidently they become an extremely skilled prop builder. Then again our only reference point is [Throssoli]’s excellent Dead Space suit build.

[Throssoli] started this ambitious project by setting a months deadline for the helmet. Although he did not meet the dead line the results were fantastic and very true to the game models.  Noting the reaction people had to the helmet out in the wild, and giving in to the fact that he really wanted the full engineering suit as seen in game, [Throssoli] set off to reproduce the entire RIG down to the illuminated face mask and back mounted spine-like health and stasis indicators.  All it really needs are lead weights in the boots to give it that signature stompy Isaac feel. The build incorporates a lot of techniques we typically see in other game related prop builds, such as the black-washing and weathering effects seen in the wheatley puppet and mold making as seen in this Portal Turret build and even daft punk helmets. Keep in mind [Throssoli] is no stranger to prop or suit building, his portfolio of finished projects include halo armor and props, various Star Wars costumes, Mass Effect stuff, a Predator outfit you name it. We could easily loose half a day just perusing all the builds at the site so check it out for yourself!

[via Reddit]