Parts Bin Spooky Eye Build

Halloween is a great holiday for hacks, bringing out the creativity in even the most curmudgeonly wielder of a soldering iron. [tdragger] was looking to have some good old fashioned Halloween fun, and got to thinking – putting together this great Spooky Eyes build in their attic window.

The effect itself is simple – just two glowing orange LEDs spaced the right distance apart, placed in the highest window in the house. As every young child knows, the attic is almost the spookiest room in the house, second only to the basement.

Various effects were programmed in to the Arduino running the show, like breathing and blinking effects, to give that frightful character. For maintenance and programming purposes, [tdragger] wanted to have the Arduino remotely mounted, and searched for a solution. Rather than leaning on a wireless setup or something modern and off-the-shelf, instead some old RJ11 telephone extension cables were pressed into service. These allowed the eyes to be placed in the window, allowing the Arduino to be placed in a more accessible location.

It’s a basic project, but one that has a good fun factor. Sometimes it’s good to use what you’ve got to hand, so that the buzz of enjoyment isn’t dampened by the long wait for shipping. For something bigger, check out this giant staring eyeball.

13 thoughts on “Parts Bin Spooky Eye Build

  1. when I saw the image (before I read the headline) I thought it was a replica of a signaling system. You know, one set of light for each quadrant of the window. My first thoughts therefore were “why 2 lamps in one quadant?… Ohhh.. I see… its a halloween thing”.

    The saying “one image can say more then a thousands words” doesn’t apply this time.
    The idea behind this project is pretty sick and may haunt innocent children for years… now that’s not nice.
    Around Halloween this is OK, people/children expect these things then, but not this time of year.

    1. some people take Halloween very seriously Jan, they start preparing for the next year on Nov 1st. maybe this is phase 1 of the build and the next phase includes video and image recognition so that the eyes can follow people walking on the sidewalk? (i hope that [tdragger] reads that as just fading led’s in and out isnt actually that spooky, movement needs to be added.)

  2. I did something similar a few years ago using 4 sets of eyes controlled by a PIC. I didn’t use much of a framework to hold them, so the wiring was invisible at night, and I didn’t do any pulsing/breathing thing — just blinking.

    I put them in the bushes out front every year, so it looks like there are strange animals watching you.

    1. yeah, I did a set too, a few years ago – a 8-bit PIC using a PWM output. I put bright red LEDs inside of ping-pong balls.

      The sequence was something like: fade-up (3 sec), full on (3 sec), blink twice (off-on, off-on), hold on (2 sec), fade down (4 sec). It worked great, Looked quite alarming.

  3. I run a chain of WS2801 LEDs run through the bushes (they look a bit silly in the daytime but disappear in the dark) and then an arduino controls 3 pairs of eyes which have an X coordinate and a colour. They will randomly blink, wink, disappear completely, or move somewhere else in the chain / change colour. It’s actually most spooky when they ALL DISAPPEAR AT ONCE – WHERE THE HECK ARE THEY – ARE THEY COMING TO GET ME?!? :-O

    One of several modes in http://noseynick.net/elec/Arduino/WS2801_chains/WS2801_chains.ino

  4. Needs mechanical eyelid-shutters instead to be convincing. Bonus points for appropriately Chtulhu-shaped plywood mounting base, with a single-flash strobe occasionally going off in the background to reveal the silhouette for a fraction of a second.

  5. I run a chain of WS2801 LEDs run through the bushes (they look a bit silly in the daytime but disappear in the dark) and then an arduino controls 3 pairs of eyes which have an X coordinate and a colour. They will randomly blink, wink, disappear completely, or move somewhere else in the chain / change colour. It’s actually most spooky when they ALL DISAPPEAR AT ONCE – WHERE THE HECK ARE THEY – ARE THEY COMING TO GET ME?!? :-O

    One of several modes in http://noseynick.net/elec/Arduino/WS2801_chains/WS2801_chains.ino

  6. For those who wish to ask (complain?) about Halloween Hacks this time of year, let me ask;
    “Would you rather see them now, when you have time to build them, and incorporate your own ideas, and adapt them for your use, or, see them posted on October 29th?”

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