2023 Halloween Hackfest: Musical Jack-o-Lanterns Harmonize For Halloween

Halloween is many things to many people. For some, it’s a chance to dress up and let loose. For others, it’s a chance to give everyone in the neighborhood a jump scare. For [Aaron], it’s the perfect time to put on a show in the yard with some musical, light-up jack-o-lanterns.

[Aaron] came across some deeply-discounted light-up jack-o-lanterns a few years ago. They all had one of those Try Me buttons that’s powered by a couple of coin cells and uses a temporary two-wire connection to the PCB, and [Aaron] figured he could remotely control them using this port of sorts.

Now the guts are made of addressable RGB LEDs that are connected through the battery compartment via weatherproofed pigtails.

On the control side, he has a Raspberry Pi 3, an amplifier, and a couple of power supplies all housed in a weatherproof box. Since it’s not possible to multiplex both the lights and the audio on a Pi 3, he added a USB sound card into the mix.

Be sure to check out the awesome demo video after the break, followed by a pumpkin conversion video.

If you’re more into scaring people, carve up an animated evil-eye pumpkin.

4 thoughts on “2023 Halloween Hackfest: Musical Jack-o-Lanterns Harmonize For Halloween

    1. I have 3 songs in the show right now. The one in this video is “Grim Grinning Ghosts” from the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland. The other two are “This is Halloween” from The Nightmare before Christmas, and “Main Titles” from “Beetlejuice”

      I have a video of the other two songs here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Hlmev2DK8E Though the video’s sound sync is not as good.

      I’m currently working on adding a 4th song, “Trick or Treat” from the 1952 Donald Duck cartoon of the same name.

  1. Instead of 4x5v LEDs, I’d have gone with a 12v addressable strip where you cut every 3 lights. Then you could run 1 power supply (buck module for the rpi) and each pumpkin would be 1 pixel.

    1. Part of using 5V LEDs was related to already having a setup that supported it and had some of the LED strips on hand already.
      But yes, in retrospect I probably would’ve gone for 12v.

      Most of my Christmas setup is 12v. I piggyback a 5v Wallwart on the AC to power a microcontroller with to manage some of the props.

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