Some Halloween Impressions

By | October 31, 2014

P1000454-1024P1000455-1024Halloween is always a time for me to try different things. So I tried to take some photos and videos of this years displays. Unfortunately, it rained pretty much the whole time, so I had to water-proof the things and did not want to go back in there to fix things:-( But it looked that most things survived the day outside;-)

The first picture is just a static display with some LEDs, EL-Wire and a UV lamp overhead. You can’t hear the sound;-) Speakers and an old CD-walkman are hidden under the cloth;-) This image on the door is a scary fridge;-)

The second image is a skeleton lounging on our bench with just a couple of LED tea lights for illumination. The big spider in the window is probably not happy that there is no juicy flesh left;-)

P1000460-1024The third image is of a little scary grave yard. It’s normally dark until people come by. Then the candles come on one after the other and the eyes of the grave diggers and the skeleton start to glow. The skeleton gets it’s heart beat back;-) and starts moving it’s arms. All of that is surrounded by some nice Halloween sounds. All of that is controlled by two Arduinos, one dedicated only to the sound. I found that the sound shield and the PWM for the RC servos did not play together nicely:-( The candles are the little LED tea lights, but instead of the normal batteries, I soldered wires to the LEDs. The lights are normally driven by 4.5 volts (3*1.5V batteries), but they work just fine on a digital pin on the Arduino;-) The lights got a 4″ nail hot-glued to the bottom, that works pretty well as lawn spike;-) I tried to make a little video outside but there is not too much to see. So I’ll also include a video from an inside test-run;-) I’ll upload the Arduino sketches somewhere, but it looks like I’m doing more and more of those. So I might start a repo or something. Especially since I will probably want to reuse those next year again.

I actually added some potentiometers after that test to dim the eyes a bit;-)

The next little video is of a bush by the side of our driveway. I added some LED eyes into it and some nice sounds of a lion and some kittens which will play randomly. It’s very dark again, so I have a outside clip and again on from a test run. Last year, I tried something similar but with smaller speakers and that was simply too little volume for the outside. This display is again controlled by one Arduino and using a Adafruit sound shield with amplifier. The speakers were 2* 4Ohm, 3W. That was loud enough.

Both displays use passive IR (PIR) sensors to detect people and only start up when somebody is around. They slowly play out when no motion is detected any longer.

As always, have fun playing;-)

— Marco

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