PDA

View Full Version : Prop Activation



Empressnightshade
01-29-2007, 05:21 PM
How do you activate your animatronics/pneumatics? Where did you purchase it?

We have two mat switches and the simple converted flood light sensors, but there's got to be other choices besides those.

Any suggestions?

Jim Warfield
01-29-2007, 05:26 PM
Use low voltage to pull in a relay (if needed?) and then mount a switch (push button) in a secret location that a helper of actor can easily use , preferably without it being too obvious.
Mats and motion switches don't know when to best activate a prop, with some practice a human button pusher will. (for maximum effect)

Empressnightshade
01-29-2007, 05:32 PM
Jim,

I have to hand held triggers, also. I forgot to mention that. However, after the horrid time I had depending on actors last season, I'm trying to set my animatronics up to where I do not have to depend on a person to activate them. It kind of defeats my whole purpose of having animatronics in the first place.

Jim Warfield
01-29-2007, 05:39 PM
You could trick the customers into activating the props, a big sign:"Do Not Push This Button!" should do it.

PumpkinHead
01-29-2007, 05:42 PM
Emp,
The haunted village's animation maestro is really user friendly and allows the option to plug in a motion detector so all you need to do is set it up and wait for the screams.

it is at the bottom of this page
http://hauntedvillage.com/index.html#newprod

hope that helps,
-PH

ClusterOne
01-29-2007, 05:42 PM
I love that episode of Ren & Stimpy! The History Eraser button, "don't do eet man!!!"

wipp
01-29-2007, 06:06 PM
this is a great question.last yr we decided to use boo box minis,200 dollars a prop is what taht adds up to,and not 1 of them worked properly right out the box.out of like 10,one went bad during the season, and the rest all had the same problem,only 1 channel worked.turn knobs and nothing happens.all i need is a program that runs on windows that will animate props,sound,and lights.if anyone knows of any that would work out cheaper than 200 dollars a prop and good,please let me know before i take a chance and throw my money away.

btw guilderfluke is to expensive for me,has anyone tried iogeek?

Jim Warfield
01-29-2007, 06:13 PM
I wasn't aware of Ren & Stimpy, I was just going with human nature, or maybe going back to Adam and Eve and the apple?
(Maybe in the 1960's it was the government telling everyone NOT to do drugs, because they really wanted a percentage of the population out of their minds, so they could have their way with us!?)

Empressnightshade
01-29-2007, 06:26 PM
Emp,
The haunted village's animation maestro is really user friendly and allows the option to plug in a motion detector so all you need to do is set it up and wait for the screams.

it is at the bottom of this page
http://hauntedvillage.com/index.html#newprod

hope that helps,
-PH

Pumpkinhead,

Thanks for that. I've been looking at the Animation Maestro for some time now and am going to purchase one or two. However, I have event control timers already in my arsenal. It's the activation I really need.

Empressnightshade
01-29-2007, 06:29 PM
You could trick the customers into activating the props, a big sign:"Do Not Push This Button!" should do it.

Jim, that would be an excellent idea, but......do you think they would push it?

PumpkinHead
01-29-2007, 06:34 PM
Emp,
The haunted village's animation maestro is really user friendly and allows the option to plug in a motion detector so all you need to do is set it up and wait for the screams.

it is at the bottom of this page
http://hauntedvillage.com/index.html#newprod

hope that helps,
-PH

Pumpkinhead,

Thanks for that. I've been looking at the Animation Maestro for some time now and am going to purchase one or two. However, I have event control timers already in my arsenal. It's the activation I really need.

Empress,
The Haunted Village sells a pir motion sensor that you attatch to the Animation Maestro, it is set up to plug right into the little box. You then mount the pir sensor ( it is about 2 inches square ) next to the path of the guests and it activates the event timer when they walk by. Ask them about it at transworld ( i think it is like a $10 attachment).
-PH

Empressnightshade
01-29-2007, 06:38 PM
Empress,
The Haunted Village sells a pir motion sensor that you attatch to the Animation Maestro, it is set up to plug right into the little box. You then mount the pir sensor ( it is about 2 inches square ) next to the path of the guests and it activates the event timer when they walk by. Ask them about it at transworld ( i think it is like a $10 attachment).
-PH
REALLY???

Well, that sounds exactly like what I'm looking for! I'll be looking them up at TW! Thanks, Sweetie. :D

Brckee1
01-29-2007, 06:40 PM
I use motion sensors. I am starting to use actors with buttons more and more. Sometimes I hook up both a button and a motion sensor. The sensor can be turned on if I am short on actors.

Actors are better at timing the scare. Another problem with mat switches/motion sensors is that it is necessary to program a timed delay before the prop can be activated again. This is to prevent double and triple triggers for the same group. The problem is, on busy nights, sometimes the delay causes groups to miss an effect. Even an 8 second delay has caused misses for me. With the button, no delay is needed. I have even tried remotely triggering from the control room via the security camera as a backup to the motion sensor. But very few actors are reliable this way. Too many simply walk away.

The only thing I can think of not mentioned here is light beam sensors. I have no experience with those but I know some haunters use them. It seems like they would be good for effects needing to be triggered from an exact location.

As far as a cheap timer. I like the haunted village's animation maestro as well. They have a 2 channel version. I use Gilderfluke for complicated props and rooms.
Jim H

gadget-evilusions
01-30-2007, 05:41 AM
has anyone tried iogeek?

Yes, I have. I also sell them. If you like the push button programmable effect timers, the iogeek is not for you. It has great capabilities, but requires a person be able to learn to write code in a language that is specific to the IOgeek. Or if you don't want to write code, you can set up a control panel on your computer screen and press buttons with your mouse to activate relays and such. I will have one at Hauntcon, Ironstock, and MHC is anyone wants to play.

ScarlettP
01-30-2007, 06:03 AM
I use motion sensors.

CHEEP ($20ish) motion sensors are available at Home Depot / Lowes / etc. They turn on security lights. Just insert a plug in adaptor to the light socket and plug your 'scare' into it. When the 'light' would come on, it's your 'boo' instead.

gadget-evilusions
01-30-2007, 06:15 AM
At my Haunt, I use only industrial grade reflective sensors (also known to some as break beams). Those then trigger one of my many prop controller boards that I have manufactured for me and for me to sell. I don't usuaually trust the actors with manual triggers, they would rather be acting and miss when to trigger effects. Matswitches arent bad as long as they are big enough to not be steped over. As long as it's nothing critical the old light motion sensor is ok. I like alot more control over everything I am activating.

Jim Warfield
01-30-2007, 09:23 AM
Control is very good, especially when control means that a prop won't be activated scaring someone who should not be scared.
This might sound like a totally foreign concept to many of you, "They paid to be here and for me to terrorize them!"
Take a closer, individual look, treat them as indivuals whenever possible and you will be building a customer referral base and this works if you prop-them and give them the scare they paid for or if you don't scare them and this is what they really needed to have NOT happen.
Maybe being open year-round I see a larger variety of customers appearing at my door for a wider variety of reasons than an October only haunted house? Maybe a large percentage of the way I do things here won't help anyone else's place, but it works here.........

gadget-evilusions
01-30-2007, 10:31 AM
That makes total sense jim. It might be a good idea to install switches that either a guide, sercurity guard, or room actor can use to disable the scare if the customer is to the point where it would actually be a bad thing for them.

Jim Warfield
01-30-2007, 11:21 PM
In 20 years I have had to talk alot of very nervous people into my house.
This effort was made necesarry by others, other haunts, and some cruel people in their personal lives.
The large majority of these people eventually see my entire show and often become regular patrons here but they never return to the haunt that traumatised them, they can't, their emotions won't allow them to be there ever again.