where a pulse width
modulator can provide
the perfect solution.
3. PicoVolt unit — http://tinyurl.com/jyjb2ju
Combining the useful traits of the two previous
suggestions and then taking the functionality to the next
level is all possible with the PicoVolt from FrightProps. It
allows the user to not only control a DC motor or the
brightness of LED lights, but to program and replay a show.
It also allows you to not only loop your show, but to choose
from several trigger options to add even greater versatility.
4. Wee Little Talker board — http://tinyurl.com/h2jvmxg
This little board is packed with features. Designed to
simplify the process of syncing jaw movements with an
audio track, it is a breeze to use! Simple audio prompts
lead you through the setup process which can be
completed in a couple of minutes. It incorporates a full
seven-band audio spectrum analyzer to drive the jaw servo
in sync with the audio.
5. Raspberry Pi — http://tinyurl.com/a8792gn
This small and inexpensive single-board computer has
taken the market by storm. It packs plenty of features and
opens up a wide range of programming opportunities for
the prop builder. They continue to improve in speed and
features as new models are released and the online
6. Propeller Activity Board — http://tinyurl.com/zev2eaa
This board has become one of the key components in
our scene programming. We use it extensively to puppeteer
our characters and find it fulfills our needs quite admirably.
It features an attached breadboard which allows for
prototyping without soldering.
This element alone has made this board a favorite.
(Watch for my article next month to learn exactly how we
utilize this board to bring our creations to life!)
7. Terror Board — http://tinyurl.com/ob4tdqq
Looks can be deceiving as this black box holds a few
secrets. This new generation controller uses a smartphone,
With the rising popularity and
availability of appropriate videos,
this feature is a huge bonus
Reading & Viewing
Put your feet up and take
some time to further your
1. Cool Tools book — http://tiny url.com/lampdk5
Here is a gift for that one person on your list who says
they have no gift ideas to suggest. I challenge anyone to go
through this tome and not find something they would like
to add to their toolbox. It includes reviews of over 1,500
tools and why you need them. I have made several
purchases since getting my copy and still have many more
items highlighted. (Figure 15)
2.SE RVO Magazine subscription — http://tinyurl.
This is the gift that gives all year long. A new issue
comes every month for the entire year and is filled with
projects, the newest gadgets, and plenty of other useful
information. I look forward to my issue every month and it
never fails to reignite my passion for coming up with and
building new characters (Figure 16).
3. Stan Winston videos — http://tinyurl.com/br7zgfj
For when you need a break from all the strenuous
building projects, why not sit down and enjoy an
educational video? Get inspired to take your craft to the
next level with these choices.
Virtually any builder will find something of interest
among the wide variety of topics available. Many of the
titles are included in my personal collection and I plan to
This is the first place I turn whenever I am considering
expanding my expertise in a relevant subject. The videos are
well done and filled with the knowledge we need. Support
is also available on their forum, making this an invaluable
4. Halloween2Go videos — http://tinyurl.com/ zvcw8u8
This video series is not only entertaining, but packed
full of useful information. This was one of the first
commercial prop building videos I discovered when getting
my start in this mad adventure.
It fueled my determination to take the leap and
convinced me that I could actually accomplish my creature
building vision, setting me on a path from which there is no
12 SERVO 11.2016
Figure 14. Terror Tech’s contribution to easy
Figure 13. Dimming LEDs gives
plenty of lighting options.