be used with controllers that include the onboard amp.
They are easy to mount but require some extra care to keep
them from becoming damaged. I have one that suffered a
mishap and is now relegated to being used as an example
for my convention presentations!
My character, Papa VooDoo required something with
substantially more power than the speakers I use with other
figures. His show is programmed so that once triggered, all
the attention is centered on him.
In this case, I went with a small guitar amp. It’s hard to
beat the volume and punch this provides!
The witch scene came with its own set of challenges.
We have a lot going on with that sound track, as both the
witch and the skeleton have their own speaking parts. In
addition, there is background audio track which includes a
loud thunderclap. In order to meet all of these
requirements, I went with a set of stereo speakers that also
included a separate subwoofer. I had a Creative A250 setup
on hand, and it does an admirable job considering its
reasonable cost at $35 (Figure 8).
Other suitable options include the Logitech Z323 which
is priced around $50, and the Logitech Z313 which is a little
cheaper at $35, with the drawback that it does not
pack quite as much punch.
Finally, it was necessary for me to go the wireless
microphone and USB speaker route with Jarvis
(Figure 8). He is a fully mobile character, and I
wanted him to be able to interact with the guests.
This required me to get creative since I could not rely
on a prerecorded track. That simply was not going to
work! (You can see a full write-up on Jarvis in the
September 2016 issue of SERVO.)
Another option that is becoming popular is the
use of Bluetooth speaker systems. I have not
incorporated any of these yet. A nice write-up of one
option — the weather resistant OSD BTP 650
speakers — was done by Ken Webster at Sinful Audio
Figure 6. Unpowered speakers — easy to mount,
but need an amp.
Fright Props PicoBoo Controller — http://bit.ly/2rgLqcO
MDFLY — http://bit.ly/2mKo0If
Banshee Controller — http://bit.ly/bancont
Bluetooth Speaker Review — http://bit.ly/2seFQ84
Papa VooDoo Video — http://bit.ly/PapaVoDo
Big Red Video — http://bit.ly/bigredvid
Witch Scene Video — http://bit.ly/witchskel
Sinful Audio — http://bit.ly/sfaudio
Audacity — http://bit.ly/AdctAd
Freesound — http://bit.ly/2s7F25q
Audioblocks — http://bit.ly/2qzU95F
Motion Detector — http://bit.ly/2qt8tC4
My You Tube channel — http://bit.ly/Halstaff
My Website — http://bit.ly/Hauntechdiy
DIY Animatronics Forum — http://bit.ly/SrvoDIY
Tips and Tricks
Have you ever been hesitant to start a build
knowing that it involved untangling a rat’s nest of
cords? Have you considered going out and buying new
ones instead of spending your time getting them back in
order? Then, this tip is for you!
Preventing this situation needs to begin when the
cords are stored away. Properly coiling them up will
alleviate this mess forever. Until discovering this
method, I was guilty of doing it all wrong and I had the
jumble of cords to prove it! Since I have started storing
my cords correctly, this problem is a thing of the past.
An added bonus is that by properly coiling your cables
and cords, you will extend their life.
Once your cords are properly coiled, they will
quickly and effortlessly unwind and be ready to be put
To learn the secret to avoid this tangled mess, check
out the video done by funlittlevideos
( http://bit.ly/2qtcp T7) and see how it is done!
14 SERVO 09.2017