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PumpkinAxe the Halloween [almost interactive] ornament


It was 27th of October when things started to slow down a bit, so I decided to finally build a Halloween ornament :) I barely made it :) It was finished and hanging in the pine tree at my front yard just afternoon on 31st!

So I started with a plastic pumpkin ornament sold in supermarkets around, pulled light bulb out of it, and printed myself an adapter for RGB high 3W LED.

Test the thing... and it looked awesome! :)

Few words about initial intensions: Project was going to be ran by Picaxe 28x2 LV, 7.2V hobby RC battery for power. Sensor wise I was planning to have LDR, PIR, Ultrasonic range sensor. None of those made it to the final buid unfortunately :( That is why this is something else and not a robot page :) Output devices: RGB LED, Servo to turn the head, Speaker to produce spooky sounds :) So, from being rather interactive scary pumpkin, it degraded down to a simple blinkin-beeping-headturning ornament. But, such is life :) And I had to finish it before Halloween eve, so doubts asde, back to building! :)

My LED driver was quite a miracle to work :) Those babies are drawing 350ma each, and my driver consisted of BCX38C darlington drivers and 1W 10R current limiting resistors, which had to handle 1.2W, so they got really hot, but they survived all the way :)

First I planned to install battery and electronics in the nicely designed base and turn the head with a servo, but... [Halloween eve] overnight print turned into disaster! :)

400g of PLA straight to the trash bin :(

So, Alternative I came up with was to hang the head on some kind of shaft connected to servo mounted into project box hanging in the pine tree. Quick Blender-ing and...

Mount the servo...

And... here we go!

This is then I had to remove PIR and SRF off the field: The day was windy and sensors were giving me absolutely erratic readings as the head would swing in the wind.

Unfortunately I do not have good pics of the PumpkinAxe in action, as it was too dark, but it was kinda cool :) even though I could not realize all my plans with it, it was fun to build! :)

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isotope's picture

I have an idea for the next year. I want to try to build a hexapod and mount scary little pumpkin on top of it, so it could crawl the front yard and scare people :-)

lumi's picture

Haha, I am not such a halloween guy but your pumpkin is quite hilarious :-)

birdmun's picture

Excellent write up. Just think. You now have almost a year to get it spiffed up for next Halloween. :D