So, I've decided to pull a complete 180° and build a HUGE animated prop for this year... or at least start it this year and maybe finish it next year.
What prompted me to do this was the discovery of an electronics kit that allows you to program a series of 8 relays to do your bidding that has a built-in PIC controller. This means it's a kit that you program through your computer's serial port and then can disconnect from the PC and have it perform its programmed function on it's own.
I plan on triggering the unit with a PIR kit.
The prop I plan on building around these circuits is a small 4' wide x 8' deep x 12' high crypt that will have a faux steel cage door and caged windows. When the TOT gets close enough to trigger the prop, first, I want a pair of LED eyes to fade up while the sound of a large creature's deep breathing starts up. Then, I'll have a motor start "rattling" the cage door, followed by the door bursting open, the crypt filling with red light and the monster jumps out via a scissor extender powered by either air or an electric motor. I'm thinking air since a motor may move too slowly to be effective.
At the very least, I'd like to have the crypt built this year, as well as the creature within. I'll be playing with the relay kit as well, but since I'll also need an air compressor and some other electronic goodies to make this all happen, I may not have the money to finish it all this year. This one is a HUGE undertaking.
The Crypt itself will consist of some 1 x 4 panels that will assemble to form the frame and roof. The panels will have insulation foam glued on and have a granite block pattern carved and painted onto it. The cage door and windows will be made from good old reliable PVC pipes.
Here's some links to the circuits I'll be using for this project:
: Serial Isolated I/O Module
: PIR Movement Detector