Originally Posted by Devils Chariot
crickets ... ... ... ... ...
Perhaps...If you have the same drop down spider I have...then you don't have an easy solution to your problem.
For one, I left my spider as is and just 'sheilded it' from outside noise.
Going remote is a good idea, but as you see for yourself there isn't alot of room inside of the spider. A standard RC receiver is around 2" by 3" (perhaps they can make them smaller) so you would be hard pressed to find a space for it inside of the spider. I guess one option is to try to locate a really small RC receiver and attach it to the abdomen of the spider and then attach a piece of cloth around it. But this introduces two problems, one is the extra weight, and two, your batteries now have to power the receiver as well as the spider's motor. You might say, Ok, what about a separate battery for the receiver. Well, now you are back to square 1 and now you have to deal with the extra weight of both the receiver AND an extra battery.
So there isn't many options for you going remote via a transmitter.
I have thought of trying to control it remotely (recently) since I am now learning how to use a Basic Stamp microcontroller. The first thing I thought of is to modify the drop down cord by putting the wires around it. However the motor inside spools up the cord and there isn't much room to spool up wiring too. So that idea is out.
Another option I was entertaining is running the wires outside of the spider and going directly to the control circuit. However, depending on the situation, the wiring would be visible and/or can get caught up in the mechanism.
One thing I have thought of, but didn't implent is the use of an IR motion sensor or photo transistor instead of the sound activation circuit.
This will require a knowledge of electronics on your part though. But it is very possible to remove the microphone and change the circuit to respond to changes in heat (PIR) or light. Going the light route you can aim an infrared LED at the spider and then when your victim enters the area, use a standard trigger. Since most triggers now-adays are motion sensors, I figured why not install a PIR right on the spider. They do make them pretty small now and more then likely you can use the spider's existing batteries to power the sensor. You can mount the PIR right on the abdomen and paint the circuit board black. This way the spider would only appear to have a white dot on it's abdomen. The trigger would be easy as you can remove the microphone and more then likely just connect the PIR right at the trigger point.
Now this does come with a huge caveat. The PIR circuit recovers instantly. So there has to be some additional circuitry made to allow the spider to retract completely and then settle down before making the PIR active again.
So as you see, no matter what way you look at it, it is an involved project.
I personally just use my spider the way it is.
If you absolutely must have the spider drop down on the remote then I suggest going via a totally different approach. Buy a different motion activated spider and attach it to a cord. Have the pulley assembly and motor mounted on (or above) the ceiling. In this manner you have total control of the trigger circuitry involved in triggering the spider.
You can now have a pulley on a release clutch. When a victim enters the room a standard PIR sensor could tell the clutch to disengage and drop the spider. The motion sensing circuit in the spider would move it's legs and what have you.
After a short delay, have the clutch re-engage and a motor spool up the string on the spider. You will need another circuit to tell the motor to stop when the spider reaches the top.
As you can see this is much more involved than the average person thinks it is. I consider myself pretty electronic savvy too and I still have not attempted something like this.
It does sound simple, but in reality it isn't easy to pull off.
Hopefully someone does have an easier alternative in their mind that they can share, but this is all I have to offer. As I said, if you are electronically and mechanically inclined, you should be able to pull it off. It is definintely not a begginers project.
I do have a cool alternative suggestion for you though since you mentioned Radio Control. You could build or modify a larger spider (think huge tarantula here) on a small radio controlled car. You can have an actor or BTS (behind the scenes) guy control the spider when people come into the room. I found this to be WAY scary and fun. You do need to have a fairly loud background track or 'spidery' monster sounds when you deploy the spider, this is mainly to overcome the motor noises from the RC car in the spider. The choice of RC car will be a tough one because you don't want one that is too fast or too noisy. You probably have to go to a local toy store that has RC cars on display and try them out and see what is best for you. If you have a small room, you don't want too fast of a car and you really want to get one that is fairly quiet. Also, just have the spider run around in a given area. DON'T try to chase or box people in with it though...you would be inviting disaster if you do that. You can use a 'scare forward' tactic here and have the spider appear behind your guests...then they would be scared towards the exit of the room. That is always a safe bet. If you build the spider to have a low profile you can 'park it' under a legged couch or chair so it is out of site when the people come into the room.
WHEW!! That is a mouthfull!
I hope I did give you some ideas with what you can do. But I do fear you have the same spider I do and unfortunately there isn't too much that could be easily done with it. I still use my spider, but I have it in a quieter section of the house so it only triggers when people enter the room.