Happy Halloween!

Halloween is made for makers. Whether your thing is an over-the-top, automated yard display, an amazing cosplay costume, or a beautifully carved pumpkin with an RGB LED light show emanating from it, this holiday lets us build things not because they're practical or necessary, but because they are fun!

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As a young kid, my parents saved up a small fortune and took me and my siblings to Disney World. While I knew that it was magical, I also understood that it wasn’t actually magic. It was all some kind of clever engineering, created by incredibly smart people. The thing that stuck with me was was the fact that the birds in the Tiki Room, the country bears in their jamboree, and the presidents in the great hall all had their mouth movements synced with their respective recordings.

Fast forward to last week, when I was asked, “Do you think you can come up with a blog post for next Wednesday? Oh, that’s Halloween, so maybe something Halloween-themed.” I had a bag of plastic skulls and a box of googly eyes in my drawer (pro tip: Always have googly eyes on hand. They make every project better). So with the help of a Teensy 3.6 and the Teensy Audio Shield, I threw this together.

The LEDs on the circuit board were for testing so that I wasn’t sending out the continuous clacking of the solenoids the entire time, because apparently that sounds like popcorn, and then people come over expecting delicious popcorn and are very disappointed (sorry, Jeff).

I had originally started this idea to make singing nutcrackers for Christmas. If there’s any interest, I may do a future post to break it down and share the entire process, code, etc. Until then, happy Halloween, and happy hacking!


Comments 5 comments

  • This is cool. Check out the rad arduino-powered halloween costume I made for my kid this year. I even called out all the Sparkfun parts I used in the video description ;) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xH54Vje-KZE

  • Neat project, Rob! Especially for a “quickie”…

    As a young kid, my parents saved up a small fortune and took me and my siblings to Disney World.

    You’re showing your youth. Had my parents taken me to Disney World when I was a “young kid”, we would have seen swamp and alligators… (OK, maybe some Florida farm land…)

    • Thanks! And I’m not that young - pretty sure the first time I went to Disney World, it was still in black & white…

      The Hall of Presidents only had eleven guys in it…

      Some of the features in Tommorowland included the television, and airplanes…

      (Okay, I’m done now.)

      • Speaking of black & white, my parents didn’t get a color TV until I’d gone away to college. It wasn’t until I was working at a TV station (part time, while I went to college) and got to see Captain Kangaroo in color that I found out that something I’d always taken as an article of faith was true: Mr. Greenjeans jeans were, indeed, green!

  • This is really cool and lots of fun (baritone having problems or not)). Would it be possible to see a schematic? It looked like something that achieves the goals of our little Halloween show: a little scary, very imaginative, and a little silly. Thanks for sharing.

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