View Full Version : Need 3 axis skull recommendations

02-09-2010, 05:01 PM
Hi, all. I survived my first year of lights, and I'm looking forward to Halloween. I live in a very small town, and they only allow about 3 hours of kids going around, before dark. I'm really not into Halloween to do the entire yard, with all the really out-a-site props, etc, that I have seen, but would like to have 4 3-axis skulls singing and talking on the porch. I don't want to spend a gazillion dollars, as they will be the only prop (well, except spider webs, etc), and will only really be effective for a few hours. But, they already talk about me being the crazy guy with all the lights, so this might just add to the mystique.

I have some Gemmy skulls, which I might try to use, or I might get some of the Lindberg skulls also. I am getting a servo plate, rod end, and steel "a-frame" for the lindberg skulls from the forum. I have tons of servos, having 25 years of RC Airplanes behind me. I also have a complete machine shop, to make the shafts, etc that I'll need.

The biggest thing is the decision on what to control the servos with. I have seen the lynxmotion SSC-32 cards, which will cover all 4 of the skulls I'm thinking about, at 6 servos each (nod, tilt, rotate, jaw, and two on the eyes). I understand these can be used with Vixen, with the SSC-mini plug in. I also like the idea of DMX, and all the vids I've seen with DMX, appear to be a LOT smoother. In that case, I am leaning towards RPM's Enttec-compatible dongle, and Frank's DMX Servo board. But, it looks like I would need 3 of them, to give me 24 servos, as they appear to only be able to control 8 per board.

I've seen several other "options", but none of them seem within my capabilities, and pocket-book at this time.

I would appreciate ANY input, from anyone who has done this, can give me recommendations, pointers, hints - you name it!!

Thanks, in advance!


02-09-2010, 06:38 PM
I purchased a bare Server Controller board from Franks website this morning. It may have been a bad assumption, but I'm assuming I can do that kind of control with it.

Doubt I will do Halloween item with it, but I'm hoping to that same kind of motion with a Talking Christmas Tree.


02-09-2010, 06:47 PM
Kelly - I'm sure you won't have any problem with Frank's board for that! Like I said, I am only concerned with the number of them I'd need to control 24 servos. At $9.00 a bare board, plus parts, it's a little stiff for what I plan to do. If it was Christmas, it would be well-spent dollars, but for a 3-hour a year skull display, ends up being fairly expensive. Now, if I could figure a use for Christmas, with the same boards, AFTER Halloween, it probably wouldn't seem so steep. But, my house is a bit off the street, and nothing close up enough, to warrant servos...


02-09-2010, 08:56 PM

'nough said

For halloween, you can do a LOT with just lights and creepy music. You do not need all the over the top props. Since the daylight savings changes it has become more difficult since it gets dark a little later. Try letting the lights and music set the scene and then accessorize with some choice placed props, instead of the other way around.... props, props, props with lights and music as an after-thought.

02-10-2010, 11:04 AM
BK - are you talking about the SX or the Prop-2? That's $100 each, and I'd need two of them, from what I've seen. the Prop-1 is only 8 servos, so I'd need three, so that would still be $120. Is there a specific reason they are better than the SSC-32? At $40 for the SSC, seems like the economical way to go...


02-11-2010, 02:51 PM
I am also planning some 3 axis skulls and I will be buying the ssc32. It seems to get the most bang for the buck. I know it does work with Vixen and VSA but I have not decided which one I will use to program my show with.

I don't know if you have been over to halloweenforum.com but they have a massive thread on 3 axis skulls there. They talk about different controllers over there but most people use VSA to control them.

02-21-2010, 11:50 AM
I've just finished my 1st 3AS (3 axis skull) and use the SSC32 and VSA. I figure I'll find a way to adapt it to Christmas as well. Maybe have an Elf: hammering on a toy, sawing, painting, etc. These are all small motions that would work with such controls, just need a bigger servo/motor maybe. Like I said, I'll figure something out.
Best of luck,