1. davidbenjamindix

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    This project is a scare prank box. I have a long rectangle box with a wire-cage door at the front. Inside is a homemade scary as crap stuffed animal attached to a dowel. There are extension springs pulling on the cage door so when a switch (problem) is activated, the cage door gets pulled inside, and the animal comes shooting out. I just got my remote control (4 channel wireless 12-volt DC remote control) in the mail, and the only thing left is to figure out how to set off a trigger/switch to activate the spring mechanisms. I figured there are 2 or 3 ways to do this....if you have another, please let me know.
    The first idea is to have a 12-volt motor make one cycle which turns a dowel that sets off the mechanism. The problem there is I would have to find some type of timer/relay that I could set so the motor only turns so far. I would also like the DC motor to operate in reverse so the animal can be pulled back in.
    Another idea is to get some type of switch that extends and retracts with the dowel attached to it. Another idea might be some type of electromagnetic switch (I have about 400 neodymium magnets) that extends and retracts when the remote signals open/closed circuit. That's pretty much where I am right now. The stuffed animal is so creepy. I used the same material from my homemade ghillie suit, and used fire-engine red eyes (which will have LED lights shining on them). The idea is to trick someone into thinking it's a ferrit or something, when they get close to the box, press the button on the remote, and this thing comes flying out. It'll be awesome. What can I do about the switch? thanks.....David
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010
  2. someonesdad

    Senior Member

    Jul 7, 2009
    These things are a hoot. When we used to drag our camper to the Weiser, Idaho fiddle competitions, there was a guy there who had one of these just outside the door to his camper. He'd get the kids interested in seeing the animal in the cage (I can't remember what type of animal he said it was; probably a ferret or somesuch). He'd of course make it jump out at the opportune moment and scare the pants off whoever was the mark. Once a person is gotten, of course, they bring their friends to be the victims.

    It was good, clean fun and the key to making it successful was the patter that went along with it.

    What would be really cool is to make it use a remote control switch to activate the jump. Search the forums for info on vendors who sell RF remote switches; one is here. You could also use switches to have it make faint sounds so that the mark is convinced there's something in the cage.

    This guy also had another game that folks would play by his camper. He had two .30 caliber ammo boxes and a rope. The rope had a piece of tape in the center. Two contestants would stand on the ammo boxes with the broad side of the box facing the opponent. The tape had to be evenly between the contestants. Someone said "go" and the objective was to pull your opponent off the box or pull the rope out of his hands. This is a great game and all ages can play it -- sometimes the kids can whomp on an adult. This game has been a fixture at our family-get-togethers up in the mountains for a number of years.
  3. davidbenjamindix

    Thread Starter New Member

    Feb 25, 2010
    I think making a solenoid is the answer....but! I tried making a homemade solenoid. It's not working. I'm using 12V battery (2x 6V), a plastic pen tube with a nail for the core, and thick steel wire tightly wrapped around the pen tube. I think perhaps the wire is too thick or needs to be insulated?. ..and should i try and find a metal tube instead of plastic?
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  4. Wendy


    Mar 24, 2008
    Ever seen some of the animatronix threads? They have some good links for guys who do this for Halloween.