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So I decieded thsi year I was going to do a bit more then hand out candy and flashing lights.

I bought a nice little package on eBay to get me started.

I also bought 2 skeleton's from OrientalTrading.com and a few smaller decorations.
I'm going to build this as it seem simple enough for me to build.

Next I was going to build
But this is on a maybe list. Money and time are the issue. Also storage after Halloween could be a factor but it look cool enough.

I was going to run it through the Elk and need to install and outdoor sensor at the porch to activate strobe and I will add some music with a appliance module to activate a player.

So what are you guys going to do or plan?
Mine is really easy because everything is already in place. The doorbell is already hooked to the automation system and there are some music speakers on the porch that the system has access to as well. Pressing the doorbell on Halloween causes the porch light to dim and spooky wav files tp be played through the speakers. The automation system is set to do this whenever it is Oct. 31st so no preparation is required, it just happens every year.
I thought about the door bell but wanted it to scare before they pushed the button. I figured the motion sensor would be placed on my porch.

If I don't get time I'll just hook the door bell up to the Elk, it's lighted though.
You still have time to split the cost of an Elk-930 with WayneW. (I'm pretty sure they work OK with lighted doorbells)
Last year, I put a motion sensor in bushes that line my front walk. I also put a strobe and a speaker in a front window well. The motion triggered a screaming wav file and flashed the strobe. The doorbell also triggered some other wav files. Very effective! Still need to add a fog machine and think of some other things for this year.

I was thinking about using a spare blind actuator to move something slowly, and to use a power car antenna do make something else pop out of the bushes.
I'll have to post some pics of my setup. I don't use any automation for it though. I have quite a few home-brewed animated and static props, along with thunder, lighting and fog.

And by the way, check ouy the skeletons at www.terrorlabs.com ;)
I just picked up a fog machine (actually, more like smoke) from Target for $20. The down-side is that it only emits fog when a button is hit, and there is a neon lamp that turns off when the button should be released. I'm going to wire up a relay to disable the button when the lamp is off and then control the whole deal via another relay (emit fog when triggered). I just need to figure out the best place to put it for better effect.

Wall-mart has a timer remote replacement for those fog machines. I was just looking at them last night. I have the fog machine and it comes with a button you need to press. Its probably the same as yours. If you replace the remote with the timer one from wal-mart then it should be automated. The next step is to use one of those x10 universal modules to add syncronized animation.

I just picked up a copy of spooky sounds last night. I probably wont get to it this year but I would like to add an outdoor speaker just for holloween. I have an animated skull that sits on top of a walking stick. If you hold in a button it will continue to play, but it you remove the button it is motion activated. Money has me tight this year but next year I will probably pick up a few relays modules. I want to have a syncronized animated show.

The sad part is that last year all I did was through up some fake spider webs and that animated skull along with my smoke machine and everyone told me I had the best house in the hood. I was disapointed that nobody else went all out for holloween.

Also, Keep an eye out at wall-mart for the santa clause blow up snow globe. Its very very cool. Its a blow-up that looks like a REAL giant snow globe. Right now its $130 but I am sure they will run sales on it either before or after x-mas.
Most other places sell those globes for over $140, so doubt you will see them on sale soon. I was ready to pick one up, until I ran into my neighbor, who mentioned he was about to pick one up too, so I just walked away (they like to copy us big time). As for halloween, I wanted a fog machine, but then realized that it could create a hazard, since kids wouldn't be able to see where they are walking, and we have several steps, so I skipped that idea as well.
I put mu fog machine in my house and fill it with fog. Then when I answer the door I apear out of smoke. The fog machine says for indoor use only. When you add a stobe light inside the house also it makes it look even better.
How do both of your fog machines work?

I've used three types: dry-ice, cracker and mole, and didn't really like any of them for home use. Are yours any different? How is the smoke produced?
What are cracker and mole? Mine is a glycol based unit. Has an exchanger that heats to certain temp to flash-evaporate a water/glycol mix. When exchange is at correct temp light comes on...fogs for a while then light turns off and it heats back up.

1000W unit seems to produce a fair amount of fog - however it is heat based so the fog tends to rise instead of clinging to the ground. Need to do some kinda cooler to fix that....
Chakara, the unit you describe sounds a lot like the smaller mole units I've used. They were hand-held units, made of black, vacuum-formed plastic, with a heater and small pump inside.

The mole smokers were called that because they flash-evaporated an oil-based liquid called "mole-oil". I don't know where the name came from, but I always suspected it was from the company that first produced them.

The cracker smokers use a different principal: you "sprayed" compressed air into a bath of "Cracker oil" (again, no idea where the name came from). The air bubbles were small enough would exit the oil with vapor from the oil, and appear like smoke.

Like you said with your smoker, the mole smoke was hot, so it would rise. The cracker smoke was room temperature, so it would disperse evenly. The dry-ice was cold, so it would hug the ground.

Both the cracker and the mole could produce tons of smoke. We could fill a 64,000 cubic-foot sound stage with smoke so thick that you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. You couldn't do that with dry-ice, so you put up with the health hazards.
Heh! I stopped at Wal Mart and picked up their machine and timer. $30 total ($10 more), but better than the Target unit, since the timer was available. ;)

I also found that the Target unit's button could just be actuated whenever; when the light is out, the button does nothing.