Skip navigation

Raspberry Pi Projects

4 Posts authored by: jkutzsch

Static Display

Wrap up time!


Sadly after cleaning, and testing and checking everything with my old foginator, it started having intermittent problems.  Sometimes it would work, sometimes, nothing.

Not having enough time to get a new one I changed over the idea of a relay just for firing the Foginator and built an outlet Relay inside a 4 gang box similar to , I had seen this video while waiting for parts and liked the idea of being able to remotely power the relay as well as having the PIR sensor flip the relay.  Plus being able to use the box to wrap everything up inside was a nice tie in.


Hating the idea of the Foginator not being consistent I set up 2 masked heads capable of movement, 2 masked heads static, and a cool Electric Plasma Glass Skull head.

All 4 masked heads are illuminated from within by solar led and one is lit from below by modified solar led that I swapped a UV led into.

The 2 moving heads are provided mobility by taking oscillating fans and attaching the heads to the top with drop cloths on the front to billow when the fan spins up and the head unit moves.  Side note, this drop cloth was not UV reflective, next year test before assuming.  :-)


As you can see in the above picture Static is pretty cool, but in the bottom video the creepiness went WAY up as the PIR was activated and things started moving!




I have to admit I had been working on this guy for a bit before adding it into the RPi display.  Had to keep busy while waiting for parts and pieces to come in!



This was going to be a static display with the coolness to be how the recessed eyes are glowing and will "follow" you as you move past.  But after a bit of creative thought the idea of working it on a standing oscillating fan seemed to be even more creepy since it would only move when the PIR sensor was activated it.  The billowing plastic below and UV led were extra steps to the overall feel.


Complex Head L2LComplex Head L2R


This head was based on a glow in the dark trick or treat pail and was illuminated by a Solar LED from the top and unseen in these pictures a Solar UV LED underneath.  The pail did not illuminate near as well as the balloons I tried on the others.  But it was helpful for me to be able to put in the recessed eyes for the "following".


Simple NonMoving


Once I decided to move forward with the full display I thought having a couple of non-moving simple heads would be nice.  These are on white balloons illuminated from within by solar LEDs so always lit when dark.


Simple Moving


This was the second moving head, Not as complex as the other but still with enough creepy to it that my little ones didn't want to go near the "trolls".  :-)

Also based on a white balloon, illuminated from within by Solar LED.  The wire was needed to keep it to the fan and was not obvious from farther away.


Plasma Skull


Plasma skull!



Final implementation in Video Format!


This was an awesome project to work on and I want to give a huge THANK YOU to Element14 for letting me participate!


Very eager to do more, and can't wait to see how everyone else did with their projects.  The element of limited timeline helped the creative process!

Quick update.  The extra parts came in but when I attempted to replace GPIO header with no pins sticking out with one with extended GPIO pins I am having problems actually getting the new Header to slip on.  I will attach a picture at bottom of post.  The issue seems to be each SenseHat pin having a gold encasing that are big enough that the new header doesn't want to slip on.  Not sure if I should strip the SenseHat of those gold casings per pin or not.  Anyone else with input please PM or share here.  General Google Fu really doesn't talk much about the SenseHat and pin issue other than buying new header with extensions.


In addition, running the instructions to update the default RPi load that came with the card seems to be good to go.  But every time I try to use Python to actually access the SenseHat I found more items needing updates.  I think the Pillow update finally stopped those errors but now it seems to not be able to find the SenseHat.  This may still be due to libraries needing updates or similar.  I will share the specific error later.  Sadly one night I just kept updating and updating and updating and not note taking so I don't have specifics.  Have thought about just going back to step one and rewriting the image to default, then trying to run updates again.  :-)


SenseHat Header Pins.

The blogs that seem to be getting updated are the 7" RPi screen ones so I thought I would keep the Foginator people rolling while they are waiting for their kits to come to them.  :-)


Earlier I posted a picture listing all of the parts that came with the Foginator Project so anyone still waiting for shipment should be receiving similar.  Reading through the Foginator 2000 blog entries by Charles_Gantt is showing that additional parts will be needed to at least do the basics of the project of combining the new SenseHat and a remotely controlled Foginator.


I highly suggest that everyone check out his projects purely for the education of seeing these projects being worked and adapted to deal with real life experiences let alone the advantage for some of us will have of learning from his efforts before we stumble. 


You can check out his Foginator posts @ Foginator 2000: #001 Project Introduction


Additional items I have ordered that seem integral to the idea of the project is a PIR sensor, Channel Relay Module and a GPIO 2x20 stackable header with extra long pins.

The first 2 are to actually allow the event of someone remotely triggering the foginator, the 3rd is to allow you to have access to the GPIO pins of the RPi since once you place the SenseHat the pins can't be used.  Charles goes into more details in his blog entry complete with pictures:  Foginator 2000: #005: Neopixel Integration with Raspberry Pi and Arduino


In that above post there is also additional items needed for Neopixel implementation (such as Arduino Nano).  If I can get all of the other key parts working before the deadline I will revisit the need of ordering a Nano board.


While I am waiting for those to come in I will jump up to the SenseHat installation and software loading so as to be ready to tie in the rest of the project as quickly as possible.  Caveat, here in the US it is the weekend, so of course even paying for 2 day shipping means that it won't leave until Monday and arrive on Wednesday.  The idea of relying on standard 5-8 business days seemed to be too much of antagonizing Murphy's Law to me.  Hopefully anyone still waiting for their items can check their inventory and order the extra parts needed as soon as possible so we can all see everyone's projects on Halloween!  :-)


RPi Haunted Foginator

Posted by jkutzsch Oct 16, 2015

Project items came in! 


Stuff just came in!

List of items staring in the center and spiraling out clockwise:

1.  The Raspberry Pi Sense Hat.  Key to the project.

2.  The Raspberry Pi board.

3.  Adafruit 8 channel level shift

4.  Adafruit Neopixel Stick 8

5.  Visaton Speaker

6.  Element 14 Wi-Pi

7.  ABS Case, Grey

8.  8gb Rasperry Pi card preloaded with Noobs, (8gm microsd with in SD adapter)

9.  Velleman-kit, 2x52 amplifier


Going through the project information item I will need that I don't have spare will include an IR sensor and Relay to sense and trigger the Foginator.  Plus some extra large (20mm) gpi Header pins for the sense hat.  Possible an arduino board for the Neopixel, but I will research that more later. 


The Tin at the bottom was a cool Ouija board mint tin that I was hoping was a little larger then the standard Altoids tin to make a custom Halloween case for the Pi, looks standard size. Though.


Huge Thank you! to Element 14 for including me in this project, I will update as the other parts come in and progress continues.


John K.

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: