New for 2022, we finally got one of the infamous ’12ft Skeletons’ from Home Depot. No, seriously, they’re at Home Depot if you haven’t been in the past few years! We were able to get ours thanks to one of many ’12ft Skeleton Club’ groups on Facebook. There are several drops per year.
Next, we had to find a way to make ours truly a ‘part of the show’. After some googling, I stumbled upon a great tutorial by Nelson Bairos on how to convert the 12ft Skeleton to an animatronic, only using a few servos and some 3d printed parts.
About a month of waiting for parts to arrive slowly / assembly / printing of the parts – I had Skelly talking and moving!
As far as the eyes go – after some research, all I needed to do was switch 6V Power On/Off to have the eyes turn on/off with the light show. To achieve this, I got a 12V to 6V Power Supply, and then a DMX Relay Board.
The 12V to 6V is because the DMX Relay Board needs 12V, and the Skelly Eyes need 6V.
I connected the ground of the 6V to the Relay Board, so that the ground is turned on/off. The Positive of the 6V is ran straight to the DC connector. I found some 2.5mm DC receptacles, and added them to our control box. A simple 2.5mm DC to DC extender connected straight to the head connector – required no splicing or rewiring of the original eyes.
Here’s an inside view of the skull – this is the mechanism that we use to have the head move side-to-side and up/down! 3 Servos for the movements, and 1 Servo is mounted inside the skull for the jaw movement.
Here’s an inside view of our control box. From top to bottom:
-DMX Relay Controller for the Eyes
-Skulltronix ‘Son of Chuckee’ Servo Controller Board
-12V to 6V Buck Converter
-Not pictured – 12V Power Supply
If you would like to do the same to your Skeleton, please see the tutorial here: https://hackaday.io/project/181103-3-axis-skull-mod-for-12ft-skeleton