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Trick or Treat

One of the things I miss most about having little guys around is the excitement around Halloween. Deciding on the costumes. Carving the pumpkins. How thrilled the kids are to be out after dark, going crazy. Going through the loot bags to see what the night’s haul was. (Grabbing a few goodies once the kids are in bed.)

Let’s face it, few holidays are as much out-and-out fun as Halloween is.

Even though Halloween is not quite the big deal it used to be at our house, I still got a kick out of looking through Makezine to check out their ideas for the holiday.

If you’re not familiar with Makezine, it’s pretty straightforward. As their tagline says, “we are all makers,” and Makezine brings together “Makers who bring a DIY mindset to technology.”

All the Halloween ideas on the site aren’t all that techie in the current sense. Some are mechanical, like Jeremy Brandt’s pumpkin with the hand-cranked moving eyes and tongue. As Jeremy points out, if you didn’t feel like hand cranking, you could add a motor. Better yet, you “could potentially hook up a passive infrared sensor and even lights to react to trick-or-treaters automatically.”

Further up the tech chain, there’s Dale Rooney’s instructions on how to set up a music and light display using an MSGEQ7 audio frequency analyzing chip, three MOSFETs, and an Adafruit Mini Audio FX board to trigger music and drive RGB lighting strips timed to the music. Cool!

Then there’s Andrew Terranova’s animatronic skull candy jar. It uses Passive Infrared sensors that can tell when a trick-or-treater is approaching. The top of the skull pops open and invites a kid to take a piece of candy. (Not for real little ones, that’s for sure.)

There’s also info on how to create a costume for your drone and, if you want something a little less complicated (but probably harder to do) instructions on how to make an origami bat.


Anyway, have fun taking a look at Makezine. And Happy Halloween.