Proton Pack Redo

Its almost Halloween 2015. As normal I will have to make a spectacle (or fool) of myself again. But hey, the kids love us.

I’ve done a zombie themed house, haunted farm (complete with undead clown), and now I need a new idea. So the house will be ghost themed. AtmosfearFX has a nice Phantasms effect this year so I purchased that. However if there’s ghosts, they need to be busted. 

I broke out my proton pack and it is not in good shape. And I never was a big fan of how it turned out. Guess it is time to redo it!

I already decided the lights need a redo and enhancement. I will redo the lights (previously done with discrete logic) and implement my Pyton Pack code on a Pi. This code has already been enhanced to do full sound, overheating animations, and more. I think I will couple this with the Matty Neutrino Wand. But that only solves half my problem. I’m also going to redo the very heavy foam and plywood with a fiberglass shell. 

While I’m at it, I might as make the power lighter, simpler, and more powerful. Instead of 9 C batteries, I think I’ll put in an Anker Li-Ion battery pack to power the Pi and replace my old computer speakers with a USB-chargeable Jambox knockoff.

Now comes the interesting part. Interfacing the Matty toy to the Pi. While I wait for that to come in, my guess is I can pull the sound easily. Just disconnect the built in speaker, run a line back to a speaker in the pack. I should be able to join this (presumably) mono toy with the 1/8 inch jack from the Pi and connect it to this 1/8 in on the fake Jambox. This will let me play music from the Pi and sound effects from the licensed toy, but just much louder. 

But how do I sync the effects? I may have to replace the “activate” button on the toy to have it control the toy as well as connect back to the pi. Then it is a matter of timing the overheat event on the toy and adjust the python code accordingly. This is the joys of a wifi-upgradeable software defined pack, If I get fancy, I’ll have it do one (left channel mono audio, right channel button) or two 1/8in jacks to go back to the pack. If disconnected, sound comes through the toy, if connected, the pack.

I’ll be able to reuse the ALICE pack, motherboard, LEDs on the pack, and most of all the stuff on the top left. We will see as the parts get here…