stirring witch

My talking, stirring witch is the same prop as my animatronic skull from last year, with a new face and a moving arm. I added the face to the Bucky skull using Crayola Model Magic clay (my first attempt at using clay).

This year's version was a little simpler electronically than last year, so it only required one PIC16F628 microcontroller to control the prop. It controlled the three servos for the movement, the wiper motor that moved the "broom stick", and the play, stop, and FF buttons on a hacked CD player. I didn't use LEDs in the eyes this year.

Like last year, I made the speech for the witch by recording my voice using CoolEdit '96. Unlike last year's CD, which had three tracks on it, this year's only had one. I did not use a silent track this year. Instead, I made use of the pause (play) button on the CD player to pause the CD playback instead of playing a track of silence. This had the added benefit of being quicker to start the actual audio playback.

A 40 second video of the witch can be found here. The video is about 1.1MB. Unfortunately, I didn't turn the autofocus off, so the camera occasionally goes a little out of focus because it focuses on the moving hand instead of the face, but it's good enough to give you the idea.

By the way, the he the witch mentions in her speech when she says, "I don't know what he's worried about..." refers to the monster in a box prop that will begin thumping shortly before she says that.

Halloween 2004 technical details
Halloween 2004 pictures

Page last modified 05/16/2009