Halloween tech roundup

Out of the forums in the last week or so:

  • FL-Studio recommended for crafting your own scary soundtracks.  With all the existing soundtracks out there, hard for me to get into creating my own, but maybe someday
  • Scary Terry — lots of great little prop construction ideas — using wiper motors, driving a servo with sound, etc.
  • Handy note about scavenging old PCs for power supplies — And while we’re talking about PC supplies, I’ve found that the new ATX supplies are NOT good (for me), because you’ve got to get the Power-On signal jumpered and supplied just right to get it to actually turn on.  (No, the switch on the back does not turn it on…it just allows the supply to be turned on.)  I found several websites with connector pinouts (it’s a motherboard connector), but I still managed to toast a new 300W ATX power supply.  On the flip side, an old power supply often has a button attached to it – the part that is actually secured behind the front panel on/off switch and this will turn power on/off. 
  • Cheap wall warts at Parts Express — these are great for generating DC cheaply — I switch AC on/off with DMX and X-10, and use wall warts to convert the AC to DC signals for solenoids.
  • Guide to color organs