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Beginning at noon PDT today, and closing at noon PDT tomorrow, we will be accepting comments, below, describing the Halloween-y use (or uses) to which you would put the prize bundle consisting of one Microchip Technology PIC10F Cap Touch Demo Board and one MCP1650 Multiple White LED Demo Board.

For this giveaway, the prompt is: “How would you use the prize bundle in a Halloween costume?”

The winner will be announced tomorrow afternoon at the bottom of the comment thread. Be sure to include a valid e-mail address.

Make: Halloween Contest 2009

Microchip Technology Inc. and MAKE have teamed up to present to you the Make: Halloween Contest 2009! Show us your embedded microcontroller Halloween projects and you could be chosen as a winner.

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I write for MAKE, serve as Technical Editor for MAKE magazine, and develop original DIY content for Make: Projects.


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Comments

  1. Jonathan says:

    My idea is this:
    Embed the chips into a staff. Wave your hand over the staff head, and it lights up to 25% and then a moment later to 50%. Waive your hand over it again, and it does the reverse. Place your hand on the “crystal ball” with your thumb placed so that it triggers the button, and the “crystal ball” lights up in 25% increments every half second until it is at full brightness. Take hand away, and the “crystal ball” goes out instantly.

    It’d be a cool effect for a “wizard.”

  2. Odin84gk says:

    LOTR costume:

    Put it inside the tip of a plastic sword, and put it on proximity detect. Have LED’s glow whenever it senses something. Add a switch in the hilt so you can discreetly turn it on/off. Then, you can say you have an Orc detecting sword!

  3. Anonymous says:

    You think it could be rigged up with a door knob as the sensor? That way when someone reached for the door you could scare them when they least expect it.

  4. Adam Z says:

    I would use the PIC10F Cap Touch Demo Board as a covert trigger for a prop in my haunted house, so that the person leading groups through can activate a prop without any obvious button pressing. I would use this to activate the MCP1650 Multiple White LED Demo Board, which would light up an “alien bubbling tube” I made out of acrylic last year. It was inspired from a picture in MAKE: Halloween Edition.

  5. Chris M. says:

    Get a large white plastic dome or other plastic object that will be lit up and can fit on your head. Put the LED board inside of that mounted a few inches away from the surface so it gets most of the light. Hook up the CAP10 board somewhere on your body then run a wire between the two (might also need an Arduino as well). Setup the two devices so that when nobody is within a few feet then the lights will pulsate (increase intensity, decrease intensity) every 3 seconds. When there are people near by increase the pulsating rate to a couple of times every second.

  6. Mike says:

    Set up a fake rat on a servo hidden inside a jacket. The rat normally is loose, looking like it’s crawling on your chest. When the proximity detect is fired, the LED board fires, scaring the rat and the servo would be set to wind up and have the rat run inside the coat.

  7. SoLasVegas says:

    A while ago, there was a post about an Operation! game costume. A nice mod would be to allow people to use their fingers to remove the “body parts” rather than tweezers or tongs that are wired to the board. I would use the capacitive touch to determine if the sides of the openings have been touched. The LEDs would obviously be used for the light up nose portion of the costume.

  8. James H says:

    There’s too many things I can think up, I don’t know which to do!!

  9. LoneStranger says:

    Using a discreet on/off switch in the handle of the device, when a “possessed” person comes along, switch it on, using the proximity sensing function to cause the device to flash and maybe get some sound out of it. The flashing and sound becoming more intense the closer the device gets.

  10. BILLYTWIX says:

    Just waiting on my pre-order of DJ Hero to arrive next week. I’d use (two) one to start with of the mcp1650′s embedded into my headphones Daft punk style that would be connected through the mixer to the pcb via a few discrete wires joined to the head phones.

    When your note streak increases the lights will come on and elevate with intensity based on your multiplier. When you activate the equivalent of star power the lights will then go through a series of patterned flashes and brightness. To get the crowd pumped up.

    On lookers may get an additional stimuli from the game from viewing light coming from the headphones on more than one plane/view depending on how you wear them.

  11. pma32904 says:

    I’d use it to implement the internal lights in a dragon egg that cracks open when touched the right way. Merlin carries the egg and looks for the chosen one to open it via capacitive sensor and a hidden “chosen one” switch.

  12. Kali Blanc says:

    Since I am creating a CAD design of a musical instrument I’m going to prototype with a 3D printer I am so excited about this technology I’m making a 3D Printer costume. I’d use the LEDs to backlight the colored cellophane status buttons I’ve created and sync it to the sounds I created, activated sequentially via midi… it’d “wow” a bit more than the dumb LED flashlight I was planning on just manually moving around inside the “candy dispensing box” hahaha

  13. Peter says:

    I am going as a Wild Thing for Hallowe’en. I was going to do this anyway, but it would be much easier with the LED demo board. I made myself a Wild Thing mask. I’ve embedded a light sensor + MOSFET just below the “eyes,” so that it triggers at a particular signal level. This signal level is the reflectivity of my partner’s “white” Max costume, at night, in our city. When detected, the yellow LEDs embedded all over the eyes of the mask light up on a PWM routine, so that my costume’s “terrible yellow eyes” slowly become brilliant when I see my King of the Wild Things.

  14. Matt Jones says:

    I’d use the capacitive sensor to trigger a sound module with creepy breathing recorded on it.

    The speaker would be hidden in the shower behind the curtain, and the capacitive sensor would detect when somebody is on the toilet. Perhaps when they reach for the TP.

  15. murray says:

    I would hook the cap-touch board to the led board to make it turn on and off when you wave your hand over it. I would then use that assembly for a lit accent on a costume (like and iron-man reactor or light up screen for an ipod costume). This would make the costume stand out, and by attaching the proximity sensor, it would only be on when people are around to save battery life.

  16. Nate says:

    Combination of LEDs and a proximity and touch sensor would be a good starting point for an armband like Leela’s. Hovering objects over it to “scan” them, touching the band to emit other odd noises and lights…

    Now, if I could just get my wife to dye her hair purple…

    1. h says:

      We’re building the H.R. Giger ‘Alien’ costume for Halloween. Remember with the one with the crazy tongue with ‘teeth’?

      My build instructions will be posted shortly.

      The jaw and tongue are animated, but not synchronized. I’d use a microcontroller to synchronize the motion between the jaw and the extending ‘tongue’. With a flex sensor or mouth or sound activated switch, it could be controller from entirely within the mask, rather than simple on/off hand controls as I have it today.

  17. J Simulcik says:

    I am building a fortune-teller cabinet with basic interaction and candy dispensing capabilities for display at Halloween (and who are we kidding; the rest of the year as well). I would use the cap-touch board to know when someone has put their hand down to be read, which would interrupt the base state and start the interaction programming. The LED demo board would be hooked up to light the candy dispensing area at the end of the program so kids could find it.

  18. https://me.yahoo.com/a/S_KnGUFxoMiv7x0xMWZRCSqhEA--#62f55 says:

    My son is in high school marching band. I’d make a playable drumset on his shirt with drum heads that would light up when tapped.

  19. Devcoder says:

    attach the capacitive sensor to a candy bag so that whenever someone puts candy in the bag the LED board would light up and momentarily blind them, enabling you to steal all their candy!!

  20. Francis says:

    Scary candy tray for Trick or Treaters

    I would set up a device where the candy tray will be inside an opening where the people obviously have to reach inside to obtain the pieces of candy. No one will be present to give candies out so they have to reach inside themselves. A sign will tell them to help themselves. Mu HA HA HA HA!

    Inside the hole will be the PIC10F proximity sensor to sense the presence of someone’s hand. Once triggered the lights in the MCP1650 Multiple White LEDs board will light up to show a gruesome head with half the brain uncovered with blood everywhere! A really loud death sound of various kind should also be triggered the same time the LEDs are lit. Once such thing is probably a screaming module that can be obtained in any Halloween store.

    The hole is really the mouth of this dead person but the face is hidden behind some semi dark plexiglass only to be seen when the white LEDs are lit. Careful lighting will create this effect so that people can only see an unassuming hole (really a mouth) where candy is inside. Of course, the dead demon thing must be as scary as possible for maximum scariness!

  21. Neil H. says:

    For our medieval themed yard haunt this year, I would mount the sensor in a prop sword and the lights along it to flash when the sword hit something, like a real metal sword would emit sparks when it struck a hard object.

    With 2 pairs you could stage a pretty convincing sword fight.

  22. Tim says:

    I’m building a simulated engine room in the hallway to my apartment. I’m going to fill it with fog, and using a VGA projector, light it with fire and brimstone. I’d use the capacitance sensor on my metal gate, so when the kids reached up to ring the bell, a strobe and the white LEDs would fire and I’d trigger an explosion sound. Instead of randomly firing the strobe, it would be great to have the capacitance sensor!

  23. Brian says:

    I am building my son a robot costume. The LED demo board would be great as a robot mouth. Connect up a small microphone to monitor the voice and light up the mouth as he talks.
    The Capacitive touch board would work great with his Halloween bag causing a buzzer to play robot noises/songs when some drops in candy.

  24. DrSmooth says:

    My son is going to be a Ghostbuster for Halloween. I have built a proton pack that uses an old Simon for a light show. I also tore apart a Hallmark card that plays the Ghostbusters theme.

    I would use the Microchip boards as a PKE meter switch. When you scan someone to see if they are a ghost, the touch board would trigger the LED board (the PKE “antenna”), the Simon and Ghostbusters theme music.

  25. XsavioR says:

    Point the cap touch module towards my chest calibrate it just right to trigger when i inhale (chest rising) and trigger the darth vader breathing music and the chest panel lights.

    Or a light saber, toilet paper roll, battery cap module inside facing the grip, light module above that topped by a plastic tube that lights up when you grab it.

  26. distel says:

    Still laughs when you poke him in the tummy but his eyes will turn bright and he will chase you around.

  27. Peter says:

    Hook up the led and capacitor board to the arch reactor core, so the led gets brighter when more fingers are touching the capacitor sensor.

  28. Shadyman says:

    Ok, the wizard staff one (first post) gets my vote.

    I’m honestly drawing a blank on this one. Robot costume with a capacitive touch sensor output as a random source for a voice modulator, and the lights for a robotic ‘heartbeat’?

  29. Chas says:

    My child on one side of the constume then a second ghouls on the opposite side with arms streched out that activated a moan and red eyes when you go close to it’s outreached hand…

  30. Oddity says:

    I would make a “HAL 9000″ costume with the glowing eye, and whenever someone came near or touched one of my system boards, HAL would suggest, “I know that you and Frank were planning to disconnect me, and I’m afraid that’s something I cannot allow to happen. “

  31. William says:

    “How would you use the prize bundle in a Halloween costume?”

    I’m tired of all the traffic cameras going up in my community. So, if you can’t beat them, join them.

    I would build a mock-up of one of the cameras. The LED board would be perfect for the blinding strobe that they use. The touch pad could be used to issue the ticket, to be paid with candy. At the end of the night we could use the damn thing as a piñata.

    (Or, I wonder how much trouble I could get in if I set it up on the street as a Halloween prank? Could it be considered a public service if I put it on a residential street as a warning to “Slow down”?)

    1. XsavioR says:

      haha one intersection by me looks like a disco dance floor there are so many flashes going off. I tend to try to be second at the light and have avoided tickets thus far.

      PS the right turn on red ones are the ones to look out for. I hear they look for a 3 second stop before the turn. Ive avoided tickets going by this.

      IMO set it up at dunkin doughnuts. Then mail pictures to the police department. Our tax dollars are paying for this ?!? Its only fair right?

  32. Nate says:

    Use the touch sensor to allow people to activate or change the message on the pov. Helmet would be easiest.

  33. Sean Michael Ragan says:

    Thanks for your comments, entries are now closed. The winner will be announced here shortly!

  34. Sean Michael Ragan says:

    …DrSmooth! Congratulations! If you didn’t win, don’t worry there’s still a pile of these things in the chute!