Sparky

This page shows some "Behind the Scenes" images.  Listed are different types of show control programming systems and playback modules.  The Animated head (left) is one I built in my spare time and took about a day to make.

 

 

   

 

Console

This is an old programming console for Disney Animatronics (right).  Each knob and button activates the corresponding body part as indicated on the console.   The knobs are used for precise analog movement and positioning while the buttons are used for digital on/off activation's.   An entire show can be programmed in real time, played back, synchronized to a soundtrack using SMPTE timecode,  downloaded to a playback only rack system and stored to disk.

 

Mini Brick Brain

The computer being held above is a Gilderfluke MiniBrick 8 show controller.  It has 8 digital outputs for controlling on/off functions, 2 servo motor plugs for controlling RC type servo motors, 2 digital inputs for triggering your shows and a DMX output so it can control whatever devices you have that use DMX.  This unit is programmed by any personal computer running Windows 9X using Gilderfluke's free programming software.  It costs around $210.00 and can be bought directly from Gilderfluke & Co.

The unit above is an Alcorn McBride IO64 show controller.  It has 32 digital inputs and 32 digital outputs.  This has basically the same capability as the MiniBrick 8 but as a much larger scale.  To program this controller, you need Alcorn McBride's free Proprietary programming software and Windows 9X.  Cost is about $600.00 and can be purchased from Alcorn McBride.

 

 

 

 

Ram Show Controller

Some older show control systems operate much like a multi-track tape recorder.  This one has 32 digital outputs triggered by 32 toggle switches which can control different movements or effects.  The show can be recorded in real time and played back while you record other things.   The black buttons on the lower right side of the unit are simply marked PLAY - RECORD - STOP.  If you make a mistake recording, no problem.  Simply go back to the address where you screwed up using the 3 digit hex display and correct the problem one frame at a time.  This unit was state of the art back in the day and has been replaced with more advanced systems.  From R.A. Gray Inc.

 

 

 

 

This is an animatronic bird I constructed for Rainforest Cafe - Downtown Disney.  The head has a nod and two side tilt movements.  The bird is in it's lean forward position but can stand fully upright.  This figure can operate using any show controller but an Alcorn McBride IO64 controller handles the job quite nicely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Program the bone!

Here is T. Bone in my garage during a quick programming session for a last minute public appearance.   Equipment shown in this picture include: Laptop (for audio and show sync),   Amplifier and Show Controller (motion control and lighting).

 

 

 

 

 

 

Re-Creation

Here I am working with an early model animated human figure.  This unit had just about  every possible movement.  For example It could sit down and stand up with the assistance of high tension springs mounted in it's knee joints.  Sometime before this photo was taken, this animated figure was used as an animatronic Roy Rogers at Six Flags Over Texas theme park in Arlington, Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CLICK FOR A VIDEO

This is a convict body I built for Walt Disney World.  This poor guy is in a jail cell and attempts to free himself from his chains by pounding them with a hammer and yanking on them with the other hand.  Shown here are two black 6 volt batteries on the right and the gray box on the left houses the show controller.  The figure operates on Co2 pressure supplied by one large tank mounted inside the float.  It performed for 3 years in the Mickey's not so scary Halloween parade before it was re-themed for another type of float design.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice crocky!

Well, here's that goofy guy again.  This time I'm repairing a sick crocodile.  Actually, the cylinders that control the eye blinks needed replacement so the skull was cut and the cylinders replaced.  While the croc was out, we gave it a fresh paint job and fed it a parrot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

OH MY GOD !!!

Oh My LAWD!!   While trying to get it delivered back to its home, I was attacked!  Good thing it only has rubber teeth!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bare Bird

Adding a few new movements to a parrot.