This year was different than years past. Being out of work (thanks Covid!), I changed my focus on what I was to do with the Haunt. I didn’t build as much this year and focused more on what I already had. First up was a little, ‘Halloween cleaning,’ that helped reduce storage and reuse items for new props.
I implemented a few rules for this.
- If the prop hadn’t been used last year and had no plans to use it this year then it was either broken down for parts or given away. This included props such as the Scarebox, which was given away.
- Some items I gave away because I just had too many. My graveyard shrank so I gave away my C. Fodder and Crane tombstones.
- I built some props in the past that were simply a pain to store or move around. Those were broken down.
Coincidentally I found lots of spare parts within old props like RGB strips and motors.
OK so onto this year
I focused on a couple of things:
My college professor called me a, ‘Cowboy Programmer,’ because I would always jump into projects without a plan. I changed that this year.
I created numerous maps of my Haunt that each had different purposes: IP addresses and controller locations, power cords, low-voltage wires and more. This helped tremendously when issuing new controllers or remembering which controller had what IP address without having to resort to looking at the router. It also helped with routing wires out of the way so people wouldn’t step on them.
Besides the list below, I tried to take the time and figure out ways to control everything from a central location (garage). This included routing fog through the yard. I was pretty happy with myself when I was able to route fog about 80 feet into my obelisk. Again, the machine and container were kept in the garage so I didn’t have to worry about refilling it or turning it off / on outside.
Make things simpler
I recycled old materials into something new. An example would be that I broke down the old entrance and rebuilt it into something simpler.
Make things more reliable
I have a love/hate relationship with batteries. While I love them for their ease of use, I hate them because they seem to run out at the worst times. This year I used a lot of random wiring and wired everything into the garage and into a controller. This included lights, controllers and more.
This had a couple of advantages:
- No worrying about batteries
- No having to go into the Pacific Northwest rain to fix something
- Connection to relays gave me more control and reliability
I know. This doesn’t really warrant a section to itself when really the only two new things I built was the Obelisk and the Betrayal. I had plans for more but either costs or time eliminated those one-by-one.
I did, however, improve some items like the dolls, entrance and other various small items.
OK I’ve talked enough. Here you go.
If you prefer pictures go here.