Hope I did not startle you too much. I am switching things up this week for Man Food Mondays by not posting food. I know bummer, right? Well, I hope this post will quell the upset and give you something cool to do this Halloween. This cool thing is a Spooky Motion Detector! Why a motion detector you ask, well I have a number of props that use electricity to move and moan. If they come to life because someone walks by, it’s much scarier :). Scarier is the name of the game up here in the Hinterlands!
First a little background. I LOVE Halloween! No really, I love Halloween, I have a garage full of decorations\monsters, spiders, ghosts and skeletons. As a matter of fact, I may have more Halloween decorations than I have Christmas decorations….. I got started in this about 38 years ago when I was a member of a civic group that put on haunted houses for fund raising. We had monsters that jumped , screamed, and generally scared the stuffing out of people, and they loved it. After I moved away, I would collect stuff in anticipation of having a place of my own to Haunt. About 15 years ago, I started decorating my condo and after Michelle and I married, she let me move my room of dread in along with my cats and junk.
To get started I will give you a list of things you will need to get as well as a how to do it. Since I hardly ever throw stuff away, I had most of what I needed here in the Spook Works out in the garage. I purchased a out door weatherproof box and a cover to put every thing in from Home-depot . I had an old motion detector from a flood light and a duplex wall plug. I also have a few old electrical cords that I have cut off of pumps and lamps when they died, so I did not need to buy one of those. Next, I needed a way to secure it in the ground so I looked online for a Sigma Electric 14790 Ground Stake. I use a duplex wall plug even though this is being used out doors. It will be plugged into a GFI outlet, so it will trip if it shorts out. I also used four wire nuts and some electrical tape and that’s about it.
So, let’s get started. This is what you need.
1 weather proof electrical outlet box, with 4 1/2 inch holes
1 weather proof outlet cover
1 1/2 inch water proof conduit fitting (grey with a yellow washer above)
3 wire electric cord with 3 prong plug (computer power cords work good for this)
1 duplex wall plug
4 wire nuts
1 roll of electrical tape.
1 motion detector (used or can be purchased online or from home depot)
1 each 4 inch black wire, white wire and green wire with the ends stripped to expose the copper.
Then, pass the 3 wire power cord through the connector and strip the black insulation off to reveal the white, black and green wires. You will need to strip 3/4 inch of the insulation off of these so that the copper wire is exposed.
Next, you’re going to pass the wires from the motion detector into the box through the hole that is on the back side of the box. Attach the detector to the box. The wires will most likely be black, white, and red. If the insulation has not been stripped, you will need to do so now.
Now, we start hooking everything up. You will need to connect all 3 of the white wires together with one of the wire nuts – the one from the power cord, the one from the motion detector, and the one from the duplex plug. The one from the duplex plug is the four inch one that you cut at the beginning of the project. The white wire on the duplex plug should be attached to the silver screws.
Next, you will connect he black wire from the power cord to the black wire on the motion detector. This sends power to the detector and allows it to turn the plug on. Take the 4 inch black wire and attach one end to the red wire and the other end to the brass colored screw on the duplex plug.
Connect the green wire from the power cord to the green wire on the duplex plug. Also, connect a green wire from the plug to the green screw inside the weather proof box. This is the ground, and it needs to be attached if this is being used where water can get to it.
Screw in the ground spike, and you’re good to go. Clovis, one of my skeletal assistants was on hand to help with this demo, I placed a orange Christmas light on the ground at his feet and hooked everything up to the motion detector. I have the detector set to test, so it would work in the day light, and passed my hand in front of it.
The light turns on and stays on for about 30 seconds. The detector can be set for 1 minute up to 20 minutes…..20 minutes is way too long!
So there you have it. You can now scare the ToT’s remotely from the comfort of your lawn chair. I am going to hook this up to a prop of mine we call Mr Shivers. Once we get that setup, I plan to post a you-tube video here for you to see.