This was my 3rd high powered mechanical flip clock build. A followup from my "Roll-A-Matic" and "Tesla's Time Machine" , this clock is about half the size and weight ,and a little cleaner. The smaller number reels are driven by a 25 volt magnetic coil,operating much like the Roll-A-Matic but without a chime and swinging gauge. I also installed an amber light that glows to denote AM (or PM). Simple and stylish..
"Showbiz Pizza Place" Animatronic Gumball Machine
Completed May 2015
A fully animatronic mini version of Billy-Bob from the "Rock-afire Explosion" at Showbiz Pizza is featured in this machine. A neat feature is that this machine actually operates on vintage Showbiz Pizza game tokens. It shares the same general design and operating system as the "Pee-Wee's Fun Machine" with the addition of a 3rd driver board for the many flashing exterior cabinet lights, and the electrical gumball vending mechanism which is similar in design to "The Big Lebowski Machine".
This machine was built entirely from scratch, with custom made clothing,fur suit, and hand sculpted mask,feet , hands,and guitar.I also hand painted the stage background just like the full-sized original.The mini blue Looney Bird oil drum prop serves as a lid to refill the gumballs in the box below.The drum tilts back to reveal a hole in the stage leading to the box.
"Obey-Vision" Retro TV
. Completed May 2014.
Inspired by tabletop tv sets of the early to mid 1950s. I designed and constructed a vintage looking cabinet that was exaggerated with embellishments like a functional "Dangerous" gauge.,and a light changing glass globe on top. It housed an older (circa 1990's) portable 5" b/w tv set. I hardwired the tv with a converter and RCA jacks, so that it was able to plug into and work with any cable/satellite box,dvd player,game console,(etc.)
"Houdini" Coin Operated Magician Machine.
One of my favorite builds, this charming little coin-op machine is a nod to the older automatons of the early 20th century.It features a handmade attractive oak cabinet with surrounding glass panes, and an interaction between two animated figures.The tricky part of this build was to design and construct an elevator mechanism that would fit in the small space to raise and lower the assistant's head into the box.I used a music box for sound and a mechanical chime to give it a vintage feel.The assistant is from the same mold as "Esmeralda" .Operates on a single cpu.
Disney's "Pirates of the Caribbean" Coin Operated Machine.
Plays the actual theme music from the Disneyland ride while the pirate looks around and shoots his flashing guns. This was one of my earlier small coin-op machine builds. Unlike the others since,it's not controlled by a cpu , but rather is driven entirely by transistor-transistor logic ( TTL) and a basic audio board.Simple but effective.
"Esmeralda" Coin Operated Fortune Teller Machine. Completed July 2014
This unique little fortune teller operates just like a full-sized fortune teller machine, by actually dispensing a fortune ticket and ringing a bell at the end of the program.
Features an attractive handcrafted oak cabinet, and animated arms & eyes. This is the first of two mini fortune teller machines I designed and constructed.
A major challenge was designing and building a miniature fortune dispenser that would fit in the small space. Runs on a single cpu that controls the motors and lights.
Product Demo Videos
(Click on "Mechanical Clocks" at top of page for more videos)
""Intergalactic Space Radio" Reverb Speaker - Completed July 2016
Using the case from an antique radio, is this external speaker for use with any audio device that is anything but ordinary. Building using all new electronics and circuits,this external speaker gives any audio plugged into it a reverb/ echo sound ( much like my Reverb Matic projects) as a jewel pulses to the audio.When the audio is at mid-to high volume, the light changes color.
Simple to use by plugging in a 3.5mm audio cord to the front. The large dial serves as the volume control.
"Ruxpin Gump" Custom Teddy Ruxpin Machine
Completed August 2015.
This customized vintage Teddy Ruxpin bear is blended with the cult classic film "Forest Gump" and recites actual movie quotes in Tom Hanks voice at the push of a button. Added animation and a breathing mechanism which moves the figures stomach rhythmically in and out,sets this modified digital Ruxpin apart from the original.
I wanted to implement a few more innovative features into this project, but because of the very limited space,it wasn't possible .
The operating system is similar to "Rudys Radio" utilizing 3 boards (main logic,driver and sound).This is this first of four different Teddy Ruxpin projects I designed and made in the series.
"Rudy's Radio" - Coin-operated Animatronic Radio
Completed June 2015
This interesting piece features the use of an antique radio cabinet that I modified with the addition of a coin mechanism,and a vintage ventriloquist dummy head that I animated to "talk" in sync to actual old radio broadcasts. After depositing a coin,by turning the knob on the radio, Rudy briefly recites one of many old radio broadcasts and commercials for 30 seconds then goes to idle. When not in operation, a retro Edison bulb flickers inside to give added ambiance. This system runs on three boards (logic,driver & audio). A cooling fan in the back provides air circulation to the flickering AC bulb inside.
"Flip-o-Matic" Electric Clock .
Completed March 2014.
This is the first of two retro looking flip clocks I designed and constructed that features a light sensor. The antique radio tubes glow in the dark, illuminating the numbers, and turns off automatically in the light. I handmade the wooden chassis, and finished it in a red gloss enamel. This one also has a USB accessory charger as well to charge any devices with a USB port.
"Back to the Future" Flux Capacitor replica. Completed May 2014.
This is my own version of the movie prop. It features motion activation and can be powered by batteries, household outlet, or a vehicle power outlet. The toughest part of this build was cutting the thick metal of the fuse box ,then installing the acrylic window and rubber gasket. The pulsing glass flux tubes was achieved by leds underneath that run with a basic chasing lights circuit.I added a switch on the right side so the user could switch between having it turn on automatically by motion sensing , or manual on/off.
""The Creeper" - Animated Interactive Wall Art
Completed November 2016
"Johnny Thunders" was the second addition to my "Creeper" series.A follow-up from "Rockabilly Rob", this one functions much the same by opening is eye and looking around when he detects your presence in the room. I did some extra programming for this one,so each time he is "awaken" he performs differently (different eye/lid movement) depending on his "mood".
"Super Mario / NES Machine" -
This project utilized a plush Super Mario in which I fitted with electronics/motors and programmed to be operated by the attached vintage NES game controller. The animated Mario moves to actual game music from "Super Mario Bros"with programmed lights.Every push of the "select" button cycles a different animated routine.
I designed and handcrafted the wooden box which resembles an old Nintendo game console to complete the look.It runs on a basic operating system of a logic/driver board and an audio board.
"The Creeper"- Animated Head (wall art)
Completed February 2016
For this piece I was inspired by the "Laffun Head" novelty product from the late 1970's. I updated it for the 21st century by adding my own personal twist. Motion activated, when you walk into the room "The Creeper" slowly opens his eyes and looks around. He will continue to look left/right as long as he senses movement around him. When you leave the area ( or stand still) he becomes "bored" and slowly closes his eyes returning to idle/off.
Operates on a single cpu and two programmed motors. This is the first one in the series.
"Reverb-Matic" Music Reverberator. Completed April 2014.
This was the first of two retro inspired reverberator units I designed and handmade. I designed it to be used in the home or vehicle, by wiring it with 3.5mm headphone jacks for the input and outputs. Gives any audio plugged into it a cool echo sound. Two-tone color with chrome trim and a moving analog gauge complete with panel lights gives it a unique look.
"The Plague Wielder" Plague/Fortune Teller Machine- Completed September 2015
Finished Product Can Be Seen Here:
This was a custom ordered machine for the contemporary artist, Max Hooper Schneider (www.studiomhs.com).
This full-sized machine features a handcrafted 5' tall cabinet that was designed to be placed on a pedestal. The customer supplied items such as the metal marquee, and the figure which I fully animated to the revolving & illuminated crystal ball.. The ball in the video was just for demonstration purposes as the customer also supplied his own.
At the end of the program the machine dispenses a "fortune" card to the sound of a chime.,I incorporated an "attract mode" into the machine ,so when walking past it, the figures head moves/twitches briefly per customer's request.This machine operates on 3 boards, a logic/driver , an audio, and a 3rd cpu that is solely dedicated to the head movement.
"Rux-Tendo" Remote Controlled Teddy Ruxpin
Completed August 2015
This project utilized two vintage items , an original Nintendo light gun zapper, and an old 1985 Teddy Ruxpin bear. Both were modified to work together in this unique piece. By shooting the gun at Teddy, he recites custom programmed audio while "looking around" at his surroundings. I made a frame to convert him into an upright standing position, and fitted him with all new motors and digital circuits. The light gun was retrofitted with a radio control module that turns Teddy on/off and triggers different audio tracks. As a bonus, I made it that every time you shoot at him, his blue right eye flashes.
"Pee-Wee Herman's Fun Machine".
Coin-Operated Animatronic Machine
Completed January 2015 .
This coin-op machine was the first in a new larger cabinet design and a more advanced control system .It features the actual voice of Paul Reubens in sync to the robots mouth movement, and theme music from "Pee-wees Playhouse" as well as "Tequila" from the movie "Pee-Wee's Big Adventure".The robot actually does the "Pee-Wee dance" on the second half of the program! Many programmed motors in the head,mouth,arms,hands, and waist makes Pee Wee come alive.Contains 2 circuit boards : a main logic board, and a driver board which shares the programs for the robots movement ,lighting and audio .
Showbiz Pizza Place Animatronic Machine
Completed November 2017
This was a custom ordered project in which the customer supplied his own vintage prototype animatronic Billy-Bob bear which I then completely dissembled, built a new heavy-duty aluminum body frame, and installed new modern motors.I then built a case for the figure and programmed 6 different shows, which are performed with the push of a button.A 5 watt amp and volume control knob provide crisp and clear audio.Plugs into any household electrical outlet. Operates on 4 boards:a main logic, 2 slaves and an audio board.All the electronics are tucked away under the stage floor.
"The Rocky Horror Picture Show"
Animated Singing Mouth
This interesting small curiosity recreates the opening segment to the 1975 cult classic "The Rocky Horror Picture Show". By pressing and holding the large illuminated button, the animated mouth sings the full 4 minute theme song, just like in the movie.Letting go stops the performance.If you press it again, it restarts from the beginning.
The handmade mouth is run by 3 circuits, a logic , driver ,and an audio board. Also squeezed into the little box is a 20-watt amplifier, which provides loud and clear audio.
"Swami" Mini Coin Operated Fortune Teller Machine
This is the second and last of two miniature fortune tellers I designed and constructed,this time with a male figure. It shares a similar antique oak cabinet design as the first machine "Esmeralda", and dispenses a fortune ticket at the end of the program as well. Differences include a real miniature crystal ball that pulsates, music, more advance eye movement and lighting, side glass panes on the cabinet,and an illuminated hand painted marquee.Plays a different melody with each performance. Runs on a single cpu with an audio board.