Scary Papa's Haunted Forest

There is no greater joy in life than to scare the bejesus out of your grandkids

How to Add a Step Mat Prop Trigger to Activate a "Try Me" Prop

Do you have one of those great animated props that you really like but it is sound or motion activated.  If you are like me you don't think these triggers really work very well.  Expecially for an outside haunt like mine.  Well, have I got a solution for you.  Most of these props have a "Try Me" botton.  if this is the case you can easily (and with no knowledge of electronics or soldering needed) make your fantastic prop work with a pressure mat switch.  Here's how.


Tools and Materials Needed:

Small screwdriver

Wire insulation stripper

Wire crimper

Dremmel or other appropriate cutting tool

Small pair of pliers

Small gauge electrical wire - 18-22 ga.

Glue gun

Plastic wire ties

Wire tie tool - useful but not mandatory

Small gauge wire splicers - $2.99 at Radio Shack

Small gauge wire connectors - $2.99 at Radio Shack


Step 1:

Remove the  cover to the electrical connecitons.  In this case it is the bottom of the prop that covers the electronics.


Step 2:

Before completely removing the cover be sure to take a peek and see if anything is going to fall out or get displaced when the cover is removed.  Things have to go back where they were found.


Step 3:

Locate the wires that connect to the "Try Me" botton.  On this prop is is the two yellow wires.


Step 4:

If the wires are tied together with plastic ties or other material separate the wires to give you some working room.  Be careful and do not pull on the wires or you may pull a connection on the circuit board loose.


Step 5:

Place a piece of small gauge wire in the the commercial small gauge wire splicer.  This will be the wire that will go to your pressure mat switch.  Be sure to make it plenty long to give you lots to work with.  You can always make it shorter.  It will slide in to a stop in the splicer.  Now put one wire from the "Try Me" botton tnto the splicer and clamp the metal splicing piece onto the wires with a pair of pliers.  Then snap the plastic cover of the wire splicer in place.  Follow this same proceedure for the second wire from the "Try Me" botton.  Once you have completed this step you should replace any wire ties that you previously removed.


Step 6:

Route the wires you added to the "Try Me' botton wires around to the back of the prop.  Make sure you do not put any pressure on the wires.  They should be failry loose inside the prop to prevent pulling anything from the electronics.  Use the glue gun to secure the wires.


Step 7:

Using the dremmel or other appropriate cutting tool cut s slot on the back of the base to allow the installed wires to pass through.


Step 8:

Place a plastic wire tiy around the two new wires just inside the base of the prop to prevent the wires from accidentially being pulled out or putting strain on the electronics inside the prop.


Step 9:

Replace the cover to the electronics and test the prop but touching the ends of the newly installed wires together.  The prop should function.  Now simply add the appropriately connectors to the ends of your mat trigger switch and you are good to go.

One Final Note:

This will work on any prop with a "Try Me" or similar button.  However, even though I have not tried it yet I believe it will also work for props that operate using a motion sensor or sound sensor as well.  Just splice into the wires to these components.