Something I would like to see for the haunt community

I know that the majority of people who use controllers for lighting and effects are running systems such as Windows or Mac OS X. There’s nothing wrong with this, but I’d like to see some Free, Open Source Software compatible controller mechanisms. I am a Linux User almost predominantly, and don’t like attempting to figure out how to operate a Virtual Machine environment. I am not a programmer or software professional. I prefer Linux for a few reasons. First, it is free. Second, it seems more intuitive than Windows or OS X, and is therefore slightly easier to use. 

I know that there is Raspberry Pi, and while it is a very versatile system, we need something a little more robust for larger props and intricate lighting systems or sound systems. Don’t get me wrong. The Pi is an awesome tool, and can be used in a pinch, but it is not as cost effective as an intricate all in one system could be. There is also the Arduino microcontroller, which can be used for controlling small motors and solenoids, but you need a separate controller board for each action on a prop. This is not cost effective, even though the Arduino software is free and open source. 

What I am trying to say is that we need a larger system that you can run an entire haunt from. There is Vixen, but that is mostly for the people who do singing pumpkins and/or Christmas light shows. We need something along the same lines for the haunt community. Something which can control pneumatic solenoids, servo motors, ambient and triggered sound, etc. I have had ideas for a few different effects for years now, but do not have the knowledge to put them into effect. Nor do I have enough ties to the microcontroller communities to get someone I know to help me out with the coding.

If there are any Haunt controller vendors who read my blog, I implore you to explore this avenue of research. You would find that there are a lot of haunters who are interested in Free, Open-Source Software for haunt controllers. I’m hoping that this will provide the motivation for someone to consider developing a system like this. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my rambling.


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