Monster Crate

Years ago I saw a video of a monster crate and thought I’d like to build one someday.

2015 was the year I started Halloween and this seemed like an easy build.

monster_crate2The box was made from scrapped pallet  timber.

A car door lock actuator was mounted on the inside, towards the front.

The lid pushes the actuator back down when power is removed.

This means I only need a single polarity to energise the actuator.

The actuator only has a short stroke, but it is cheap and worked well.

I mounted the control board remotely this year, but will integrate it into the box for 2016.






monster_crate1I threw some 12V RGB LED modules in the box.

They shine through the gaps between the boards.

It may have looked better with slightly larger gaps.

The chain gives the illusion that it is limiting the lid opening.









pir_sensorA miniature PIR was mounted into a painted PVC conduit cap and 90° bend.

This wires into the controller board so the crate only activated when someone walks by.








monster_crate3The box itself is pretty simple.

I’m not very good at woodwork, but I’m happy with the result.

I may cut the height down by one plank width for 2016.









monster_crate4The car door lock actuator pushed up on the wooden lid.

These actuators are only meant for intermittent operation,

but the low duty cycle helped keep the temperature rise down.

The new controller board I have planned for 2016 will be able to

fire the actuator at full power, then PWM it down once extended.

I’ll also put the controller board inside the box next time.