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Directions on # of Controllers for Xmas Project


I need direction on the number of controllers to use for a Christmas display project and the best way to synchronize them.

My plan is to have 1 elf that will speak a welcome message and introduce Mr & Mrs Claus singing White Christmas. Then Mr & Mrs Claus will be seated and each sing certain parts of the song and two (head only) elves will appear and sing background vocals.

Mr and Mrs Claus will be seated on a bench next to each other. Each will have 3 to 4 servos controlling head movement and mouth movement (and maybe minor body movement). The two background elves will each have 2 servos, one to ‘appear’ an one for mouth movement and will be located a minimum of about 6 feet to a maximum of 10 feet from Mr & Mrs Claus. The introducing elf will have 3 servos for head and mouth movement, and will be located about 20 feet from Mr & Mrs Claus.

Should I use 1, Pololu Maestro 18 or 24 channel controller to control all of them, or a separate 6 controller for each? If separate controllers, what is the best way to synchronize them all to the same music soundtrack? I’ve looket at Robodyssey.com’s Servo Scriber software, but that seems very limiting. I’ve also considered brookshiresoftware.com’s VSA software 5.0 Hobbyist, but still don’t understand how to link and synchonize everything.

All of this will be used along with a Lightorama.com light controller (16 channel).

Any direction appreciated.



I am not familiar with the controllers from lightorama.com. However, I have heard of other people using VSA software here on the forum. Using a single larger controller should make timing easier to handle, and the 12, 18, and 24 channel Maestros have some features that are not available in the Micro Maestro 6-channel unit. Using multiple Maestros can have some advantages when your animatronic figures are somewhat spread out by reducing complications in wiring and signal loss.