Animator – Feller instructions

Animator – Feller Video instructions

The following video explains how to setup your animator feller.

Animator – Text instructions

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What’s in the box

Your feller product comes with the following parts

  • two tree armatures
  • five volt power supply
  • feller figure
  • feller mechanism
  • SD card adapter
  • microSD card installed in the animator controller
  • animator controller
  • speaker
  • two switches
  • Jimmy Trains business card personally signed by me 🙂

Remove from packaging

Open the top of the box. The bottom has the cardboard specification circle. You don’t want to open this end.

Remove the loose parts first.

Then remove the animator controller and speaker. The are tapped to a cardboard insert.

The easiest way to remove the cardboard insert is to grab the speaker by its sides and pull up out of the box. Once removed un tape the animator controller and speaker from the cardboard insert.

Product dimensions

Familiarize yourself with the animator controller

Switch ports

The controller has headers for switches labelled S1 to S4 on the board.

Motor ports

It also has headers for servo motors labelled M1 to M8 on the board.

Power supplies

You can power your animator in two ways

  • At the top left of the animator controller is 12 – 18 volt ac/dc terminal block to power the animator using your train transformer. We recommend running at 16 volts ac.
  • At the top center is the USB input where you can connect the USB power supply.

USB port

This port is also used to change code on the animator. This is done by connecting to a computer using a USB-A to microUSB cable. It also can be powered using this port as previously described.

MicroSD ports

To the left of the animator is the microSD port with a microSD card preinstalled. This card holds the sound files used by the feller program. This can be updated by removing it and putting new files on it from your computer.

Speaker connection

On the right side of the animator is the speaker terminal block.

Let’s connect everything up

Connect the speaker to the terminal block by inserting the wire into the small hole in the terminal block. Tighten with a small philips head screwdriver until its is tight enough so that you can’t pull the wire out. Don’t over tighten.

Next attach the feller mechanism to the controller. The feller platform is round. Plug its motor into M1 with the brown wire facing down. The tree platform is rectangular and has a hole in it. Plug its motor into M2 with the brown wire facing down.

Next attach the switches. Plug the left (black) button into S1 with the black wire facing down and the right (red) into S2 with the black wire facing down.

Powering up the animator

Now plug the 5 volt power supply into the animator.

The animator will startup and when successful it will announce “animations active”

Press the left button and the animation sequence will start. The feller platform will rotate and the tree platform shake. It will eventually fall and play a sound track.

These sound tracks are about 10 seconds long. You can stop the sound track by pressing the left button again.

Installing the tree

The box contains two tree armatures from Woodland scenics. These represent dead trees and you can bend them as you desire and add foliage to them as well. They are a little big for the hole in the animator so trim them or carefully drill out the platform by hand with a pin vise so they fit.

You can also use your own tree. We have had great results with 6″ Bachmann trees too. The hole is just right for these.

Install the feller figure

Carefully take the Feller figure out of its package.

The quickest way to get the feller platform to the feller position is to activate the animator sequence and once the tree has fallen unplug the power supply. This will leave the platform in the correct position.

Move the tree up by hand and then glue the figure to the platform as desired. We recommend leaving a small gap between the axe and tree.

Mounting the animator control and speaker to your layout.

The animator has keyhole in the back 3″ apart that you can use to mount the controller to your layout frame.

The speaker box has 8 screw holes which are sized to take a No 6 sheet metal screws. I use pan heads which will self tap. The hole depth is 1/2″ so choose the correct length screw as needed.

Operation

There are two buttons. The left button activates the animation. The right button activates the main menu.

After the animation is started you can interrupt it by pressing the left button.

Continuous mode

If you want animations to run continuously you can hold the left button down until you hear the announcement “Continuous mode activated…”

To deactivate press and hold the left button until you hear “Continuous mode deactivated”

Main menu

If you press the right button a message will play “main menu press left button to scroll through items press right button to select the item”.

Press the left button and different options will play. When you hear the option you want press the right button. Further instructions will play for each menu option. If the menu has an “Exit this menu” option use that to get back to “animations are now active”. Menus without “Exit this menu” will automatically go back to “animations are now active”.

Menu summary

  • Choose Sounds
    • Birds and Dogs
    • Birds and Dogs short
    • Just Birds
    • Train
    • Machine
    • No other sounds
    • Owl
    • Christmas
    • Forth of July
    • Halloween
    • Birthday
    • Random (randomly chooses the above sounds)
  • Move feller and tree
    • Move feller to rest position
    • Move feller to chop position
    • Move tree to upright position
    • Move tree to fallen position
    • Exit this menu
  • Adjust feller and tree
    • Move Feller to rest position
      • Left button for clockwise, Right button for counterclockwise, press and hold right mouse button until you here all changes complete.
    • Move feller to chop position
      • Left button for clockwise, Right button for counterclockwise, press and hold right mouse button until you here all changes complete.
    • Move tree to upright position
      • Left button for up, Right button for down, press and hold right mouse button until you here all changes complete.
    • Move tree to fallen position
      • Left button for up, Right button for down, press and hold right mouse button until you here all changes complete.
  • Set dialog options
    • Opening dialog on
    • Opening dialog off
    • Lumberjack advice on
    • Lumberjack advice off
    • Exit this menu
  • Webpage options
    • Web page on
    • Web page off
    • Hear web url
    • Hear instruction on how to enable web access
    • Exit this menu
  • Exit this menu

Choose sounds menu

This option is the most commonly selected menu option. These instructions will demonstrate how to use the main menu.

If you press the right button a message will play “you have entered option mode there are two buttons on the top of the device. The first button will advance through a menu of options the second button will select the option.

Press the left button. When you hear “Choose sounds” press the right mouse button to confirm. You will hear another menu announcement “Sound selection menu…”

Now you will be in the sound selection menu.

Press the left button and different sound options like “lumberjack chopping a tree down with birds and dogs in the background”.

Once you have found the option you want press the right button and it will confirm with “you have successfully selected your option, animations are now active”

Animator web page

Your animator – feller product can serve a web page on your local network and will look like the following.

You can use the webpage to activate animation and change settings from your phone, tablet or computer. All you need to do is be connected to your local wifi network. Access the feller webpage by typing “animator-feller.local” in your browser.

Click on the tabs “Animations, Adjustments, Settings” to access other pages. The other pages let you adjust the feller and tree and change settings.

Enabling webpage access

To enable web access to your animator you will need to make changes to your microSD card that is inserted in your animator.

The animator is a ioT device and only works on a 2.4G network. So set the SSID and password for that network. We recommend setting up the animator on your guest network. Guest networks don’t need your main password and allow your guest to play too :).

  • Insert the card in a microSD card reader on your computer.
  • Power off your animator and remove the microSD card.
  • Make a copy of env_example.json file
  • Rename the copy to env.json
  • Edit the env.json file with your SSID and password
  • After you made your changes reinsert the microSD card in the animator and power on your animator
  • Navigate to the “web options menu” and activate “Web page on” by pressing the right mouse button.
  • Confirm the web page works by navigating to animator-feller.local in your browser.