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Hi, I am new to Arduino and just purchased an Uno!

What I would like to do is automate a miniature I built for a movie years ago.  The miniature is of a small apartment building.  I thought it would be neat to incorporate Arduino into this project; I'm just not really sure what the possibilities are.  I'd appreciate any advice!

The ideal: I am currently building a display cabinet for my miniature and wiring up the miniature.  The ideal would be if a viewer can "turn on" the miniature and then arduino takes it over.  Can I program it to do certain things to the miniature in a random way, such as turn on certain lights, activate motors I might incorporate into the miniature, etc., so that the miniature seems to "come to life?"  A light comes on in one room, stays on for a while while another light goes on, goes off ... a figure appears to look out a window ... a rear projection set-up is turned on that creates images in other rooms, etc. etc.  In other words, if I build certain functions into the miniature, can I then program Arduino to take them over and automate them, and this can be installed in the miniature where all I need is to supply power to the arduino?

Can this also include sound effects?  What's the best way to do this? 

Sorry if these are basic questions.  I'm pretty new to this but I'm really looking forward to it and would appreciate any ideas/suggestions.

Much thanks.
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Yes it can be done and with sound effects.
But most likely not powered from the Arduino board.
You will need additional hardware, components and a lot of time.
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So to keep it simple, if I have a midi player with speakers and a light that simulates a lightning effect, I could program the Arduino board to flash a lightning effect on the miniature while telling the midi player to play a thunder sound, or something like that?
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Yes, but take a look at this for sound effects it's simpler and cheaper than midi. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-SD-Card-MP3-Sound-Module-For-PIC-Arduino-WTV020-SD-16P-MM-/290839439562?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item43b761a8ca
Here's the thread about it http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=117009.0
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Hi, I am new to Arduino and just purchased an Uno!

What I would like to do is automate a miniature I built for a movie years ago.  The miniature is of a small apartment building.  I thought it would be neat to incorporate Arduino into this project; I'm just not really sure what the possibilities are.  I'd appreciate any advice!

The ideal: I am currently building a display cabinet for my miniature and wiring up the miniature.  The ideal would be if a viewer can "turn on" the miniature and then arduino takes it over.  Can I program it to do certain things to the miniature in a random way, such as turn on certain lights, activate motors I might incorporate into the miniature, etc., so that the miniature seems to "come to life?"  A light comes on in one room, stays on for a while while another light goes on, goes off ... a figure appears to look out a window ... a rear projection set-up is turned on that creates images in other rooms, etc. etc.  In other words, if I build certain functions into the miniature, can I then program Arduino to take them over and automate them, and this can be installed in the miniature where all I need is to supply power to the arduino?

Can this also include sound effects?  What's the best way to do this? 

Sorry if these are basic questions.  I'm pretty new to this but I'm really looking forward to it and would appreciate any ideas/suggestions.

Much thanks.

We'd have a better idea of what could be done if we knew what scale it was. You can't fit a quart into a pint pot.
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It sounds like you want a bunch of separate systems/circuits running in the model (lights, sounds, etc...) and have the Arduino "switch" them on/off at random intervals.

Yes, this is extremely possible.

Depending on certain variables you can use FETS, relays, analog switches....a number of components to turn them on/off.
For code, it could akin to any example you find that turns on & off an LED. Incorporate the 'random' function and the premise behind the "blink without delay" example.

If you're building the display cabinet, you'll want to include a false back, or space in the base, to hide the arduino and necessary support circuitry.

As you have more specifics of the project, we can give you more specific advice/direction on how to go about it.
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This is great!  Thanks so much.  I'd really like to post a photo or two in a few days to see if that helps.  Currently finishing the cabinet which, yes, does include I hope enough space for the circuitry, etc.  I'm really looking forward to this.  Thanks again.
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