Another piece requested by my wife, this time to enhance a reading she did at the Ross Creek Centre for the Arts. Her new novel is called the Witches of New York and she wanted a “fortune telling” contraption that created a lighting effect [the reading was planned for outdoors around a fire, but weather forced it inside]. My solution was a “magic cauldron”, that lit up when a special spell was cast [hand movements above it]. It was a huge hit and she has used it in other appearances [with some coding changes] to engage the public and her readers.
In a nutshell, an old brass cauldron is given a false bottom, under which I hide the arduino and batteries. The US sensor is mounted under the false bottom [covered in Silver aluminum tape for reflectivity] and “looks” up through two camouflaged holes. We program it to detect a pattern of movements or just a “X time at X distance” affair [we found this worked better].
Featured Adafruit Products!
NeoPixel Ring – 24 x 5050 RGB LED with Integrated Drivers: Round and round and round they go! 24 ultra bright smart LED NeoPixels are arranged in a circle with 2.6″ (66mm) outer diameter. The rings are ‘chainable’ – connect the output pin of one to the input pin of another. Use only one microcontroller pin to control as many as you can chain together! Each LED is addressable as the driver chip is inside the LED. Each one has ~18mA constant current drive so the color will be very consistent even if the voltage varies, and no external choke resistors are required making the design slim. Power the whole thing with 5VDC and you’re ready to rock. (read more)
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