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Arduino Powered Magic Cauldron #ElectronicHalloween

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Spectacularly spooky build + tutorial from Ian McKay up on Hackster.io.

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].

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