Turning a Civil Defense Geiger Counter into a “Disco Containment Unit” @Hackaday @Hackadayio
Old Civil Defense survey meters like the V-715 are interesting conversation starters, but of very little practical use today. These devices were intended to be a sort of litmus test that survivors of a nuclear blast could use to determine when it was safe to venture out of their radiation shelter: if the needle on the meter moves, even when it’s on the most sensitive setting, you should probably go back inside. Since [Hamilton Karl] would (hopefully) never need such an indicator, he decided to have a little fun with this Cold War holdover and turn it into a Disco Containment Unit.
Since gathering and live events are dangerous, I tried to imagine a dystopian device that would safely contain a ‘radioactive’ mirror disco ball. I strived to maintain the charm of a civil defense era Victoreen geiger counter, with a few key modifications. The controls are kept to a minimum: Power, motor control, light toggle, and light mode. A geared motor drives a 3mm shaft through the center. The ball is surrounded by four Adafruit NeoPixels that I tediously soldered angled on tall header pins to direct the light precisely. A fifth RGB Led is placed in the rear of the device, underneath a clear indicator lens.
The brains of the operation are an Arduino nano clone, powered by eight AA batteries (wired 4 x 2 in series to output 6 volts). To top it all off, I painstakingly transposed the intro to “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees to play via piezo buzzer at boot.
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