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Controllable Torch / Flashlight

Discussion in 'LEDs and Optoelectronics' started by James Tuddenham, Nov 22, 2016.

  1. James Tuddenham

    James Tuddenham

    4
    0
    Nov 22, 2016
    Hi everyone. Not sure if anyone can help.
    I am after a prop being made for my latest Escape Room theme. What i need is a remote controlled torch. In fact i would need about 5 so i have spares.
    In otherwords, i need a torch i can activate remotely, by whatever method, whilst someone is using it. So, whilst someone is walking around, i can remotely turn off and leave them plunged into darkness. Even better would be the ability to flicker, though not essential. Also, torch possibly still controllable by user, but overidden by the remote, again, only if possible.
    I have seen a few brief ideas in principal of remote control, radio control and even possibly Raspberry Pi, but all this way beyond me. I think the torch would be best in the 6v battey lantern size so you could hold all the electronics in that space?
    So, i am asking, if anyone thinks they can help and build these, or if they can suggest anywhere else i could try. Of course, i am happy to pay properly for these to be developed, so by all means contact me to arrange a quote etc.
     
  2. Gryd3

    Gryd3

    4,098
    875
    Jun 25, 2014
    Are you opposed to making something yourself?

    It's not that hard to make if you are willing to do some digging.
    https://www.adafruit.com/products/1095
    https://www.adafruit.com/products/1097

    These two devices will work with each other, and will actually allow you to control 4 'pins' with a single remote. This means you can easily give a single torch multiple options, or you could control multiple torches.
    The receiver I have linked is a 'toggle' type. Push a button and it stays on, push again and it stays off. There are also 'momentary' receivers available.

    The only remaining parts you need would be a battery, a light, and perhaps a transistor or relay if the torch light draws a lot of power.
    The little radio receiver would control a low power light, or would control a relay/transistor which would then handle the much higher power light.

    There are limitations with this particular setup though... if you build multiple torches with the same receiver ALL torches will be controlled by the same remote. It is possible though to control 4 separate torches... If torch A is connected to pin A, then torch A won't care if you push the B, C, or D buttons. It gives you a way of having up to 4 independent controls. If you want finer grain control over a torch, you will either need a different receiver, or you will need to use more than 1 pin for it... meaning you could only have 1 or 2 individually controlled torches.
     
  3. James Tuddenham

    James Tuddenham

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    0
    Nov 22, 2016
    Hi. Thanks for that sounds fantastic. Would be great to have all torches one receiver so all torches are controlled. Only thing is, as for building myself, i would have no idea where to start :) But the info is great, so perhaps i can use to see if i can find someone to have a go for me. Thanks again.
     
  4. Gryd3

    Gryd3

    4,098
    875
    Jun 25, 2014
    Not a problem!
    With the controller I linked, you can use 3 different types of receiver which can give you more flexibility in how your torch behaves.
    I'll leave you with a bit of home-work to get some information to help everyone with. Depending on how active I am on the forum, I'll try to draw something up for you or push you a little to try to make one yourself ;)

    -How many *active* torches at once? (Per room, and in total)
    -How many *spare* torches would you like?
    -Would you like *All Active* torches to be controlled at the same time? (ie, All On, or All Off)
    -Or would you like one remote to individually control each active torch? (ie, Torch C Off, leave Torches A, B, and D unchanged)
    -Would you like your Torch to have multiple *modes*? (ie, Constant Light, Flickering Light, Off-Allow-Override, Hard-Off)
    -What size and type of torch? (Is this going to be a custom made prop, or a modified flashlight for example)


    If you are wanting to control individual torches with multiple modes, this project will get a little more complicated. If it's simply on-off you are wanting, you could do this yourself with minimal parts in a short time.
    Unload as much info as you have on your ideas for the torch and let's make sure we can meet as many key ideas as possible.
     
  5. James Tuddenham

    James Tuddenham

    4
    0
    Nov 22, 2016
    OK. Thanks again :)
    Maximum 2 torches active at once. They would use these through the 3 rooms.
    Would like 3 spare torches.
    Yes - All Active torches to be controlled at same time.
    Would be good if could have Multiple Modes - minimum would be to allow user to turn on/off on torch, but if remote operator turns torches off, user cannnot switch back on, until operator allows again by remote.
    Size - i thought best a lantern type, like the 6v battery ones as probably most space for electronics.
    Finally, these are going to be used in a haunted theme, so when torches on, they need to be reasonably low lit, not bright.

    Hope that all makes sense
     
  6. Gryd3

    Gryd3

    4,098
    875
    Jun 25, 2014
    Excellent. The receivers will operate on anything from 5-10V which means, those 6V batteries will work with them.
    As far as lighting is concerned, take a look at some white LEDs, and/or perhaps a translucent cover for the lantern.
    Wiring for the basic mode you requested would be quite easy, as the receiver would use a transistor to handle the switching of the light. A toggle switch, or toggle-type push button would then sit either in-between the receiver and transistor, or in-between the light and transistor.
    This would mean that both the receiver *and* switch need to be on for the lantern to be on. If the user, or remote decide to turn the lantern off, it will go off.
    Please share details on the other modes you would like, and if you would like to forcibly turn the lamp on regardless of user input
     
  7. James Tuddenham

    James Tuddenham

    4
    0
    Nov 22, 2016
    Hi
    As you have mentioned "both the receiver *and* switch need to be on for the lantern to be on. If the user, or remote decide to turn the lantern off, it will go off."
    This would be absolutely fine. It would not be necessary to forcibly turn lamp on.
    I don't really need any other modes, just the above would be ideal if it is the most simple.
     
  8. Gryd3

    Gryd3

    4,098
    875
    Jun 25, 2014
    Well. If we are keeping it simple, a transistor (almost any will do as long as it handles 20-50mA) , resistor, transmitter/Receiver and a 'Candle Flicker' LED would literally be all you need.
    If you don't want the flicker, you can use a regular LED instead. They *can* be quite bright, but the lower powered ones are usually just enough to find they keyhole in your front door on a dark winter night.
     
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