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Halloween Project Help!

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by gstylee, Sep 16, 2013.

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  1. gstylee


    Sep 16, 2013
    Hello pals, I am looking for some help rigging up a Halloween prop! I am trying to figure out how to create an electric chair type lighting effect.(erratic blinking ala old horror movies)

    I would like to be able to run off housepower and turn this on through a simple switch!

    Thanks in advance!
  2. Fish4Fun

    Fish4Fun So long, and Thanks for all the Fish!

    Aug 27, 2013
    Tesla coils are always fun (rarely safe, but always fun, hehe ) Depending on what you want there are lots of options. Some of these new high-power LEDs can truly light up the world. A Zeon bulb or camera flash are possibilities. Not sure what your background is, but you are likely going to need to do some due diligence before anyone can help.

  3. gstylee


    Sep 16, 2013
    My background:

    Technician that repairs radar systems down to the component level.

    The problem I am having is making the erratic blinking. I can build a strobe no problem, just not sure how to get the electric chair effect.

    A tesla is a safety hazard or would be awesome. The patrons will be in close proximity to the prop.
  4. gstylee


    Sep 16, 2013
    I guess I could try adding multiple caps to a strobe circuit so they fire off at different intervals. Any thoughts?
  5. shrtrnd


    Jan 15, 2010
    I don't know if you're in the states. Unless you're seriously wanting to 'do-it-yourself'
    with this, I'd check the local five & dime store and see what the chinese came-up with
    this year. Last year they had a bunch of small electronic skulls with the 'electrifying'
    effect you're talking about. I bought a dozen of 'em, just because the effect was so
    visually exotic. You might find something cheap you like, and can disassemble it to
    use the electronics for your effects. Just a thought.
  6. Fish4Fun

    Fish4Fun So long, and Thanks for all the Fish!

    Aug 27, 2013
    High Power LEDs are considerably easier to use, are low voltage and come in several colors. You could "strobe" them in the uS time domain with little more than a uController and a mosfet. That's where I would start.

  7. BobK


    Jan 5, 2010
    +1 to Fish

    If you had to do it withoug a micro, you could run several oscillators at different (unsynchronized) freqencies and AND the outputs together.

  8. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    You can also make a pseudo-random source with a shift register and some gates. However the pin count would be higher than if you used a microcontroller.
  9. KJ6EAD


    Aug 13, 2011
    One of the easiest solutions is to use a sound-to-light control such as the Velleman MK186 and use an appropriate sound effect source to trigger it.
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