I am a steampunk which is group of people that try to combine the fashion from previous times, with modern technology refashioned as if it had been created back in that period. The classical steampunk period is Victorian London, but a lot of us push the boundaries in both location and in terms of time periods. My main thing is disguising my modern camera like a bellows camera from the past, and then adding other things that are in modern smartphones. So I have a sextent and compass to replace the GPS, I have a abacus and small slide rule to replace the calculator.
I have a telegraph key to represent the communication end of things. Originally, it was just a prop on the camera, but I had enough people asking about whether it fired the camera, so I eventually wrote an Arduino program that when the telegraph key is depressed, it connects the focusing circuit int he camera, and when the telegraph key is released, it momentarily connects both the focusing and shooting circuits to fire the camera. Afterwards, I use a buzzer to signal 'Fire' in morse code.
I was wanting to change the buzzer to do other things when the telegraph shutter release is pressed. I was thinking of something with sparks, such as a plasma lamp or ball. Now obviously, I could just use a relay on the Arduino that sits between the batteries and the device to just turn it on or off. But for the cheap battery powered devices are there ways I can control the display parameters, rather than using the controls that are builtin to the microprocessor controlling the lamp/ball (mostly that uses sound waves)? In case people aren't sure what I'm talking about:
Here are 3 of my steampunk cameras (Olympus E-P2 inside of an antique Kodak Pony Premo 5x7 camera on the left, Olympus E-5 inside a custom box on the middle, and Olympus VG-120 on the right, though in this case, I'm using a normal wired shutter release cable under the telegraph key):
and the back view:
As a side note, I was holding off on this particular post until I reached 1,000 posts. Originally, I thought that would bump me from being a God member to being a Tesla member. Given Tesla invented the first plasma ball, I thought there was a poetic ring to it. However, instead it promotes me to Edison member who had a rather public feud with Tesla on the war of the currents (Edison wanted direct current while Tesla favored alternating current). Ah well.