Pages: [1]   Go Down
Author Topic: Controlling plasma lamp/balls or other sparky things with Arduino  (Read 447 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
Offline Offline
Edison Member
*
Karma: 53
Posts: 1837
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

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.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 07:32:06 am by MichaelMeissner » Logged

Offline Offline
Edison Member
*
Karma: 64
Posts: 2466
Now, More Than Ever
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

This kilo-post commemoration of yours bodes ill.
Not only was your estimation of your "promotion" mistaken, but you also posted in the wrong area.   smiley-grin

[ http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,29.0.html ]

> > > If there was any "feud", it was strictly one way. Edison only succeeded in demonstrating his ignorance in public.
  
« Last Edit: March 30, 2013, 08:37:40 am by Runaway Pancake » Logged

"Hello, I must be going..."
"You gotta fight -- for your right -- to party!"
Don't react - Read.
"Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?"

Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
Offline Offline
Edison Member
*
Karma: 53
Posts: 1837
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

This kilo-post commemoration of yours bodes ill.
Not only was your estimation of your "promotion" mistaken, but you also posted in the wrong area.   smiley-grin

[ http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/board,29.0.html ]
I am well aware of the exhibition gallery, and in fact I have posted there in the past.  However, I was asking about adding a plasma ball/lamp to the existing project, hence posting it here in the guidance section, and I wanted to find out if there was anything I could do with these units with an Arduino other than just turning it on/off.
Logged

Offline Offline
Edison Member
*
Karma: 64
Posts: 2466
Now, More Than Ever
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

... I was asking about adding a plasma ball/lamp to the existing project,... and I wanted to find out if there was anything I could do with these units with an Arduino other than just turning it on/off.

Like what?
Maybe you could make something spin around the plasma ball to draw the "arc"?
Similarly, the crackle tube - something to steer the crackle?
Other than that they're on/off affairs, aren't they?
Logged

"Hello, I must be going..."
"You gotta fight -- for your right -- to party!"
Don't react - Read.
"Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?"

Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
Offline Offline
Edison Member
*
Karma: 53
Posts: 1837
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Like what?
Maybe you could make something spin around the plasma ball to draw the "arc"?
Similarly, the crackle tube - something to steer the crackle?
Other than that they're on/off affairs, aren't they?
That's what I'm asking.  Is there anything I can do with those other than just turn it on/off.  They obviously have a small microprocessor with a microphone, and I didn't know if there were units that had the ability to being programmed via an Arduino.
Logged

Offline Offline
Edison Member
*
Karma: 64
Posts: 2466
Now, More Than Ever
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Microphones - I guess that's your input port opportunity.
OK
Maybe you could (simply) acoustically couple the two, using an "earbud" as a speaker and so not crack the unit/s open.

http://playground.arduino.cc/Code/ToneAC
Logged

"Hello, I must be going..."
"You gotta fight -- for your right -- to party!"
Don't react - Read.
"Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?"

Offline Offline
God Member
*****
Karma: 27
Posts: 829
View Profile
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

I found a nice post of someone playing with something similar:
http://arduino.cc/forum/index.php/topic,8386.30.html

I guess it depends on the effect you are trying to acheive. If you are looking to make it dance at will, you might want to look at transparent conductive tape of some sort. However, if the plasma beam is focused on one point for too long, it will burn the glass.
Logged

Ayer, Massachusetts, USA
Offline Offline
Edison Member
*
Karma: 53
Posts: 1837
View Profile
WWW
 Bigger Bigger  Smaller Smaller  Reset Reset

Thanks retroplayer.
Logged

Pages: [1]   Go Up
Jump to: