Great junk-yard find leads to a reclaimed control panel project

Having the “can you believe somebody threw this away?” mentality has gotten us into some trouble through the years, but look what [Joshua] found at the scrap yard! It’s a door from a power conversion station and it contains fourteen indicator lights and a lot of other doodads. But since this is just the door, he needed a way to monitor the controls and drive the indicators. At the heart of the hack he used to get this up and running is a PIC 18F2550. It has no trouble driving the indicators thanks to a pair of ULN2803 darlington arrays which switch the higher 24 volt levels.

His writeup doesn’t mention the method used, but the panel also has a couple of meters at the top. In the video after the break you can clearly see that he’s got them both working. We’d bet there’s a plan for each of the buttons as well, since this will be prominently featured in their alien-invasion themed Halloween display this year.

5 thoughts on “Great junk-yard find leads to a reclaimed control panel project

  1. I am more curious as to how he got it from the scrap yard.
    Can just anyone go into any scrap yard and tell he owner that he/she wants to go looking around for interesting electronics, and take it at will?

    Also, why is it so popular for people to make a delay consisting of wasting cycles, instead of using a timer?

  2. So – basically it’s a light show? Oh well, it certainly does light up… and I can’t really judge the impression it makes without seeing the rest of the show, but… it’s not exactly what I’d call “finding a use” for something – unless you define that as “make it do something, anything at all”. I’m more of a “I’ll stick two LEDs in my car if they show, say, the battery voltage but not if they’re just there to blink” kind of guy, sorry.

  3. Could see this being “useful” for a film set, as stage prop, if you were making a space orientated film, the panel would only have to light up not do anything useful.

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