Halloween Hacks: A Jacob’s Lantern sure to win the carving contest

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jacobs-ladder-pumpkin

[Matt] entered himself in a pumpkin carving contest this year, even despite the fact that his artistic skills were a bit…lacking. He knew that he had very little chance of winning the contest unless he had a great gimmick to make his creation stand out, so he started brainstorming.

[Matt] figured that since his design would have to be somewhat simple, he needed something eye catching that he could add to the pumpkin after it went under the knife. Like a bolt of lightning, inspiration struck, and he set off to fetch an ignition transformer along with some wire coat hanger.

He built a makeshift Jacob’s ladder that would fit perfectly inside his hollowed out pumpkin, and proceeded to carve the pumpkin with the “Caution, risk of electric shock” logo, familiar to most anyone that works with electronics. You can see the final result in the video below, which we think looks pretty neat. If he didn’t end up winning the contest, we’d be shocked!

Comments

  1. MrX says:

    Awesome idea, great hack!

  2. TBO says:

    Sweet!

    And people say candles in a pumpkin a a risk for starting fires! ;-)

  3. kanchoblindside says:

    Ohm, my god. I find this revolting. Watt ever made you think this could be the prize-winning joule?

    Amp another thing…you’re GROUNDED!

    Seriously, thats kinda neat. Did it smell like burned pumpkin seeds after a while?

  4. Jason Halin says:

    Hmmm…for what it is, it seems kinda simple. Not a fan.

  5. Vonskippy says:

    Um…ITS NOVEMBER 3RD…Save it for next year.

  6. Tom the Brat says:

    Love it!

    Always wanted to make a Jacob’s ladder.

  7. aztraph says:

    i noticed all the really great Halloween hacks come out AFTER Oct 31st. afraid someone is going to take your idea? this is awesome BTW!

  8. tAK says:

    Would be cool to run the wire on the inside of the lightning bolt itself, instead of just having it in the middle of the pumpkin. Would a jacobs ladder work if the 2 wires were bent into a lightning bolt shape ?

    • kendall14 says:

      BTW sorry, I didn’t mean to press the report link. As for putting it in the shape of the lighting bolt, it would look cool but I imagine it would also light the pumpkin on fire.

    • monster says:

      the arc makes a cloud of highly charged hot air that rises in between the two wires. if the bend is too sharp id imagine it would break the arc and reform either above the bend or back at the bottom

      • Ren says:

        Monster is right. The arc ionizes and heats the air between the two electrodes (antennas) and the arc follows the heated air as it rises. At some point the resistance of the arc exceeds the resistance of a new arc starting at the base of the electrodes. Then the arc extinguishes as a new one forms (path of least resistance). High voltage is tricky, sharp turns or points in the electrodes could be stopping points for the arc. tAK, it is “possible” but it would take an awful lot of trial and error (or icky math) to make it work, IMnotsoHO.

  9. Nitori says:

    Neat but very dangerous I would have implemented it differently.
    Maybe use some blue LEDs driven by a pic or arduino lighting up some pieces of lexan to simulate the look of an arc.

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