Arduino-Powered Steampunk Steam Gauge


[Murphy's_Lawyer] had some empty space on the wall in his kitchen, so he decided to fill it with a whirring Steampunk gizmo: an Arduino-driven steam gauge.

The build began as an old 10″ Ashcroft pressure gauge sourced from eBay, which [Murphy's_Lawyer] dissected to determine the state of its guts. Finding the gauge’s Bourdon tube intact, he got to work constructing a method of generating motion without the need for actual steam. The solution was to mount a continuous rotation servo between the tube and the case. The servo lacked the strength to flex the tube on its own, so [Murphy's_Lawyer] fashioned a simple lever out of brass to help it along.

The electronics consist of an Arduino Uno and an accompanying homemade PCB. The code for the Uno generates random motion for twirling the servo, and three LEDs built into the face reflect values generated for speed, pause and run time. The final upgrade came in the form of a new dial face, which provides some updated text as well as a cutout square that lets you see the previously obscured gears in action. Check out the video below, then see another Steampunk overhaul: the Edwardian Laptop.


  1. MRE says:

    I dunno.. Seems a shame to take a functional gauge and “punk” it.. ie BREAK it. Especially when if all you are after is the brass housing and the gear look inside, that should be easy enough to replicate.

    • Willaim says:

      Upon reading his Instructables writeup it was not all that functional in the first place broken bezel, frozen valve, apparent removal from service as evidenced by the cheap price on ebay.

      Wanna know where the other probable home for this gauge? Stock for a door knocker or relay contacts, yeah that’s right the Recycling Center. I for one would much rather see it here plus technically its still fully functional upon removing the ad-ons.

  2. Thoquz says:

    I expect to see a lot of rants here. Not only is this steampunk, but it uses an arduino!

  3. Well, only thing (other than ‘wrecking’ cool vintage gauge) is the swings “through” zero. I think it would be better looking to hold at zero until the next update… just my two cents and probably worth less than that.

  4. von Corax says:

    What he should have done (were he a real Steampunk :P ) was make it actually do something useful, rather than just sit there and twiddle itself. I see vast potential unfulfilled here.

  5. Tyler says:

    Why not use an electropneumatic transducer out of some HVAC equipment, if we’re going to source things from eBay? No valves harmed, it actually works right…

  6. agtrier says:

    Forget the build – isn’t “Murphy’s Lawyer” simply the best hacker’s pseudonym EVER?

  7. draeath says:

    Why Brittanica? Isn’t wikipedia a thing that also happens to have a lot more information on it?

  8. Murphys_llawyer says:

    Murphy’s-lawyer here! I was surprised to see my instructable post here on this site (which I recently discovered). Just about everything involved in making this contraption was a first for me, so just being able to finish it was a personal best. The steam gauge was really a wreck when I got it just for this purpose, and I really am making a arduino powered bathroom pay lock. Why? Two reasons: for the challenge of it, and for the lulz when people see it!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 96,670 other followers