Halloween Hacks: Diorama-rama

The folks down at LVL1, the Louisville hackerspace, are throwing a Halloween party. To showcase his building skills, LVL1 member [JAC_101] put together a Halloween diorama featuring the inner workings of Doctor Frankenstein’s laboratory.

There’s a bunch of really neat pieces that make this build great. First up is the LVL1 plasma sign. This sign is four circuits pumping a high voltage charge through Xenon flash tubes. Instead of a bright flash, a very Halloweeny Xenon plasma shoots though the tubes. The sign is constructed from four disposable camera flash circuits.

A few flickering-LED torches light Dr. Franenstein’s lair while the monster is a McDonalds happy meal toy wrapped in surgical tape and painted with UV reactive paint.

In the interests of repurposing existing materials, a plasma disc belt buckle was taken from [Seven of Nine]’s regeneration chamber LVL1’s rave supply cabinet and provides a suitable ‘mad scientist’ aesthetic. A bit of EL wire was thrown in for good measure along with some black lights to activate the UV paint.

While Frankenstein’s lab is missing a hilariously oversize knife switch on the wall, [JAC_101] still pulled off a great build.

4 thoughts on “Halloween Hacks: Diorama-rama

  1. Do xenon flash tubes have duty cycles to be concerned about? Obviously it seems to be working fine here, but does a tube designed for very quick pulses run into problems if it’s constantly powered on for hours on end?

    I ask this as the fluorescent bulb above me pretends to be a flashbulb, goodness that’s getting annoying…

    1. Flourscent lights flash 120 times(100 times)pwe second when half a wave of power goes thru it. When they flicker the blub is weak and most of he time they don’t fire and then it is eyesore but not harmfull, or ballast may be bad.
      On the flashtube, at higher rates the charge or voltage is lessened. Cheap camera tubes are most likely overrated. High power disco tubes are the size of a small tubular flourscent light. The most powerfull are watercooled and harden steel in a flash!

  2. Tesla coil arcs all over the table and stuff above.
    The knife switch reminds me of my grandma’s chicken coop timer during the 1930’s. A wind-up clock was fastened to a shelf with a string hooked up to the winder for the alarm. When the alarm went off the string woundup pulling a weight off a high shelf with it’s string connected to a Knife Switch which pulled down to energize the poultry with eggs for breakfast. Great Depression era hacking!

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