The Pumpkin Noti-Fire

Everyone has an episode somewhere in their youth involving the use of an aerosol spray as an impromptu flamethrower. Take some mildly inebriated teenagers, given them a deodorant can and a box of matches, and sooner or later one or two of them are going to lose their eyebrows.

For most of us an amusing teenage episode is how the aerosol flamethrower remains. Not for [Mike Waddick] though, when last week’s DDoS attack on DNS infrastructure took away his ability to work his, attention turned to a Halloween project. He created a carved pumpkin that spits fire as a notification signal when a text or an email is received.

flame-testKey to the project is the Glade Automatic Spray Air Freshener. This is a battery-powered device with an aerosol can that is operated by either an electronic timer or a push-button switch. Remove the switch, and its line is revealed as an active low trigger for the spray. [Mike] replaced the switch with a line from a microcontroller and put a lit tea-light candle in front of the nozzle for fully controllable (if not entirely safe) flamethrower fun. Early tests proved the concept, so it only remained for the pumpkin to be carved and the system installed.

The microcontroller used in this case was the Lightblue Bean, though almost any similar board could have been put in its place. Notifications were processed via Bluetooth from an iPhone via ANCS (Apple Notification Center Service), which the Bean could query to trigger its fiery alerts. There is a brief video showing the device in action singeing [Mike]’s hand, which we’ve placed below the break.

We’ve featured a few aerosol flamethrowers before with both candle ignition and spark gaps, though not one using the convenient Glade mechanism. That’s not to say we don’t have love for electronic fresheners, be it fixing their motion control, using them as robots, or scraping them for every last part.

Oh, who are we kidding, you just want to see fire. May we present to you the wrist-mounted propane flamethrower.

10 thoughts on “The Pumpkin Noti-Fire

    1. Don’t forget the Carbon Footprints leading back down the walk. How to offset? Maybe a hack that uses upcycled scanner parts in a machine that buries tree trunks in the subduction zones at the edge of he continental shelf.

  1. When I read the title, for some reason I imagined that this would be an article about someone putting a galaxy note 7 in a pumpkin. Turned out to be even better than expected. Cool toy!

  2. I made one, except I used the 1 million volt ignition coil featured in the hackaday article about making a DIY EMP pulse gun. I fire up the coil, and then trigger the spray, and WHOOSH! The only problem was I kept burning out the Glade’s circuit board when I tried to put the ignition coil on the same circuit. Once I isolated it with a relay, no more problems.

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