[Jānis]’s entry for the Flashing Light Prize was doomed from the start. Or should we say Doomed? It was a complicated mess of Rube-Goldbergery that essentially guaranteed that he’d have no time for making a proper video and submitting and entry. But it also ran Doom. Or at least ran on Doom.
(Note: [Jānis] sent us this hack in the e-mail — there’s no link for this blog post. You’re reading it here and now.)
It starts with a DC motor salvaged from a DVD player that spins a wheel that flips a switch back and forth, which in turn flips the polarity of the power on the motor. It’s like a most-useless machine, but with no human involved. This contraption periodically presses a button on a gutted mouse.
Pressing the mouse button on one computer fires a rocket in a multiplayer Doom game, and triggers a light on a wall when it does. A second Doom player, on another computer, sits facing the wall. Solar cells dangled in front of Player 2’s monitor emit high and low voltages as the LCD blinks on and off. That output goes into the ADC of an Arduino clone that drives a transistor that drives a relay that turns on and off a lightbulb.
We had a lot of fun watching all of the entries for the Flashing Light Prize, and we were also stoked by the presence of so many Hackaday regulars in the Honourable Mention list. (Sad to see [Sprite]’s ping-flasher didn’t make the cut!)
If you, like [Jānis] are still sitting on a design, don’t fret. It looks like the prize will make a return next year. Woot!
10 thoughts on “Doomed Incandescent Light Blinker”
Where’s the 555?
/me runs before the troll hounds are released to tear me to pieces.
Clearly they are relying on one of the undocumented functions of the ubiquitous BFG9000 for switching and timing purposes.
I had already received the part I needed to enter this competition, and decided to check the web-site one more time before I got started. I then discovered that someone had submitted an entry using a Raspberry Pi .
I stopped right then.
Doesn’t mean it’s going to win. An early favourite was the bloke with the solar-powered relay switching a gigantic bulb. Novelty is important, here.
I didn’t stop because I felt outclassed; much the opposite…
“Never get in an argument with a fool; onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.”–unk
I really hope the bloke won. He/she deserves to.
Sounds like a good way to test the cycle rating on the switch.
I suspect the DVD drive motor would burn out before the switch failed.
Or the incandescent bulb burns out? I always heard that cycling them was bad for the lifetime. And that laptop looks like it’s a wee bit past its expiration date.
There are so many sketchy parts of this project, it’s like a race to see which one fails first. (Said with utmost love and respect.)
Pfft… I have laptops working that are legal drinking age in this country. (Will be in the US in a few years.)
Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)