Electronic Ouija Board

JonnyMacJonnyMac Posts: 5,868
My friend, fellow former Parallaxian, and partner at EFX-TEK John Barrowman wanted to build an electronic Ouija Board for Halloween and for future trade shows. It's really very simple, and a derivative of our Stranger Things wall from this year's Transworld show.

Parts (that we used)
-- EFX-TEK HC-8+ Controller
-- HM-10 BLE Radio
-- Brilliant Bulb Christmas lights from www.holidaycoro.com

The program is simple. When a string comes in from a phone via the BLE module, it is compared to a list of known commands. If the string is a command that is executed. There are commands to change the background color (10 colors), the spelling color (10 colors), and shortcuts for Yes, No, and Goodbye. If the received string is not known to the program, it is spelled out on the letters and numbers.

The picture is of John's step-son Ollie on Halloween. He said nothing to the trick-or-treaters. John was in earshot manning the candy bowl. Of course, he was running a BLE app to send strings so he could send the answers to the Ouija board while TOTs thought he was checking email. It was a big hit, and I'm writing about the code in my January column.
1024 x 1371 - 2M
Jon McPhalen
Hollywood, CA
It's Jon or JonnyMac -- please do not call me Jonny.

Comments

  • 4 Comments sorted by Date Added Votes
  • Very Cool! I need to grab some of those EFX-TEK boards for some projects I have in mind.
    Thanks for sharing this.
    JonnyMac wrote: »
    My friend, fellow former Parallaxian, and partner at EFX-TEK John Barrowman wanted to build an electronic Ouija Board for Halloween and for future trade shows.

    That would not be the same John Barrowman of Torchwoord, Dr. Who and Arrow fame would it?
  • JonnyMacJonnyMac Posts: 5,868
    edited November 22 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Of course, I'm biased, because John and I designed it (I did the circuit, he did the layout), but I really like the HC-8+. The first version was based on requirements from a rodent-friendly amusement park here in SoCal. As we've worked with customers through the years it has become better and better.

    There are a bunch of my Hollywood projects here that use the HC-8+ as a master, and sometimes as a slave controller:
    -- https://www.pinterest.com/jonmcphalen/techno-art/

    Funny thing... that John Barrowman is a distant cousin of my friend.

    We both have show-biz names. My legal name is Williams, but SAG told me to "get a new name" when I chose to become a professional because -- even though he spells his name differently -- that pesky Star Wars composer John Williams got there first.
    Jon McPhalen
    Hollywood, CA
    It's Jon or JonnyMac -- please do not call me Jonny.
  • JonnyMac wrote: »
    The first version was based on requirements from a rodent-friendly amusement park here in SoCal.
    "Rodent-Friendly", very funning and in more ways than one.

    Yeah, I have seen your work before. Very impressive and inspiring. The "Grommash Hellscream " is simply awesome.

    The HC-8+ looks very cool. I'm looking to create an Animatronic Character and this may fit the bill perfectly.
    Been eying the Stan Winston Animatronic DVD series to get more familiar with this genre. Seems like a great way to combine both Robotics and Art.

    Blast that JW dude. Who'd a thought that Star Wars thang would be so popular.
  • With the size of that board I think a Propeller powered Mack-A-Mole could be done. :)
    Good job Jon and John!
    Infernal Machine
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