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I just put a new prop in the attic window and have it front lighted but thinking I might want the light to do a slow blink like maybe a couple seconds on/couple seconds off kinda thing.
What would be the cheapest/easiest way to rig such a thing up without getting into arduinos? Any of the common store bought effects stuff tends to be more fast blink strobe type stuff.
Anyone?
 

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Some strobes have adjustable speeds that can be quite slow. Another option would be a slow motor that has a panel attached so that the light's blocked, then open, then blocked, and so on. If you do it close enough to the light it should look more like a fade on/off than a moving shadow.
 

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The slowest battery operated one is 1 per second. I'm looking for something even slower, like once every 5 - 10 seconds. I'm having to use them to set off my motion sensor peaces. And they do need to be battery operated because of where and what I'm using them for.
 

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It's not necessarily "cheap" in that it will cost you $20 or so, but an Arduino mini set (about $10)to trigger an AC relay to which your light is plugged in comes to my mind. Blinking a LED is actually one of the first tutorial projects for the Arduino. Adding an AC relay in place of the LED makes it so you can power the AC light source.

For a little less money, you can buy an oscillator that will do the same thing.

The Arduino gives you much greater flexibility, though--you can design a "flicker" pattern of any length you choose--like on for 5 s, off for 10s, on for 2s, off for 5s--whatever you like to create the effect you want. Here's a tutorial on building the sort of setup you've described, minus the timing control. Substitute in the Arduino for the controller in the tutorial, and you'll have a fully programmable switch.

EDIT: I apparently can't post links because I'm a n00b, but www{.)sparkfun(.)com/tutorials/119 shows how to build a controllable power outlet. The oscillator build can be seen on Youtube: www(.)youtube(.)com/watch?v=lFhPAb7JyM4, and there's a link to ebay for the oscillator board they use.
 

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I just put a new prop in the attic window and have it front lighted but thinking I might want the light to do a slow blink like maybe a couple seconds on/couple seconds off kinda thing.
What would be the cheapest/easiest way to rig such a thing up without getting into arduinos? Any of the common store bought effects stuff tends to be more fast blink strobe type stuff.
Anyone?
Are you using 120v lighting or LED's? If you're using low voltage LED's, I have High Output LED Fader controls for $20. The fade rate is adjustable from about 1 second to 8 seconds. A slow fade in and out might be a nicer effect for you. If you just want the light on/off with no fade, this FrightProps timer would work.
http://www.frightprops.com/controllers-electronics/simple-timers/simple-prop-timer-0665.html
 

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I built some DIY incandescent pulsing light faders a while back using a touch-panel dimmer and a .047uF capacitor. It has a cycle time of about 8 seconds on-off-on again. I think I still have to how-to, PM me if you're interested in trying this out. The cost is about $25 (dimmer, circuit box, power cord, wall socket, various wire nuts etc).
 

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I just put a new prop in the attic window and have it front lighted but thinking I might want the light to do a slow blink like maybe a couple seconds on/couple seconds off kinda thing.
What would be the cheapest/easiest way to rig such a thing up without getting into arduinos? Any of the common store bought effects stuff tends to be more fast blink strobe type stuff.
Anyone?
Could you build a circuit using a 555 timer? Or does not getting into Arduinos mean you don't want to mess with any electronics at all?
 

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Could you build a circuit using a 555 timer? Or does not getting into Arduinos mean you don't want to mess with any electronics at all?
Sure can. There are adjustable timing oscillator circuits using a 555. Easy and cheap, just wire a relay to the output. Use one with a high coil resistance, > 150 ohms if possible, so you don't pull too much current.
 

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Sure can. There are adjustable timing oscillator circuits using a 555. Easy and cheap, just wire a relay to the output. Use one with a high coil resistance, > 150 ohms if possible, so you don't pull too much current.
The original poster has not responded and never said if he/she was using 120v lighting. It's worth mentioning that building any type of control circuit involving 120vac must be done with extreme caution and careful isolation of any line voltage. I know this goes without saying for most of us but not everyone realizes the potential danger of 120v.
 
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