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Discussion Starter #1
Hey Guys,

I am looking for advice on how to create a pulsing light. e.g it fade up and down.

I noticed a thread on here about it in 2005, but it didn't contain any instructions.

Anyone have any ideas? There must be a simple electronic circuit that can achieve this?

BTW I am in the UK so it will need to handle 240v

Any guidance appreciated.
 

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Insert Witty Comment Here
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well until you said UK I thought I had an idea.

Christmas lights...the miniture ones with like 8 functions. One of the functions is the fade in and out. I don't know how your going to use them, but if the UK is like the US, the Christmas lights should be on the shelves before Halloween so you can grab them for your project.

If it's something you can do manually, than a dimmer switch should work if you have someone to tweak the knob
 

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Blaberus craniifer
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If it's something you can do manually, than a dimmer switch should work if you have someone to tweak the knob
Sounds complex, but if you were to use a sliding dimmer and connected it to a motor with a crank arm, you could have the motor sliding the dimmer up and down.

Another option would be to use HomeAutomation type dimmer and a simple computer control to dim and brighten the light. I've done this in the past with a simple X-10 lamp module where I had rope lights around my drive way fading up and down for hours.
 

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Marc-UK, Otaku is the haunter on this forum that posted about this on a 2004 thread (I think this might have been what you saw)--& is still around and posting here. Try mailing a request directly if Otaku doesn't see this in the meantime.
 

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Bête noire
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Hey Guys,

I am looking for advice on how to create a pulsing light. e.g it fade up and down.

I noticed a thread on here about it in 2005, but it didn't contain any instructions.

Anyone have any ideas? There must be a simple electronic circuit that can achieve this?

BTW I am in the UK so it will need to handle 240v

Any guidance appreciated.
Hi Marc,
I have the docs around somewhere, including pics, that show how to hack a touchpad dimmer switch to pulse a light. I don't know if it will handle 240VAC, though. I'll hunt for the files and drop you a PM when I have it all together.
 

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Check this out:

How To: 4 channel 8 function 3Amp animation controller for $5

It's really easy to modify (I did it!) and you can use it as single fader by simply using only one channel (plug). You can even use it as a cross fader up to 3 (or 4) channels depending on the light set you've hacked! In fact I located 3 controller sets and will be using them all for some fading or pulsing purpose.

I'll mainly be using this for my disappearing, candelabra-holding, ghost in the window. See this thread:

http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/68306-disappearing-ghost.html

This one may also be of interest:

http://www.halloweenforum.com/halloween-props/76748-hatbox-ghost.html
 

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Bête noire
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That looks good, Mr. Grimsley! I'm pretty sure that my hack won't work with 240VAC, so this would be the better way to go. There must be similar controllers sold in the UK.
 

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Oh... right...forgot about the 240v thing... Hope that still works for ya Marc? I would imagine they do have similar stuff there Otaku... least I hope they do.
 

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Lord of the Cemetery
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Hi Marc.
I can't answer the technical side of your question, but you might find this link useful.

Maplin Electronics ? Website- Bgrade 7Inch Netbook

You may find something there. I've ordered from Maplins in the past and found their service very good and their prices are competitive.

If you do have to order from the States, Maplins do a range of power converters that will enable you to use US spec equipment on our mains voltage.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Hey All,

Many thanks for all the excellent replies.

Unfortunately most of the Christmas lights for sale in the UK are all low voltage or led. I was looking for some last year to pulse a 240v light but could not find one for love nor money. I don't think normal Christmas lights would be bright enough for my MiB.

The one thing I have got is the home Automation route. An X10 LD11 Module has a dim function. When a momentary switch is pressed, it dims all the way up and down again as long as the button is pressed. If I apply a permanent live to the switch pin it would in theory continually pulse.

The downside of this is the DIMUP/DOWN is fairly slow (about 5 seconds). I wanted a fairly fast pulse of UP and DOWN in about 1-2 seconds.

My idea is to put it in a home made box (something like this but with smaller holes) and have a pulsing red or green light inside. I was also planning on putting a heavy chain (or plastic looking heavy chain:D ) around the outside of it. I would then add some animitronics to make the lid push up and down quickly like something was trying to get out. Maybe even a small smoke machine inside.. or a small water hazer.
 

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Bête noire
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I have the how-to for the pulsng light available in PDF. Marc, it's slower than you're looking for, ~8 secs per cycle, and I don't know if the components are available in 240V versions. The PDF is too large to attach here - if interested, drop me a PM and I can send it to you.
 

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Jeff at Electronics has a couple boards that may do what you want. I purchased the Random AC Lamp Flickerer - Shorting out bulb effect board and he was able to add custom programs to the PIC chip to do several pulsing effects for my project. I just gave him the timing (i.e. 100% - 50% - 100% brightness in 3 seconds) and he fixed me right up. He also has the Programmable/Random Lamp Dimmer that "may" be more flexible since you control the effect, but I have no experience with that board.

Joe
 
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