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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone ever used real display panel meters (see attached pic) to work randomly (needle moving back and forth)?

I want to be able to hook a lot of these up to a control display box together and would like them to do something. Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks
 

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how random does it need to be?
you'd probably get something reasonable looking, but not random, by driving them with some 555 timers.
 

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how random does it need to be?
you'd probably get something reasonable looking, but not random, by driving them with some 555 timers.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the suggestion hhh....I will try that and report back the results. Any movement on the needles would be great instead of just a static non moving prop.
 

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A lot of circuits simulate randomness with audio output. You take an audio chip that plays a song ("Happy Birthday" is popular), but instead of hooking the output to a speaker you hook it to whatever you're trying to randomize.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the feedback.... after searching the web for help and not seeing a lot of info on doing this your input is very helpful!
 

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Do you plan on lighting your panel meters? I put some in my display last year and by the time I got them lit enough to see them the needles wouldn't move. At night and at any distance you can't see the needles. Maybe it's just the way I put my lights in.
 

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It really depends on what kind of meter it is (current or voltage) and what range the meter is scaled to read. If its voltage it would need to be in parallel with the voltage source and if its current then it would need to be in series with the circuit. For example the DC amp meter that goes from 0-100A with the yellow tag is probably scaled for 0-5A which equals 0-100A on the panel meter. Then there are others that are looking for micro amps which you could probably drive using a low voltage source with the right resistance. The DC volt meter could be driven with a few batteries if need be. I would definitely use some little LED's or something to backlight the meters if you can.

As far as getting the random effect you could use some sort of repeating timer. Depending on the meter you could use a flicker circuit also.
 

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That looks good, that's something I've been looking to do in my last year's Frankenstein's lab and my this years factory scene
 

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