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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone,

I've left my Halloween preparations late this year (thanks, life) but I'm really hoping to finally get a good solution for a thunder and lightning machine. Every year I spend hours searching the internet, and every year I give up in dismay.

I'd like a thunder & lightning machine that takes audio input and makes attached flood lights flash in time with the thunder.

The problem:

I'm in Australia. We have 240v electricity (not 110v like the USA or 220v like most of Europe). This means I can't just import a nice cheap Morris Perfect Storm because they won't work, even with a transformer.

I've seen plenty of talk about "color organs" but while I am technically-minded, I'm not at all comfortable doing DIY-anything that involves electrical current... 240v kills. :)

So! Has anyone found an off-the-shelf solution that works similar to a Perfect Storm, and is available/will work with 240v? I'm thinking there MUST be something similar used by DJ's etc, but I don't know what to look for.

This years' theme is witches and I've just GOT to have thunder and lightning! Any help very much appreciated.

Ed
 

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Here's my version of a lightning in a box.

I originally switched a relay using an Arduino, but found it too slow and noisy. It's activated by a PIR so only goes off when someone walks past.

I replaced the relay with a SSR and switched it using thunder sound clips going through a KA2284 level indicator then back into the Arduino.

I suppose you could always change the mains volty flood light to a 12v.

Works well, didn't cost a lot, the enclosure was the most expensive part. I'll post a video tomorrow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi JMan and richgrant,

Thanks both for your suggestions. The arduino idea is probably *just* within my comfort zone so I'm researching that further now. Of course, everything in Australia costs 4x as much as it does in the USA but fingers crossed.

I really hoped someone knew of a off-the-shelf solution - I can't believe no one in Australia has worked out people want these things for Halloween yet!
 

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Personally, I would buy the perfect storm unit, along with a 120v inverter. Plug it into you car battery and away you go.

I suggest using 120v led lights instead of halogens so your battery will last all night
 

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Hi Ross, I've never had lightning effect controllers.....but they have worked with my other american animatronics.
 

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I too am on 240v and live in the UK. I have a Morris Storm and it works fine, so why doesn't yours if we're both on 240v? Sure, I use a converter from the 110v output it comes with, but other than that it's fine. Could it be that you're not using the right wattage converter when you've tried it? What sort of converter have you tried?
 

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I too am on 240v and live in the UK. I have a Morris Storm and it works fine, so why doesn't yours if we're both on 240v? Sure, I use a converter from the 110v output it comes with, but other than that it's fine. Could it be that you're not using the right wattage converter when you've tried it? What sort of converter have you tried?
Hi, just seen your message about the Morris Storm. We are also in the UK and have been looking at getting one for a while, but on one of the websites it states that it will not work with UK power, even with an adapter. Is yours the Perfect Storm 2.0 or a different model? If you don't mind, could you give us a little more info on how you got it working?? Thanks in advance!!!
 

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Hi. Sorry for the late reply. Yes it is the 2.0 I have, and I used it with a soundbar and a separate LED light.

I can't quite remember how I hooked them up as it was a couple of years ago, but I do remember turning all the lights off and the Storm unit triggering the light with the sound, so I can confirm that it does work on UK 240v with a 110v adaptor though. Ignore those who say it doesn't or shouldn't. 👍
 

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Thank you so much for replying, thought we might have been a bit too late to the party! That's great information, I think in that case we will get one and give it a go this year. eBay it is.... Unless you're bored of yours yet? 8)
 

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No chance.. I won't part with mine for a long time. Sorry. 🤣 But luckily they're still readily available.
 
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