Thursday, March 02, 2006

attempt whatever we're at

click for bigger

Before I describe the process of building my second circuit and its eventual success, it's important to note that I have absolutely zero electronics experience. Having someone walk me through the process of completing a circuit, before even really understanding circuit diagrams, is helping a lot in the process of learning because I'm watching the effects different things have without completely and totally lost. I'm also learning from mistakes with someone over my shoulder, as the steps online offer an e-mail address for help if your circuit doesn't work.

That said, I recieved the kit for my second trigger and messed it up. Not a big mess up, but enough of a mess up to fry a timer and make me embrarassingly angry for about 24 hours. I actually followed the diagram incredibly well, I just failed to shove a capacitor hard enough into the breadboard. 2$ later at radio shack, the trigger works flawlessly and, might I say, exactly as I would have hoped.

As it was, I was afraid to take the open breadboard and simply stick it next to a splashing bucket or a smashed bit of ice. Thus i needed to cram it into something, the only question being what. The traditional place for such projects, an altoids case, wasn't big enough. So I stopped by the easiest, one stop shopping location where one can find the most extraneous, wastefully packaged gifty food crap in the world:

I couldn't find any tins that were large enough without being too large, and I was close to pursuing the wild idea of simply gutting a rubber duck and sticking the circuit inside, stitching the rubber duck up afterwards and soldering in switches such that i'd only need to dissasemble it for replacing the battery. I didn't try this as I didn't think the duck was quite big enough and it

Instead, i found a large novelty egg that a pez dispenser came in and decided it'd be perfect. The bottom was flat such that it could sit on a surface without moving, it came apart easily, and it was large enough.

Here's a picture I dug up online of them:
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I naturally chose the sheep as it's the scariest goddamn thing I've ever seen. I'm googling for an image of it rather than having to take another one, and a wealth of cute, non-slutty looking pez lambs are coming up that are making me wonder what the hell they were thinking when they designed this scary thing. I think i'm sticking a firecracker in its head.

Anyway so I took the stuff out, put a frosting of matte finish on the inside of the clear plastic, glued down the weights on the inside of the egg (pennies and washers, it was all I had) then zapped that with some spray plasti-dip.

The delay worked great and I finally managed to get the precise moments i had been trying to get.

click for biggins!

Note that blocks of ice took flight in a lot of these, either in total or in chunks. The first few attempts had the delay set for too long, and by the time the flash went off, the ice block was already out of frame. The last few i tried zooming out a bit, and as such the last few are granier crops.

i think my neighbors think i'm nuts. i'm going to need to post printouts in my window and ask for forgiveness for doing crazy stuff on the pool deck after dark.