The leaves are turning, conkers are coating the path and the ground seems to be permanently wet. This can only mean one thing – it’s Autumn. This means that it is nearing Halloween, and Harry Potter can be found on the tv most weekends. Who doesn’t love a bit of magic, right?
We wouldn’t declare ourselves the biggest of Harry Potter fans, but, one of the team has decorated his downstairs bathroom with all things Potter… Anyhow, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to perform a bit of magic with the Crumble!
You could do much more than a candle, we’d love to see some of your magic creations!
We have made a ‘Magic Candle’. Spoiler Alert: we have used a reed switch and a magnet to control the Sparkle!
As you can see from the photo, we’ve made our candle using a rolled up piece of white card. We’ve used a glue gun to add some ‘dripping wax’ too. Inside the top we’ve placed a Sparkle, and a reed switch. We then placed a piece of plastic over the Sparkle (we cut up a scrap of frosted polypropylene) and put it through the ‘top’ of the candle. We’ve used our laser cut wand (with a magnet in the end).
After making the candle, it’s really easy to program and control… ahem, I mean cast a spell, to light it up.
The program (code) for this is simple, once you get your head around it. The reed switch (as the name suggests) is a type of switch. This means that when a magnet is placed near it, it closes, and the current flows through to the Crumble. When the magnet is moved away, it opens and the current stops.
Our code waits for the wand to be waved, which will set A HI, then it runs a ‘flickering’ Sparkle algorithm. We set the Sparkle to random shades of Red, Orange and Yellow, and wait a few random milliseconds before changing it again.
Note: the wait 100ms allows you time to move the wand away from the switch again.
When the wand is waved again, it sets A Hi, waits again and turns the Sparkle off. Simple!
And there you have it! One ‘Magic Candle’ ready to mystify and amaze.
We would love to take credit for the magnet and wand idea to set off a reed switch, but that comes courtesy of Mike and Beckie at UKSTEM. (We are definitely bigger Harry Potter fans than they are, though!)