The Coat Rack at Frostburn

The Coat Rack is a flame effect with eight effect heads (individually controllable solenoid valves) that sits on top of a 100lb. accumulator. I have a number of control systems for it, and have just updated a project page for it with some details.

Last month, I brought the Coat Rack to Frostburn. Since it was so cold out, it was set up with a very simple interface: push buttons, receive fire.

Photo by Shawn Ferry

The tablet interface (written by Kate as an offshoot of the Super Street Fire tablet control) is very simple, providing buttons for each and an eruption button to blast everything at once. At some point, it's likely that the interface will have the capability to record and play back effects.

Pushing a button sends a message over UDP to a wifire16 board with a RN-XV radio, which activates the solenoid valves. Each time the wifire16 receives a message to activate a flame effect, it increases that effect's shut-off time by 100ms. Since the update messages are sent out approximately every 50ms, holding a button will keep the flame effect constantly on, but an interruption in communication will cause the effect to shut off quickly.

The tablet interface is a great alternative to using physical buttons - having it be wireless seems to make it magic to many people! I'm hoping to integrate the EEG headset for Pyrokinesis to the tablet interface for this summer, and bring the Coat Rack with both the Pyrokinesis and Dance Dance Revolution pad controls to Atomic Lollipop again.