Plasma Cutting + Welding + Arduino = Halloween FUN!

I’d planned to use the plasma cutter to turn a pumpkin into a Jack O’ Lantern, and then I saw this video…
So I thought – Plasma Cutting + Welding + Arduino = Halloween FUN!
The old satellite dish provided some great scrap for a bottom plate. I did it freehand since I don’t have the circle cutting attachment yet. It came out great – a little grinding and it was almost round 🙂
The “arms” and “spine” are thin wall tubing from a bakers rack I bought at a garage sale for $10 so I could practice welding small tubing. REALLY easy to blow holes in it with the welder…
I have the Arduino circuit built as per the video above, using the ultrasonic distance sensor from a prior project and one of the Rugged Circuits Gator+ boards. I’m using 2 amber and 2 red LEDs, but it still doesn’t seem bright enough. The buzzer seemed pretty anticlimactic in person, so I ditched that part of the circuit for now. The Gator+ board’s circuit protection limits the current on output pins, which I suspect is impacting both the brightness AND the buzzer sound level. I didn’t want to have to have my standard Arduino floating around in a metal (conductive!) shell, so I stuck with the Gator+ and just used more LEDs.  I might grab a cheap + loud Halloween scare toy this week and then have the Arduino trigger the sound…
I have velcro on the bottom of the Gator+ boards for mounting them, so I put a companion piece on the inside top of the bucket to hold it in place. I need to do the same for the battery and find a way to mount the ultrasonic sensor so that it can “see” out the eyes or nose.

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