Game Show Buzzers & Water Sprayers

While working at Camp Moshava Bair, I designed and built a set of game show-style buzzers. The buzzer system was a simple set of eight buttons connected to an Arduino board. Each button corresponded to two LED’s, one green and one red. The Arduino board was programmed to respond to the first button pressed by lighting up that button’s green LED and to the second button pressed by lighting up the button’s red LED. All other buttons pressed would be ignored. Thus, all contestants could easily see who buzzed in first and who second. Later, at the request of the person running the program, I added another button that, while pressed, reset the program and did not allow any buttons to work. This was to prevent anyone from buzzing in early.

To work alongside the buzzer system, I also designed and built a system of water sprayers. This system consisted of PVC piping connected to a hose, with four angled nozzles. Each nozzle was connected to a sprinkler valve that could open or close as necessary. A handheld control board had four buttons that could activate any and all sprayers at will. Only four sprayers were made at the request of the person running the program. All electronics to be used near the water were sealed for protection against electrocution.

Mini Changing Rooms

While working at Camp Moshava Bair, I was asked to design changing rooms for the campers that could easily be built and disassembled. The designs I came up with consist of a PVC frame with walls of tarp held on with zip ties. Because of the natural friction of PVC pipes in their fittings, no glue was necessary and the only tools needed for construction was scissors to cut and make holes in the tarp and a mallet to encourage the pipes to go all the way into the fittings.

After a few iterations of design and constructing the design many times for different bunks, I came up with a simple set of instructions that had the exact material needed (in terms of both what to buy and what sizes of parts were actually needed) as well as the most efficient method of construction.

Disassembling the design was a simple matter of cutting the zip ties and pulling apart the pipes from their fittings.

T-Shirt Cannon V2

During the summer of 2011, I constructed a compressed air t-shirt cannon for the camp I was working at using instructions I found online. However, I wanted to make a more powerful design using combustion instead of compressed air. Research online told me that combustion was only used for potato cannons and not for t-shirts because the hot air from combustion singes or even burns the shirts.

After talking with a professor of mine at BU, I came up with a new design (shown here). It was similar to potato cannons with two variations. The first was an idea I found online of using a BBQ igniter in place of the traditional, and more dangerous, stun gun. The second was my own idea of using metal inside the barrel to act as a heat sink so that the air that eventually reaches the shirt is significantly cooler with a negligible change in pressure. After some more research, I determined the best option for the heat sink was chicken wire. Rolling some up and stuffing it down the barrel of the gun proved to be sufficient in protecting the shirt from the heat of combustion.

At the time of this writing, I do not know of anyone else who has tried this method to use combustion to launch t-shirts.

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