Syncing Music and Fireworks

Design News has published an interesitng on-line article
Gadget Freak Case #128: Syncing Music and Fireworks on how Deane Williams fixed up his PC to synchronize fireworks with music. He used his PC’s parallel printer port to connect the circuit controlling the fireworks. The software was written in Agilent VEE 8.0 but Williams says it could have been written easily in Visual Basic 6 or any similar language that can use ActiveX calls. There is a video available how it work. More details including circuit diagrams is available in Word document format.



  1. Kevin__Chan says:

    Very good idea

  2. Brad Meinert says:

    Here’s a good start for choreographing music to fireworks:

  3. bidyukehan says:

    happy new year -fireworks-

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  16. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Firework Shows, The Vintage Atari Way

    In the summer of 1987, the Atari magazine ST-Log caried a piece entitled “Atari Sets Off Fireworks!”, a profile of the use of Atari computers in professional firework displays by Astro Pyrotechnics, a now-defunct California company. Antic podcast host [Kevin Savetz] tracked down the fireworks expert interviewed in 1987, [Robert Veline], and secured not only an interview, but a priceless trove of photographs and software. These he has put online, allowing us a fascinating glimpse into the formative years of computerized pyrotechnics.

    The system uses not one, but two Ataris. An ST has all the display data and scheduling set up in the Zoomracks card file software, this is then exported to an 800XL which does the work of running the display. We’re told the code for the 800XL is loaded on a ROM cartridge for reliability. The 800XL is mounted in an aluminium briefcase with a small CRT monitor and battery, and a custom interface board stuffed with TO220 power transistors to fire the pyrotechnics themselves.

    Atari sets off fireworks! (pictures! source code!)

  17. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Testing for electric match misfire. (bangs and flames)

    Sometimes a firework display can go wrong and only fire a small number of effects in one circuit. Here’s a demonstration of why that can happen. It’s also a chance to blow stuff up at my new bench.
    There are a couple of scenarios for misfiring in this situation. It’s possible that a slow fire with too low a current will result in some fired effects breaking the circuit either by the igniter blowing clear or the wiring being damaged by explosive movement. The other scenario is that a low voltage firing system may not be able to pass enough current through a long cable run or one with high resistance connections, and in that instance not all igniters may reach their trigger current threshold.
    Professional systems tend to use high voltage capacitor discharge to fire all matches by brute force.

  18. Tomi Engdahl says:

    Aladdin Lamp Shoots Flames With A Snap Of Your Fingers

    Despite their dangers, even Marie Kondo would not convince us to abandon flamethrower projects because they literally spark joy in us. To make this flame shooting Aladdin lamp [YeleLabs] just used a 3D printer and some basic electronics.

    The lamp body consists of two 3D-printed halves held together by neodymium magnets. They house a 400 kV spark generator, a fuel pump plus tank, and a 18650 Li-ion battery.

    Although they proclaim that the device is a hand sanitizer it is probably safer to stick to using soap. The project still goes on the list of cool flamethrower props right next to the flame shooting Jack-o-Lantern.


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