Making a torch flicker via remote control

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by Juji, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. Juji

    Thread Starter New Member

    Sep 10, 2013
    Hi, I'm very new to electronics/engineering, although I study physics so I understand the basic principles.

    Some friends and I are planning to do a sort of live-action Slenderman game on one of my friends' farm. In the actual game, you walk around with a torch trying to find pages of a notebook along with other clues. You carry around a torch since all this takes place in a forest.

    When Slenderman is close to you, or if you are looking in his general direction, your torch flickers. The closer he is, the more pronounced the flickering.

    In the live-action version we are planning, three of us will take the role of Slenderman, trying to "catch" whoever is playing.

    To try to live up as much to the game as possible, I want to try and make it so that we can control the torch via some sort of remote control. Obviously if one of the Slendermen wants to get close, we want to try and make the torch flicker, i.e. turn it on and off erratically using the remote control.

    It doesn't matter if the player is able to turn on/off the torch themselves, whatever is easier to design. Also, 3 controls need to be made to work with the same torch. Also, we don't really need to be able to turn it on and off, just sending a signal to make the torch flicker a bit would be fine.

    Is this even possible, and if so, how can I go about trying to make one, or even adapt a regular torch to do it? Also if you know that this type of device already exists, please send me in that direction as I've been unable to find any.

  2. sirch2

    Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2013
    Determining proximity is going to be the trick. One approach may be to have the remote control send out a radio signal and an ultrasound pulse. The torch receives the radio signal and starts listening for the ultrasound pulse, the time taken for the ultrasound to arrive is proportional to distance.
  3. MrChips


    Oct 2, 2009
    Why not transmit a low power RF signal and use the signal strength received to determine the intensity of the flicker?
  4. daviddeakin

    Active Member

    Aug 6, 2009
    You can buy remote control tranceiver devices on ebay (and elsewhere). There are many types, but presumbly you'd be happy with one that includes a remote control, and the corresponding receiver that controls a relay or solid-state switch that can operate the torch bulb. You can get ones that are meant for controlling mains lamps, but these would probably work with a torch too. If they use relays, they may be rather power-hungry though, so expect battery life to be poor...

    You could either do the flickering yourself (by pressing the remote button lotsa times) or add yet another circuit that produces some random pulses or something. The first option is easier, of course.

    If you need three, you can wire three receivers in series, so any one of them will control the torch bulb
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013