Chapter 1

Building a Color Organ


check Creating a fake thunderstorm

check Powering lights with a rickety old generator

check Making a skeleton’s heart beat

One of the great things about Disneyland is that sometimes the long line you have to wait in to go on a particular ride is almost as good as the ride itself. One of the best examples of this is the famous Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Just outside of an ancient temple, you pass by a rickety steam-powered generator that is barely running. The clickity-clickity sound of the generator alternately grows louder and softer as the generator sputters and threatens. Once inside the temple, you pass through narrow tunnels and creepy caverns that are lit overhead by lights that appear to be powered by the rickety generator. The lights flicker and dim, then grow brighter for a moment, then flicker and dim again in sync with the laboring generator.

In this chapter, you learn how to build an electronic circuit you can use to create this creepy lighting effect. I’ve used this circuit for many different purposes, including lighting the narrow passageways in my own haunted tomb at Halloween. I’ve also used the same circuit ...

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