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“Magical” fountain bends time under Arduino control

Arduino TeamJuly 16th, 2018

Years ago, engineer and photographer Harold “Doc” Edgerton figured out how to “bend time” by pulsing a strobe light at the nearly the same speed as droplets of water, making them appear to move in slow motion, freeze, or even more backwards. Today, Nick Lim of jolliFactory has created the same effect, controlled by an Arduino Nano.

His excellent build is outlined here, including a surprisingly simple circuit that controls the pump, solenoid valve, and LED illumination via a trio of MOSFETs. 

One simply places the fountain over a water supply, which pumps it up into the solenoid valve, allowing 45 drops to fall per second. The lights then strobe at this speed—or slightly faster or slower—producing the time-bending display shown in the video below.


2 Responses to ““Magical” fountain bends time under Arduino control”

  1. Designit13 Says:

    Wow! Where can I get this kit, and for how much?

  2. JoeWillson Says:

    I believe Las Vegas Star Trek The Experience used something very similar to this. In “Quarks bar” they had a device behind the bar the dispensed drinks but it looked like a “transporter/replicator effect” where the glass was filled without seeing liquid poured. I think what they did was put the glass much closer to the pump with fewer drops per second, and pulsed the strobe between the drops so the glass was filled in the dark periods. Instead of highlighting the drops, they highlighted the empty space. It was a really neat effect..

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