Introduction: IoT Fire Breathing Pumpkin (Controlled With Your Phone)

Picture of IoT Fire Breathing Pumpkin (Controlled With Your Phone)

Halloween is around the corner and it's time to decorate. The best way to scare trick-or-treaters is with something unexpected. Imagine waiting on someone's doorstep for candy and having a mild-mannered jack-o-lantern shoot a foot of fire out of its mouth. If you are looking to elicit this feeling in all who dare come to your door, continue with this instructable, it will be worth your time. If this doesn't sound like your cup of tea, check out my other instructable on gourds with hats.

Also, if you liked this project, please vote for me in the Halloween contest. It would mean a lot. (You can do it with the orange bookmark in the top right corner).

Step 1: Know What You're Getting Into

Stop Here


Remember what you're getting into. Do not continue if you have any urge to use this device to harm others or their property. Fire is no joke and you should be sure that you know what you are doing before you start. The entire time this was in use, there was a fire extinguisher handy. The choice to make the device remote controlled instead of motion activated was deliberate to prevent accidents. I am not responsible for any damage to people or property caused by this device.


Continue at your own risk

Step 2: Gather the Materials

Picture of Gather the Materials

Parts

  • Particle Photon Microcontroller
  • 6V Battery Pack
  • Servo Motor
  • Paperclip
  • Aerosol air freshener (The one I used is a refill can for a motion activated scent sprayer. This is good because it only fires in bursts, not continuously, which could be dangerous)
  • Pumpkin (Do not use a plastic one)
  • Candle
  • 3D Printed Parts (files can be found here)

Tools

  • Access to a 3D Printer
  • Blynk App
  • Smartphone

Step 3: Construct the Mechanism

Picture of Construct the Mechanism

The mechanism consists of 5 parts. There are three 3D printed parts, a servo, and a small paperclip linkage. The 3D printed parts were created by Thingiverse user sliptonic. You can download them here.

To construct the mechanism, begin by screwing the servo plate to the bracket. After that, the servo can be screwed in place.

After that, a nail can be used to hold the trigger in the bracket and a paperclip can be bent in order to form a linkage between the servo arm and the trigger.

Now, the entire mechanism can be snapped onto the air freshener can.

Step 4: Wire the Electronics

Picture of Wire the Electronics

The electronics are simple. There are only four 3 major components. Just wire the circuit following the diagram above.

You might find that 4 AA batteries may not be enough to power the servo. This happened to me, so I replaced the battery pack with a 9.6V drill battery. This could handle more than enough current.

Step 5: Setting Up the Software

Picture of Setting Up the Software

The code was written in the Particle IDE and is intended for the Particle Photon with the use of Blynk. Blynk is an easy to use app interface for electronics projects.

To set up the Blynk app, just drag a single button on to a new project. Make the button trigger Virtual Pin 0 (V0) from 0 to 1. Make sure the button is set to "push" mode.

For the Particle software, just copy and paste the code below into the IDE. Remember that you will need to change the authentication key to your personal one (Blynk should have emailed you one). You will also need to include the Blynk Library into your code. If you need help this might help.

You're done! Just upload the Particle code and run the Blynk app. When you press the button, the can should give a bust of air freshener.

#include <blynk.h>
#define BLYNK_PRINT Serial0

char auth[] = "ENTER AUTH KEY HERE";

Servo myservo;
void setup()
{
delay(2500);

Blynk.begin(auth);
pinMode(7, OUTPUT);
myservo.attach(2);

}

BLYNK_WRITE(V0) {

if (param.asInt() == 1) {
myservo.write(90);
digitalWrite(7,HIGH);
}

else {
myservo.write(180);
digitalWrite(7,LOW);
}

}

void loop()
{
Blynk.run();
}

Step 6: Building It Into the Pumpkin

Picture of Building It Into the Pumpkin

Now it is time to put everything together.

Start by prepping the pumpkin. Cut a hole in the top, remove all the nasty stuff and clean the inside.

You can now put the can into the pumpkin to see where the mouth hole for the fire should be. After it is cut out, you can put the electronics and can sprayer in the pumpkin one last time.

I used a candle that was stuck on the inside of the mouth to light the spray. With the candles lit, you can stand back and trigger the app. It should be pretty exciting.

Step 7: Trying It Out

Picture of Trying It Out

Right now, I only have some tests to show you. Be sure to check back here after Halloween to see it in action with tick-or-treaters. If you would like, it would be awesome if you could vote for me in the Halloween Contest.

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