The Time Fountain (Also Know As Magic Fountain)


Introduction: The Time Fountain (Also Know As Magic Fountain)

About: The Cat in my personal photo, is my Cat!
Update 05 June 2011: Here a new and different version.

I was inspired by some others projects on internet (like this, for example: )
This "Time Fountain" works by the principle of the Stroboscope:

I made this fountain using a little submersible water pump inside a decorated jar, fluorescent water (with highlighter's ink) and UV LEDs, to obtain strobe light, using a simple strobe circuit based on a pair of ne555 (with a low duty cycle).
With this circuit we obtain a strobe light with duty cycle and frequency both adjustable via two potentiometer.
The transistor (2N1711) can handle a maximum current of 500 mA.
I used 18 LEDs UV.

My Time Fountain video :

Is very important to obtain a regular drip rate, for this i've used an infusion medical kit like this:
The water is pumped upward, through a tiny pipe, and falls again inside the jar, cyclically.
With the strobe light (with a potentiometer we can set the frequency of lamps) i can set the effect on the drops, as you can see in the video. The drops are constant, i just change the LEDs frequency.

With strobe light we get the illusion of freezing the drops of water in midair, slowed or reversed!

My Time Fountain video II (click here if the player don't works )


I've also wrote a step to step guide (in Italian) here:



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    Very Nice illusion!
    Also check this Miracle Fountain yet another Optical illusion created by a photographer :)

    Hi Dave what color light do you use , cool white.?

    Hi Dave
    Can I email you?

    why did you use 2 555's
    it looks like you clould have done it with one

    What do i have to do with this information "The transistor (2N1711) can handle a maximum current of 500 mA"?
    could you also tell me wich potentiometer you used and how i have to control the leds with them?

    Hey how important are the resistors size and restistance

    the 16 LED's are all in parallel?

    hi dave could you please tell me the frecuency of your led strobe light?
    thank you

    This is totally cool. Thanks for posting.

    can u make a step by step instruction in English? or at least just on how to make the circuit. please and thank you.


    18 LEDs: 5,20 Euro
    Jar: 4,50 Euro
    Strobe circuit: 10 Euro (assembled by myself)
    Medical infusion kit: 1 Euro
    Pipes: few Euro cents (about 0,60)
    Water pump: 10 Euro
    Black paperboard: a few Euro cents :-)
    Fluorescent ink: i've just used 3 highlighter (one highlighter cost about 1,50 euro): 4,50 Euro
    But for this part is more convenient to buy fluorescent ink in some DIY store..
    For this project: i've used 250 ml of fluorescent ink just for 3.20 Euro

    So, the total cost for me is: 36,30 Euro (53 Dollars)

    Thank you! I might just do that this summer!

    I actually made one of these. It took over 50 hours to do, and it only uses 1 555 timer.

    1 reply


    So, You can submit it in this site ;-)

    Oh yeah!

    And in nighttime it looks much cool and magical!

    Hi phevtron,

    I added a detailed scheme and some more info.

    reallyyyy cool please publish more schematics and info