Steampunk Entertainment System With Moving Candles and Parts.




Introduction: Steampunk Entertainment System With Moving Candles and Parts.

About: I love creating almost anything. I am a professional magician and guitarist/singer - so much to do so little time! Follow me on Twitter: @bricabracwizard

A video to see this in action...

If you really like this could you please vote for it, the flag is at the top right. Many thanks.

Step 1: Steampunk Entertainment System

There are more detailed instructions on the photos themselves which in some cases will be clearer than what is written in the text.

This is going to be my guitar amplifier with a big difference. It uses a Roland Cube Lite which is run through my iPad and also has a built in projector.

A friend of mine (Helen) brought me this beautiful 1930's radio case. In a poor state but I saw the potential. I spent a few days sanding, staining and varnishing this case (Danish Oil) until I was happy with the result. This was the easiest part of the whole build...

Step 2: Gather Your Materials and Tools


Old radio case (Large)
Roland Cube Lite Guitar Amplifier
Brookstone HDMI Pocket Projector
1" Square Tube Aluminium (Approx 3 feet)
Microwave Turntable Motor 5 rpm
12 Volt motor 50 rpm
iPad - 2nd Generation
Brass (Various Candle Holders)
Brass corners
Sheet Aluminium (For Rotating Wheel and Arm)
Switches Wire and LEDs
Timing belt and cogs

Tools: (These are the tools I used but some things can be done with hand tools)

Dremel (Rotary Tool)
Cordless Drill
Bench Drill
Screw Drivers
Belt Sander
Solder and Iron
Glue Gun

Step 3: Starting With the Control Panel

I pulled apart the Roland Cube Lite. Being careful not to break any wire links. The wires connecting the control panel to the circuit board I cut in half and added about 6 inches more wire so that it could be mounted on top of the radio case.

Speaker wires were lengthened as they were not long enough to reach the front of the cabinet.

The amplifier was mounted so the volume control was opposite the hole in the radio case which was probably where the old volume control would have been. Then a brass rod was connected to the volume shaft to extend the control beyond the radio case. The amplifier sat on wooden blocks.

For the control panel, a new panel was etched out of copper sheeting. (There are plenty instructables which will show you how to etch copper). I deliberately made it look old and well used, this didn't need to be perfect, this machine belongs to another era, lol !

The control panel sits on a wood wedge which was covered in some old material.

The control knobs were changed to black metal, as the plastic knobs didn't look very good. I tried a couple of ideas and settled on black.

A hole was cut into the top of the radio case for the control panel. As you can see Isteel rulers were used to keep the dremel in a groove, I only had one shot to get this right so I wasn't taking any chances.

Step 4: Installing the IPad

The window in the radio was perfect for the iPad, the hole was the exact size. A wooden groove was made for the iPad to slot into and was perfectly centred in the hole. Two mechanisms were used to turn the iPad on and change between apps (The home button)

To the right of the radio case, a slide button using a brass rod with a small piece of wood was the button pushing device. Lining up was critical.

The iPad could easily be taken out when needed.

The home button was the hardest part. As you can see by the pictures there is not a lot of room to create the mechanism for this.

Step 5: Raising and Lowering the Control Panel

It took quite a while to figure out how to get the panel to revolve out of the radio case.

So after looking at different ideas from hydraulics to relay switches...

Cutting a circle of aluminium (approx 4" diameter) and a connecting rod (approx 6"), a round control dial was added to the circle of aluminium (the wood experiment failed miserably). The centre of this was connected to the microwave motor. The beauty of this is that being an A/C motor when it can't move in one direction it changes direction which saves a lot of messing around with changing polarity which you have to do with a DC motor.

At each end of travel, some micro switches were installed which cut power and then on the front panel is a switch to control the raising and lowering of the panel.

Step 6: The Speakers Are Mounted

A frame for the material to be stretched over was made and put into the speaker opening. Then two speakers were mounted on some plywood and screwed to the front panel. This is fairly self-explanatory as you can see by the pictures.

Step 7: Putting the Amplifier Into the Radio Case

This was a relatively easy step, although, just make sure the volume control lined up with the volume control hole in the radio case.

Step 8: We Have Lit Candles Rising Up on Power On

The rising candles when power is turned I am particularly proud of. How was it possible to fit this in without interfering with the panel raising mechanism? I am glad you asked. With a lot of trial and tribulation. As you can see from the pictures there are two shafts on either side of the panel mechanism joined by a brass axle. The candle platform joins the two belt halves together.

A 12 volt DC motor was attached to drive the belt and therefore raising the candles. There are micro switches at each end of travel to stop it at the designated points.

Step 9: Adding a Projector (still in the Making)

Next, a projector was added to project whatever was on the iPad to a screen. Netflix, YouTube or any movie you wish.

This is the cherry on the top. A Brookstone pocket projector, and it works really well but I didn't manage to get it operational for my video.

There is a platform created on which the projector sits and a hole with a flared brass funnel through which the projector projects.

Step 10: Conclusion of the Build

This was a fairly long and involved build and there are still things to finish. Bluetooth functionality will be added. A carry case because this unit can be used for presentations. It has a microphone jack. It can also be used as a Karaoke machine. The projector will be up and running and I will create an update.

If you have any questions, please ask in the comments below.



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    22 Discussions

    Hi bricabracwizard!

    This is unbelievable awsome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    It took me three days to calm down again!! So really fantastic and exciting!!

    Take a bow and my voting!!

    Yours Aeon Junophor

    -deeply impressed-

    7 replies

    I don't know how to reply to this without sounding corny. But you are an inspiration and I have always loved your work so coming from you this is high praise indeed and I am very humbled Aeon. Thank you so much, Aeon.

    Dearest friend bricabracwizard

    Thank you very much;-))

    It is always pure pleasure to me reading about your fantastic ideasso you are as well an inspiring Steampunk tpo me ;-))

    By the way:

    If you like to see and read more about my objects(just for fun or inspiration;.)) and as well from eleven other german steampunks too, you can do this by reading this book written in german and in english!! It has just been coming out last week....

    Special X-max greetings to you and your family down under;-))

    Yours Aeon Junophor

    Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas.

    I have ordered the book and look forward to receiving it in January. I also love Admiral Aaron Ravensdale's work too. I am glad it is a hardback book.

    Thank you, my friend.


    Hi bricabracwizard

    Thanks for the order, I´m sure,you will enjoy it ;-))

    By the way these guys are very close friends of mine: Admiral
    Aron Ravensdale, Genius von Heddernheim, Horatius Steam, Leander Lavendel, Telemann
    von Phone and Titus Timeless. They are also members of the junophorian house
    order “Pour-Le-Ferite“.

    At the end of march 2017 Aron, Horatius, Teleman and myself
    will be together on a „maker faire“ at Dortmund/Germany showing some of our
    objects, giving workshops and entertain with some steampunk-scientific-lectures.

    We will report...

    Yours AeonJunophor

    Hi Aeon, I never received the book from Amazon.De. Not sure what to do now.



    Hi bricabracwizard

    I am sorry about it

    If you try it here directly at the publisher

    I wolud run better

    Just send them a mail an the tell you the shipping cost before you order. Hope this will work better.

    Looking towards the maker faire at Dortmund next weekend slightly excited ;-)))

    Yours Aeon Junophor

    I used to live in Dortmund, back in the late sixties, lol ! Keep me updated please, Aeon, thanks.

    I pressed "view all steps" 3 times and did not see one thing on how to build this.

    3 replies

    I've had that problem too. Just go to next step and then the other steps will show up. It may just be the browser we use...if it still happens PM them here. The steps are all here. Thanks, Sherylin.

    Ok it worked this time.

    VERY nice build :)

    Thanks for this :)

    Voted for you

    Thanks very much for taking the time and effort to look at my creation and comment, Gaylene.

    This is fabulous, bricabracwizard! When will we see more inventions of yours and where? I am amazed and gobsmacked with this huge creative art piece of yours - which is also technically proficient.

    1 reply

    Thank you for such a fantastic comment. I am in the process of creating an exhibition soon.


    1 year ago

    Looks (and sounds) great! This is a sure winner, I say!

    1 reply

    Wow, I love the old twist on modern technology. I get nostalgic listening to my friend play the guitar. Too cool for words.

    I always knew that Michael rocked and now I know it all the more.

    1 reply