THP Entry: System Design Document, Video and Requirements

A project log for Unity Candle

Taking the idea of a unity candle to the next level

QuinnQuinn 08/21/2014 at 03:270 Comments

This log is intended to make clear all the entry requirement specifics in one place. Other log entries provide more details on the project and design.

A block diagram of how it all connects is shown here: (System Design Document)

The controller schematic is shown in this project log.

The first prize video is also linked on the main page links, and here.

Some comments on the contest requirements:

This is hardware and software project where a completed functioning system will be built.

The system is connected in that is uses a variety of interfaces to connect to a stage and lighting control system. Interfaces supported are DMX, MIDI, RS-232 serial and USB. This allows a show operator to sequence the firing with other lighting and sound effects in a performance.

This project is being documented here, in build logs, parts lists and eventually build instructions. Schematics, software and images are provided here. Please see the extensive documentation provided in project logs.

This project is fully open hardware and open software, with everything needed to recreate it located here on

While the system as implemented here has safety concerns that make it an advanced project, several of the elements described are quite usable by many hackers, and can be used in a wide variety of other projects. Specifically, the sequencing controller, stage control system interfaces, prop construction and robust electrical control over long wires. Some examples of other projects could be a model rocket launch system, DIY dance lighting, and haunted house effects.

The dual stage propane poofer is an innovative technique which can produce more voluminous fireballs with a smaller outlet size than existing poofer designs. The smaller outlet allows more economical and easily available plumbing parts to be used. No prior instances of this technique could be found in the burgeoning fire art or theater pyrotechnic communities.

See the details section of this project above for an index to the topics covered in the many project logs.