But What Does It Actually Do?

A project log for The Levels of Hell: Dante's Inferno 2.0

Like the Sorting Hat from Harry Potter, you are judged and assigned to your own Level of Hell!

scubabearscubabear 10/29/2021 at 03:070 Comments

The Magic Castle® has had a tradition of making souvenir keychains for the members that contain RFID chips inside them.  This allows us to build gags that can be specially triggered, which is a fun & magical thing for Castle guests to do.  Additionally we can have the RFID linked to information about the key's owner, like calling them by name.

The tribute to the Lament Box from Hellraiser houses the RFID reader board, a 24-LED Adafruit Neopixel ring, and a PCB made by Michael Volchock that does the I2C to the reader, transmits it via RS485 to whatever it is controlling (in my case, Raspberry Pi 3s), and does a little animation on the Neopixel ring when the RFID is read.  I found a lament box STL on Thingiverse and added the little devil and the hell-level numbers.  

Then I printed a set on my Form2, made silicone molds from the 3D prints, and cast & painted 12 of them for the other gags at the Castle this year, although I only needed one of them for the arcade cabinet.

Halloween 2021 RFID Keyfob

There are two ways to activate the Sorter Cabinet.  The preferred way is swipe your little devil keyfob and place your hand on the handprint.  The "handprint" is a resin cast that looks like a hand pressed into stone.  Behind the resin handprint is some copper foil tape to act as antenna for the Adafruit touch sensor board.  When the handprint is touched, the Sorter is triggered and the fun begins.  The Sorter will play a musical selection for 20 seconds while it assesses your sins and determines your eternity.  Then it will say your name, the level of hell you deserve, and print a paper receipt with the level, Jeremy's illustration and a quote from Dante's Inferno.  If you don't have a keyfob, just placing your hand there will trigger it, but it will call you a "lost soul" rather than call you by name.

It amuses me greatly that the voice that announces your eternal fate sounds just like Alexa.