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Vintage ham radio transformed into epic party game prop


Maker Thomas Meston needed a “mysterious looking device” that allows players to enter codes obtained via an original party game. What he came up with is entitled “Dr. Hallard’s Dream Transmission Box,” and consists of an Arduino, a party light, a smoke machine, and other components stuffed into a broken National NC-33 ham radio.

This radio makes a really excellent enclosure for the electronics inside, and when the device is properly activated the winning team hears a special message via an Arduino Uno-controlled MP3 shield, accompanied by laser lights and smoke. 

How it works:

  • When the box is switched on you hear static and see a yellow light. The device is ready for the codes to be entered.
  • Once all three dials have been set, the player switches the bottom toggle to “send” state, the box will message back whether team blue or team red has entered any codes with a quick flash of either a red or blue led.
  • If all three dials are set to red codes, the red team wins and hears a special message through the speaker just for them. The laser lights and smoke machine will be activated at the same time.
  • If all three dials are set to blue, a different message will play as well as activating the smoke machine and laser lights.

More info on the project can be found here, and while it might seem like a shame to modify this kind of vintage equipment, Meston notes that he sees this as giving it a nice second life since it was previously non-functional.



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