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Dynamite Flash

Posted: Tue May 07, 2013 8:17 am
by Glen A
I've had this joke sign on my layout for a couple of years:


Now I was looking for some public interaction to add. Something they could control that wouldn't affect the trains running.

While out shopping I found a small key-ring charm that was a look a like miniature camera. It had a button on top that made the flash go off.
It used to look a lot better than this (it had a lens on the front), but I forgot to get a photo before I hacked it up :wink:

Anyway I broke into it and found 3 small 1.5v batteries inside. There is no way they would last continuous use for two days, so I hooked some wires onto the connections in the battery area, so I can hook up to an old 5v cell phone charger. I also pulled apart the push button and wired that out so I can trigger externally.


I can have a plunger out front, a push button behind the layout, or triggered by train via reed switch if required.

So then I cut a new tunnel into the mine:

And eventually you will see the flash coming from out the back while looking though here:

To be continued.....

Posted: Tue May 07, 2013 9:22 am
by Artizen
Nice! It's amazing how you keep coming up with new ideas for this layout. You might need to build a couple of new modules to fit them all in!

Posted: Tue May 07, 2013 11:57 am
by Si
Great idea.....just wish I could find an excuse to do it on my estate railway, but there's not a lot of call for dynamiting the Shropshire countryside in the 1970s!

Posted: Tue May 07, 2013 7:08 pm
by Gerry Bullock
Great Glen however how about a synchronised explosion with flash. :twisted: :lol:

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 12:46 am
by Adrian
G'day Glen


Just the sort of thing that I like on layouts.

Pity you didn't think of it a bit earlier .... just recently tossed a key-ring thingie that had a digitized explosion sound.
Would have fitted in with it perfectly !

Interesting to see what you come up with for an operating button out front.


Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 1:03 am
by Artizen
A big red button something like this? ... 62646.html

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 2:36 am
by Mark Goodwin

Brilliant what about a loud bang and some blast as well !!

I admire how you create additional interest into your modelling and adapt items for such use :lol:
Kind regards

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 3:50 am
by Oztrainz
Hi Glen,
Try this one from Jaycar

I have 2 to wire in as "crash stop" switches for the Incline

:shock: :idea: Let the kids work out how to reset it - :twisted: so you should get some time between KABOOMS :!: :!: :!:

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 4:00 am
by Oztrainz
This one is a bit more obvious...
with a big "DO NOT TOUCH" sign :wink:

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 6:56 pm
by Glen A
Thanks for the ideas of the buttons. But although they are big, they are not dramatic enough for me. :lol:
I want a big T handle plunger (like the top of a bike pump) just like you see in the old movies. With two bug wires running under the layout.

Adrian: yes pity you had thrown that out. I would like to add sound. but haven't found anything suitable yet. When I find something at the right price, it will get done..

Dynamite flash

Posted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:51 pm
by NotHarryPotter

on the Wayback machine Archive I found an early book on explosives use in mines, and it has some great illustrations of the equipment used (including the plunger handles).

A page in the book (for a chapter on what NOT to do with explosives) has a great image of a man cracking open TNT boxes with a pick! :roll:

I'll chase it up and send the link,

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 3:24 am
by Adrian
G'day Glen
Glad to hear that you plan to use a 'T' handle for your switch.
Should look good.
But a word of warning .... make it nice and strong :!: :!:
Maybe even stronger than the real thing.
Most kids respect somebody else's 'playthings' but some don't.
Don't ask how I know.

Just a thought ......
Maybe a button out the front that operates a little man who pushes the plunger which sets off the explosion ?
That way you can use a nice solid button easily obtained although making the little man might be a little more difficult !


Dynamite flash

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 8:01 am
by NotHarryPotter

this catalogue from the Wayback Machine archives is downloadable.

It contains information and illustrations of blasting machines.

A bit like Gomez Addams! :D

Dynamite flash

Posted: Thu May 09, 2013 8:18 am
by NotHarryPotter

The attached link leads to a very interesting book. Page 42 shows the "Reckless way to open powder kegs". Definitely not advisable! The image might make a fun T-shirt logo!

The quarryman and contractor's guide; or, How to remove rock at least cost (1891)

Actually this book has a lot of early useful mining information,


Opening powder kegs

Posted: Fri May 10, 2013 6:53 pm
by Thorness
I find it quite funny that with all the dire warnings about striking a spark with the pick that there is no mention of the danger of smoking your pipe!

Posted: Tue May 14, 2013 8:32 am
by Prof Klyzlr
Dear Glenn,

If you want a decent "kaboom", start with one of these
(about as cheap as a ITTC ISD sound module, and a darn sight better in audio spec. User-loadable, and Fully purpose intergrated trigger IN and Control OUTputs too)

Source an appropriate sound file to start with from here

Tweak and create a suitable end-result sound file using this
(it's FREE!)

and fire the resulting signal thru one of these

OK, that'll scare the kids, maybe back it off and use one of these instead. ... y_awcs.pdf

Whoops, still overkill, better try this... ... a-speakers

Happy Booming,
Aim to shake the room,
Prof Klyzlr