Shutter mechanism for Sodium Lights

Did a job for the Anders Høgli for the theatre performance “En dag i livet” (“A day in life”).

Check out this Grenland Friteater – En dag i livet:

You will notice that two of the pictures have sepia tone instead of colors. This is not photoshopped, but actually how it looks thanks to the use of monochromatic Sodium Lights which are old tunnel street lamps. There was only on problem: They need a long warm up time before reaching full strength.

I therefore made cardboard shutters (the lamps are quite cool so no fire hazard) for all the lamps, to allow quick transitions between the scenes.

All parts of plywood except the small cogwheels made of 10mm teflon I happen to have in my workshop. They are controlled by simply reversing the voltage. End switches in both positions are bypassed with diodes so they only stop on direction.

That’s all. Cheers❤

Ridiculously small Pipe Organ

Edit: Now including a short video of me playing it!

Bought three organ pipes second hand on ebay the other day. Pitches (from lower key) are C, D and F#. Decided to make an electric organ out of it.


Case are made of oak wood milled on my CNC milling machine with church like ornament windows. It is my first experiment with making simplified tapped corners on the CNC machine. Not perfect but it seems to work out. On one side there is a control panel with individual power adjustment for each pipe plus vibrate frequency and depth.

I have used an Arduino to control the fan motors because I’m lazy. It gives me the possibility to PWM control and modulate the pipes with a few mosfets (IRLZ24N) and minimum effort. If I want to add midi control in the future, this will also be straight forward.

I have used separate fans, from hot air guns, mounted straight under each pipe. This gives a really simple assembly with no valves to worry about. The down side is that the fan noise is quite audible trough the pipe sound.

All in all I am very happy with the looks of this thing. Less happy with the sound, and the possibilities are obviously quite limited with only three pipes.

I am quietly daydreaming of buying a full set of old church pipes to make a huge Serafin like contraption of it. The biggest problem so far seems to be that the parts must be transported from the USA to Norway, which is far from cheap.


Double Pendulum

Double Penedulum

Grethe Mo was producing a solo theatre performance about (fear of) math. She wanted some kind of visual effect to visualize the beauty of math and numbers. Quick brainstorming with Anne-Sophie Eriksen and Kjersti Høgli led to this:


A table mounted double pendulum. Ironically enough a demonstration of chaos; where the math and numbers break down.

The devise is made by home milled aluminium leftovers from the Grenland Friteater storage. All joints have ball bearings to give a long lasting pendulum. The finish of the bare aluminium parts are gently sanded to give a matte look and to remove scratches from the old materials.

Immersive Space Invaders

Intel has a Perceptual Computing Challenge going for their kinect-like webcam and the Space Invaders project a friend and I’ve been developing got through to the second stage. This is a project that we have tried making on several platforms and interfaces, but the original idea persists: remake the classic game in 3D, where you are the controller and the invaders and their space is as big and immersive as possible. Below a short video from the beta.

And here is a video from our alpha stage with the kinect a year or two ago.

Cargo Cult at Burning Man


Cargo Cult at Burning Man

We should ask for some Norwegian cultural-petroleum monies and go to Burning Man this year…

Our story begins in Melanesia during World War II. Thousands of American GIs suddenly descended on this South Sea island chain, bearing with them unimaginable riches: magical foodstuffs that never spoiled, inconceivable power sources. Just as abruptly the troops departed, leaving only broken, rusted Jeeps, crumpled beer cans, and the memory of Spam. To the astonished eyes of the natives, this was a miraculous occurrence, and they yearned for the return of abundance. Accordingly, they built totemic sky-craft in an attempt to summon back these Visitors and their legendary leader, the man the Melanesians called John Frum. They had formed a Cargo Cult.

Violet Ray

I found this beauty on a marked in Fredrikstad on a family holiday:

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I had no idea what it was but instantly fell in love! A few hours of research (AKA Googling) later i realize I have bought a pre WWII miniature Tesla Coil to stick up my ass! How cool is that!

The device is a Helio Lux Violet Ray Electro Therapy kit with a large variety of electrodes, including Eye Socked Electrodes, Anal electrode and Spinal Electrode. These devices was used for health care in the late 1930s but are now adopted by the BDSM community.

We have off course already given it a run at the 220Vs but, as expected, the device is completely dead. A look inside revealed a broken fuse and a shorted primary cap 1uF/1000V. This is now ordered from RS-components and my guess is that it’ll do the trick.

One question remains though; is the Noble Gas in the tubes still present after so many years..? Update will come when the cap arrives!

Update: Cap has arrived🙂


tech dept.