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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Problems with wireless remote control? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

ekozuch
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Veteran user
argentina
329 Posts

Profile of ekozuch
Hello, I am thinking in buying an effect with a wireless remote control, but I am afraid to have some problems when there are at the stage a wireless mic, or cell phones, or any other electronic wireless signal, anybody have had any bad experience with some electronic prop? any suggestion?
thank you very much
Dave Fiscus
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New user
94 Posts

Profile of Dave Fiscus
Hi!
I'm not sure about the commercial wireless devices used for rising cards and other magic tricks, but I had some experience making my own wireless device last year. I made an automaton toy with a small crank that turned gears then showed it as an interesting novelty at our local magic club. Someone said it would be fun if the device cranked itself , like using an invisible hand.

For the next month I worked on this idea, adding a little mechanical man who would turn the toy's crank. Well, the he didn't really turn the crank, but it looked like it. Actually, the crank turned him! I had hollowed out the base, added a motor and radio control receiver there then threaded a chain drive up inside a support column to the gears above. When I'd send a signal the gears would turn, making the crank turn. Because the little mechanical man was attached to the crank, he moved too.

Anyway, my little wireless transmitter/receiver ran well when I used my hidden switch (a palmed garage door opener) but would also unexpectedly start and stop on its own! This turned out to be an advantage for me because I could be across the room with obviously empty hands and the little guy would begin cranking the gears then unexpectedly stop. I displayed it our Ring 192 and it got a wonderful reaction. Later, at a machining show, it drew quite a crowd because the machinists, guys very familiar with mechanical movements, couldn't figure out how it worked! I think the flourescent lights in places where I displyed this automaton caused the interference.

My wireless control was a $25 kit radio control unit, very small, and very simple. I couldn't find kits to make a fancier transmitter/receiver and those used by model airplane builders have transmitters that are too big. I haven't done much with electronics but, If I were making it again, I would use an infrared transmitter ( line-of-sight like your TV remote) and less prone to interference. Also IR kits are more common than RC kits.

Before buying a wireless trick ask the manufacturer about signal interference. I would guess that the more expensive pieces of apparatus have overcome this problem. I've never heard of rising cards starting all by themselves!
Dave
jbohn
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Regular user
Minneapoils, MN
102 Posts

Profile of jbohn
To get more in-depth in the subject of radio transmitter/recievers, you might want to check out "The ARRL Handbook for Radio Communications", available at http://www.arrl.org/catalog/?category=*+......ords.y=0 . (Or, check a local library.) The information is fairly technical, but it's a great first text for learning about radio equipment. The American Radio Relay League sells many wonderful books on the subject. One note of caution: some of the things in the books require FCC licensing (certain frequencies, modes, etc.). Feel free to PM me for more info.

Jeremiah Bohn
KC0FUI
CesaralM
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Loyal user
264 Posts

Profile of CesaralM
You can have a look at "Cesaral Interference Detector" in http://www.cesaral.com.

It is a tool to detect different kinds of interferences that could have very bad consequences for your radio controlled devices or sound systems.

I hope it helps!

Cesar Alonso (Cesaral Magic)
craig filicetti
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V.I.P.
Arizona
541 Posts

Profile of craig filicetti
I build radio control devices. It is very dependent on the radios and frequency. Radio control toys are not very reliable and can be effected by noise. The data is poorly encoded when sent. Garage door openers typically opperate at 433MHz and 418MHz (US, UK). It is the data encryption (encoding, decoding) that gets you the reliablity. There is noise at most frequencies everywhere. Yes, a building in the city (stage) can have more noise at your frequency. Your mics and cell phones don't even have an effect (different frequencies). Magic products should be built with quality radios and encoders. Ask what type of system is being used and what the "real" distance is that it can be used under. There are radios for $5 and some for $30, I use the $30 ones in my effects. Let me know if you have any other questions.

-Craig
ProMystic - Professional Systems For Mentalists
<BR>www.promystic.com
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