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How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/18/2010 6:19 PM

Hello,

I need to create the same effect created when a pool's "shimmer" reflects of walls, ceilings etc., on an OUTDOOR stage,

I ended up putting a clear bottle of water in front of a spotlite and it worked...only when I kept MOVING the bottle... I need to know if anyone knows how to make water in an enclosed container move (just slightly) with NO power...and it does not have to be water as long as its a liquid..I can mount any container in front of the fixture but do not have any way of moving it...

I did try many bulb/ligting companies to no avail...

thank you

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#1

Re: Make a liquid move in a sealed container with NO power

01/18/2010 7:18 PM

Ha ha ha ha. Do you seriously think you can move something, anything without power.

Ok, enough sarcasm for now. I'll assume that you meant no external electric power. Then you will have to use some other power source. This could be power from a spring or a slowly falling object. How long does this changing motion have to happen, seconds, minutes, days, millennia? Maybe you could harness some wind power to move your reflector. Wait a minute, how do you power your spot light? Never mind me, I just sometimes blurt out silly thoughts.

I know, maybe you could just think like a Jedi warrior.

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#2
In reply to #1

Re: Make a liquid move in a sealed container with NO power

01/18/2010 8:22 PM

It will have to move for about 8 hours , I know it sounded silly and I am sorry. I was thinking something with magnets, or a mineral water, or mercury...I don't know I am just some stupid stage hand..

And yes there is power for the spot fixture, 12v low voltage...if that helps...but I believe I have to watch the consumption as with 12v your limited to the transformers size and cable lenght (voltage drop)...

thank you

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#7
In reply to #2

Re: Make a liquid move in a sealed container with NO power

01/19/2010 9:37 AM

Ok Bob, I was a little harsh in my original reply but you didn't give us a lot of information to go on. 8 hours is a curious amount of time for this to be operating. To long for a stage performance, to short for a permanent display. Is this a set up for a traveling carnival?

My obvious quick answer is a 12V motor, like a cooling fan. You could possibly fix irregular reflecting material to the blades of a little cooling fan. The fan could have a simple 555 timer circuit to pulse the fan ON/OFF with the blades allowed to coast to save power. This will help preserve your 12V battery supply. Ideally if your spotlight requires the use of a cooling fan you could use a few mirrors to reflect the light onto the cooling fan blades and not use any additional power at all. (Technically you will draw some small additional power initially due to the added mass on the fan, but once at speed...)

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#16
In reply to #1

Re: Make a liquid move in a sealed container with NO power

01/20/2010 1:26 AM

"Ha ha ha ha. Do you seriously think you can move something, anything without power..".

About moving anything without applying power check the following link

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yk71GY02diY

OK, i know, gravity and capillarity are forces -->power but they're FREE...

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#3

Re: Make a liquid move in a sealed container with NO power

01/18/2010 8:56 PM

How about sound waves? If you could mount a tuning fork in the water it will help.

Drew

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#4

Re: Make a liquid move in a sealed container with NO power

01/18/2010 9:07 PM

DREW K might be onto something there. If the container had a localised thinned section, then sound waves, or even just a speaker magnet and coil arrangement using the container surface instead of the cone might give you movement.

You would probably need a tone generator to find the harmonic that works for each fill combination.

You might even be able to get different effect at different tones giving different levels of chop in the fluid surface.

Whatever you do, don't go to exotic fluids like mercury as secure set-up, recovery and handling would become a real issue in the world that you work. (Untrained public, performers, labourers and "know it all" individuals who will think of some way to abuse what you set-up with all best intentions.

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#5
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Re: Make a liquid move in a sealed container with NO power

01/19/2010 5:41 AM

Indeed. Use drinking quality water whenever possible. Saves you a lot of time, money and health. Sonic/ultrassonic devices do great in such situations. Low consumption, low cost, easy to setup. If in the country with natural resources available, maybe a temp differential from a spring and solar heat could be enough to cause a convection in the conteiner. Of course, I am typing with absolutely no idea about the setup...

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#6

Re: Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container with NO Power

01/19/2010 8:52 AM

If this is for a band or there is sound, place the container on a sealed speaker, ( to avoid damage) and let it be activated by the sound. Bounce the spot off the container. If music is playing it could coincide with the light show. Placing it facing up and secure the container right to the cone. Adjust volume for effect.

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#20
In reply to #6

Re: Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container with NO Power

01/20/2010 6:00 AM

You got there first!

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#8

Re: Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container with NO Power

01/19/2010 10:00 AM

A vibrator to shake the table the container is on if the old lady can part with in.

Should be able to replace the batteries with the 12 volt power you have

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#9

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/19/2010 10:52 PM

Will there be performers on the stage? Is the stage constructed of wood or cement?

Maybe just the motion from the performers transmitted through the stage will move the platform enough to create waves. Or if the audience will be passing nearby find a method for them to disturb the container.

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#10

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/19/2010 11:01 PM

Give the bottle to any 4 year old and tell them to stand completely still.

Never happens! :)

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#11

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/19/2010 11:50 PM

There are numerous methods that can be utilized. If it has to be just a continuous slow shimmer, you could use the heat generated by your light source/s to create thermal effect where the hotter water at the bottom rises and is replaced by the cooler water from the top of the container which gives the surface of the water a shimmer wave effect. If you require a more rippled surface or one where you can distort the surface at will, then sound could be an alternative. Possibly the best solution would be to use the mobile phone vibrating motor [10mm long x 3mm diameter] which can be glued to the container and activated by a phone battery or existing power source and the energy is quite in-significant and easy to control. It is so small that it also does not pose a fire risk.

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#12

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/20/2010 12:07 AM

try putting some form of a Lava Lamp in front of your projector lamp.. it is convection in the lava lamp that keeps it moving.

Chris

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#13

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/20/2010 12:10 AM

putting 2 disks of mottled frosted glass, with a motor and a counterrotating mechanism , in front of your spotlight should provide the correct effect similar to water flow. (depends on the quality of the mottled glass I guess.)

What causes the pattern in water is something called "Caustics" in raytracing terms, and is caused by the the wave interference and refraction.

Chris

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#14

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/20/2010 12:43 AM

Use a really big plastic bottle say like the kind. Make a small hole in the bottom for the water to slowly leak out of drop by drop. From time to time there should be an air bubble going in, that should give you the ripples you want. I guess you could put the thing in a container of some sort to catch the water leaking out. I think it would be a bit tricky to get it to work for 8 hours though...

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#15

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/20/2010 12:49 AM

Try a small carburetor fuel solenoid and power it through a turn lights indicator relay (both sourced from an automabile scrapyard) and power from your 12 volt supply.

The relay will operate once or twice a second and power the solenoid accordingly. glue or solder a piece of wire or similar to the solenoid plunger so that this wire vertically dips in and out of the liquid as the solenoids pulls in and then relaxes during operation. You could bend an L shape or attach a small object to the end of the wire to displace a greater volume of water if requiered.

If you find the resultant peaks of the waves are too close together and they are not simulating the "swimming pool" look, then scale the whole thing up and use a bucket or larger instead.

You'll have to build something and there will be some trial and error

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#17

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/20/2010 1:40 AM

Bait shops ( fishing) have little containers of hardened mineral that will constantly release tiny oxygen bubbles into the water for up to 10 hrs . That should give the required result . Hope that helps.

Charlie

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#18

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/20/2010 4:39 AM

Someone else is working on this judging by this patent application.

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#19

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/20/2010 5:19 AM

Stupid idea .

Put a goldfish in it.

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#21

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/20/2010 6:43 AM

Seems like I heard an interesting commentary at end of a "Stargate SG1" dvd. Their method to create the event horizon of the stargate seemed lowtech in the beginning.

I see a quick search on wiki' reveals some have claimed to recreate the shimmer in their closets.

Now I am going to have to watch the series again.. Darn.

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#22

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/20/2010 7:53 AM

It's going to take some power to move water, but it could be acoustic power, a wind-up mechanism, a temperature differential, gravity, a battery, wind power, etc. You tell us what us available, and we will solve the problem. For example, if gravity is available, you could rig up a dropper mechanism that dispenses one drop of water at a time into a pool of water, causing the ripples you require.

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#23

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/20/2010 9:25 AM

Maybe you can replicate the operation of an automobile flasher operation. Use a couple (or 3 pairs maybe) signal flashers & connect them to two bulbs (12V). If you properly orientate these pairs of flashing bulbs (maybe using various outputs/wattage) behind the container (use an appropriately shaped bottles) you can get the same effect as if the water is moving. Throw some chandelier prisms in the water container(s) while you are at it. One well charged battery might sustain the entire set up but do make sure you have enough electrical support. Their mingling ON sequences should create plenty of variation. Sort of like a higher power Christmas light set up. ...as seen through a bowl of prisms. Carlos

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#24

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/20/2010 9:27 AM

I'm not sure if this will be enough movement, but most cell phones have a vibrating motor in them. These motors typically run on 3V DC. If you disasemble an old cell phone and remove the motor, try taping it onto the container. Tape it so the edge contacts the bottle (flat sides on top and bottom), because the motors vibrate side to side. Move the motor up and down on the bottle until you get the effect you are looking for. Connect the wires to a 3V DC source, like two D cell batteries wired in series or a 12V to 3V adapter. The motors aren't typically rated for continuous usage, so I don't know if they will last for 8 hours. If you know someone good with electronics, they might be able to put together a circuit that turns the motor on for a few seconds, then off for a few seconds. Adjust the timing so you get the effect you want. Test it out for 8 hours before you use it on stage to make sure it will continue to work. Keep a few spare motors and batteries on hand.

Good luck!

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#26
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Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/20/2010 11:03 AM

For a vibrating motor you could also consider one of the disposable vibrating toothbrushes (about $5): single AAA cell so 1.5V operation. I reckon they last for about 2 minutes twice a day for 2 months, so that's 4 hours on an AAA. So a single D type cell should easily last the 8 hours.

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#25

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/20/2010 9:37 AM

Another thought...if there will be a musical performance on stage, try making an "Edisonograph"- like device. Make a cone like a megaphone. Stretch a diaphragm (something like a thick balloon) over the small end. Attach one end of a wire or rod to the center of the diaphragm, and the other end to the bottle. Mount the megaphone so it is ridgid. Sound vibrations will travel down the megaphone to the diaphragm, making it vibrate, and transmit the vibration to the bottle.

Or you could look around for the speaker off an old Edisonograph record player and mount that. Make a connection from the diaphragm to the bottle, and you are all set! This will work as long as there is enough sound being generated. It will work all day with no electrical power source.

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#27

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/20/2010 11:15 AM

I can see how this could be done very cheaply:

A little 12v pump from a tiny "waterfall" novelty item can be simply dropped into the clear water tank in front of the light, and wired to a screw-terminal on the 12V lighting fixture, so the pump runs any time the light is powered on.

These tiny pumps are already sealed submersible units, and have a small piece of tubing that can be removed so the small water flow continuously ripples the water surface. They typically have a 12V transformer and are connected by a std 12V connector. Pull the pump out of a cheap plastic fountain, splice the wire leads with sealed crimp butt-connector or squirt some silicone sealant into the ends of a regular one.

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#29
In reply to #27

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/20/2010 1:05 PM

"A little 12v pump from a tiny "waterfall" novelty item"

which were first devleoped for use in aquariums, and the aquarium pump will be easier to acquire.

but GA for thinking of it.

Chris

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#28

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/20/2010 11:28 AM

Small mirrors under taut band suspension would react to the slightest movement.

This system is used for some opto-mechanical vibration meters and a modified version of this is used for large-screen projection televisions in an array.

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#30

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/22/2010 1:53 PM

This idea may be a little crazy, but was the bottle completely full? I understood you to say that a full bottle created the effect just due to light going through the liquid, and not through the surface interface.

That makes me think internal pressure differences/waves are creating the effect.

Would a heated wire induce convection within the bottle? You could just take a length of copper or ideally silver wire and attach/solder one end to the lamp and then line one side of the bottle with the other end, it might induce enough convection to give you good steady FREE waves within the bottle. Might be too regular to give you the ripple effect though. Just a thought. Might melt the bottle too =0

-T

edit: Whoops tecmate beat me to the thermal idea, and I missed it, I just added a wire. Oh well.

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#31

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/25/2010 10:37 AM
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#32

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/25/2010 5:10 PM

Try an aquarium fish tank bubblier if it is to much air at once then add a set of valves, so you can direct a lot of the air off and just a little into the water.

Good luck

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#33
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Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

01/26/2010 3:49 PM

Why not add a few fish?

The movement of the fish would create surface irregularity/movement and the fish would create an additional "third dimension" to the effect.

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#34

Re: How to Make a Liquid Move in a Sealed Container Without Power

02/24/2010 7:41 PM

Reply 13 has your answer. I have an effect machine that uses this exact setup. He calls it mottled glass, I would say its more like the diffused plastic used for flourecent lighting. Try two pieces in front of a flashlight before going too far and see if it doesn't look like water. Cut 2 say 3" discs and move in oposite directions. Could be a small 12v motor with a rubber band to drive the other side. I would stay away from water as the heat over time could boil it and be problematic. If you had a spare stage hand as mentioned, he could be your wave monkey

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