A Phantom Gauge Box for Witches Night 2018

Parts I used.

  • A box. I used this box because it was on sale at Michales and the size was just right.
  • A Set of old Gauges. (My mom found these at a yard sale and it was easy to take out the  parts to add the lights.)
  • Adafruit NeoPixels


  • A Dremel
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Soldering Gun
  • Computer that had the Arduino IDE

The Process

First I took apart the “Gauges” which were an old thermometer and barometer station. I was able to pry off all the parts with some pliers. I was careful enough not to break any of the plastic. The plan was to use the plastic that held these parts for a foundation for my lights.

After I got everything dismantled I was able to trace the size of the gauges on the box and cut these out. I did a test fit to make sure everything would fit right.

Now it was time to figure out the lights. The cool thing with NeoPixles are you can cut them down to the size you need also long as it is on the line between the GND, Din, 5V line.You will later solder these to the development board. Two NeoPixles were more than enough to light up the gauges. I soldered together my two NeoPixles and hot glued them to the black plastic that held the older mechanical parts.

Testing the lights.

Here is the Arduino code I used for the light animations.

#include <Adafruit_NeoPixel.h>
#ifdef __AVR__
  #include <avr/power.h>

#define PIN 6

// Parameter 1 = number of pixels in strip
// Parameter 2 = Arduino pin number (most are valid)
// Parameter 3 = pixel type flags, add together as needed:
//   NEO_KHZ800  800 KHz bitstream (most NeoPixel products w/WS2812 LEDs)
//   NEO_KHZ400  400 KHz (classic 'v1' (not v2) FLORA pixels, WS2811 drivers)
//   NEO_GRB     Pixels are wired for GRB bitstream (most NeoPixel products)
//   NEO_RGB     Pixels are wired for RGB bitstream (v1 FLORA pixels, not v2)
//   NEO_RGBW    Pixels are wired for RGBW bitstream (NeoPixel RGBW products)
Adafruit_NeoPixel strip = Adafruit_NeoPixel(6, PIN, NEO_GRB + NEO_KHZ800);

// IMPORTANT: To reduce NeoPixel burnout risk, add 1000 uF capacitor across
// pixel power leads, add 300 - 500 Ohm resistor on first pixel's data input
// and minimize distance between Arduino and first pixel.  Avoid connecting
// on a live circuit...if you must, connect GND first.

void setup() {
  // This is for Trinket 5V 16MHz, you can remove these three lines if you are not using a Trinket
  #if defined (__AVR_ATtiny85__)
    if (F_CPU == 16000000) clock_prescale_set(clock_div_1);
  // End of trinket special code

  strip.show(); // Initialize all pixels to 'off'

void loop() {
  // Some example procedures showing how to display to the pixels:
  colorWipe(strip.Color(255, 0, 0), 50); // Red
  //colorWipe(strip.Color(0, 255, 0), 50); // Green
  //colorWipe(strip.Color(0, 0, 255), 50); // Blue
//colorWipe(strip.Color(0, 0, 0, 255), 50); // White RGBW
  // Send a theater pixel chase in...
  //theaterChase(strip.Color(127, 127, 127), 50); // White
  theaterChase(strip.Color(127, 0, 0), 50); // Red
  //theaterChase(strip.Color(0, 0, 127), 50); // Blue


// Fill the dots one after the other with a color
void colorWipe(uint32_t c, uint8_t wait) {
  for(uint16_t i=0; i<strip.numPixels(); i++) {
    strip.setPixelColor(i, c);

void rainbow(uint8_t wait) {
  uint16_t i, j;

  for(j=0; j<256; j++) {
    for(i=0; i<strip.numPixels(); i++) {
      strip.setPixelColor(i, Wheel((i+j) & 255));

// Slightly different, this makes the rainbow equally distributed throughout
void rainbowCycle(uint8_t wait) {
  uint16_t i, j;

  for(j=0; j<256*5; j++) { // 5 cycles of all colors on wheel
    for(i=0; i< strip.numPixels(); i++) {
      strip.setPixelColor(i, Wheel(((i * 256 / strip.numPixels()) + j) & 255));

//Theatre-style crawling lights.
void theaterChase(uint32_t c, uint8_t wait) {
  for (int j=0; j<10; j++) {  //do 10 cycles of chasing
    for (int q=0; q < 3; q++) {
      for (uint16_t i=0; i < strip.numPixels(); i=i+3) {
        strip.setPixelColor(i+q, c);    //turn every third pixel on


      for (uint16_t i=0; i < strip.numPixels(); i=i+3) {
        strip.setPixelColor(i+q, 0);        //turn every third pixel off

//Theatre-style crawling lights with rainbow effect
void theaterChaseRainbow(uint8_t wait) {
  for (int j=0; j < 256; j++) {     // cycle all 256 colors in the wheel
    for (int q=0; q < 3; q++) {
      for (uint16_t i=0; i < strip.numPixels(); i=i+3) {
        strip.setPixelColor(i+q, Wheel( (i+j) % 255));    //turn every third pixel on


      for (uint16_t i=0; i < strip.numPixels(); i=i+3) {
        strip.setPixelColor(i+q, 0);        //turn every third pixel off

// Input a value 0 to 255 to get a color value.
// The colours are a transition r - g - b - back to r.
uint32_t Wheel(byte WheelPos) {
  WheelPos = 255 - WheelPos;
  if(WheelPos < 85) {
    return strip.Color(255, (WheelPos * 3)/2, 0, WheelPos * 3);
  if(WheelPos < 170) {
    WheelPos -= 85;
    return strip.Color(255,(255- WheelPos * 3)/2, 255 - WheelPos * 3);
  WheelPos -= 170;
  return strip.Color(255,0,0);

This was the hardest part. After this I put the lights in the box. I used a lot of hot glue to make sure they would not move. This I soldered the positive wires together and the negative wire together and added in a switch then connect that to my USB power supply.  

Once everything was working I hot glued all the wires, switch and micro controller in place. It was ready for set up after that. 

Test in the Light
Test in the Dark
Set up at Witch Night in the Dark.
Set up at Witches Night Out 2018


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