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A small gadget to upgrade your night cache. If the cacher triggers it with his flashlight, a LED will flash a predefined sequence.
65 backers pledged €1,143 to help bring this project to life.

About

€1,143

65

Just imagine...

... it is night and you're out for finding a special geocache - a night cache. You start when dusk begins and follow a small path through a forest, led by small reflectors at the trees you have to find with your flashlight. Stars and the moon are shining bright above you. The inhabitants of the forest wake up and fill the scene with their sound. Slowly a feeling like being in a horror movie rises up. And you are right in the middle of it.


Most night caches...

... consist of reflectors and UV ink. But if you are the owner and want to present the cachers something unusual, a reactive light is the gadget you are looking for.


Reactive Lights...

... are small electronic circuits with a microcontroller, one (or more) LEDs and a light sensor. At daylight they will fall to sleep and be inactive. But if brightness falls below a threshold, it starts to work. As soon as the light sensor detects a fast change of brightness (a cacher lights it with his flashlight), the LED starts to blink a predefined sequence. This can be just a number of flashes or even morse code with a short message. Triggering the reactive light works over a long distance. Up to 100 m - depending on the flashlight - is no problem. As power consumption is optimized to a very low level, a set of standard batteries (the circuit requires 3 V) lasts for several years.

The reactive light.
The reactive light.


The kit...

... contains the circuit board and all components. Just the batteries and the battery holder are not included. None of the components is SMD to make it easy to assemble even for beginners. Most kits contain an already programmed microcontroller.

The circuit board has a size of 15 mm x 28 mm. This small dimensions make it easy to hide the reactive light in a crack, a knothole or a fake birdhouse.

The components of the kit with teachmode.
The components of the kit with teachmode.


The teachmode...

... enables the owner to change the blinking sequence whenever it is necessary. One just need a flashlight and a magnet.

A magnetic switch has to be triggered to start teaching. Then the flashlight is used to define the sequence. The light sensor detects it and the microcontroller stores the sequence in its nonvolatile memory. When the sequence is finished, the teaching has to be terminated by triggering the magnetic switch again. Due to the nonvolatile memory the sequence won't get lost if the power supply is removed.

The sequence may consist of up to 32 bright and 31 dark phases. Each phase may have a duration up to 8 s. It is saved with an accuracy of 0.125 s.

Please notice that not all kits contain the teachmode.


Stretch goals...

... 400 EUR: You can choose the color of the LED. Possible colors are white, yellow, red, green, blue and violet.

... 550 EUR: The circuit board gets prepared for a second LED. All kits contain two LEDs. When programming the microcontroller on your own, both LEDs can be controlled separately. Already programmed kits will use both LEDs synchronously.

... 800 EUR: Each kit will contains a centrifuge tube that is big enough for the circuit and two AAA-batteries. It can be used as a waterprove case for the reactive light.

Risks and challenges

As long as I won't get lost while caching in the mountains of Saxony, there is no risk at this project. The program and the circuit design is already finished and tested. Just the circuit board has to be produced and the microcontrollers programmed. The first point is a question of money (you'll help me getting it), the second one of time (I'll do the programming on my own). Just in case that hundreds of people want to have a kit, there mey be a small delay.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €5 or more About $6

    Reactive Light kit for self-programming.

    The circuit board and all components are included. You need a device for programming Atmel microcontrollers. A sample program will be available.

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    4 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge €5 or more About $6

    Reactive Light kit with programmed microcontroller - Early bird

    The circuit board and all components are included. The microcontroller is already programmed. When being triggered the LED flashes ten times.

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    Limited 7 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge €6 or more About $7

    Reactive Light kit with programmed microcontroller

    The circuit board and all components are included. The microcontroller is already programmed. When being triggered the LED flashes ten times.

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    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
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  4. Reward no longer available

    Pledge €6 or more About $7

    Reactive Light kit with Teachmode with programmed microcontroller - Early bird

    The circuit board and all components are included. The microcontroller is already programmed. When being triggered the LED flashes a previously saved sequence. The sequence will be saved using a flashlight and a magnet.

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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge €7 or more About $8

    Reactive Light kit with Teachmode with programmed microcontroller

    The circuit board and all components are included. The microcontroller is already programmed. When being triggered the LED flashes a previously saved sequence. The sequence will be saved using a flashlight and a magnet.

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    6 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €11 or more About $12

    Mixed box

    You'll get one normal reactive light and one with teaching mode. Both kits will have programmed microcontrollers

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    15 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge €30 or more About $33

    Big box

    You'll get five reactive lights with teaching mode. All kits will have programmed microcontrollers.

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    20 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge €50 or more About $56

    A night caching tour around Dresden together with me.

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    Limited 0 backers
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Funding period

- (30 days)