Blinkenlighty Water Fun

This experiment is very simple but was a whole lot of fun. In hackish MacGyver style it includes my Blinkenlighty, duct tape, two needles, wires, some scrap wood and some water balloons.


In not exactly hackish Mac Gyver style it includes a foto studio, a camera with tripod and models. The best part of it was that the only stuff that had to bought were the balloons. The models were for free. Yes, models are for free if you know what you do.

Here is how it works. My friend Sebastian Ritter runs a small foto studio. Every once in a while he does some experimental photography. This time he got the idea that he wants to have water balloons on some models and picture them while the balloons explode. So he figured – because I know something about electronics – I might be able to help to setup or buy some kind of trigger. My comment was that it should be possible with “nothing at all”. That is: he would only need parts that he already had anyway. I knew he owns a Blinkenlighty because he got one from me for taking most of the pictures that were used by Franzis for marketing my stuff.

The challenges were:

  • How to trigger the circuit? What kind of sensor could we use?
  • How to trigger the flash as the flash controller operates on 3 Volts but the Blinkenlighty runs on 3 Volts
  • Get it ready as fast as possible

The deal was: if I solve this quickly I get some really cool pictures for my blog. See below for one of them. And please do not get distracted by the computer screen. The board in front of the water bottle is the Blinkenlighty that triggered the flashes.


You can read the full details in my Foto Trigger Experiment. In case you just want to know why the models are free: because Sebastian is a good enough fotographer. He pays with his pictures. This is called “time for pictures” or “time for prints”. The model gives time and the fotographer pays with pictures. It is the same way I got paid. And last not least: this is freaking fun for everyone.

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