Psychic Arduino

If life has been too serious for you lately, this weekend project will take some of the stress out of your life and create a really neat toy in the process; a delight for a child or for those children who gather around your desk at work!

Remember those Magic 8 Balls from the ’50’s and ’60’s?


These are still available today. Essentially a dark liquid in a plastic ball with a clear plastic viewing port on the bottom. Ask a question, shake the ball, turn it over, and soon a message will appear to answer your question; or sometimes you just get put-off and have to try again.

Those 20 classic phrases are repeated in this Arduino project and randomly chosen each time power is applied. Use a push-button or a mercury switch to activate the power to the Arduino and have the answer appear on the colored LCD display within seconds!

Great fun. For more fun, edit the storage array in the source code and create your own phrases, or translate the English to your native tongue. Using inexpensive Chinese supplied parts, this project will cost under $10.

Construction ideas: Use a clear acrylic globe or a hampster exercise ball for the project. Paint it black, add a white “?” or “8” and a double-AA battery pack.

Warning: This is a 3.3 Volt ONLY project so significant adjustments will be required to run above 3.6 volts absolute maximum.  For extra long life, use “C” alkaline batteries, x2. I have yet to have a Nano clone from China fail to work at 3.3V but the factory specifications are for 5V and therefore one does take a chance with a lower voltage. You may wish to consider this ProMicro clone if you want a bit of insurance and do not want to test the fates:

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