For you lightning machine fans - a simple diagram of the reverse-lightning wiring:
To walk you through the build, from the top:
- Acquire a lightning machine. I used this: http://www.goldmine-elec-products.co...p?number=C4530
but this is also very popular: http://www.frightcatalog.com/Hallowe...ng-FX-1408006/
- Acquire a 120VAC relay (and socket if you prefer). Got mine at RS.
(similar to this)
- The regular lightning outlet will be fed by two wires coming from the circuit board (tan block). Cut one of these wires and splice the ends to the relay coil pins A and B, respectively. Your coil pins may be labeled 7 and 8 instead of A & B...
- Acquire a basic outlet to install as the reverse-flicker outlet.
- The power cord feeding your lightning machine will be soldered to the circuit board (shown red and black in my diagram). Cut this (or desolder) and split or "pigtail" each wire of the cord into two, creating a "Y" on each wire.
- Solder one end of each "Y" to the circuit board, and the other ends to relay pin #5 and one "side" of the reverse-flicker outlet, respectively.
- Solder a wire to relay pin #1 and the "other side" of the reverse-flicker outlet.
- Secure all connections and hardware.
To walk you through the thinking:
Adding a reverse-flicker outlet as described will enable you to have a separate bulb (or whatever) plugged into the lightning machine that will be "on" until the circuit sends power to the lightning socket. Plug the lightning machine in and power is sent through the normally closed contacts of the relay (#1 & #5) powering the outlet. Lightning sound is then fed to the machine: when this happens, the 120VAC sent to the lightning bulb also activates the coil in the relay, physically moving the contacts to the normally open position thus killing power to the other socket in a reverse-flicker effect. Very cool!
I should reiterate - the lamp (or whatever) will flicker off in sequence with the lightning flashes. It will not just "stay off".
This is a DPDT relay (dual pole, dual throw), which means there are two separate sets of contacts inside. I use pins #1 and #5 here, but you could use #2 and #6 if you like - just be sure you use them in this sequence: #1 and #5 OR
#2 and #6.
I actually use this with a 3-channel lightning machine and have the reverse-lightning socket attached to the high-end channel. Doing this, people will see and hear 3-stage lightning like normal but the lamp only flickers off part of the time - this way it's not so much of a directly inverse relationship. Or, if you were to use this without the lightning bulb (just a lamp plugged into the reverse socket) and without speakers, you could feed the lightning audio in like normal, and your room lights would flicker only every-so-often which could be a cool effect.
If you were to remove the relay itself from its socket (not sure why you'd want to - this would totally disengage the reverse-flicker socket) you'd need to put a jumper wire between pins A & B of the relay socket to allow that lightning channel to fire.
Please see the discussion in this thread for other considerations regarding this approach (lifespan, etc.). Remember you're working with 120 volts here! Do this at your own risk - if you're not comfortable with electronics and proper safety precautions, don't attempt this project.