We Didn't Start the Fire, but Arduino Started This One

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Rock music and fire go hand in hand--something about a burning flame makes that guitar solo just that little bit more epic. In the case of Guitar Hero, while your virtual character may be surrounded by flame-driven sets and screaming fans, you're probably sitting in the comfort of your living room. Though with a little help from Arduino and a flamethrower, your performance streaks could actually be on fire.

Chris Marion's FireHero 2 lets you play all your favorite Guitar Hero tunes or MIDI files with a flamethrower. By connecting the game's guitar controller to an Arduino microcontroller, FireHero 2 lets you control a five-prong flamethrower to produce fireballs for each fret played. In addition to the various parts needed for the propane gas setup to work properly, you need items such as an Arduino, a PlayStation 1 or 2 controller, Guitar Hero controller, and transistor block.

After building the basic supply system, you can then start customizing the "distribution system"--this is how the fireballs will appear and be displayed as you play. In terms of the electronic guts, the guitar controller is wired up to the header of a PlayStation controller (this works a little like a sensor), which connects to the Arduino. The Arduino will then work to pick up on button presses, and relay that information to the correct section of the flamethrower.

To play, just switch on Guitar Hero and start strumming and pressing buttons on the controller: the flamethrower will do an effect to correspond with the note you are playing. Check out how the mod looks when you perform a medley of rock tunes:

While this mod is awesome, it's worth noting that you should be extremely careful--not only when you are playing with the fire, but also when you are setting FireHero up. Make sure you follow the instructions carefully--needless to say, we're not responsible for anything that goes wrong.

Follow Chris' steps on Instructables carefully and use good common sense, though, and you will be the king of rocking out in no time--just make sure you don't hit any bum notes, or it will be extremely apparent!


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