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Magic Projects

Magic Box
You have a wooden box with a hinged lid. Inside the box are six numbered pawns.
You tell a friend to remove one or two pawns and to close the lid while your back is turned.
When you turn around you lay your hands on the box and tell your friend to concentrate on the pawns which were removed. Without opening the box you tell them which pawns were removed - even when they try to pull a trick on you by removing more than two pawns.

The original Magic Box was a two part article in the Nuts and Volts magazine and they offer a kit as well.

Magic Switchboard
This project came from the Picaxe Forum. A member sent a link to the video below showing the switchboard in action. He/she was wondering if one could be built using a Picaxe. Of course it wasn't long before members figured out how the trick worked and how to use the Picaxe to do it. Technical actually came up with the program for it. This project uses a modified version of Technical's program.

The Swithboard
Unlike the video, I'm using four white LEDs instead of the light bulbs. Instead of removing the bulbs I'm using short pieces of different colored drinking straws which slip easily on and off of the LEDs.

I also wasn't able to find switches with easily removed knobs. So I'm using miniature switches with the short pieces of drinking straws as well.

If you can think of using something different to use instead of drinking straws please feel free to do so.

The Magic
The magic works just like the video except your switching the short pieces of drinking straws instead of removing lights and switch caps.

Unlike the video, this version allows you to hand the switchbox to the "victim" to try it. Of course the magic wont work for them. The switches will only control the light which is dirrectly across from the switch.

In case you didn't watch the video, here's the magic:

  • You have 4 different colored pieces of drinking straws over the 4 lights and over the 4 switches.
  • You show the "victim" that each switch turns on it's matching colored (by drinking straw) light.
  • Now you let the "victim" mix the pieces of drinking straws covering the lights and/or switches.
  • You then demonstrate that each switch still turns on it's matching colored light.
  • Now you let the "victim" turn the switches on and off. The problem is that the switches no longer turn on the matching colored lights. Instead it turns on the lights directly across from them.

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