This project is a wonderful hybrid of two contactless technologies – RFID and inductive charging. Together, they allow bringing wooden props to life without altering their appearance at all. When you point the planchette at letters on the board, it sometimes vibrates in your hands, giving the appearance of being haunted. More importantly, it “reads” the letters and if you give them in the correct order, it will open a locked door for you. This is what the first version prototype looks like inside:
And the receiver with the electronic lock, nothing special here:
The ouija board has RFID tags underneath and they are read by the planchette. The planchette itself sports an Arduino, a vibration motor, a radio module, a LiPo rechargeable battery, and some other components. My present setup lacks induction charging and it is therefore quite impractical – the planchette has a visibly separable cover attached by three screws, which doesn’t look very nice. In the cover, you will also find two large holes for metal contacts that allow charging the battery – this is done by putting the planchette on a special charging board equipped with two bolts that go into the holes, together with a magnet that switches a reed switch hidden in the planchette, allowing for charging by disconnecting the battery from the rest of the circuit. The charging board is embedded into a drawer, charging the board when it is stored there (the white switch is unrelated):
Sounds complicated? It’s the same to me, and that’s why I devised a better solution using inductive power:
If I added a wireless charging module, I could glue the planchette together instead of using screws, as I would never need to take it apart (with physical contacts maintenance is needed sometimes). It wouldn’t need holes, too. This would make the planchette perfectly innocent-looking to those who are unaware of its true purpose. Also, when you make props for theatre, live action roleplay etc. it is always a valuable feature to make no visible modifications to the features of your prop.