Steampunk turntable

To me, the whole steampunk thing has been taken way too far, but I think that this steampunk device really embodies the spirit of what steampunk should be: powered by steam!

Simon Janson from Auckland, New Zealand, created the turntable by putting together a DIY steam engine with an Arduino processor. The engine was cobbled together from bits and pieces.

This is a small steam engine I made, mainly from bits of junk around my garage, playing a Sex Pistols punk LP. The engine speed is controlled by a throttle being driven from a servo controlled by an Arduino. The RPMs are measured by a coil detecting the passing of six magnets in the edge of the platter and the approximate revs are displayed on an analogue meter. I am using the PID controller library to do the work out how to control the servo based on the input speed. The safety valve is making the whistling noise at the start as steam pressure is built up. A small flick of the platter will start the engine and then the Arduino takes over trying to maintain 33 1/3 RPM. At the end the meths burner runs out of fuel so the steam pressure, and therefore the speed, drops. You can see the Arduino trying to throttle up to maintain the speed right at the end.

Check out the turntable in action:

It’s pretty noisy due to the steam, but I don’t think that this is going to appeal to audiophiles anyway.