Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Brawndo - It's what GEEKS crave!

We (Dave Dalton and Craig Berscheidt) just finished the Brawndo fountain for the front hall here at Hammerspace, and I am quite pleased with the results.

Only minutes after the fountain was finally assembled, I had the great pleasure of testing it out on out unsuspecting (and thirsty) UPS man. When given the choice between BRAWNDO and TOILET WATER, the UPS guy quickly selected BRAWNDO.

"I've never seen one of these before... is this a new drink?" He went back for seconds, and proclaimed that it was good. I call that success.

This was a lot of fun to build and went together in a few days. It all began with our old broken drinking fountain. It hasn't worked since we moved in. It needed a new push button valve, and some TLC. The valve turned out to be hard to find, so I set about adding a solenoid valve and a push button instead. "As long as I'm putting a new valve in here we need to add some features."

Before I could even get the valve in the mail the Brawndo Fountain idea hatched in my brain, and it had to be created. I just needed a way to flavor the chilled water coming from the storage tank.

MIO energy drops were selected to provide Brawndo-esque flavor, but the flavor tank can hold whatever we choose.

I decided a peristaltic pump would let me dose the water with flavoring on demand and control the mix. Plus you could still get cold water instead of Brawndo by switching off the pump.



Fortunately Brian had 4 old peristaltic pumps lying around the space. They were originally purchased so that the attached stepper motors could be harvested. The fit and delivery rate was perfect. Next I needed a way to drive the stepper on the pump. Craig had designed a great bipolar stepper motor testing board, and had a few extras on hand. Done AND DONE. A few minutes at the solder station with some perf board and a relay, and all the controls were in place.

The case was the most fun. A cleaning and a coat of yellow spray paint was followed by masking and painting the day glow orange stripes. Craig and I made the Brawndo logo with his vinyl cutter which I really feel MAKES the whole thing.


Last we laser cut and etched the "It's Got ELECTROLYTES" badge and "Brawndo / Toilet Water" switch plate. I'm very happy with the look of these also. So there you have it. Delicious cold flavored beverages from a drinking fountain? It's not just for you dumb-as-a-sack-of-hammers grand kids anymore!

And if you are wondering "What the heck is BRAWNDO?" then you need to go watch the movie Idiocracy by Mike Judge.


More pictures can be found here.

2 comments:

  1. OMG I totally love that movie! great work!

    ReplyDelete
  2. But does it actually have electrolytes?

    ReplyDelete