Introduction: 4 Ways to Make Multi-Surface LED Throwies - Taggies

Picture of 4 Ways to Make Multi-Surface LED Throwies - Taggies

Hi everyone,
today I'm publishing my 20th Instructable & YouTube video! To do so I decided to roll 4 Mini Projects into one and hope that you'll like it.

The inspiration for this project came from so called "throwies" which are basically powered LED's with a magnet that can be thrown against metallic surfaces as part of street art projects. Check https://www.instructables.com/id/LED-Throwies/ for more info on the original idea. A second influence was 4WantofaNailsDisaster Preparedness: Communications bundle which featured a small capsule containing a number of mini light sticks that could be used as glowing "bread crumbs" to mark ones path when straying of a trail. The last influence was the memory of working in Iraq & Afghanistan where most cigarette lighters sold on the local bazaars had small build in lighters for times when power cuts would turn the lights off (which was quite often).I liked the concept of simple, cheap & expendable lights for use in outdoor applications but found that the attachment via a magnet was too limited. In this project I showcased four different methods of making simple & cheap throwies each with multiple attachment options. To make a separation between the two I decided to call mine Taggies since that's what you do with them. You can tag/mark yourself, your gear, a path, use them as jewelry or whatever else you want.

Please mind the environment and pick up your taggies whenever possible!!! Lithium batteries as well as the plastic components are harmful for the environment and should be disposed of properly!!!

If you like this Instructable please vote, fav, share, subscribe & comment. You can also check my YouTube, Facebook, Blog, Instagram and Twitter for current and upcoming projects.

To celebrate the above mentioned milestones as well as winning a runner-up prize package in the "3 Ingredients Challenge"I will give away a 1-Year Pro Membership for Instructables if you subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave me a comment at this video. I will announce the winner on Sunday the 7th Feb 16 here on my orangeboard as well as my Facebook, Twitter & Blog. Please make sure you add "Count me in" to your comment as well as your Instructables username!!!

Take care, stay safe

Cheers Alex

Step 1: Examples of Utilization

Picture of Examples of Utilization

As you can see in the video and in the pictures I have tried the various attachment methods on almost any surface I encountered in urban settings as well as the woods. Depending on what attachment method you choose you can attach your taggie to:

  1. Velcro (Hook & Loop)
  2. Trees
  3. The zipper of your clothes or gear
  4. Concrete
  5. Stone
  6. Magnetic and Non-Magnetic metal surfaces
  7. Glass
  8. Wood
  9. Combined with a safety pin or carabiner/swivel it is possible to attach them to fabrics

The surface conditions do play a role when using adhesive glue pads. Surfaces should be dry &

non-porous if possible for optimal adhesion.

If you are going to make your own taggies and have ideas for other attachment methods please do not hesitate to post them in the comments.

Step 2: Examples of Utilization Pt. 2

Picture of Examples of Utilization Pt. 2

Here are a few more examples of how the Taggie could be used.

Reliability:
It will depend on your skill how well the taggie will work. Although the construction is simple you should take care that the pins won't be able touch each other or the opposing pole of the battery to avoid shorts.You can of course add a resistor but from what I know it is not required but can extend the shelf life of your taggie.None of the variants shown here is truly waterproof. I figure that you could make them waterproof by inserting them into a waterproof container.Humidity might lead to corrosion when stored in very humid environments.I'm currently doing a test with the taggies to determine glow duration and will update you once the tests are finished.

Step 3: Multi Taggie

Picture of Multi Taggie
Materials:
  1. Clear tape
  2. Diffused LED's
  3. Neodymium Magnets (I used splinters salvaged from a broken hard drive)
  4. Velcro Tape (Hooks)
  5. Adhesive Glue Pads
  6. Thin plastic tape or sticker transfer tape
  7. Button cell batteries
Tools:
  1. Scalpel
  2. Pair of scissors

Attachment Methods:

  1. Magnetic surfaces
  2. Velcro
  3. Dry & Non-porous surfaces

How To:

  1. Start by testing if LED & battery are working (The shorter pin on the LED is the cathode or negative terminal this should be attached to the negative pole of the battery)
  2. Create a shim from the plastic tape and insert it between the negative pole of the button cell and the LEDs cathode (negative pin).
  3. Trim the pins down to ensure they won't touch each other
Remarks:This is the basic variant which is very close to the original throwie concept.

0:14 - Multi Taggie - This is the basic and most simplest Taggie variant

Step 4: Multi Taggie Pt.2

Picture of Multi Taggie Pt.2
How To Continued:
  1. Wrap 2 - 3 Layers of tape around battery & LED

  2. In the next wrap include a small magnet

  3. Add another 2 wraps

  4. Attach the glue pad to the taggie by applying pressure to it

Step 5: Multi Taggie Pt.3

Picture of Multi Taggie Pt.3
How To Continued:
  1. Glue a short length of the Velcro hook tape to the other side of your taggie.
  2. To use the taggie simply remove the shim. To switch it off simply stick the shim back in. If you encounter problems try to gently apply pressure from both sides in order for both pins to make proper contact with the battery.

Step 6: Infrared (IR) Taggie

Picture of Infrared (IR) Taggie
Materials:
  1. Clear tape, electrical tape or duct tape
  2. Infrared LED's (You could salvage one from an old remote control)
  3. Velcro Tape (Hooks & Loops)
  4. Small safety pin
  5. Thin plastic tape or sticker transfer tape
  6. Button cell batteries
Tools:
  1. Scalpel
  2. Pair of scissors

Attachment Methods:

  1. Velcro
  2. With the safety pin you can attach it to fabrics

How To:

  1. Test LED & battery (You will have to utilize a camera to see the IR light). Ensure you have correct polarity.
  2. Add a shim to switch the LED off.
  3. Wrap 2-3 layers of tape around LED & battery
Remarks:This taggie can be used to mark yourself, your gear or a path which is invisible to the naked eye. This can come in handy if you want to keep a low profile. It is possible to see the IR light with night vision equipment and most cameras (Including most mobile phone cameras) without an IR filter.

1:38 - Infrared Taggie - This variant utilizes Velcro patches and an IR LED

Step 7: Infrared (IR) Taggie Pt.2

Picture of Infrared (IR) Taggie Pt.2
How To Continued:
  1. Add the safety pin to the tape and continue to wrap another 2-3 turns.

  2. Glue the Velcro tape (Hooks & Loops) to both sides of the Taggie

Step 8: Infrared (IR) Taggie Pt.3

Picture of Infrared (IR) Taggie Pt.3
How To Continued:
  1. Trim the shim if necessary

  2. To use it simply remove the shim (use a camera or Night Vision to check if it is on) and put it back in to switch it off.

Step 9: Straw Taggie

Picture of Straw Taggie
Materials:
  1. Diffused LED's
  2. Clear tape or electrical tape
  3. Hot glue
  4. A wide diameter drinking straw
  5. 2 small button cells (I used LR41)
  6. Neodymium magnets (I again used shards from a salvaged hard drive magnet)
  7. Swivel with carabiner (used for fishing)
  8. Glue pad
  9. Cotton balls
Tools:
  1. Scalpel
  2. Pair of scissors
  3. Wire cutters
  4. Needle nose pliers
  5. Scribe
  6. Hot glue gun

Attachment Methods:

  1. Magnetic
  2. Adhesive
  3. Carabiner hooks to fabrics over twigs etc.

Remarks:This version is actually my favorite due to its simplicity and relative durability.

3:10 - Straw Taggie - This one is my clear favorite due to its simplicity and versatility

Step 10: Straw Taggie Pt.2

Picture of Straw Taggie Pt.2
How To Continued:
  1. Test LED & battery . Ensure you have correct polarity.
  2. Stack the two batteries on top of each other
  3. Insert the batteries into the straw as shown in the pic
  4. Use the needle nose pliers to bend the pins of the LED to shape as shown in the pic. (Ensure correct polarity and that the pins fit tightly to the anode & cathode.)
  5. Push the assembled parts further into the straw so the LED sits flush with the end of the straw.
  6. Trim down the straw leaving approx. 1cm on the opposite side of the LED.

Step 11: Straw Taggie Pt.3

Picture of Straw Taggie Pt.3
How To Continued:
  1. Use a shim to switch the LED off.
  2. Insert a small amount of cotton into the LED side and compact it

Step 12: Straw Taggie Pt.4

Picture of Straw Taggie Pt.4
How To Continued:
  1. Use a glue gun to seal this end.
  2. Fill the other side with cotton and seal it with more hot glue. You should ensure that the shim can still be pulled out.

Step 13: Straw Taggie Pt.5

Picture of Straw Taggie Pt.5
How To Continued:
  1. Insert the swivel into the hot glue whilst it is still hot.
  2. To switch the LED on simply remove the shim (put it back in place to switch the LED off)

Step 14: Rugged Taggie

Picture of Rugged Taggie
Materials:
  1. 5mm Diffused LED's
  2. Hot glue
  3. Button cell (e.g. CR1620)
  4. Neodymium magnets (10mm x 20mm x 1mm)
  5. Swivel with carabiner (used for fishing)
  6. Glue pad
  7. Cotton balls (Recommended but not used in this build)
  8. A small nail (2cm long 1mm-2mm diameter)
  9. Velcro tape (Hooks & Loops)
  10. 2cm x 1cm rectangular ABS (Or other plastic) tubing
Tools:
  1. Scalpel
  2. Pair of scissors
  3. Wire cutters
  4. Scribe
  5. Hot glue gun
  6. Hacksaw
  7. Electrical drill
  8. 5mm & 2mm Drill bits
  9. Marking pen
  10. Sand paper (Optional)

Attachment Methods:

  1. Magnetic
  2. Adhesive
  3. Carabiner hooks to fabrics over twigs etc.
  4. Velcro (Hooks & Loops)

How To:

  1. Test LED & battery . Ensure you have correct polarity.
Remarks:This version is quite versatile due to its many attachment methods and robust. However it is far more complex to make and I suggest when making it you might want to spent the extra time to solder a resistor in as well.
As an alternative to the twisting method you could incorporate a small on/off switch.
6:38 - Rugged Taggie - A sturdy version featuring a hard ABS casing

Step 15: Rugged Taggie Pt.2

Picture of Rugged Taggie Pt.2
How To Continued:
  1. Measure and mark a 2,5cm (1") piece of the rectangular tubing
  2. Use your hacksaw to cut it off
  3. Use the scalpel and sand paper to smooth the edges

Step 16: Rugged Taggie Pt.3

Picture of Rugged Taggie Pt.3
How To Continued:
  1. Use the scalpel and sand paper to smooth the edges
  2. Use the sand paper to rough the sides as well to ensure better adhesion for the tape & glue pad.
  3. Trim the pins of the LED down as shown in the pic.
  4. Use the 5mm drill to drill a hole in the middle of one of the smaller faces (See pic)

Step 17: Rugged Taggie Pt.4

Picture of Rugged Taggie Pt.4
How To Continued:
  1. Insert the Battery for a test fit. At this stage the two pins would be slightly apart and the LED should be off. By twisting the head of the LED the two pins should make contact and the LED turn on.
  2. Use the 2mm drill to drill another small hole through both large faces as shown in the pic.
  3. Insert the nail through the holes with the swivel on the inside .
  4. Cut off the nail but leave 2mm standing and use a hammer to flatten that end in order for the nail to be permanently fixed in position.
  5. Use your hot glue gun to seal both ends (I recommend you use cotton balls to protect the battery against the hot glue).
  6. To switch the LED you have to twist the LEDs head. The first time might be a little difficult and I suggest you use pliers to carefully twist it on. After that you should be able to switch it on and off quite easily.

Step 18: Rugged Taggie Pt.5

Picture of Rugged Taggie Pt.5
How To Continued:
  1. Glue the Velcro Tape, Magnet & Glue pad to the three remaining sides

  2. To switch the LED you have to twist the LEDs head. The first time might be a little difficult and I suggest you use pliers to carefully twist it on. After that you should be able to switch it on and off quite easily.

Step 19: Weekly Giveaway

Picture of Weekly Giveaway

To celebrate the above mentioned milestones as well as winning a runner-up prize package in the "3 Ingredients Challenge" I will give away a 1-Year Pro Membership for Instructables if you subscribe to my YouTube channel and leave me a comment at this video. I will announce the winner on Sunday the 24th Jan 16 here on my orangeboard as well as my Facebook, Twitter & Blog. Please make sure you add "Count me in" to your comment as well as your Instructables username!!!

Comments

Andycapt (author)2016-03-01

This is inspiring in oh so many ways

Alex 2Q (author)Andycapt2016-03-02

Thanks a lot Andy.

Cheers Alex

xp24 (author)2016-02-14

Wow, this is actually very easy and so many ways to use. A work, I should do, when I got the materials. How much time do you need for all of then?

Alex 2Q (author)xp242016-02-14

Hi xp24, thanks for reading and your feedback. Go ahead and make some it will take just a few minutes for the simple models and between 5-15 minutes for the straw and sturdy versions depending on your skills, experience & tools. I prefer the straw version and have made quite a few of them so it usually takes less than 10 minutes to make one.

Make sure you post some pics when you made your own taggies.

Cheers Alex