I was wandering around the dollar store trying to find cool last-minute decorations for Halloween when I saw a cool plastic skull. As I left the Halloween aisle I spotted a bunch of cheap LED headlamps and flashlights. Suddenly, I had an idea; I looked down at the skull and saw how well let the light shine through it. I rushed over to the lights and grabbed the most compact headlamp with a flashing option there was. After a total of $4.00 spent and 20 minutes of my time I had created a cheap, easy to make stroboscope skull.
Step 1: What You Need:
- A hollow, translucent plastic skull (preferably white)
- A cheap LED headlamp with a flashing/strobe setting
- 3 volt button cell batteries (I used cr2025 batteries)
- A multi-tool or a knife and wire strippers
- Duct tape
Step 2: Dissasembling the Headlamp
- VERY CAREFULLY take apart the headlamp to expose the circuit with the on/off button and lights. Cut the circuit's battery wires (they will likely be the only wires) where they meet the battery casing, freeing the circuit. Remove the circuit from the rest of the pieces.
- Strip the ends of the battery wires to expose about 1/4" of bare wire. This is a delicate step, since the battery wires are likely weakly connected to the circuit and may break off.
Step 3: Powering the Circuit
- Now you need to figure out how many button cells to use. Check the headlamp package to see what voltage is required for it to run. It will likely require between 3 and 6 volts. Mine needed 4.5 volts, but I used two 3 volt button cells instead without any issue.
- Determine which battery wire is positive and which is negative. Check where the wires are soldered to the circuit, there should be positive and negative signs there.
- Use a small piece of duct tape to hold the positive wire to the positive side of one button cell. Use another to hold the negative wire to the negative side of the other button cell. Then duct tape the two button cells together. If you only needed one button cell, simply tape the positive wire to the positive side and the negative wire to the negative side.
- Turn on the circuit to make sure it still works.
Step 4: Finishing Up
- Cut a small flap in the back of the skull just large enough to fit the circuit through.
- Turn the circuit on to the desired strobe speed (or just leave it on a steady glow, it looks cool too) and push it through the flap.