Introduction: E-Bola

Picture of E-Bola

Bolas, or boleadoras, are throwing weapons used to trap / capture prey. Traditional bolas are made of weights attached to the ends of three connected sections of cord. When thrown, the weights will spin around the taut cords until the bola hits it's target. If the bola is thrown correctly the weights will have enough momentum to completely circle the target multiple times, wrapping / trapping it with the cords. (obligatory wikipedia link)

"E" is an abbreviation for electronic, it was very popular in the 90's before the whole "I" fad. It can still be spotted today lurking next to mail.

This project describes the process of building a bola that uses LEDs and batteries as the weights, and a short length of cord as the cord.

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

Duct tape - What would we do without it?

Nine 10mm LEDs - Use whatever colors you like. I decided to use a single color for each section of cord.

Nine batteries - Standard 3v CR 2032 Throwie variety

Seven feet of cord - It should be strong, thin, and flexible.

Step 2: Illuminate the LEDs

Picture of Illuminate the LEDs

Clip the leads from the LEDs so they are about half of their original length.

Attach the LED to the battery with a small piece of duct tape. Each LED / battery combo will undergo a ton of abuse so make sure that they are connected very securely.

To test: Violently throw the illuminated LEDs at walls and other hard surfaces to see if they flicker at all. If they do, reconnect the LEDs to the batteries, and try again.

Step 3: Make the Bola

Picture of Make the Bola

The goal of this step is to attach two pieces of cord together so the final product is three equal lengths of string, with a fourth shorter section as the throwing handle.

Cut one section of cord to about four feet in length, and another section to about two and half feet.

Fold the four foot section in half to get the center point. Lay the two and a half foot piece of cord across the center point of the other section of cord so three sections of cord are equal length. Tie two knots at the midpoint to hold both cord sections in place.

Tie a knot at the end of the short section. This will be used as a handle while the bola is thrown.

Step 4: E-ify the Bola

Picture of E-ify the Bola

Tape the LEDs together in groups of three.

Wrap the end of each equal-length section of cord around a group of LEDs. The cord should be wrapped around twice to prevent the LEDs from flying off while the bola is being thrown. Securely tape the cord to the LED bundles.

You now have E-Bola!

To get rid of your E-Bola, hold it by the handle and swing it over your head. For the most part it should fly tangentially away from the release point. With a small amount of practice you can learn to hit a target, and with a bit more practice you can learn to actually get the bola to wrap around your target.

Step 5: Take Cool Pictures

Picture of Take Cool Pictures

Have fun with E-Bola.

Try different throwing techniques, or just whip it around.

Special thanks to fungus amungus for all of these awesome extended exposure shots.


TheNecromancer13 (author)2015-08-08

Dat name. Is awesome.

Altoidhacker (author)2015-04-19

That name

inventor scout (author)2014-11-01

Not liking the name.

victor5 (author)2014-08-14

for the ebola , ,thanks

Jan_Henrik (author)2014-05-09

Next generation of LED throwie ;)

metins222 (author)2013-05-18

Make one more e bola accept with a switch

lucien237 (author)2010-02-14

Ok saw a comment about the ebola virus and it's symptoms. *sigh* Cue the science segment. The ebola virus is a severe variety of hemorrhagic fever. Symptoms include fever, vomiting, bleeding from ALL orifices, including the pores in the skin (severe cases), and in really severe cases your entrails begin to take on the consistency of thick ketchup. And let's not forget everyone's favorite symptom. Death. No cure, no treatment. Your only hope is to survive the disease running its full course of about two weeks or so after infection occurs. And round of applause for the folks who mentioned the virus and brought on my sudden bout of informative ocd. >_>

Valeil (author)lucien2372010-10-07

You deserve a cookie(:

flyingfox567 (author)Valeil2011-11-19

wow, how lucien237 described it, it reminded me of the contagion movie i saw a couple months back...

lucien237 (author)flyingfox5672011-11-22

Yeah Ebola is one of those things that's already so scary people don't need to truss it up for movies. Well, maybe a little more gratuitous blood, but really, for being +75% water, so much of that's contained in cell membranes that we're more squishy and gelatinous than liquid. So injury tends to be more oozy than splashy.

_Scratch_ (author)lucien2372011-02-25

EVERY orfice? .... ouch...

lucien237 (author)_Scratch_2011-02-26

EVERY orifice. If you have a hole in your body, it has the potential to bleed. That means your nostrils, anus, urethra, mouth, even your the pores you sweat from and your tear ducts. I would suggest simply not ever catching said virus. Fortunately, however, it's not that common. It's not widespread, and it's believed to be transmitted by contact with bodily fluids. Unfortunately, they don't know what the natural reservoir (the organisms that the virus usually live in without causing much harm) actually is, so they have no surefire way to tell you where you might bump into it.

_Scratch_ (author)lucien2372011-03-19

Good god....

Eye Poker (author)_Scratch_2011-04-24

You think that's scary, it has a 90+% fatality rate. There is an airborne strain of Ebola amongst monkeys and lucky for us it's the only strain of simian ebola that we are immune to. It was brought into Virginia through an exotic pet dealer back in the 80's. If we hadn't have been immune it would have been like The Stand.

Blackie Ray (author)Eye Poker2011-06-05

Way to stay on topic guys :-)

lucien237 (author)Eye Poker2011-05-01

Read the wiki article you left the address for, and I didn't see it saying anything about that strain being airborne. Also, we're NOT immune to it, in 2009 they had a verified case of that strain passing from ape to pig, then pig to human. So it's POSSIBLE, just not likely. Also the mortality rate of Ebola isn't 90+%, it's 50-90% depending upon which strain/species of ebola you've contracted (humans are vulnerable to all but Reston, which can pass to humans through swine apparently), with some variance from your medical care during your illness. The 90% mortality rate comes from the Zaire strain, which was the first strain discovered. Regardless, it's a nasty piece of work considering that H1N1 and Avian flu and SARS all have gotten major press time even though the mortality rate of those illnesses is pitiable by comparison. If an airborne strain of Ebola did ever make a debut, civilization as we know it would grind to a halt as a plague more deadly than the Black Plague that ravaged Europe consumed the globe. Really the original propagators of the virus are bats. Or rather that's the current theory. Primates die when exposed so it can't thrive in us enough to survive as a species, and after testing 30,000 species of plants animals fish insects and reptiles, the best guess is bats. Bats nibble fruit, the fruit falls, stupid monkeys eat the fruit, become infected, then starving natives eat the stupid monkeys. Granted cooking should kill the virus, but you touch their bodily fluids when you skin and butcher them, thus providing a means for infection.

_Scratch_ (author)Eye Poker2011-04-28

lol, super-flus are bad, we don't want The Stand to come true....

Deadendshop34 (author)2011-08-16

this is fantastic!!!

username252 (author)2011-04-19

Couldn't the LEDs break from hitting them?

M4industries (author)username2522011-06-10

No, they are solid plastic. The worst you could do would break the soldered joints.

spartan094 (author)2008-07-31

Instead of the lame duck tape, could i solder the LED's for a better connection?

kottoler ello (author)spartan0942008-08-03

im not sure i understand your question. theres a particular phrase that is completely and utterly illogical. im not sure its even correct English, in fact. you say "lame duck tape" i assume you mean "duct tape," in which case i challenge you to inform me of when, where, and how, if ever, duct tape has been lame. duct tape is the holiest of holy materials; its what keeps instructables up and running smoothly, and your plastering it with the adjective "lame," well, it makes me sad. in fact, if you had not redeemed yourself by suggesting instead to solder (the more elitist holy way to keep things together), i would be just plain angry with you.

i think that duck tape should ALWAYS be around the house! leaking pipe? duct tape! hole in bike tire? Duct tape! broken arm? doctor! then duct tape!

fwjs28 (author)wolf555hound2009-07-13

i prefer the guerrilla ductape...much stronger

Eye Poker (author)fwjs282011-04-24

I hear that Che is a big fan too.

spartan094 (author)Eye Poker2011-04-24

Haha, niiiiiiiiiice

Pumpkin$ (author)wolf555hound2008-09-16

mother in law XD

wolf555hound (author)Pumpkin$2008-09-16

now THAT's the best idea ive heard since electric cookie cutters!(not really(really))

awz123 (author)kottoler ello2010-12-21

Silence is golden, but duct tape is silver.

The N3rD (author)kottoler ello2008-08-04

Duct tape is like the force; it has a light side and a dark side and it binds the universe together btw, the timed exposure shot is sweet! good 'ible, 5/5!

You gotta be kidding me. Alright, now I steal something from your quote book... IMA FIRINMAH LAZER!!!!! Hah.

Well, while were at it, i guess ill throw this in... I thoroughly disapprove of duels. If a man should challenge me, I would take him kindly and forgivingly by the hand and lead him to a quiet place and kill him.--Mark Twain

Valeil (author)PKTraceur2010-10-07

This is why I love artists(:
(yes, that includes authors.)

INSTRUCTUBAL (author)PKTraceur2009-01-28

my favorite "whoever said the pen is mightier than the sword has obviously never encountered automatic weapons" - call of duty 4 :D


Wrong.  That's from Dragon Ball Z.

PKTraceur (author)The N3rD2008-10-07

Dude, you HAVE to give credit to Carl Zwanzig! he created that quote!

toogers (author)kottoler ello2010-06-18

lame duct tape is known otherwise as packaging tape.....

gavenecko (author)kottoler ello2008-09-10

Lol, I know this is an old post but duct tape was originally called duck tape. During World War II, the US Military needed a waterproof tape to keep moisture out of ammunition cases. They enlisted the Johnson & Johnson Permacel Division to manufacture the tape. Because it was waterproof, everyone referred to it as duck tape (Like water off a duck's back). After the war, the housing industry was booming and someone discovered that the tape was great for joining air-conditioning ductwork. So the color was changed from army green to the familiar silvery tone of today, and people started to refer to it as duct tape. Therefore any name is appropriate.

eggyeggyeggy (author)gavenecko2009-10-28

Did you like, copy that from wikipaedia or something?
If you didn't then, when/where did you learn this stuff?

welderwort (author)gavenecko2008-12-22

Actually it was because Johnson and Johnson used cotton duck cloth in their medical tape for that reason it soon became known as "duck cloth tape" or "duck tape" for short.
(see Petroski, Henry. Small Things Considered--Why There Is No Perfect Design. New York: Vintage Books, 2003)

munchman (author)kottoler ello2008-10-29

actually, I would have preferred to know why they were making tape out of lame ducks.

xenor (author)munchman2009-05-17

they were easier to catch?

spartan094 (author)kottoler ello2008-08-04

So I should solder it?

You can't solder to batteries. There is a coating on it so it the solder slips right off.

trebuchet03 (author)spartan0942008-08-07

That'd make re-using the LEDs after the batteries die more difficult....



Derin (author)Steamdnt2008-09-11


peytonjr (author)Derin2008-10-12


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