I started with a special edition Monopoly board and added a Community Chest, a water tower (for the water company), a Ray Gun (for the Chance cards), a train (for the railroads), and street lights (for the electric company). I used reed switches and magnets for the triggers when you land on designated spots on the board.
This project required a lot of different things. I will provide a supply list for each part of the project as I go.
*** The pictures have a lot of information *** I'm better at showing the steps than describing what to do.
Here is a basic set of things you will need for this project.
- Wire (I used phone wire - 6 colored wires for color coding)
- Glue - Elmer's, Wood glue, and a Goop/E6000 style glue
- Shrink Tubing
- Heat gun
- Assorted LED's of your choice
- Solder/Solder Iron or Gun
- Box cutter
- Wire stripper/cutter
- Batteries 3V and 9V
- Dust Mask
- Safety Glasses
- Reed switches
- magnets (very strong)
Step 1: Construct the Ray Gun
Here are the supplies I used:
- Paper Mache egg
- Toy Gun (Cap Gun)
- Wooden base
- Blue LED
- Cardstock paper
- Wooden rings (for decoration)
Take the gun apart. I took the part that holds the "bullets" out of the gun as well as the orange cap at the nose of the gun.
I cut the egg to fit over the gun. This required cutting a hole for the nose of the gun and one for the handle. I cut a line between these holes to get the egg onto the gun that I later covered with paper and painted over.
For the LED nose of the ray gun, I took a blue LED and wrapped wire around each lead. I put shrink tubing over the exposed wires and heated it with a heat gun to secure it. The wire pieces were long enough to reach from the LED to under the game board when assembled.
NOTE: I keep a 3v battery handy to check my wiring connections before I shrink the tubing. It saves time figuring out what the problem is if something isn't working.
For decoration, I used blue craft wire and wound it around the wires coming from the LED. I added 2 wooden disks that I painted silver for accent. For added separation between the wooden disk and the egg, I used cardstock to create an extension (to cover the nose of the gun).
I painted the egg silver to match the gun.
I cut a hole large enough for the Chance cards to sit in.
I then stained and varnished a wooden base to attach the gun to.
After the base was dry I used an L shaped bracket to secure the gun to the base. I drilled a hole through the base for the wires for the LED to pass through.
Step 2: Make the Water Tower
- Paper Mache Egg
- Brass tubes
- Sheet copper
- Velum paper
- Blue LEDs
Cut the bottom of the egg to make the bottom of the water tower.
Create a wooden base for the legs of the water tower.
Cut the brass tubes in half. Safety!!! Wear safety glasses when cutting metal.
Determine where the holes should fit through the bottom of the water tower (the egg) and drill the holes.
Paint the egg copper.
Wire 2 blue LED's for each set of brass tubes (same technique as the ray gun). I used 4 LED's. I taped them into 2 sets of 2 and wired them in treating the pair of LED's as one. Run the wires for the LED's down the legs of the water tower.
Make a pattern that shows when the tower is lit up (I used gears). Print it on card stock. Cut out the pattern saving the pieces that you want to make shadows.
Glue the cardstock to the velum paper. Glue in the pieces to make dark space.
Glue the velum into a circle. Cut the extra paper into tabs and fold them down (so they will be horizontal when the tower is assembled). Glue a stabilizing piece to the top edge. I used the other half of the egg to determine the size circle needed to stabilize the top edge of the tower.
Cut the extra paper into tabs and fold them like you folded the top edge. Glue the bottom edge into the egg.
Make a top for the water tower out of copper. I cut a circle from sheet copper, cut a line to the middle of the circle and overlapped part of it to make a roof. I used a brass fastener to hold the overlapped area in place. Attach it with lots of glue.
Cover the base in copper. Drill holes through the copper for the legs of the brass tubes.
Step 3: Make the Community Chest
- Scrapbook paper
- Battery tester
- Brass corners
- Sheet copper
- Cardstock paper
I designed a 'chest' with hallow insides to run wiring.
I cut each of the box pieces from light weight wood (balsa wood). I glued each piece together with cardstock corners.
I covered the box in scrapbook paper to make it look like wood.
I wired a white LED through the open chest top to light up when you land on a community chest spot.
I created a box to sit in the top to hold the cards.
For the front, I took apart a battery tester for the dial. I made a copper plate to go on the front of the chest. I cut a hole to fit the dial workings, glued the copper plate to the front of the box. To protect the dial, I made a little paper gear.
Step 4: Set Up the Train
- Toy train
- Copper tape
- Train track
This was the only train I could find that was small enough to fit on top of the game board so I used a few coats of paint to make it look more appropriate to the board theme.
Take the track off the base.
I painted the horizontal lines to look more like wood.
Cover each track in copper tape. It is best if it is one continuous piece of tape.
Take the train apart. In place of the battery, wire it so that the car pulls current from the track. I made a wooden spacer (so the positive and negative wires don't touch). I then coiled wire to get a good solid contact against the positive and negative receivers. I ran the wires over the sides of the battery casing and around the wheels of the train. The wire will pick up current from the copper tape on the track to run.
The 'On/Off' switch pushed 2 pieces of metal together. I placed a tiny piece of wire in between those pieces of metal to keep a constant contact.
Step 5: Set Up the Lights
- festive lights
I removed the festive Christmas wreaths.
I painted the lights with a light coat of copper paint.
How to wire the lights in is in the final step.
Step 6: Prepair the Board
- wood - for the sides and for the bottom of the board
- brass corners
- brass handles
To get the board ready, cut a few pieces of wood to stabilize the board where it was folded to fit into the box.
Also, glue strong magnets to the game pieces using a Goop or E6000 style glue.
I had a local place laser etch the wooden side panels for my board.
I tried a stain on the wood, didn't like it and painted over it. I did a light coat of black spray paint. Then I went over it with copper paint, wiping the high areas with a damp towel.
I added a coat of varnish to give it light shine.
I attached handles to two of the sides (it made it much easier to move the board around).
I cut a solid piece of wood to make a box under the game board.
I glued the side pieces together, glued them to the bottom piece of wood, and attached the game board with hinges. I added brass corners underneath for decoration and extra support.
I marked the inside of the box with where my 'hot spots' on the board will be so I know where to add the reed switches.
Step 7: Prepare the Reed Switches
I made paper boxes to hold the reed switches. The boxes are about 1/4" shorter than the distance from the bottom of the box to the underside of the game board. I bent the reed switches and soldered wire connections to the reed switches. This was my first time soldering. I found this instructable very helpful. https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-solder/ I punched holes through the top of my boxes and positioned the switches so they sit on top of the box (with the wires underneath). I glued the boxes to sit under the spots on the board that react when you land on them.
The reason for the paper boxes is to allow some give if the board touches the switches. You don't want the weight of the board supported by the reed switches. The paper boxes will bend a bit if the board puts weight on the switches.
I have 12 spots on the board that will trigger some action (3 Community Chest, 3 Chance, 4 Railroad spots, 1 Electric Company, 1 Water Company). I prepared all the switches at the same time.
Step 8: Set Up the Train Wiring
Drill a hole on either side to the track. Bring a wire up through each hole to connect to the train track.
Bend one of the wires so it runs along the train track. It will apply the current to the copper tape so the train will run. I used a bit of copper tape to hold the wire in place. You want to wire each side of the track this way - one side will be positive, one side will be negative.
Step 9: Put It All Together
The basic wiring idea is this:
From the battery, run the positive wire through a resistor, then connect to one side of a reed switch. Connect the other side of the reed switch to the positive connection of the object you are wiring in. From that object, run a negative wire back to the negative side of the battery.
All the wiring follows that same pattern with a few minor variations.
The LED's we have require unique resistors for each color (we can't wire white and blue LED's through the same resistor - only one color will light up at a time if wired that way). I used different color wires for the different LED's. Black wire was used for blue LED's and white wire was used for white LED's.
From a 9V battery, I soldered a wire and resistor for the blue LED's, one for the white LED's, and one for the street lights. The train runs on a different battery.
From the black wire, I connect a wire to each reed switch that is under a Chance spot and the water company spot because those all light up blue LED's. From the white wire, I connect a wire to the reed switches for the community chest spots because the light on the chest is white.
For all three Community Chest reed switches, I connected another wire to the other side of the reed switch. Those wires all come together to connect to the positive side of the white LED wire for the chest. From the negative side of the LED I ran a wire back to the battery. I used the same technique to wire the Chance spots.
In the community chest, I have the dial set so that it moves when you land on the community chest spots. The positive wire from the battery tester is wired in to the positive wire from the LED on the same chest. The negative wire from the battery tester dial is wired into the negative wire from the LED.
To wire in the street lights, it took a bit of wire cutting and hole drilling. I placed the lights on the board where I wanted them and drilled a hole for the wires to go under the board. The streetlights had two wires twisted together and I marked one of the wires with a black sharpie so I would know which wires to reconnect under the board. I cut the wires, passed them through the board, and then reconnected them underneath.
For the streetlights, you want the resistor that was used in the battery pack. Cut it out and add it to the line from the battery to the reed switch at the Electric Company. I know the resistors I have cut the power to about 3 volts. The extra resistor will cut the power down to the appropriate level for the lights.
Now that the streetlights are wired into the board, I can use the battery pack to hold a AAA battery for the train! I made a wire coil to hold the AAA battery in the AA battery pack. It holds the battery in place and makes the connection to the battery contacts. Cut the wires on the back to connect to the train wires underneath the game board.
I glued the ray gun base in place as well as the community chest. I ran all the wires underneath, connected them and checked them.