Robotics class is a great way to learn how to use computer science and technology to create projects. Using my knowledge from robotics, I created a fun and simple Halloween decoration that is great for front doors, hanging off of walls, and anything else you want to do with it.
Step 1: Get All the Supplies You Need
1)Flashing LED Kit ($5 at frys.com)
2)CR2032 3v Lithium 2032 Coin Batteries (2X, Buy pack of 20 on amazon for $6)
3)Foxnovo Breadboard Jumper Wires ($5 on Amazon)
4)Pcs 2xCR2032 Coin Button Cell Battery Holder Case on/off Switch ($4.45 on Amazon)
5)Prop of your choice(pumpkin, witch, skull, ect..)
Equipment: Tools You'll Need
1)Soldering Tip Cleaner
Step 2: Let's Start Soldering!
The first thing you'll need to do is assemble the PCB (Printed Circuit Board). The flashing LED kit comes with one thing you won't need, the 9 volt battery clip. You won't need this because it is bulky, and it doesn't have the on/off switch that the cell battery case from Amazon has. You will, however, need to use everything else in the kit. But, Don't Follow All Of The Directions Directly. There are some things that you will have to do in order for it to work with this project, and I will tell you when you need to do something that differs from the directions in the kit. Anyway, in order to get started, pull out your soldering iron, and start heating it up. You will be following steps 1 through 4 on the instructions, and make sure to stop at step 4. After you're done with this, your circuit board shouldn't have any LED's, battery clips, or wires on it.
Step 3: Add the LEDs, Wires, and Battery Clip
After you have done steps one through four, STOP. Don't follow the rest of the instructions that the kit gives you. Now it is time to attach the LEDs and battery clip. In the instructions in the kit, it shows you where to attach the 9 volt battery clip. Instead of attaching that there, attach the cell battery case from Amazon. Now, it's time to attach the LEDs. The jumper wires get attached where the LEDs are supposed to be attached in the instructions from the kit. Then, the LEDs can be attached (with no solder) to the ends of the wires. All this does is allow us to move the LEDs around, because they are on the end of wires, instead of just being attached directly to the circuit board.
Step 4: Add Your Batteries and Test If It Works
Now, you can add your two cell batteries. If the LEDs aren't blinking, the first thing you should do is make sure that the batteries are in the case the right way. Then, if that doesn't work, make sure that all of the components have been added to the circuit board correctly, and make sure that there is no solder touching other solder where it shouldn't. Now, once your circuit is working, the LEDs may be blinking rather slowly. If you want them to blink faster then you can adjust the trimmers. Those are the large blue box-shaped things on your circuit. They have dials on the top of them them that can be adjusted with a phillips screwdriver. This will speed up or slow down the speed at which the LEDs blink.
Step 5: Prepare Your Decoration
Pretty much any cheap little halloween prop will work for this project. Just find something and get creative with it. For me, I chose a plastic sword with a bat on it. In order to add the circuit board and LEDs to your prop, you need somewhere to hide the circuit. Luckily for me, the back of the sword is hollow, so the board could simply be stuffed into the back and hot glued there. But, before you put the board into the prop, you need to drill out some holes where the LEDs will go. I drilled out the eyes of the bat, so that I could put the LEDs in the eyes and make its eyes blink. Then, I found a way to fit the circuit board and all of it's wires into the back of the sword, and hot glued it all down so that none of it was visible from the front. And that's pretty much it! This is obviously a very simple project, and for you, the sky's the limit! Maybe add the LEDs to a Jackolantern, or make your own prop. It's all up to you.
Step 6: Hang It Up and Enjoy
Now that your creation is done, use it how it was supposed to be used. As a decoration! Just sit back and enjoy it.