This instructable will show you how to make a really cool, flashing, color changing Christmas tree star using some flashing RGB (red, blue, green) LEDs, paper, tape and a few other things lying around the house.
The total cost of this project was about $20; the LED's were the most expensive part, at $2 each.
Here's a video of the star in action.
Note: This instructable involves electronics and electricity. Electricity is Dangerous; Be Careful!!! If you don't have at least a basic knowledge of soldering, you will probably have trouble with this instructable.
Step 1: Gather The Materials
For this project you will need the following Items.
1. 11 sheets of printer paper or other blank white paper
2. About 8 or more RGB LEDs. These LEDs are special in that they have three colors to them, red blue and green. They also have their own control chip that has a preprogramed flashing sequence that cyles through the entire spectrum, giving a good visual effect. You can find them at www.allelectronics.com for about $2.00 ea. or at other suppliers (the part # is YT-FS5N30N). You can also find them by searching for "RGB flashing LED's". They are special in that they do not require a limiting resistor and can be hooked directly to a power supply or to a couple of batteries.
3. Some hookup wire. Stranded or solid makes no difference just whatever you have lying around the house.
4. An on/off switch (optional)
5. Scotch tape
6. Electrical tape
7. Heat shrink tubing if you have some (optional)
8. A 5 volt DC power supply. I used an old cell phone charger that I wasn't using. You could also power it with 3 AAA batteries, but who wants to be changing batteries?
9. Basic hand tools, cutters, soldering iron, pliers, scissors etc.
10. Some solder and solder flux.
11. Some way to attach it to the tree, I used a gutter clip for Christmas lights.
12. A multimeter, if you don't know how to use one you probably shouldn't try this instructable.