Introduction: Hack a Ghost Toy and Draw a Ghost Program

Hack this ghost toy to control its spin and draw a spooky program.

The other day I picked up this ghost toy and decided to hack into it to. This instructable teaches you how to control its motor with a potentiometer and program it's light pattern with a protosnap -proto mini. Theres also a program added that draws a ghost when you turn the potentiometer.

Step 1: PARTS AND TOOLS

TOOLS

*Soldering iron, solder, solder wick

*Wire stripper

*Screwdriver, both philips head and flat head

*X-acto knife (not shown, I had to use it to pry open the toy's plastic shell)

PARTS

*Potentiometer

*Protosnap- pro mini

*22AWG wire

*Breadboard(optional and not shown)

Step 2: STEP 1: DECONSTRUCTION

To take apart the toy your going to need a philips head screwdriver and possibly an X-acto knife.

1. Remove the two screws at the top of the toy.

2. Open the battery compartment on the bottom and remove the batteries and screws inside.

3. The black lower body of the toy will now split apart easily

4. To open the ghost on the top pry the part seam open with a screwdriver until the motor and lights come out. If it is difficult to pry open carefully use an X-acto knife and cut along the seam, this will give you more leverage in opening the toy.

5. After the motor and lights are removed, peel back the sticker and remove the final two phillips head screws.

Step 3: STEP 2: BUILDING THE CIRCUT

To build the circuit your going to need the dismantled toy, 1 Protosnap- proto mini, 1 potentiometer, 5 wires and possibly a breadboard.

1. Cut the toy's wires. Cut where I marked in the picture, above the on/off switch but give yourself enough wire to work with.

2. Tin the wires. If your going to use a breadboard this helps you to insert them easily into the holes.

3. Next follow the Schematic adding separate circuits to the potentiometer motor combo and the lights.

*For the potentiometer and motor you need to build the circuit with the A3 terminal and ground

*For the lights use 12 and ground

Step 4: STEP 3: UPLOAD THE CODE

Next. Attach your protosnap to your computer and upload the code through Arduino (if you havent already downloaded the software here is a link to it: http://arduino.cc/en/Main/Software ).

If the program is uploaded correctly the motor will spin quicker by turning the potentiometer clockwise and slow down if your turn it counterclockwise.

The lights will turn on and run the programmed pattern.

Step 5: STEP 4: RUN THE PROCESSING PROGRAM

The next and final step is to make the Protsnap and potentiometer draw something on your screen.

1. Open processing on your computer (if you don't have processing you can download it here: https://www.processing.org/ )

2. Copy the included ghost.java program

3. Next your going to want to save the program, this will create a folder for itself.

4. In the folder create a folder, name this folder "data"

5. Download and add the included "ghost.png" to the data folder

6. At this point run the program, chances are an error will come up reading something like: "Error opening serial port.......)

the line will be highlighted: myPort = new Serial(this, Serial.list()[4], 9600);

To fix this problem change the "4" to the protosnaps serial port, counting each "/dev/" starting at 0 until you find it.

As you twist the potentiometer knob the motor whirls faster and slower and the processing draws the flying ghost program.

Comments

author
seamster (author)2014-11-24

Hacking simple toys like this so much fun. Thanks for sharing your great project!

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