In this article I'm gonna show you that how can you tuning an average plastic kid motorbike with some LED light effects which is very popular among children.
- Plastic motorbike
- LEDs in several colors (amount depends on your needs, I used 11 pcs)
- resistors (I used 220 ohm)
- Arduino uno
- small switch
- cable (hard drive ribbon cable)
- Insulating tape
- AA sized batteries (4 pcs and battery holder)
- lots of patience :-)
Step 1: The Commodity
My son has a plastic red kid motorbike what I wanted to be cooler :-)
The base conception is to use LEDs and the lighting controlled by an arduino.
I wanted to keep my modification invisible as much as it can be (later I experienced it is the biggest challenge).
This bike has an accessory unit on bottom, this is the motor block which is removable, so I decided to hide the assembly hole to under this unit.
So the first thing to do is to remove the block and create the hole.
Step 2: Create the Assembly Hole
I drew a square by felt pen which is big enough to place the battery holder unit and arduino inside the bike throughout this hole. To drill the hole I used that drill you can see in the pictures. I made two holes then I cut the other parts by a hole saw.
Here you can use any mini arduino to make it easier to place in.
Step 3: Electronic Parts
To find out the best effect I used probe panel and many of arduino code modifications.
Finally I decided the next scenario (to protect the battery):
- the yellow LEDs are blinking alternately
- the blue LEDs are blinking as a running light
- the white LEDs are vibrating
- the two red LEDs are lighting at same time but alternately with the third red LED
In this way I could reduce the same time lighting LED count to keep the strongest brightness. In the video you can see it in work.
To connect the LEDs to arduino digital pins I used 220 ohm resistors. (remark: probably there would be enough one resistor for all of the LEDs connected to the ground, because at same time only some LEDs are turned on, but I used one resistor for all LEDs. I soldered them to the LEDs legs.)
To turn on/off the light effect I used a small switch to cut the circuit between the batteries and arduino.
I saved some ribbon cable from an old PC to connect the LEDs to the arduino.
I attached my code for the arduino.
Step 4: Assemblying
On the front I made two holes for two white LEDs, on the left and right sides I made two holes for two yellow LEDs, on the back made three holes for three red LEDs and at the bottom I made four holes for four blue LEDs.
And we have arrived to the most exciting part of the project:
lets fix the LEDs inside the bike. (you will need lots of patience)
To do that I created a helping tool from a welding rod because I do not have so long forceps. If you have you are lucky and can skip the next part. I fixed a drill at the one of the end of rod to remove the burr from the hole inside the bike to let me fix the LED properly. To other end of the rod I fixed a plastic shovel (was include to the adhesive) to allow me to catch the LED by the cable to put it to the hole.
It needed much time to experience the right movements with the rod to put the LED.
I mixed the 2 components of glue and put it to the LED and to the hole then I placed the LED to the end of the shovel (between the two legs of the LED) and put the rod through the assembly hole carefully and find the hole of the LED.
In one step I always placed one LED until the glue solidified (it took about some minutes) so it was a longer process to place all of the LEDs.
To place the switch is similar process.
An advice: you should use long enough cables for the LEDs to make it easier the procedure.
I added two videos where you can see my ideas how can you place LED through a hole. I made these videos after the bike finished, so I show it with a plastic bottle.
Step 5: Finish
After all of the LEDs and the switch are fixed I covered the arduino and the battery holders with insulating tape to protect them. To make the battery replacement easier I bound a cord to the battery holder and fixed the other end of it under the insulating tape, so I can pull the batteries from the hole.
Finally I covered the assembly hole also to make it waterproof. Then I put back the motor block to cover the hole.
The total cost of this project was about 10 Euros.
Thanks for watching my tutorial, if you need more detail please feel free to contact me.