Introduction: Light Up Jetpacks
Make your own jetpacks with a cardboard box, LEDs, a button, and some good old fashioned imagination!
This project was a pretty big hack, as I scraped up whatever electronics were in the pockets of my luggage as I made these jetpacks for my nephews while visiting. Fair warning, several parts of this could be improved, use different parts, or add correct resistance!
Step 1: Soldering the Circuit
Solder together three LEDs. The LEDs should* be the same color and you should* use a resistor to extend the life of the battery. Solder the positive leads together in one line and solder the negative leads together in another line.
Solder the negative side of the leads to a button. Solder a ground wire to the button, and the positive leads to a wire which will go to your battery. Solder a ground wire on the opposite side of the button.
*I cheated here, luckily using 2 red LEDs and 1 yellow LED didn't have a noticeable issue with the current. I also didn't use resistors (shame on me) because I scraped up whatever electronics were in the pockets of my luggage while visiting my nephews.
Step 2: Insulate the Positive and Negative Leads
Shove cardboard between the positive and negative LEDs leads so they don't touch together. Tape your frankensteined insulation job so the cardboard doesn't fall out. If you have head shrink available, use that instead.
Step 3: Add Your Power Supply
I taped a coin cell battery to the positive and ground wires, but I recommend soldering in a nice AA battery pack. You have to tape it really tightly to make a good connection.
Step 4: Adhere to a Cardboard Box
Next, cut a slit in the top of a card board box for the LEDs and button to stick out through. Tape the circuit in and tape the wires and battery down to the inside of the box.
Step 5: Color!
Have the child color buttons and gears on their jetpack. Then tape their masterpiece around the jetpack.
Step 6: Add Strings
Poke 4 holes in the corners of the box so the jetpack hangs vertically on the child's back. Insert a string through the top hole and tie a knot in the string to secure it to the cardboard. Then measure the string around the child's shoulder and tie a knot in the bottom hole. Put on child and watch them run around!