Introduction: MAKE a Mind Control Hypnosis Dream Machine Cheap

Picture of MAKE a Mind Control Hypnosis Dream Machine Cheap

This is basically the Flash Nap project with a few extra features and some work.
It's also a minimal version of "Light/Sound" hypnosis machines that cost hundreds of dollars,
but if you have parts, this one will cost just a couple of bucks. NO PROGRAMMING REQUIRED!

It's definitely mildly hallucinogenic.
Warning, if Pokemon gives you seizures, this will really give you a fit!
Everyone else, don't worry, it's just a cool kind of strobe light, not a weapon.

I am making one now because I want one.

Step 1: Go to the El-Cheapo (99 Penny) Store and Get Some Sun Glasses

Picture of Go to the El-Cheapo (99 Penny) Store and Get Some Sun Glasses

If you have some already, go anyway.
You never know what kind of fun Stuff you can get for just a buck.

Here are my 0.99 soon to be psychedelic shades.

Step 2: Get Some Parts Ready!

Picture of Get Some Parts Ready!

You need RED LEDs. You can try other colors later but red is the best.
Orange is kind of good too.
Yellow I think is lame.
Green is ok, the really bright green would be equal to the red
...except that your eyes will (should) be closed, and red goes thru eyelids the best.
Blue does incredibly nothing. It might make a difference with alternating colors
but I don't think that will be part of this project.
White is good, but only because the first time I made these I used white backlights,
EL type from little LCD screens, and it was actually interesting to stare into those
with eyes open.

You need a 555 timer chip. The flashing will have adjustable rate about from 1 to 20 Hz,
and a duty cycle of almost 50% on and off. Also both eyes will get flashed at. I once had
a switch to make the flashing alternate, but it required another chip, and gave me a
headache. Only one good use is that if the hallucination wears off, a few seconds of
alternating lights would temporarily prolong the effect. Another use for that would be
alternating colors, but there is a reason that that may not be a great improvement...
The alternating color effect can be hallucinated with the red alone. You'll probably
see many different colors.

You need a Pot, AKA a Volume control. Resistance 10K or a little more.
And find a nice a knob to control it with.
I don't recommend "smoking the pot" because only the current will get "high" and you'll ruin the project.

My Pot turns on and off. I just remembered all the times I fell asleep with one of these
turned on and wasting the battery a little. A good way to prevent that is use a button
that's easy to hold down that you will let go of when you snooze, and the machine
will instantly go off. Unless you want to use it for lucid dreaming practice.
I never worried about it before because I used rechargable batteries.

A circuit board would be nice, unless you're the guy who said
"the bigger the Globs, the better the Job". Sure it's possible to solder all the other stuff
on the chip and hot glue it in... the box. I really think I want this to look nice on the outside
at least, (not sleeping is making me silly) but I guess you can drill holes in the glasses and put
all the parts there, and run headphone wire to your ALTOIDS battery, and save an un-cheap box.
Then you'll really look like a Borg. Anyway I'm not really sure my battery and Pot will fit in
that box with the circuit. Of course I'm going to cut and not use most of that board for this.

Well the circuit works on a bread board now so I'll draw a schematic and "use the breadboard" now,
since it's way past time to sleep. The LEDs are the same distance apart as my eyes.

Here's all the parts I got ready already. I think all I didn't mention was a few resistors and
capacitors and maybe a diode so we don't get stupid and reverse the battery.

2x330 ohms resistors 2x1K ohm resistors 2 Red Leds One 470uF cap One 10uF cap
One 2N2222A (or any other cheap NPN transistor ... BCxxx or 2SCxxx) One 10K switch-pot
One 9 volt battery - yeah I have clips made from dead batteries but not using them today.

Step 3: Still Working on It. Schematic!

Picture of Still Working on It. Schematic!

No actually I'm snoozing with the board.
Now making the schematic and putting it here.


1.Notice that pins 2 and 6 are connected together under or over the IC.

2.An additional pot, perhaps 1K, can be put in series with the LEDs,
because changing the brightness has noticeable effects.

3.A headphone cord can be used to connect glasses LEDs to circuit box.
Obviously the glasses might not be in the circuit box so the connection points are marked with X.

4.You can obviously use a wallwart instead of a battery if you're not all wet.

5.At this point I have not decided whether to add more LEDs
or which side of the sun glasses works better.
Translucentifying the lenses and putting the LEDs outside may permit use with eyes open,
if it works well that way.

6.If the 10K knob turning clockwise slows down the flash speed, reverse it's wires if you want.

7.Although the LEDs are shown inside the schematic, I am running wires outside the unit
to the LEDs on the glasses.

8. The Anti-Idiot Diode prevents damage from reversing the polarity as long as the idiot didn't
install the diode backwards. Any cheap diode may be used.

9. The CMOS version of the 555 is ok to use and probably even better.

10. Sorry for the messy schematic. It looks more complicated than it is.

The 1uF capacitor will not work!

Step 4: Putting It Together

Picture of Putting It Together

I ran into a few unexpected things but mostly my board is laid out like my schematic, except
for I left the 330 ohm resistors on the board. I rearranged my three connection points so
that the "ring" of a headphone cord was a common and a negative for the LED's.

This effectively resulted in moving two X's to between the resistors and the LED's,
and one on the Collector of the transistor.

The headphone cord had 30 gage manget wires inside it, which is rather annoying,
but I stripped it by scratching the wires with a sharp blade, and then I knew that
it was off when I was able to tin it by dipping the wire in a hot solderball. Some
headphone cords are better, with coaxial stranded wire pairs. Another option for
the cord is ribbon cable and a "new" headphone plug.

The negative for both LEDs is the back of the plug. The tip of the plug is positive for one LED
and the thing in between is positive for the other LED. You should be able to test the other
end of the cord to see what part of the plug it connects to. A good headphone cord has an
outer bare coaxial shield that is connected to the common, and you can unzip the end to
place the LEDs apart because both wires have the common, which is negative.
LEDs should be tested with a lithium coin "throwie battery (see Make)" to make sure that
the polarity is normal. MOST LED's have a shorter lead for negative, and that lead also
is recognizable as being L-shaped within the LED, even if the LED has identical length leads
because it was used before and you salvaged it. Some rare weird LEDs don't follow these rules.

I used gray ribbon cable for connecting the switch-pot and the headphone jack,
in this case the LED-glasses jack. It is easy to find on old hard drives, but it
may be nicer and easier if you happen to have color coded ribbon cable laying around.

Taking a picture of the board is hard but I made it really small so it fits in that
case with the battery and the switch-pot and the headphone jack. It fits in
a slot of the black box.

Step 5: Finished - Except Glasses Still Experimental

Picture of Finished - Except Glasses Still Experimental

It works like it always did, although right now I have the LEDs taped
to the lenses with paper labels to experiment with translucent light
for eyes being open. The effect seems to be the same as eyes closed,
which is fine, if you want to take a nap it works both ways.

I could drill holes in the plastic lenses and solder the LEDs right on
the glasses, that was my plan.

Here is how it went together (see pictures).
I drilled holes in the box for the control and the headphone (LED glasses) jack.
I mounted the jack and the pot.
I put the board in a slot in the case and stuck it there with hot glue after a pre-test.
(It blinked so it was working.)
The battery has been connected already for a while.

Turn it on and up to full speed. You should see just red or white.
Turn the speed very slowly down.
First, you might see lots of tiny dots or something.
Then you might see unexpected colors and shapes, which change at different speeds.
At the slowest speed you might just see red-blue-red-blue-red-blue, and fall asleep.

Try it with mellow music that has no words. A certain frequency might be synaesthetic,
meaning you might see stuff that follows the music like your computer does when you play music.
Results vary depending on your personality.
If you don't even have dreams, this may be the most boring thing you'll ever see.

This project does not make music; that's a future project, so use your own ipod , mp3, or walkman.

Step 6: Other Experiments

Picture of Other Experiments

I might follow up on this project with a binaural beat box project.

maybe ... Make a "dreamachine" out of paper like in the picture,
cut holes and roll it into a tube,
and put it on a turntable and put a light bulb inside it,
and stare at it with eyes closed. (mid 1900's invention)

Step 7: Old Psychedelic Glasses I Made Around 1992

Picture of Old Psychedelic Glasses I Made Around 1992

These had white EL panels. No better effect than cheap red LEDs.
They also had an alternating eyes mode. Wasn't worth the extra chip.


Gone84 (author)2016-03-01

I made something similar with a knock off google cardboard plastic vr headset, some wide range led's, tracing paper to protect the eyes and spread the light and an arduino with a potentiometer hooked up to it. Quite cumbersome at the moment as it's spread over 3 pcb's(one each for the led's and resistors and one for the pot) but it's absolutely brilliant at higher blinking speeds. Very trippy but i fear there may be some nausea involved. I haven't had the time to indulge fully yet lol. Regardless, thanks for the inspiration. If I make another one I will take pics of it step by step and post it!

xAndyPSV (author)2015-04-09


Thank you for your work.

I would be very thankful/ if you put:mention on your website book The.Luciferian.Doctrine.


/x: I can offer you a link-back @ xernt dot com: website.



Lily Liver (author)2015-03-03

has anyone tried this and not gotten any results? i've been obsessing over this for the past 2 days and decided to use a strobe light. all i see is 2 alternating colors flashing, usually red and green, or red and white. my brother tried it and said he saw very vivid and sharp fractals. my sister said she saw a kaleidoscope. no matter what i do i can't see the shapes or patterns that everyone describes! please, someone tell me i'm not alone in this.

wobbler (author)2015-01-01

For normal brightness LEDs you don't need the transistor. A 555 timer will source or sink up to 200mA (ref: )

You LEDs are only taking about 25mA each so 50mA in total will be fine (ref: )


DreamBigDreamLucid (author)2013-01-20

Just a note for you. On Step ONE you changed the 1UF Capacitor to 10UF and noted its change however here on Step Four the schematics still have it listed as 1UF. Hope this helps you :) Keep up the great work!

djmcc (author)2011-02-09

Anyone suggest how to amend this design to allow alternate flashing of the LEDs when a switch is toggled? I've seen examples of this using a single 555 timer, but I guess the timing of the duty cycles would need to be very precise for both LEDs to be equally bright. Much appreciated!

rayjai (author)2010-09-23

The Dream machine is in NY right now at the New Museum

EragonShadeslayer (author)2008-06-21

SoulFinger: the DreamMachine you made really works? I can't find reliable information on the spacing. Nor can I find the book you mentioned. Where did you find yours? VIRON: The binaural beat box sounds like i-doser, have you tried it and if so, does it work?

VIRON (author)EragonShadeslayer2008-06-21

i-doser is apparently a scam. This explains why some people have said "it can get you into trouble", not from being high on illegal drugs you didn't even really take, but being scammed by the sites that offer it.
It definitely doesn't work. In other words:
It does NOT make people feel like they are on illegal drugs.

For binaural beats INFO take a look at
They also have a shareware program to try for a month free.
(but beware of the ad links-I wouldn't buy anything) also:

kikiclint (author)VIRON2010-06-12

I agree. I tried some of the bwgen track and some other sites, and there are some of them which can make you woozy, but I really doubt that they can make you feel high. But then, what would I know, I like my brain cells and stay away from drugs. Just say no. I do think that the binaural beats do have an effect on your state of mind though.

type "how to make a dream machine" into google and choose first site by izzy 1981 and it has all the info.

Tinko1 (author)2009-05-28

I tried building this and it didn't quite work. The LEDs would light up but then slowly fade out and stay out, and that was after the smoke and burning smell! Yeah, I blame myself. What really sucks is because I pieced the parts together from Radioshack, it cost me around $20!

Tinko1 (author)Tinko12009-05-28

WOOPS! looks like I never connected the diode to the 470 capacitor. Gee, I sure hope this still works (and that's all I did wrong)!

VIRON (author)Tinko12009-05-28

Sounds like a joke. Mistakes in this circuit are unlikely to burn out the LEDs. Without a diode, a backwards battery might only blow the chip.

Tinko1 (author)VIRON2009-06-06

That's what I think I did. Plus the diode was a switching diode. I don't know enough about electronic to know if that would make a difference or not.

Ian1104 (author)2009-03-09

i thought maybe i would tell you about about an interesting state of sleep of sleep i have experienced. not with your instructable, though. my father spoke to me while i was asleep, checking if i was asleep, and i responded and continued a conversation with him. that was a week ago. last night i was having a conversation with a dream person and my mom reported to me that she could hear me. this is not a lie. why would i lie about that, i dont know.

tanmanknex (author)Ian11042009-05-01

I had SOOOOOOOOO much fun with this at scout camp. we had two springbar tents. I would go into the other and slightly tap the "victim" on the shoulder and softly repeat their name. i would do that until they responded, and would then ask them if they were awake. they would always respond yes, and then the real fun begins. i ask them random questions, tell them random information, and totally mess with their dream! S. talked to R. and asked him questions about the area he was in, and R. told him he was in the woods with purple trees and pink trunks. S. asked him a bunch of questions and R. got really annoyed!!! S. asked him another question, to which R. responded, "SHUT UP YOU FREAKIN' PIECE OF NATURE!!!" S. asked what he was and R. said, "YOU'RE A FREAKIN' PIECE OF WOOD THAT WONT SHUT UP!!!" Scout Camp... Good times... P.S. I used the letters because i didnt want to use names.

ratmmmb (author)2009-04-12

I tried building this as well, but I must have made a mistake since the LEDs are just on constantly (at a reasonable current so that part should be ok). Any ideas what the problem might be? I used a slightly different transistor because I could't find that one, could that be the problem? Can I take it out completely for 2 LEDs? and then just attach the three wires that run through it to each other? Thanks!

ratmmmb (author)ratmmmb2009-04-14

Oh, nevermind, I just forgot to hook up pins 2 and 6! That solved the problem, and the Glasses work great! Just a few seconds produce cool visuals in all kinds of colors (LEDs used were just red). Thanks!

Rafcio18 (author)2009-04-10

iths not work. Im simiuleit Elekteronick work bench. Not work :( Way ??

Spencerr (author)2008-07-08

Hey Viron, I am still not totally understanding what this does. Can you you explain what it is suppose to do?

grut125 (author)Spencerr2008-09-25

when you sleep you will see the light relize that it is a dream and then you can do what ever you want becuz it is a dream

Warlrosity (author)grut1252009-04-08

Really? Coolies!

Ian1104 (author)2009-03-09

no need to answer my other question I have answered it myself. great Instructable. the best ever. evererererereerererererer. lol that was obnoctious

Ian1104 (author)2009-03-08

how much does the volume control cost and where can i get it?

factor17 (author)2009-01-12

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU A THOUSAND TIMES THANK YOU!!! At BurningMan 2006 they had this same setup at the site of the man. 5 people sat at a station, and there was one giant knob that controlled all the headsets. That thing freaking blew my mind and I have longed to replicate the experience since then. Today I built this from your instructable and all I can say is THANK YOU! It's exactly like the one I got soooo hooked on! I literally just finished it minutes ago and already found myself zoning out on the ground to stars and patterns. THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH FOR CONTRIBUTING THIS WONDERFUL INSTRUCTABLE!!!!!!!!!!

SuperTails (author)2008-10-16

You should really be calling this a hypnosis dream machine, instead of a mind control machine. Hypnosis is real and does work at times but you can't hypnotizes someone to do anything they don't want to. In fact hypnosis doesn't work for a lot of people and it's only used to cure mental illnesses. You can't force them to do anything but people with mental illnesses are willing to change and get rid of it.

rogers236 (author)2008-02-18

I like this idea.

I just found out about something along the same lines, but audible. Pretty neat I think. -> iDoser

pyro13 (author)rogers2362008-07-21

Idoser is a load of crap. I tried it, and it does not work at all. I'm glad i got them free...

rogers236 (author)pyro132008-07-22

ya, it had no effects really for me either

god_gave_knex_to_you (author)2008-06-29

doesn't anyone one else think that the message jerry0065 left is spam?


PyroManiac96 (author)2008-06-19

got a mini fan, just in time for summer woot

VIRON (author)2006-10-12

This is a Do It Yourself project. I strongly recommend NOT BUYING this type of product. You can see what kinds exist at these sites, but the products make exaggerated claims and are priced for suckers and may nudge you into some kind of mind-controled cult. It's YOUR mind, control it yourself! Regarding nova-dreamers we need and I do not have a diy REM detector at the moment. I think it could be either be a piezo to detect sounds made by eyes moving or antistatic foam used as EEG electrodes, analyzed by a programmed uC.

zobier (author)VIRON2007-05-29

I've been thinking about this for a while and I believe one could re-use the circuit in an LED mouse that detects the movement.

Grey_Wolfe (author)zobier2008-04-05

That's a good idea. Lie still, fall asleep, REM activated. I saw an add for a lucid dream machine several years back that was REM activated, much in the same way. Excellent input Zobier.

Derin (author)2008-03-23

nice no overcrossing wires *looks for a pcb maker*

fade400 (author)2007-12-11

umm this seems a lil sketchy to me .. well maybe il just ask. has shinning bright leds into your eyes every night had any effect on your vision ? does it ever wake you up ? i want to try this but i really love my sleep.

VIRON (author)fade4002007-12-11

Well it generally gives mild closed-eye imagery and then you fall asleep but results may vary. If I fall asleep while using this and then wake up, I generally turn it off and fall asleep again. Someone else who commented about a year ago discovered that a flashing bike light would give them a power nap during their coffee break or something like that, and published an instructable about it before I made and published this. This will work ok with dim LEDs also. Bright LEDs can be dimmed by using more resistance in the circuit or by adding more layers of paper to diffuse the light... and anyway in general these devices are used with eyelids closed. Hope this response helps.

!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-10-10

dont work. was in mythbusters...

TheMadScientist (author)2007-09-04

got a bag of cashews for a buck, wooooo

No telling what yer gonna do with them !!

Amadeos (author)2007-04-05

What in the world does this do??!?!?!

engrmurad (author)2007-04-05

memory hackingHow its affect the brain or whats the medical effect of it on the body.......See more related article about memory hacking where this type technology used more precisely

VIRON (author)engrmurad2007-04-05

My glasses mainly interfere with brain wave frequencies through sight similar to the way music beats do through the ears. Although I am unaware of anyone having an epipleptic fit because of it, (and a friend who has fits has tried this,) there should be caution for sensitive people. This should not be made too bright and seems to be safe to look at. The main effects are seeing colorful patterns and falling asleep. I don't meditate as deep as some people, and so I have no subjective or objective health "experiences" with it other than it seems to be somewhat relaxing or stimulating. The memory hacking research link doesn't seem to contain any useful information for make-ing anything interesting like this.

VIRON (author)2007-04-02

Wow, coincidental publish date, but no I have never seen that book before. But don't waste your money. Most of the machines I see on the cover picture probably run on body heat, and you can try to make them out of paper or whatever without the book.

SoulFinger (author)2007-03-27

I built a dream machine using this method shortly after reading John Geiger's Chapel of Extreme Experience (amazing little book). I sized/spaced the slits so that they would create flicker in the "alpha" range (10-12 Hz, if I remember correctly). I would certainly perceive an explosion of bright colors and moving shapes ... really throws the mind into a tizzy. Thanks for the instructable ... I think you've inspired me to rebuild my little turntable powered mind candy. Cheers.

alsvid (author)2007-01-26

excellent instructable. just finished building it, will add some pictures later on.

a few questions and comments.

1. I may simply be imagining this, but it seems like one LED is flashing slightly later than the other. the cord reaches the mask at the right side and the wire to the left LED is about 2-3 inches longer than the right LED cord. I'm probably imagining it.

2. Not enough time for the LEDs to lose their charge (flaw with using LEDs.) They arent really strobing, more like losing intensity and regaining it quickly. Not enough contrast between pulses for my taste. Accentuated at higher pulse rates.

Cant think of another light source, unless theres higher quality LEDs on the market than the ones i used.

3. I want the strobing to slow down further than its lowest setting. 1 Hz min would be nice. Unfortunately i haven't quite figured out the electronics in the 5555 chip. I know it can strobe extreeemely slow, i just dont know if it slows down with less current or more current. Higher range pot? Mine is 15k.

4. Added an intensity pot. It's nice. Worth it.

5. Way cheap. Nice.

6. Used a Hearos sensory deprivation mask. Way Comfy.

Plus Lotion!

A warning though, I placed the LEDs a few mm too far to the outside on both sides, and they don't shine right into my retinas like I desire. So measure your eyes.

THE_LEEWIT (author)alsvid2007-02-17

The timing/speed is PURELY dependant upon the 10k pot, the 1k resistor, & the 10uF Capacitor. Basically, I'll try & describe this, inside a 555 timer is three equal value resistors connected in series. one end of this chain gets wired to your positive part of the circuit, the other to the negative, an operational amplifier's two inputs are also connected the 'PLUS' between resistor 1 & 2. The 'MINUS' between resistors 2 & 3. Since the Op Amp gives an output depending upon what it 'sees' at its' two inputs, it only works on detecting a difference. The upshot of all of this malarkey is that as an oscillator, its very accurate & not voltage or current dependant. Iv'e had this type of circuit change state in the ranges of minutes & even hours, In theory, if you calculate the values correctly, it'll do this over a period of days. As to the LEDs not seeming to strobe, two things, one, the on/off (mark/space ratio) time may well be a bit too far off for what you want. Two, you could use green LEDs instead, O.K, they are a teeny bit more expensive, but, the human eye's response to colour is such that it is most sensitive to green. Hope this is of some kinda help T.T.F.N. THE LEEWIT. 'It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it! And that's what gets results!

VIRON (author)alsvid2007-01-26

On #3, decide whether it's easier for you to use a higher pot or to change the 10uF capacitor to a 47uF, for going lower in frequency. On #1 it's almost definitely an illusion, and impossible to unsync the LEDs. On #2 probably an illusion because all the LED's I've ever had were very fast. Light bulbs would be slow like you describe. The slowness ILLUSION is known as "persistence of vision". Remember ... the device is supposed to produce illusions. It is possible to change the sharpness of the pulses which are almost exactly equally on and off, but I'm not sure at this moment whether it involves just adding one pot, or rearranging the circuit a bit. For me, it's optimum as is, but everyone's brain is different of course. IMO, if ordinary strobe lights (very sharp pulse) caused these effects then there would probably be a warning printed on them.

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