Introduction: A Spark Core New Years Ball That Drops in Your Home!

Ever stared in awe at the photos of the New Years's Ball in Time Square. Well it doesn't have to be that way. To make your own New Year's ball follow these simple steps to make your own.

Step 1: Parts

You will need:

  • Aluminum Foil
  • Scrap Material (plastic, wood, foam board)
  • Servo Motor
  • Spark Core
  • Jumper Wires
  • Mini Breadboard
  • Barbecue Skewer
  • Hot Glue Gun & Sticks

Step 2: Assemble Base

Start by taking your base (scrap material) and gluing the servo motor on the side so that the horn is hanging off the side. Then glue the mini breadboard to the back of the base. Put the Spark on the breadboard. Now glue the bamboo skewer to the servo head and glue the other end to another piece of scrap. Wire the servo to the Spark. Attach black to "GND" , Attach red to "3V3" and Attach white to "D0".

Step 3: Make the Ball

Take your aluminum foil and make a ball. Now you can add foil decorations like cones balls or cubes. Use glue to attach the decorations to the main ball. Glue a string at the top of the ball and glue the other end of the string to the base (it does not matter where you glue it on the base).

Step 4: Upload the Code

Open the Spark Core online IED, copy the code below into the IED and flash the Core.

#define led 7<br>Servo servo;                 //Create Servo object
void setup()
{
 
    pinMode(7,OUTPUT);
    servo.attach(0);                         //Attach Servo to Pin 0
}
void loop()
{
    if (Time.year() == Insert Next Year) {   //Check if it is the next year
        digitalWrite(led,HIGH);
        servo.write(170);                    //If it was true drop the ball
        delay(1000);
        servo.detach();                              
      
    }
    else{
        digitalWrite(led,LOW);              //If not correct year make sure the led is off
    }
    
}

Step 5: Find the Drop Site

Try to find a spot in the house where people will be looking when it is the new year. You need a high spot where the servo can hang over the edge. Put the ball on the platform held by the servo and wait until New Year. You can make sure that the Spark tells time correctly by running this piece of code. With this the ball should drop at 12:00 noon. Happy New Year!

//>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> TEST CODE (DROPS AT NOON) <<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<\\

#define led 7
Servo servo;                                     //Create Servo object
void setup()
{
 
    pinMode(7,OUTPUT);
    servo.attach(0);                             //Attach Servo to Pin 0
}
void loop()
{
    if (Time.hour() == 12) {                     //Check if it is noon
        digitalWrite(led,HIGH);
        servo.write(170);                        //If it was true drop the ball
        delay(1000);
        servo.detach();                              
      
    }
    else{
        digitalWrite(led,LOW);                  //If it is not true, make sure the led is off
    }
    
}

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