Introduction: Make Your Own Boston Bomb

Picture of Make Your Own Boston Bomb

In this, my first instructable, I will provide enough information to allow you to make your own small scale Boston Bomb as a fridge magnet.

We just had the anniversary of 31 Jan 2007, the day that shook the city of Boston. Prior to this day, we here in Australia had not even heard about Moonitites, or the Adult Swim Channel. Once the Boston Police did what they did best, the whole world knew...

The stupidity of the event shocked me, so I decided to make my own small scale version to remind the kids that problems can be solved - not simply blown up!

Step 1: Lay the Parts Out on the PCB

Picture of Lay the Parts Out on the PCB

In this case - I used veroboard (sometimes called Stripboard)

Lay the components out, and use point to point wiring on the back of the board to connect them.

Step 2: The Construction Method

Picture of The Construction Method

The Boston Bomb is constructed using a sandwich technique, where the top board holds the components, the bottom board holds the magnet, and the battery holder is held in the middle.

The boards are held together using bolts and spacers.

A big magnet that I salvaged from a microwave oven magnetron is glued to the bottom board. Using a big magnet means that your Boston Bomb will be able to hold many school notes.

Step 3: Circuit Diagram

Picture of Circuit Diagram

This is the circuit diagram.

It is essentially a DC-DC converter, and a PIC 16F84 (or PIC 16F88) to drive it.

Sw1 is a test switch - push it to cause the device to flash.

There is a LDR on the board to detect when it gets dark - that's when it flashes for a while.

Step 4: PCB Layout

Picture of PCB Layout

If you would like to create your own PCB, here is the PCB layout.

In the PCB version, I did not worry about the eyes.

Step 5: PCB Parts Placement

Picture of PCB Parts Placement

Here is the parts placement guide for the PCB.

Step 6: Best Fridge Magnet in the World!

Picture of Best Fridge Magnet in the World!

Here is the unit mounted on the fridge - The kids and I believe that it is the best fridge magnet on the planet!!!

If you would like a detailed construction article (rejected by an Australian Electronics Magazine Publisher - Because 'Our readers don't like veroboard'!) drop over to
The Construction Pages

There you will also find the source code for the PIC.


skippershoneywell (author)2014-01-07

Yeah....too soon. You're a complete tool.

drj113 (author)skippershoneywell2014-01-08

Thank you for your constructive comment.

If you look at the article, you would see that it shows the following information on the right hand side of it:

"About This Instructable
23 favorites
Posted: Jan 31, 2008"

This was published 5 complete years prior to the cretins detonating a bomb at the Boston Marathon. In response to an event where the Boston police were being tools.

skippershoneywell (author)drj1132014-01-29

Yeah, I see. Sorry about that. I do recall the incident. Total fascists,

drj113 (author)skippershoneywell2014-01-29

No problems at all - I hope you have an awesome week.


TekoMuto (author)2012-05-29

I'd just go to a garage sale, buy a lightbright and remove the housing ;)

Heliosphan (author)2008-03-06

Fantastic! Great work. I too was awed at the total overreaction of the Boston authorities, it made big news in the UK too! Egg on their faces delivered all over the globe. drj you mentioned the cartoon makers made the original bomb should shoulder a little of the 'responsibility', but how could they ever have anticipated it would be mistaken for a bomb? Its a big display! If anybody would make a real bomb, they'd make it inconspicuous - invisible. Anyway, your version seems a lot more sophisticated, detecting light levels, I didn't think the originals did this, do they? If I were to make one, and I'm tempted simply for its infamy, I'd make one with the finger. I wholely understand why you didnt though, I respect that. Thanks, a great instructable, but I'd just make mine with power, some resistors and the LEDs. Thanks.

Kryptonite (author)Heliosphan2009-11-26

What is the Boston Bomb, and where to Mooninites come from before Aqua Teen? Sorry, I'm not very knowledged about this area of knowledge.

drj113 (author)Heliosphan2008-03-06

Cool - glad you liked it - yes, there is always a simpler way - I based my basic hardware design on the photos of the original. - And it was a way of experimenting with DC-DC converters.

DrWeird117 (author)2009-07-02

Major ATHF fan here. Great job! I fixed it up, the edges, and changed it to green LEDS and a nice pink Err, flippin' the bird. 5*

drj113 (author)DrWeird1172009-09-27

:-) Well done - feel free to chuck me a link to a photo of your one!

DrWeird117 (author)drj1132009-10-17

Photobucket compromised(really, who wants it?), but I'll try and get it off my hard drive.

Meroki (author)2008-12-13

yay aqua teen

TrIAd21991 (author)2008-08-28

dude you spelled mooninites wrong

T-K (author)2008-07-29

im aussie too this is a cool instructable

datwan (author)2008-03-06

is this abomb bombbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbbb

Antpopper (author)2008-03-04

Why do you use a pic to drive it, wouldn't a 555 be a lot simpler?

drj113 (author)Antpopper2008-03-05

I used a PIC for this, as I wanted to reduce power consumption - A 555 would have blinked constantly during the night, whereas the PIC is programmed to detect a light-dark transition, and then flash for a little while - in the demo, it flashes for about 30 seconds, but in production, it would flash for 5 hours ie dusk till about 11pm, then it would shutoff, waiting for another day-night transition.

Garbage Man (author)2008-01-31

what the hell I am from Boston and I feel very offended by this.

BigRich (author)Garbage Man2008-02-07

Im from Boston and I think its hilarious

RFilyaw (author)Garbage Man2008-02-01

Yes, it really was a fiasco that Boston police department blew things so wildly out of proportion, then had to blame someone else for their own ineptitude.

drj113 (author)Garbage Man2008-01-31

The focus of the project is to construct something that will make people think before they act (Both the 'bomb makers' and the city officials) - not simply act without thinking, and to remind people that the media drives society in ways that they may not appreciate. I am sorry if I offended you. That was not my intention. Sadly, a quick web search for "Boston Bomb" provides about 16,600 hits, so you can see that I am not the first to use the term.

Rob K (author)drj1132008-01-31

I agree with drj113 Also the city of Boston overreacted to the whole thing when it came out. Something flashy and looks weird "oh it must be a bomb".

Vertigo666 (author)Rob K2008-02-01

Well of course.

trebuchet03 (author)Garbage Man2008-01-31

You should be offended. Offended that your city literally blew things so far out of proportion... At least, I would be offended (or perhaps embarrassed).

GorillazMiko (author)Garbage Man2008-01-31


Ward_Nox (author)2008-02-07

so basically this is a boston bomb throwie....the graffiti reserch lab would be proud to call this theres

Doctor What (author)2008-02-06

Great ible, but the colors don't match the actual bomb...

bgugi (author)2008-02-02

haha.. city of boston = fail
though i will admit that the roll of d batteries at the bottom did look a little suspicios, but the big flippin' array of led's forming a little boxy character definately did not.

incorrigible packrat (author)2008-02-01

Nice, but he's not flippin' the bird at us.

You are entirely correct - it was intentional for 2 reasons

1) My kids helped design the shape, and they didn't think that Mum would be happy with the bird :-)

2) The copyright holder would be agresive if it looked *too* like a Moonitite, hence the shape that looks right from a distance.

There is, of course, nothing to stop you from laying out your own shape.

Agreed. It can't be a proper Mooninite if he isn't flipping the bird... Overall though, nice iBle.

Fatvod (author)2008-02-01

Im from Boston and damnit why wasnt this instructable weeks ago. I woulda made one and hung it up around Boston. Also this doesnt look like the mooninite they used. This one looks a little more........friendly.......

darkmuskrat (author)Fatvod2008-02-01

Maybe u can use a "far-gate" and go back in time :P (Lolz, thats the only episode ive watched)

Kiteman (author)2008-02-01

First 'ible, and straight to Feature - well done that man (and City of Boston - please contact reality).

Brennn10 (author)2008-02-01

WONDERFUL!! Absolutely great! I love this! Nice work!

Da_Fudge (author)2008-01-31

Dissasembled magnetron. hmmmm, do you read silicon chip by any chance?

drj113 (author)Da_Fudge2008-02-01

Yep - I have read it in the past - A good mag that is getting a little hard to get here as newsagents are dropping many of the traditional electronics mags. I am pleased I spotted this site, as it will be a great outlet for many of my projects in the future.

Da_Fudge (author)drj1132008-02-01

thought so. they did an article on disassembling a magnetron in the salvage it column not that long ago. And on getting it, why not subscribe? cheaper, and guaranteed to get it. I would love to collaborate on some projects in the future. if u are interested, PM me.

afcbasser (author)2008-01-31

HAHAHA! gotta love the title!

fungus amungus (author)2008-01-31
GorillazMiko (author)2008-01-31

WOW! Nice Instructable!
Really good job, looks very nicely planned out, done in a great way.
You used the components in a good way, I think I have some of these pieces, and they're not very hard to get!
Also, in the last picture, I realized it says, "Walk Bella, Poop Patrol 4 both puppies. :P
Very nicely done Instructable.
+1 rating.
(added to favorites)

drj113 (author)GorillazMiko2008-01-31

Thanks for that - Re the last photo - I did say that the kids love it - and, yes we have dogs, and the kids need to be reminded, and after all, it is a fridge magnet. Thanks for the positive feedback.

About This Instructable




Bio: I have a background in digital electronics, and am very interested in computers. I love things that blink, and am in awe of the physics ... More »
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