Introduction: Mason Jar Moonbeam Collector Reflector

Attention all Moonbeam Reflector collectors (yes I mean you!), the Moonbeam Collection Institute finally has a solution to the pricy Moonbeam Reflectors on the market. A revolutionary breakthrough in Moonbeam Collection Technology has allowed us to harvest Official Moonbeams during the day, and reflect our collected Moonbeams at night! All from your very own home! By placing your Mason Jar Moonbeam Collector Reflector on a bright windowsill, you can collect enough Moonbeams to reflect for a few hours or more after the sun has set.

For this Instructable, we're going to dis-assemble a few solar-powered Garden Lights and connect multiple solar panels (EV panels) together increase their efficiency; we're going to turn them sideways (and stick them in a jar) to decrease their efficiency; and we're going to use the Garden Lights' automatic LED switch-on to illuminate the LED and project an image onto the ceiling of a child's room.

If you like my Instructable, please vote for me in the Mason Jar Challenge, https://www.instructables.com/contest/masonjar/

Let's get started!

Step 1: Collect Your Parts!

To build your own Mason Jar Moonbeam Collector Reflector, you'll need:

  • 1 Mason Jar with a two-piece lid
  • 1+ solar-powered Garden Light(s); we use two in today's Instructable
  • 1 new rechargeable battery (optional, to replace the old Garden Light battery)
  • Construction paper
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • Spare Wire
  • Hot glue gun and glue
  • Scissors, knife, screwdrivers, hatchet, wire cutters

Here at the Moonbeam Collection Institute, we're big fans of reusing older hardware and parts. We had all of this around our workshop, collected from previous time travel experiments, collected from previous time travel experiments.

Step 2: Disassemble the Solar Units and Unite!

Take apart your solar panels to get a handful of panels and some circuitry. The Garden Light circuits are designed to absorb sunlight during the day, and when their photo-voltaic resistor notices the sun has set, they illuminate the LED and burn their stored electricity all night long. We're going to dis-assemble a few of these garden lights and keep multiple solar panels and one circuit (one LED); by connecting multiple solar panels (EV panels) together in parallel to this one circuit, it will help absorb more ambient light and overcome the efficiency drop that this project has by design (because the panels aren't in direct garden sunlight).

Fit your panels into the Mason Jar and ensure you have space for your Garden Light's circuitry and battery. Trim any unneeded plastic shell from the circuitry casing if it gets in the way.

Once you're sure it fits, pull everything out and wire it together with solder and hot glue.

Using the Spare Wire that we called for, we solder the two EV panels Positves (+) together, and the two Negatives together (-), and we connect these to the Garden Light circuitry's own Positive (+) and Negative (-). Basically, you're adding additional panels to the existing recharging points; doing this in parallel (so each + is connected to +, and each - is connected to -) means you're adding amps to recharge the battery faster. (If you connected + to - and + to -, that's in series.)

When everything is soldered together, put it back in the jar. Hot glue the panels in place against the glass jar, so they're facing outwards and slightly upwards, to increase Moonbeam absorption efficiency.

Using some spare paper, we can test the unit to be sure it can deliver fine Moonbeams.

Step 3: Stick It in the Jar

After our circuit is complete, we should have:

  • A single Garden Light circuit,
  • connected to two or more Garden Light Solar Panels (EV panels),
  • wired together for increased efficiency,
  • all stuffed into a jar.

Let's connect the photo-voltaic sensor to the jar, so that when it senses darkness, it shines the moon bright. More Hot Glue!

Step 4: Adding a Lid and Sides

We have to add a lid to our jar to create the projected image, and we have to add sides to help contain the light and increase the design element.

Trace the existing lid onto a piece of construction paper and cut it out; onto that trace two half-circles to create a crescent moon. Using a razor knife, cut out that crescent moon. (If you're building a Starlight Collector Reflector, you could use a star-shaped hole-punch here.)

Use the remaining paper to trace the outside of the jar to get an approximate location of the jar's internal spaces. Trace that and cut out the paper to fill the inner spaces and help prevent light leakage.

Use remaining paper to create internal light blockers, further retaining Moonbeam efficiency.

Step 5: Lid Up!

Put on the lid of the jar with the new cut-out top, ensuring that you can see the LED from every edge of any image that you want to be projected. If the edge can't see the LED, the LED won't project onto the ceiling.

Step 6: Testing and Recharging

Now that the unit is complete, we can test in the dark that Official Moonbeams are being projected. Forget those over-priced Moonbeam Reflectors, now you have an official Moonbeam Collector Reflector!

Your projected image size will depend on the size of your cutout and the distance between the Mason Jar and the ceiling. From a longer distance, the cutout moon's size increases greatly, but from a child's dresser to the ceiling my projected images is just right. This is suggested as an area for further research, doctor.

You can charge your Moonbeam Collector Reflector in any available window; the multiple panels will gather as many daytime-shining Moonbeams possible. Sunlight won't hurt it either, and in fact may Sunlight be the cosmic source of most Moonbeams if science ever cared to look into such mysteries. Let's leave that for another day, and pledge to charge our Moonbeam Collector Reflectors every morning by the window.

If you like my Instructable, please vote for me in the Mason Jar Challenge, https://www.instructables.com/contest/masonjar/

Comments

author
markatracy (author)2015-01-05

This is really cool.