Any woman that thinks the way to a man's heart is through his stomach is aiming just a little too high.
Why not give that loved one something special. A fabulously unrealistic beating heart.
OK. I seem to have a thing for building Rube Goldberg like devices that are overly complicated and do so little. This is one of those.
I'll prob be modifying this as I go, and can already think of things I should be doing different. I will say that the girlfriend actually squealed a little when she saw the completed first version. The cat can't get enough, and will shortly be destroying it I'm sure.
The whole concept is based on general magnetic principals and re-using junk. I have actually used this idea once before to make fluttering mosquito wings. I very well may make another at some point. I'll post if I do...
1 Altoids tin, or suitable container.
1 old or dead CD Rom drive. Desktop style preferred, although a laptop drive would work.
1 555 timer chip.
1 47uf capacitor
1 3906 transistor
2 3.3K resistors
1 1k resistor
1 red LED
Power source - 3-6 volts. This could be a wall-wart, hacked USB cable, AA batteries, whatever.
Wire of various sorts
wire snips, the finer the better
screw drivers, various sizes. You need at least one large straight tip, and 1 large and 1 small Phillips. The small should be a jewelers size, or so.
possibly a magnifying glass, or reading glasses, depending on your ability to see really small stuff
A good deal of patience
I'm assembling this one "free form" which means that I will not be using a board of any kind. Mostly cause I didn't have any handy. This can certainly be laid out any way you want.
Step 1: CD Rom Tear Down
Without a heart I can never really know what it would be like to love someone, or ever really understand trashy novels. - Tin man, Wizard of Oz
OK. First things first. We need to claim the parts we need from the CD Rom drive. Yes.. I know it's a DVD Rom drive in the pictures. Lets not be picky.... Start taking out screws. After some prying and swearing you should get down to the point where you will see our target, the laser eye assembly at the center. This will become the part that does the actual mechanical "heart beat" work.
Usually, it's a floating assembly riding on two rails. this can vary by manufacturer. If you can get the two rails free, it usually slides right off. Be careful to disconnect the ribbon cables. If you cut them, leave some slack, just in case.
Once you have the main laser assembly free, start removing external parts until you get down to just the laser focusing assembly. This will be where the small Phillips head screwdriver comes in handy. It will be the part with the laser eye suspended between two magnets with some small coils. The coils are energized to move the eye around and provide fine focusing during CD read operations. Check the pictures, it will make more sense.
Be VERY careful to preserve the connections on the focusing assembly. ripping the ribbon cable off the eye makes it nearly impossible to solder the wires to it later.
There are a lot of other goodies inside the remains of the CD Rom drive. take a minute to poke around and see what else you can scavenge. LEDs, motors and such.