"So all right, all right then! I will make you a friend!" I said. Easily said, but where to go for advice? Who to consult about the hardware to equip a monster so, that it will bond with a creature like Blinky? Well, that's easy! I consulted the absolutely brilliant Forrest M. Mims III of course! From his "Engineer's Mini-Notebook, 555 timer IC circuits", I chose two circuits that hopefully and possibly can match with Blinky's five component brain: A dark detector and a touch-sensitive switch.
Thus came to life Monster 555. Short, but not small. Severe, but righteous. And indeed a frightening monster, even among monsters.
To get to know Monster 555 really well, just looking is not enough. You also have to listen to him. He speaks a very peculiar language. See and hear the video to get to know Monster 555...
Having trouble viewing the video? Here's a link to YouTube...
I made Monster 555 from scratch, with only a vague idea to start with, in two or three days working on and off. Now that there's a blueprint (this Instructable, that is), I guess building another Monster 555 would use up about 5.55 hours of your time...
Please don't feel obliged to take this "blueprint" literally. Make your Monster the way you like, and use my Monster 555 just as a headstart.
Most pictures are commented. Hopefully, the comments make the body-text in the steps superfluous.
Known Bugs in Monster 555's blueprint:
- The battery drains pretty fast (in four days! I forgot to take off the battery clip at night...). My circuit doesn't contain a switch, but it actually needs one, I guess. What would be super cool is a solar-powered Monster 555: A rechargeable 9 Volt battery, and solar cells mounted on the wings, charging the battery...
- The leds turn off immediately after the wires are released. The leds are supposed to stay on for a couple of seconds after releasing the leads, however! This worked fine on the breadboard, and has also worked on the PCB, before I soldered the components for the dark-detector. I think there's a short in the circuit somewhere, but I can't find it... Or maybe I ruined the elco? I don't know, really.
Step 1: Stuff and Tools
Stuff you need:
Apart from the electronics, Monster 555 is made up of very common and very practical stuff. Available in any hardware store.
The electronic parts are all commonly available. Radio Shack should have it all. Euros, shop at Conrad. Aussies (and Euros), shop at Farnell.
For the body, legs and wings:
- Solid kernel copper wire. Stiff enough to hold Monster 555 upright, flexible enough to bend with pliers.
- 16 Amp wire connectors, 18 to 24 studs. Blinky laughs about this amount.
- Transparent, colored foil.
- Some tie raps
- One 9 Volt battery and a battery clip
For the head:
- 2 bolts, nuts and washers, M3 (sorry, metric system :-))
- 16 Amp connectors (again!), 4 studs
- Jumper wire
- A breadboard to prototype the circuit (important, because you need to calibrate the light-sensor)
- A circuit board (I used a thing with pre-etched stripes, which was a real pain to debug. I strongly recommend to make your own PCB)
- Some LED's. Pick a color.
- 8 Ohm speaker.
- Some LDR's (Light dependant resistors). I put two LDR's in parallel, to increase the sensitivity of the circuit)
- 100 kOhm potentiometer (Probably. The pot meter is needed to calibrate the LDR. Depending on the specs of your LDR, you might need a higher or lower value)
- 3 resistors: 100k, 27k, 1k
- 2 555 timer IC's
- 2 electrolytic capacitors: 0.1 uF and 4.7 uF
- 2 ceramic caps: 10nF and 47nF
- 1 transistor BC547(B)
- Very little ducttape
Tools you need:
- Soldering iron
- Pliers for cutting and bending
- Power drill or Dremel-like tool
- Multimeter (for debugging)
- Sanding paper
- Small saw
- Small screwdriver
- Sharp knife (to cut loose the connector studs)
- Glue (to fix the transparent foil to the wire of the wings)