I was in the process of creating a red, green , blue color cycling circuit based on a PIC microcontroller when I spotted the Glade LightShow air freshener.
I wanted to know if it could be hacked up and used for other purposes. I found a couple of online coupons and when it went on sale in the store, I got 2 for $3 a piece.
WARNING!!!! If you run this with the wall plug, PLEASE let it cool down first. The resistor inside WILL BURN YOU.
Step 1: Rip it apart
the darn thing open with a screwdriver.
Step 2: Remove the Circuit Board
Remove the circuit board and discard everything except the circuit board, power supply (good for some other project), and the bottle of smelly stuff.
Use the smelly stuff to make your car smell better.
Step 3: Make the Mods
Next, I removed the switch that turned on the air freshener. This also is not necessary, but kept me from trying to use the wrong switch to turn it on.
Step 4: Now add Power
I soldered a battery pack of (4) AA batteries to these connections. Note that I am using rechargables so the total voltage is only 4.8 ( 4 * 1.2V ).
Now, pop the switch once to make it come on. Again to make it cycle slowly, again to make it freeze, and again to turn it off.
I also made one of these and used the 5V from my USB port to run it. With a maximum of 3 LEDs on at a time, the current should remain well under 100ma. It worked nicey.
I also used one in a Halloween prop and it has been running fine turning on/off using relays for several hundred times.