Introduction: The Little (Invisible) Drummer Boy--Santa's Shop 2016

Picture of The Little (Invisible) Drummer Boy--Santa's Shop 2016

This drum plays by itself with magic (magnetic) sticks. It is part of Santa's Shop 2016, a Christmas display that is under construction.

Step 1:

Picture of

To build this drum, there are several 3d printed parts, two electromagnets, an Arduino and a couple of magnets.

Two electromagnets

Two magnets

One Arduino Uno

Twelve volt dc power supply (.7 amps or higher)

Two 2n3904 transistors

Two 100 ohm resistors

Two 1n4004 diodes

One 9 volt dc power supply (for Arduino)

Step 2:

Picture of

Insert the electromagnets inside the drum. Be sure they are a snug fit--use tape around the outside if needed to keep them tightly in their holes.

Step 3:

Picture of

Insert a magnet in the end of a drumstick. Glue the magnet inside or (with a soldering iron) melt the end of the stick to seal the magnet inside.

Step 4:

Picture of

Place one end of the "axle" on the drumstick into the hole on the stick holder. Insert the other end into the small printed "bearing piece." Glue or melt the "bearing piece" to the stick holder.

Step 5:

Picture of

Energize the electromagnet. If the drumstick is attracted to the energized electromagnet, reverse the polarity of the wires going to the electromagnet. Find the spot where the repelling forces are greatest and drill holes to mount the drumstick so that it will stay in that position.

Step 6:

Picture of

Repeat for the other stick. Wire the circuitry as shown in step number one and install the Arduino sketch.

Step 7:

Picture of

Paint to make it more interesting!


mtairymd (author)2016-03-05

How do you send a signal to activate each stick? Do you think you could make it beat to a song?

MikeTheMaker (author)mtairymd2016-03-05

I activate an electromagnet (turn on the magnet using a transistor) each time I want the stick to move. I use an Arduino micro controller to provide the timing--but anything that would switch the electromagnets could work.

tomatoskins (author)2016-03-04

Really cool idea! I love the execution!

About This Instructable




Bio: I am an author and a maker. My current project is Santa's Shop. I'm working on a science fiction type book--more later. @EngineerRigsby
More by MikeTheMaker:Santa's Shop 2017, the TrainSnowflake Gear WreathHappy Gear Table
Add instructable to: