Instructables
Picture of Water Wiggler
A water wiggler is a device you put in your bird bath stir up the water. By "wiggling" the water it keeps mosquitos from laying eggs in what would otherwise be a stagnant pool of water. I was with my Mom shopping for bird baths the other day and they tried to sell her a device like this for $30. I told her I could make it for about $10. Here's a really good alternative to that overpriced store bought item. Let me appologize for the bad images up front too. Time to buy a new camera!
 
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Step 1: Laying Everything Out

The first thing you want to do is lay out everything. You can see all of my supplies and my tools in the attached photos. I got the hangers and cream cheese container for free from my Mom. The rest of the items I got at my local Radio Shack for about $11.

The list of supplies:
- Two Wire Hangers
- One Cream Cheese Container
- Two AAA Batteries
- One AAA Battery Holder (holds two batteries)
- One 1.5 - 3.0 Volt DC Motor
- One Rocker Switch
- One 25 Ohm Rheostat
- Assorted Wires

The list of tools:
- Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
- Exacto knife
- Soldering Iron and stand
- Solder
- Wire Cutters
- Needle Nose Pliers
jordanjm163 years ago
Help! This is a great project & my daughter has made it for a class assignment. The motor worked and everything was great until we attached the wiggler. Maybe we put it in the wrong spot on the motor or got glue somewhere it wasn't supposed to be but the motor wouldn't work. I removed the glue & wiggler and the motor works again but i still need to attach the wiggler. some detailed instructions would be great. Please help!
natantus (author)  jordanjm163 years ago
 I'd love to help:)  I'm not exactly clear on what happened.  I glued the wiggler directly to the motor shaft.  Maybe a picture would help.  Just make sure it's offset if you want it to wiggle.  Hope this project works out for you!
austin7 years ago
yea the solar cell thing is what i was thinking. if you put caffeine in stagnant water it also kills mosquitos, just add instant coffee, of course for somethings that would not work. it weould be cool to just make a ltille boat that constanly swimss in circles
natantus (author)  austin7 years ago
I wonder how birds feel about coffee ... But the boat thing would be cool. Maybe you could dress it up to look like a leaf floating around so the birds want to hang out. Or maybe make it into something they could ride. That would be fun to watch:)
souz natantus4 years ago
Caffeine is dangerous to birds, but they're attracted to a little rippling or dripping water, so your device probably makes the bath even more attractive to them.  Thank you for the instructable.  I'm going to try a solar powered one.
 couldn't you put the power switch and the rheostat on the other side of the container so you waste half a second in turning the device over :p
natantus (author)  dudejetfighter4 years ago
You're right, only I thought it looked prettier this way.  Also, I wouldn't have to seal the buttons on the top in case it rained.  
How long does it take for the batteries to run out?
Depends on the cells, motor and rheostat. From two days to maybe a week. I'd have thought. Lots of variables.
I think this is a Gd instructable Helps quite alot But could you make it anymore waterproof (not that it needs it) I'd secure the batteries in a Ziplock Bag Just to be sure hehe! Great ible
im bout to make a bird bath and saw this...great job mr mallow...u get more of a shock from an orgasm then u do from the puny batteries he applied
mr.mallow7 years ago
thats real smart! elecricity and water... do you want to electricute birds?!?!?! do u do it often???
Yeah, just bringing a battery near anything somewhat moist will electrocute everything in a three mile radius. Get a grip. (Haven't you ever licked a battery?)
Hmmm since the circuit - being the wiring and armature design, by it's very nature isolates the current from the bird bath, and so therefore there is no electricity flowing through the water, and it's only a few volts, and at no time do the birds ever form part of the circuit, how do you guys come to the conclusion that the birds are actually going to get electrocuted?
mje7 years ago
Nice idea, and nice use of the recycle container. As other have noted, you do need to work on a more power efficient system than using a rheostat, though. Your system looks like it'll draw around 100ma, which mans a set of batteries will only last 25 hours. One of Mark Tilden's solar engines would be great:
SE_Zener.gif
Stevolution7 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Alright first off 3 volts made from to batteries is not going to electrocute birds.Your multimeter.
DanYHKim7 years ago
A few years ago, someone made a device that was to kill mosquito larvae and eggs in bird baths using a form of solar power. It was a wire mesh made of two different kinds of metal. When warm, the mesh was flat, and stayed under the water. When cooled at night, the different thermal expansion characteristics of the two metals caused the mesh to warp into an arch, slowly lifting itself above the water level in the middle of the shallow water. This would lift any mosquito egg rafts and some larvae above the water level, drying them at night. He has a patent on this and other devices, so a Google patent search may reveal the details.
hyraspray7 years ago
If your bath's big enough, or it's a rain-water butt you want to protect, you can just plonk in a fish or two (e.g. goldfish). Yyou don't want the water to go stagnant so make sure the fish are live.
zachninme7 years ago
Wait, if this is dancing around in the water, then the birds won't come. Dosen't it defeat the purpose?
My bad! I thought they whole thing bounced around. I didn't realized it stood up on those three legs. Who knew that it would actually stand on LEGS?
natantus (author)  zachninme7 years ago
Hopefully it isn't dancing around. The effect you want is just a ripple in the water. With the rheostat I can adjust the wiggler to get that effect. That way the birds won't be scared away. You can also hide it among rocks to help.
billcd7 years ago
thats cool, I wonder if 'D' batteries would fit in that Cream Cheese to make a much longer run time. Hmmm, it also needs a solar cell.......
billcd, Good idea. No need to change batteries. A solar cell and a capacitor. The solar cell charges the capacitor, and every few minutes/seconds the capacitor discharges and spins the motor. Drawback, works on sunny days only.
http://www.solarbotics.com/

More info on solar power and capacitors, AKA Beam Robotics.

http://www.solarbotics.com/
natantus (author)  billcd7 years ago
The one in the store used a bigger container and also the D batteries. I thought about it, but really I wanted it to be small. The problem is that it's not heavy enough now without a little weight inside to stay put. Also, I wanted to use solar cells, but seeing as this was my first forray back into building I wanted to keep it simple. What a great idea that would be for a mod though!
akimbo m7 years ago
About scaring the birds away during the day! Thats where the super cheapo Solar Garden Light comes into play! It only turns on at night where bird would be sleeping instead! Gee wizz! These solar lights are almost as useful as ducttape!
That's a great idea! But does the water need to be constantly moving to prevent the Mosquitos breeding? Will a quick stir during the evening be enough to disrupt them?
pinski17 years ago
Actually, you could use the solar system from the garden lights as your power source, that way you'd save a lot of batteries. Odvously you need to replace the LDR and add some more electroncis, like a 555timer so only activates the motor every 40 odd seconds.
PetervG7 years ago
Never mind..
PetervG7 years ago
What does a rocker switch do?
Crash21087 years ago
Could I mix my chocolate milk with this? Cool idea..
natantus (author)  Crash21087 years ago
What a great mod for this! Maybe I should make one that fits my chocolate milk glass a little better:)
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