Introduction: Levitating Chinese Lantern

About: Somebody once thought they could fix a plug socket using chopsticks. They caused a meltdown and burnt down a town. If only they'd watched T3ch Flicks!

Hi everyone, welcome to T3ch Flicks - 新年快樂 - Happy Chinese New Year! The 25 January is lunar new year, and the beginning of the new year in the Chinese calendar.

At T3ch Flicks, we couldn’t let this time of year pass by without putting a little techy twist on it...So we made a floating Chinese lantern! This is basically just a great novelty item which is a bit of a crowd pleaser.


Step 1: Wirelessly Powered LED

We started by tackling the wirelessly powered LED, which is something I’m pretty sure my GCSE physics teacher would love.

We made two wire coils, one with 18 turns and the other with 21 turns by wrapping wires around a pen and then glue gunning in place so they hold their shape.

Then, we connected the 18 turn coil to the mosfet and resistors as shown in the diagram.

Next, we connected the other coil to the LED, as shown in the other diagram.

When you put one coil near the other and turn on the power supply, the LED is powered.

This uses a lot of power (2.5A at 3V), but it transfers over a much greater distance than the QI wireless phone chargers we have. Others seem to get a much lower power usage however this is just a proof of concept fun, so hopefully one of you out there can tell us how to improve it.

We learned how to do this from these two people on youtube:

Step 2: The Lantern

We 3D printed our own Chinese lantern with two phrases embossed into it:

  • 恭喜發財 - Sun leen fai lot (happy new year)
  • 恭喜發財 - Gong hai fat choi (Wish you prospertiy)

The embossed letters and lines appear brighter when the lantern has the LED inside.

Step 3: Putting Together

We attached the coil to the magnet using a rubber band and then put it into the bottom of the lantern.

We strongly secured the wireless power transmitter using electrical tape.

We also 3D printed a base piece to cover the magnetic levitation module and transmitter.

Step 4:

So now, if we power everything see the beautiful lantern float!

Thanks for watching our little Chinese New Year lantern video, we hope you enjoyed it! Let us know if you want to see more of these mini themed videos and don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe! Wishing you all health and prosperity in the Year of the Rat - 恭喜發財!

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