Introduction: Driv'in Me Batty

I have always thought it would be really cool to have a bunch of bats helping to make the Halloween decorations a little more fun.
They would be even more cool if they had flashing red eyes like you sometimes see in movies.
This project shows how I did just that.

Step 1: Collect Your Tools and Parts

Key Features:
No programming needed.
Fairly simple circuit.
One day project for the whole family.

Electronics parts list:
1- CMOS 555
1- 100K resistor ( Brown Black Yellow Gold )
1- 1.5M resistor ( Brown Green Green Gold )
1- 0.1uf capacitor ( Usually marked 104 )
2- Red LED
1- 3 Volt battery ( Photo battery )
1- Proto board
Jumper wires.

Bat Parts List:
1- 9 X 12 X ¼ Black Foam Sheet per bat.
Neon Sharpie Markers.

Single hole Paper punch
Solder Iron
Needle nose pliers
Wire cutter
Wire stripper
Dremel or saw

Step 2: The Electronics

Collect your parts electronics parts.
The parts for this project are pretty straight forward.
If you don’t already have most of these parts around you can get them all at radio shack.

Step 3: Schematic

I have drawn the schematic as close as I could to the way it is all laid out on the proto board to try to make it a little easier to reproduce.
If the schematic gives you a hard time check out the other pictures of the circuit to get a feel for how I put it together and go from there.

Step 4: Lets Get This Circuit Built

Cut out a piece of proto board to match mine.
Install the Cmos 555 chip and solder it in place

Step 5:

Install the 1.5 meg resistor between pins 2 and 7 and solder it into place.

Step 6:

Install the 100 K resistor to pin 4.
Solder the other side to the leg of the 1.5 M resistor that goes to pin 7.

Step 7:

Solder the capacitor next to the resistor by pin 2.

Step 8:

Lets figure out where to mount the battery.
I just set it on the board and marked it up with a pencil.

Step 9:

I used some heavier wire to make the battery clips.
It is a good idea to tin (coat in solder) the wire so it will not corrode as easily.
The wires will not be soldered in just yet.

Step 10:

Now we need to do some soldering on the back side of the board.
Tin a small piece of wire and solder it between pin 6 and all of the leads coming through by pin 2.

Step 11:

Next solder a jumper between pin 8 and the resistor lead with pin 4.

Step 12:

The LEDs are a little tricky because they will be mounted on the opposite side of the board from everything else.
Install them with the negative toward the top (away from the battery) of the board.
I found it was easiest if I put the leads through the board where I wanted them and bent the leads to the side. Then I removed one of the leds so I didn’t have to fight two at one time.

Step 13:

Trim the leads of the led and bend them back through the board so it can be soldered.
Then install and solder the other led.

Step 14:

Next solder a jumper wire from pin 8 to the positive of the leds.

Step 15:

Then solder a jumper between pin 3 and the negative of the leds.

Step 16:

Now install the wires that act as battery clips.
Mine went through the board a little and I used the battery to determine how long they needed to be.
Trim and solder them.

Step 17:

Now that we have the battery clips soldered in we can start to wrap this up.
Solder a tinned wire from pin 1 down past the capacitor to the negative battery clip.
Don't forget to solder the capacitor in here too.

Step 18:

Solder in a wire from pin 4 down to the positive battery clip.
Keep this wire as much under the battery area as possible so we can add some wires to keep the battery in place.

Step 19:

I gave the battery clips a little tweak so they would make better contact.

Step 20: Electronics Complete

Now the fun stuff starts to happen.
Install your battery.
If everything is done properly the leds will begin to flash.
If things are not working properly check to make sure everything has been soldered and your jumpers are all where they should be.
Now install a few wires to help hold the battery in place and add a small loop near the top to hang it from.

With a fresh battery this circuit should blink for a few weeks or more.
I have one of these that has been blinking for over two weeks and it is still going strong.

Step 21: Batty Ideas

Now that the electronics part is complete lets move on to the making of the bat body.
This is where your own personal creativity really comes in to play.

Figure out a design for a bat that you really like.
If you have kids like I do have them help.
Here are a few examples.

Step 22: Make a Bat Pattern

Once you have a few ideas that you like draw them onto a sheet of paper to cut them out.

Make sure the body of the bat is going to be large enough to hide the electronics board before you cut it out.

I found it was easier to get a symmetrical bat if I folded the paper in half.
Draw half of the bat then trace the other side and cut it out.

Step 23: Trace It and Cut It

Once you have a paper cut out of the bat design you want to use lay it out on the foam board trace around it with a pencil and cut it out with a pair of scissors.


I found it was easiest to make the holes for the led eyes with a single hole paper punch.

Once you have the bat cut out lay the board on the bat where you want the eyes to be.
Carefully but firmly press down behind the area of the leds.
This will make two indentations that should remain in the foam board long enough for you to line up the hole punch and presto you have holes for the eyes.

Step 25: Finishing Touches

I have a black light that will be used to help our decorations be that much more scary.
I decided the bats would look really cool if they were colored to glow under black light.
I found some really interesting neon sharpie markers that said they would glow under black light.
After we had all of the bats cut out but before installing the flashing eyes everyone colored their bat.
The markers are a little expensive but worth it for the added effect.

Once you have all of your bats set up, install the led eyes and watch out so you don’t get too scared.

Have a fun and safe Halloween.

Halloween Decorations Contest

Participated in the
Halloween Decorations Contest