Electronic Organism Diverts Attention With Pretty Light, Steals Joules

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Introduction: Electronic Organism Diverts Attention With Pretty Light, Steals Joules

About: Design researcher, DIY enthusiast, storyteller, admirer of robots.

Mischievous little organism distracts with bright light while stealing joules from batteries, especially ones thought to be dead! Trap one and rest easy knowing your batteries have been squeezed out of every drop. Careful! It has a talent for shining it's bright light at you, which at the right angle could be blinding, or mildly annoying.

suitable for nimble fingers and and a good work ethic!


Step 1: Internal Organs

Time to obtain body parts:
1 x Prototype board (cut down to 2cm x 2cm square)
insulated wire ( in exotic colours!)
1 x Ferrite core
1 x 1K resistor
1 x 2N3904 transistor
1 x Superbright LED (blue or white)
1 x single AA battery holder
thin PVC sheeting (for observation box)

Step 2: Make a Heart!

Now if this little creatures body is going to work, it'll need something to pump life into it!
using to contrasting strands of insulated wire, wrap together around the ferrite core. When it's filled up (about 8 turns) twist together two alternate wires from each side.

Step 3: Transplant...

-Fix the three wires (veins) coming from the core into the prototype board (our skeleton).
-Add the resistor to the board, soldering one of it's leads to one of the single leads coming off the core.
-Insert the transistor into the board. Attach the other resistor lead to the middle transistor lead.
-insert the LED through the middle of the core and through the prototype board.
-With the positive (longer lead) side of the LED on the right facing the flat side of the transistor, solder the outside transistor leads to the LED leads.
-Solder the remaining single wire coming off the core to the positive LED lead.
-Solder the negative battery holder wire to the negative LED (flat side) lead.
-Solder the positive battery wire to the double wire off the core.

Step 4: Contain Your Organism!

Better contain your creature so it doesn't sneak away...
-Make up a net: this one was length: 60mm x height: 30mm x width: 35 mm
A bit bigger than a match box.
-Use a scalpel to cut out of PVC and lightly score the fold lines.

Step 5: Make an Army!

Be careful, they have a way of finding each other! Together their light is even more momentarily distracting, but think of all the batteries to be cleaned!

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    22 Discussions

    0
    GitarGr8
    GitarGr8

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Kinda look like robot eyeballs. Nice job, but the engineer side of me cringes in your lack of an electrical schematic. I know it's an easy circuit and all, but the point of an instructable is to make it easy for someone to learn how to make things. /soapbox

    0
    madrobot3600
    madrobot3600

    9 years ago on Introduction

    this is probably a very stupid question....but do you need the ferrite core?

    0
    GitarGr8
    GitarGr8

    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    In case you haven't found an answer yet, you absolutely need the ferrite core, it's a main ingredient in creating a "joule theif".

    0
    BlondGuy101
    BlondGuy101

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Why is it that the LED must be white or blue only? All the other instuctables and other sources also mention that, but none say why so far as I can see. Also, where can I salvage the requsite transistor and resistor? I'd like to make one but my electronics shop doesn't stock those so far as I know. I prefer to salvage anyway. Thanks in advance for your consideration

    0
    zimmemic25
    zimmemic25

    11 years ago on Introduction

    i have a few questions: what do i need the ferrite cote for? i think its a coil, but why do we use it? couldn't i just add a resistor&LED to a battery for the same effect? can you tell a bit more about wiring the coil? i didnt really understand which wires to solder to which parts

    0
    spline9
    spline9

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Its called a Joule Thief. A clever little circuit. Look here for more details and excellent instructions;<br/><a rel="nofollow" href="http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/joulethief">http://www.evilmadscientist.com/article.php/joulethief</a><br/>The Make vid is the first link in the article. <br/>

    0
    hominid
    hominid

    11 years ago on Introduction

    I get the impression that folks think that bigger is better w.r.t. toroids, but the whole point is to miniaturise by using the tiniest ferrite cores you can get.

    0
    osgeld
    osgeld

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    it doesnt really matter on the size, its the windings and the length of wire need to step down 120v to 5v then maybe you need some of the cores we have here at work, which measure ~7 inches in diameter and 5 inches tall need to make a joule thief, well above could work ... maybe but its a lot of wasted wire for the exact same effect

    0
    osgeld
    osgeld

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Ya know for a first instructable you did a lot of things right, you have nice clear pictures, and a interesting topic (eventho it boils down to the age old joule thief) but there is some things missing, like a schematic, possible resources for parts, and maybe some theoretical workings but if you smooth over these easy to fix things and keep up the good work, I can see some really kickin "ables" comming from you if it makes you feel better, ive only posted 3 (out of the 7 i have pictures for) and the first one was a total flop, the second one was a massive success (imo) and the third , while rushed to meet a contest deadline along with the bad writeup and semi complicated subject did pretty well what im trying to say is keep at it, if you find these things fun, you can only get better

    0
    raykholo
    raykholo

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    yep i was just going to ask if there was one thanks

    0
    tranoxx
    tranoxx

    11 years ago on Introduction

    could you add pictures of what your soldering to what

    0
    hominid
    hominid

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Catherine,...You have been busy ...judging by the last festive picture. I like!

    0
    stuuf
    stuuf

    11 years ago on Introduction

    Can you provide a better description of how the circuit is wired? I have no idea how it actually works.

    0
    i make shooting things
    i make shooting things

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Its a joule thief. There are several others on the sight. I have a slideshow of mine. Basically it uses a coil of wire to build up a charge it then discharges to the Led and then recharges. That way 1 volt from a "Dead battery" can be sucked dry to power a 3 volt Led. It flashes 30,000 times a second (might be wrong but its vary fast). A transistor is what switches the current between the coil and the Led.

    0
    stuuf
    stuuf

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I get it now, it's an ultra simplified boost converter. how well do these work with solenoid-type cores instead of (hard-to-find) toroids?

    0
    i make shooting things
    i make shooting things

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    i got over 15 out of my old dead xbox. look in the transformers of old Cpus. this is such a good project because all you need to buy is the transistor, i managed to scrap all the other parts.

    0
    revhead
    revhead

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    i found 2 in my dead 1st gen xbox controller. on the leads that go from the controller to the xbox there is a bulg in the wire at either end, these are fairly large, long toroid beads. both of them worked really great on my joule thief!!

    0
    stuuf
    stuuf

    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    I heatgun-desoldered 3 PSUs last summer and recovered all of 5 toroids... Actually, I think i've been able to scrap more small signal NPN transistors than any of the other joule thief parts.