Introduction: Illuminated Juggling Clubs

Home made juggling clubs that light up.

Step 1: Materials and Tools

Materials (per club):

1 spray bottle (99 cent store)
1 piece 1/2 inch cpvc pipe 20 inches (Its yellowish and has thinner walled.)
1 piece 1/2 inch pvc shedule 40 pipe 5 inches (may need more if you use a different length bottle than I did)
1 piece of 1/2 in pine dowel 5 inches
3 AAA batteries
The innards of a battery holder. (The spring that touches the negative terminal and the metal tab that touches the positive terminal of the battery.
1 50 ohm resistor
1 wire 18 guage 4 feet
1 on off switch
3 #6 3/4" inch screws
1 2" wood screw
5 LED's (Mine were 3.0-3.4 V 25 mA)
1 7/8" rubber foot
electrical tape
hockey puck
empty 2 Liter soda bottle (one with straight sides)


ban saw
Soldering iron
lined sheet of paper
hot glue gun
pvc glue

Step 2: The Battery Holder

Building the battery holder:

Cut the dowel into two 2 1/2 inch sections
Sand one of the sections so that it easily slides into the cpvc.
Cut a groove lengthwise in each dowel. Large enough that the wire can fit in the groove.
Tape the three AAA batteries together lengthwise with electrical tape to make a battery pack.
Line up the dowels and the battery pack next to the cpvc dowel. Mark the dowel 1 1/4" short of this length.
Cut the cpvc on the mark. Call the measured piece A and the rest B
Cut a piece of wire 4 inches long.
Solder the 4" wire to the positive terminal receiver for the battery pack. Hot glue this terminal to the sanded dowel.
Cut a peice of wire 2.5 inches longer than the piece of CPVC labeled B.
Solder the sping spring for the negative terminal to the longer wire and hot glue to the unsanded dowel.

Cut a notch in CPVC piece A big enough for the wire.
Place the sanded dowel in CPVC piece A so the top of the dowel is flush with the pipe aligning the wire with the notch.
place a 3/4" screw through the cpvc into the dowel in such a way that it avoids the wire and is 2 inches below the top.
Slide in the battery pack from the opposite side. Then slide in the spring dowel. It should only go about 1/2 way in. This dowel should be tight, we will secure it later.

Shake it, if it rattles, disassemble and wrap a batteries in more tape, just don't add to much or they are a pain to remove.

Step 3: Prepare the Handle

Get CPVC piece B and a sheet of lined paper.
Use the lines as a measuring guide and mark every 3rd line.
Rotate the CPVC along its axis 90 degree. Offset the paper so the holes are staggered and repeat
Rotate the CPVC along its axis 90 degree. Offset the paper so the holes are staggered and repeat
Rotate the CPVC along its axis 90 degree. Offset the paper so the holes are staggered and repeat

Now there should be four lines worth of marks.

Use a small drill bit to drill pilot holes, then go back and drill with a 1/4 " bit. I found without the pilot holes, my drill would slip and my holes where not aligned well.
Slide this piece onto the wooden dowel sticking out of piece A.
Drill a second hole next to a hole near the dowel. Later we will be feeding the lights through it

Note this image is further along in the assembly, the pvc coupling is already on the handle, linking the handle to the holder.

Step 4: PVC Coupling Sleeve Preparation

Cut the 1/2" PVC into two pieces. Then cut lengthwise through one wall.
This will allow the 1/2" PVC to open enough that the 1/2 CPVC handle can fit in
Trim more of the PVC so when it is over the CPVC, two wires can lay in the groove without sticking out
Slide the PVC sleeve over the CPVC battery case so that the end of the PVC is even with the end of the dowel sticking out of the battery case.
Drill a hole that will avoid the wire running along the dowel. Counter sink it so that the screw is flush with the sleeve.
Slide the long wire off the batter pack down the handle and fit the handle around the dowel and into the PVC sleeve. Secure with another screw and counter sink it so it is flush with the pvc.

Step 5: Prepare and Solder the Lights

We start from the handle end and solder the lights in parallel.

Many reputable sources suggest when soldering LED's in Parallel , using separate resistor for each bulb. I did not do this. I placed one resistor at the end. This increases the chances that I will burn out a light because I am forcing the same voltage drop across all the lights. but I didn't have enough of the right type of resistors.

The first light will be immediately above the bottom of the handle, pointing inward.
The second light will be at the top of the handle pointing back towards the bottom. the remaining three will be in the head of the club pointed in different directions.

Light preparation:
Sand flat with 300-400 grit sand paper two sides of the LED. Also sand the surface so it isn't clear, this will help diffuse the light. Others suggest reshaping the tip with sandpaper to make the light less directional and more diffuse and I may still go back and do that.

I used two long wires (about 4 inches longer than the club) and did the following.
Use wire strippers to cut the insulation in two places close together.
Use a box cutter to strip the insulation between the two cuts.
pull off the rest of the insulation.
Solder the negative terminals to one wire and the positives to the other. Cover solders with electrical tape.

Test your lights with an appropriate resistor and your battery pack. If one does not light up you may have put it in backwards.

Solder the resistor to the wire coming off the last terminal which will be attached to the head of the club. (Note that I needed a 40-50 ohm resistor, but had lots of 240 ohm resistors that came with my LEDS. So I wrapped 5 of them in parallel to get the resistance I needed.).

Step 6: Dry Fit

Slide the wire with the handle led's into the handle through the enlarged hole at the top of the handle.
Make sure the light at the bottom of the handle is pointing up and the light at the top of the handle pointing down
Place the wire in the groove and secure above and below with electrical tape.

Wrap the rest of the wire with lights around the battery pack securing with tape and making sure each light points in a different direction.

Test the circuit without the switch in place to make sure everything lights up. Also make sure your bottle fits over the lights on the battery pack. I had to twist the bottle a bit to get them to slide through. Sometimes they bent the wrong way as a result and I pulled the bottle off and tried again.

Step 7: Attach the Switch

The on/off button I used was $3.18 and I had to go to a local electronics shop but it had three key qualities.
- the end with the contacts fit inside my cpvc
- the end with the button (after some very minor sanding) was the same diameter as the CPVC
- It was a button/not a switch, so it was easy to turn on and off even though it was recessed in the PVC

Prepare the switch:
Sand the corners down so the outer diameter is the same or slightly larger than the CPVC

Attach the wire at the bottom of the handle to the switch leads.
I did not solder these, but twisted the wire through the holes and wrapped with electrical tape.
Attach the wire off the resistor to the lead at the top of the pin.
Pressing the button should turn on and off the lights.

Slide the switch into the handle so it is protruding out the end.

Cut the other PVC along the length to create another sleeve and slide over the bottom of the handle so the button is flush with the bottom of the pvc.

I removed the sleeve and reattached with hot glue. This Dries quickly and was difficult to position. I would suggest using either PVC cement or something that dries slower than the hot glue did.

Step 8: Avoiding the Sting (Improving the Handle)

You now have a club that works, but probably tends to sting when you catch it

Cut a sheet of paper that goes from the pvc at the joint of the battery pack and the handle to the pvc at the end of the club.
Wrap around the handle and cut at an angle so the edge wraps around the handle from the joint to the base.

Unravel the paper mark and use as a template to cut your 2L bottle.
I used a strategy similar to this build

And they have a template but my length was a little different so I had to make my own.

The bottle should fit tightly around the pvc collar. Wrap the 2 L bottle plastic aroung the handle. I used clear packing tape to tape the handle to itself.

I secured the top and bottom of the handle with electrical tape.

Slip on the 7/8 in rubber foot over the button. If it is loose, remove it and wrap some tape around the pvc.

Finally cut the hockey puck in thirds with a band saw and drill a pilot hole into the dowel at the head of the club. Make sure you drill straight and avoid the wire. Then screw the hockey in place at the top of the club. Then tape the bottle to the collar and the top of the handle

Step 9: Battery Replacement

You can replace batteries by:

Removing the 2" screw
Removing the tape securing the bottle.  If you did this in the right order you don't have to complelty untape the handle. 
Remove the bottle.
Unscrew the 3/4 " screw at the top of the battery pack.
Pull out the top dowel.  (This was the sanded one so it should come out easity, but screwing the 2" screw back in, will give you something to pull on.  Just do it gently so you dont break any of your connections.  The battery pack should fall out.  Repace the batteries (taped so they won't jiggle) and reassemble.

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