Introduction: Magic Light

This instructable explains how to make a "magic wand" that turns on a light. It's pretty rad.

However, working with any electricity is dangerous and potentially fatal, especially 110v and above!!! If you do not feel comfortable, or unsure of what you are doing, do not proceed.

Step 1: Gather Parts

Powerswitch Tail II

4-Button RF Remote

RF Receiver (needs to be a toggle switch type)



Jumper Wires

Hook-Up Wire

Tilt Switch

.5" Wood Dowel

3D Printed Handle (see linked file in this step)

Glue (Elmers/Craft/Hot)

Soldering Iron

Small Screwdriver

6 Cans of Rainier (ages 12 and older only)

These exact parts are not necessary, but some variation will be. This is what I had sitting around, so I used what I had on hand. For example, the 4-button remote is overkill. A 1 button remote would be just fine, as long as it communicates with the corresponding receiver.

Step 2: Connect Powertail Section


This step is pretty straightforward. Insert one jumper wire into the left-hand hole of the Powertail (marked "1: +in"), and run another jumper wire to the middle hole (marked "2: -in").

To explain:

The hole marked "1" will be receiving a signal from your Arduino. This signal will flip the internal relay, and turn the Powertail "on".

The middle hole, marked "2", is ground.

Where these wires connect to the Arduino will be explained in the next step.

Step 3: Insert RF Receiver Into the Breadboard

Pull out your Arduino, your beadboard, and your RF receiver. Insert the RF receiver into the breadboard. Where you position it doesn't really matter. The position shown in the picture is a good location, if you are unsure.

Step 4: Power the Breadboard

Run a jumper wire from the "5v" pin on your Arduino to the "+" track on your breadboard. Run another jumper wire from a "GND" (ground) pin on your Arduino to the "-" track on your breadboard.

Step 5: Power the RF Receiver

Run a jumper wire from the "-" (ground) track of your breadboard to the "GND" (ground) pin of the RF receiver. Run a jumper wire from the "+" track of your breadboard to the "+5V" (power) pin of the RF receiver.

Step 6: Connect Arduino to RF Receiver

Run a jumper wire from Pin "7" on your Arduino to pin "D3" on your RF receiver.

Note for reference: The upper-right button on the remote corresponds to pin D3. We are choosing this pin/button combination at random. With this setup, you could choose any button and corresponding pin.

Step 7: Connect Powertail to Arduino and Breadboard

Connect the "1: +in" wire from the powertail to Pin 12 on your Arduino. (The picture shows the connection at Pin 13, please ignore the picture, and connect it to Pin 12 instead.)

Connect the "2: -in" wire from the powertail to the "-" (ground) track on your breadboard.

Step 8: Getting at the Guts of Your Remote

At this point, you could just make a remote control lamp, but that isn't that fun. That is why we need to get at the guts of your remote.

Insert a thin pry tool in the space between the front and back casing, and give it a little sideways torque. It should come off pretty easily. If not, try another position.

Once you have the case removed, remove the metal contact stick ar and the top plastic, so that the inner part resembles the attached photograph.


Step 9: Solder Leads to Remote Guts

Strip a small amount of insulation from the end of two 2" pieces of hook-up wires. For the upper-right button, there is an inner connection and an outer connection. Solder one wire to the inner connection, and one wire to the outer connection.

You will need very careful not to connect the two. If you see the red light of the remote go on while you are soldering, you have accidentally bridged the connection.

Step 10: Attach the Tilt Switch

A tilt switch is a metal tube with two leads that houses a conductive metal ball. When captive ball rolls toward the two leads the circuit is complete. Consult the attached photograph to note the orientation of the tilt switch and the leads. Solder the leads to the previously attached wires. When you flick the remote forward, as you would the wand, the centrifugal force pushes the ball forward and completes the circuit.

Step 11: Print, Trim, Insert

Print the 3D file (supplied), trim your dowel to the desired shapes, and insert your tilt circuit into the handle.

Step 12: Plug in Your Light and Be a Magician

Plug in your powertail, and your Arduino. Now wave your wand. TADA! You are a magician :)