Introduction: Neopixel Ring Shower Massager Light
Feel the rainbow. When you get that karaoke urge outside of the shower, reach for this sound reactive microphone shower massager. It only bathes you in a pure glow from a magic Neopixel LED ring and does not drench you with water. May be programmed for light therapy or used for Harvard psych experiments.
Shower massager can be mounted most anywhere in wet or dry locations, preferrably dry. Lectricity and water don't mix.
Mounted on a wall with a pipe flange, this shower massager unit looks likes it is piped directly to in wall plumbing or power source.
DISCLAIMER: Water conserving device. Uses 0 Liters of water per minute. Say it. Don't spray it.
Step 1: Parts and More Parts...
For this project you will need the following:
Shower massager unit
Shower arm pipe
1/2 inch pipe mounting flange
(my hardware store did not have a 1/2 inch pipe flange so I got the 3/4 inch pipe flange and added a reducing bushing or adapter that makes it fit a 1/2 inch pipe)
Although we don't need things watertight, some plumber's teflon tape makes putting the parts together go more smoothly.
The electronics are my trusty and versatile Adafruit FLORA arduino board. It is designed to be used in wearables but the small form factor makes it perfect for this application.
It has the microphone amplifier module and a neopixel LED ring.
It is powered by 3 AAA batteries. Since my battery case did not fit, I soldered the batteries together with wire so I could fit everything inside the shower massager.
You will need some basic tools to hack away at your shower massager.
You will need to know how to program your Arduino and work with electronics and solder.
CAUTION: Learn how to solder. Be safe, solder irons and freshly soldered parts are hot.
Step 2: Down the Drain...
For this project, try not to get the most expensive shower massager unit there is. Although, it would have made things easier.
I have never hacked apart a shower massager before.
Doing a little bit of research on the internet reveals that there should be some kind of center screw that holds the entire massager together. I needed to open it up so I could place my electronics inside.
What I got was a cheap unit from the discount store. It was all molded from plastic and I could not find any cover or opening that would indicate a center screw.
So I did my probing with a utility knife and my hard scraper and a few screwdrivers...
No luck in trying to pop any of the parts off.
I sliced open the seam of the control ring that turned. That came off and exposed the attached center spray unit.
I tried to pop that off its mounting stubs.
Still couldn't figure out what was holding it together so I started to do some exploratory drilling.
I drilled out most of what I could see as the water channels and finally the front spray bezel popped off.
I enlarged the holes of the nozzles by drilling them out and drilled some extra holes for more light to shine through.
Step 3: Let There Be Light...
The electronics is my Adafruit FLORA Arduino board.
Attached to it is the microphone amplifier board with microphone and an Adafruit Neopixel LED ring.
The FLORA is loaded with Adafruit's sketch for the ampli-tie.
You can follow their great tutorial on setting up the electronics and programming the Arduino.
Since I could not fit the battery case in the shower massager, I wired up three AAA batteries in series by soldering directly on the battery terminals wires to connect them all. Rough up the battery ends with sandpaper so that the solder will stick better. Don't heat up too much and pre-tin the connector wires which have been bent into a little loop at the ends.
The FLORA has a built in on/off switch so I didn't really worry too much in having the batteries hardwired like this. Of course, a smaller lithium polymer battery pack might have fit in the tiny space better. I did have to chip away at the shower massager bezel ring so that the batteries would fit.
I'm sure that the control ring on the bezel could have been hacked with some kind of encoder to have the FLORA do different light patterns or something.
Step 4: Fit and Finish...
I made a simple diffusing lens for the Neopixel ring by cutting out a piece of plastic from some packaging in the recycling bin. I scuffed it up with sandpaper to diffuse the clear plastic. I hot glued it in place.
Assemble the mounting flange and the shower arm. Use teflon tape where appropriate. Consult a licensed plumber if you need help. Do not use teflon tape on parts with a gasket seal.
Assemble the shower massager.
The shower massager mount or clip attaches to the shower arm.
The end of the hose attaches the the shower massager mount.
Read the instructions that came with the shower massager if you have any spare parts on hand or your final product does not look like the pictures above.
Reassemble the shower massager innards by stuffing your electronics neatly inside.
Hot glue if necessary. All the trim rings and parts should nest nicely back in their original position.
Select an appropriate location to place the Neopixel shower massager light.
Affix mounting flange to wall using appropriate fasteners, preferably screws into a wall stud or toggle bolts.
Let's do this...
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