Introduction: Spinning Light Toy
As a young child, I was mesmerized by the spinning light toys in Disney world. I wondered how they worked and I was never allowed to buy one. Now, years later I decided I would make my own LED spinning toy that does the same thing as the ones in Disney world, but it costs much less and it has much brighter lights. Here is a link to the spinning light toys sold in Disney world: http://www.disneystore.com/pretend-play-toys-sorcerer-mickey-mouse-light-chaser-toy/mp/1258230/1000266/?CMP=KNC-DSSGoogle
The idea to make this came when I saw my little brothers friend bring home a light spinning toy from Disney world. My little brother was pretty jealous and was dissapointed when his friend didn't let him try it. I knew I had to try to build him one, and I began brainstorming and drawing diagrams to figure out how it would work. The results of this project exceeded my expectations and I know they will exceed yours as well!
I was inspired to make this because...
- I had many LEDs from solar garden lights and I wanted to use them.
- I wanted to surprise my little brother with something nice.
- I needed practice using my new soldering station. (Thank you instructables!)
You should make this because...
- You will save money by not buying one in Disney world!
- You probably have most of the materials.
- It is awesome!
I hope you enjoy making your LED spinning toy!
Step 1: Materials
You will need...
- - Clear plastic tubing
- - One red LED
- - Two white LEDs
- - Thin braided wire
- - Two water bottle caps
- - M&Ms minis container
- - 1.5v- 3v motor
- - "C" battery
- - Normally open push button
- - Press fit fan blade for the motor
- - Six 1.5v button batteries
- - Standard on/off switch
- - Soldering iron
- - Solder
- - Hot glue gun (with glue)
- - Electric Tape
- - Needle nose pliers
- - Tin Snips
Step 2: Cutting the Tubing
Take your clear plastic tubing and cut off three pieces each 5" long. My tubing was a little bit dirty from being in the workshop so now is when I washed mine out.
Now that you have cut your tubes, you will have to make the part that holds them tightly in place. Take one of your bottle tops and cut three indents evenly spaced apart on the side of the cap as shown in the picture. These will be the holders for the tubing.
Ok, now heat up your hot glue gun and glue each plastic tube firmly in place. If your tubes are slightly bent from being coiled up, make sure you make them all bend in the same direction so it looks cool! Look at the picture if you don't understand what I mean.
Step 3: Wiring the LEDs
Now that you have made the skeleton for the spinning part, we have to insert the LEDs to make this project light up!
First, solder a wire a little bit longer than 5" to the positive lead of the red LED. Solder a wire the same size to the negative lead as well. Now, wrap each lead of the LED seperately with electric tape to prevent shorting. Slide the wires from the LED through one of the tubes and hot glue the LED in place on the tip of the tube. Repeat this same procedure with the other two LEDs so you have three tubes with an LED on the tip of each one. Lastly, make sure that all the wires coming from the LEDs lead to the water bottle cap.
Step 4: Putting the LEDs in Series
Now that all of your LEDs are secured in place, we are going to want to wire them in series. The reason we are wiring them in series verses parralel is so each LED gets 3 volts from the batteries which is ideal for making them light up.
Solder the positive wire from the red LED to the negative wire from one of the white LEDs. Now solder the negative wire from the red LED to the positive wire from the other white LED. Use electric tape to wrap all of your connections.
You should end up with two free wires, one being positive and the other being negative.
Step 5: Adding the Switch
In order to save battery life and turn on/off the LEDs, we must insert a switch. This switch will spin with the rest of the top and it will be exposed right in the middle.
First, solder the positive wire from the string of LEDs onto one of the tabs on the switch. Solder a small wire onto the other tab. This small wire will attatch to the positive side of the batteries and the negative wire will be the negative lead from the string of LEDs.
Now, using the scissors, poke a hole on the top of the bottle cap and cut it into a square with the tin snips. Slide the switch through the rectangle and secure it in place with hot glue.
Step 6: Finishing the Spinning Top
Now that you have wired the whole LED contraption, it is time to add batteries. We will be using six 1.5v batteries wired in series to total 9v. To make our mini battery pack, we will have to take a piece of electric tape and wrap together six batteries making sure that the positive side of each battery touches the negative side of the next one, and it should result in a small cylindrical battery with a positive side and a negative side.
Hot glue the battery that you just made into the second bottle cap. Electric tape the wire from the switch onto the positive side of the battery you just made. Electric tape the negative wire from the LEDs to the negative side of the battery.
Now that you have wired everything, test if your LEDs work by flipping the switch and if they don't work, your batteries may not be touching eachother and you should fix this by squeezing the batteries tight. You can seal the whole top by gluing together both bottle tops and filling in any gaps with hot glue. Now to make the top fit on the motor, cut the blades off the fan and glue the middle of it to the bottom bottle cap.
Congratulations, you are done the top of your LED spinning toy!
Step 7: Making the Handle
Now that we have completed the spinning top, we will have to make the handle that spins the top. The handle basically consists of a "C" battery that powers a motor and the circuit is opened and closed by a push button.
First, we must prepare our canister to house the battery and motor. On the bottom of he canister, cut a small, round hole large enough for the motor shaft to stick through using the scissors. Now cut a small square on the side of the canister large enough for the button to fit through.
Now, we must make the "guts" of the handle and we will secure them in later. Solder one of the leads from the button to the positive lead of the motor. Electric tape the negative lead from the motor to the negative side of the battery and the other lead from the button to the positive side to the battery.
To finish off the handle, we must hot glue the motor firmly in it's place and hot glue the button in its place as well. Slide in the battery and close the lid. You are now finished making the handle for you LED spinning toy!
Step 8: Finishing the Toy
Now that you have made both the top and the handle, you are ready to piece the two together to make an awesome toy!
To attatch the top to the handle, you just simply press the motor onto the broken press fit motor fan and you are ready to go! Just flip the switch on the top to turn on the lights and press the button to make it spin. You will soon realize the importance of the red LED. Instead of making one white ring of light, the ring of light looks pink in some areas, and red and white. If you know any cool combinations of colors such as your school colors or your favorite sports team's colors, you could use those color LEDs instead.
It may take a second or two for the motor to make the top spin quickly, but when it is in full gear, it is really fast! I hope you like your spinning LED toy!
Step 9: Enjoy!
I hope you enjoyed building your LED spinning toy! Don't waste money by buying one of these in Disney world and just make your own fully customizable version! If you have any questions regarding the build, please feel free to ask me!