Introduction: Strobe Goggles: Your Ticket to Stardom!

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Why wait for the club when you can make the whole world appear in strobe all the time? Strobe goggles can reverse water drops, make your auntie look fly at dancing, and even give you mild seizures / migraines if you're lucky!

But seriously, these are a super fun way to make adjustable-rate strobe goggles to unleash a load of experiments you can do once you change your visual perception. Have fun!

  • What: Strobe Goggles!
  • Time: ~ 45 minutes
  • Cost: ~ $4.50, depending on sources
  • Concepts: Vision, Perception, Time, Permanence of Vision
  • Materials:
    • 1 pair sunglasses (grab 'em cheap!)
    • 1 DC motor (3V works great)
    • 1 battery pack
    • 2 batteries
    • 1 potentiometer (fancy word for knob, grab a 100k Ohm one)
    • 1 extra wire
    • 1 wee zip-tie (optional)
    • Cardboard (for disc)
    • Black construction paper (for disc)
  • Tools:
    • Scissors or X-acto Blade
    • Wire Strippers
    • Hot Glue gun / hot glue
    • Soldering iron / solder

Let's get strobing!

Step 1: Get Your Stuff!

Get all that stuff together we just talked about!

Also, now's a great time to cut out your discs. Any circle would do, just make it large enough to cover a good portion of your field of vision. My circle was 6" in diameter, and the file can be found here.

Step 2: Pop Out Those Lenses and Slap on a Motor

Goodbye glasses! Time for something way more suave!

Glue on the motor with the tabs oriented vertically, and use lots and lots and lots of glue!

Looking good already!

Step 3: Glue on the Other Electronics

Pick a side that you're going to load up with your electronics. Glue on the battery pack and the potentiometer so that the wires can reach the motor. Again, use a boatload of hot glue.

Step 4: Wire Up!

Alright, it's wiring time! Clip down any wires to a length that works for you, and attach those wire ends to the tabs. Use tweezers if you want!

Here's a little diagram showing you the basic set-up. Nothing too fancy, here!

Step 5: Soldering Time!

Time to solder all those connections in place, which should be four places in all. Two will be to your potentiometer (left terminal and middle terminal), and two will be on your motor.

Step 6: The Strobe Disc

You'll want to glue the back construction paper on to cardboard to give it a little strength. The black side will be toward you (the wearer of the goggles) to get the maximum strobe effect by alternating between the black of the disc and the slice of vision when the wheel comes around.

The other side can be whatever you want, so go crazy decorating it!

When you're assembling, poke the motor end through and give it a little hot glue.

Step 7: Strobe Your World!

Oh, the places you'll strobe!

There's so much to see and unsee, that it's hard to contain here. Here are a few great things to stare at:

  • Anything that spins
  • Anything that bounces
  • Water dropping from faucets
  • Rain
  • Ripples in water
  • Puppies (they're just great in general)
  • Ripples in puppies (the best!)

Happy strobing and have fun!