Introduction: DiskoPigs

About: I like to play with electronics and other fun stuff, modify things to make them more useful or just more funny, putting things together that seem not to fit to make funny stuff. Sharing ideas make the world ...
When I saw those "Mini Pig" flashlights at Dealextreme I fell in love and ordered plenty of them. Those cute flashlights are only $0,79 and always a funny present for friends and family. But they also save money to the electronic enthusiast: One flashlight include 2 superbright LEDs and three button cells. For $0,79 this is a very good deal. But instead of taking them apart and throwing the plastic to the landfill I decided to make a cute DiskoPigs light installation for my next party.

If you also like those cute "Mini Pig" flashlights, have a look at my other instructable Dancing Vibro Pig!

The heart of DiskoPigs is a hacked MiniPOV. I didnt want to take my original MiniPOV so I built it on a perfboard, but you can just use your MiniPOV-Kit from Ladyada to make it. Basically I substituted the LEDs with the Mini Pig Flashlights, changed the code a little bit and mounted everything on an old record disc for the disco feeling.

Unfortunally I forgot to take photos, but I'll try to recover the way I built the DiskoPigs.

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Step 1: Parts and Tools

  • 8 Mini Pig Flashlights (Dealextreme)
  • MiniPOV Kit (Adafruit)
  • if you have the MiniPOV Kit with 100 ohm (brown black brown) resistors you should substitute R1 to R8 with 47 ohm (yellow purple black) resistors to get a brighter light
  • Wire
  • old record disc or similar
  • Soldering iron and solder
  • small drill
  • Diagonal cutters
  • Hot glue gun
  • optional: Handy Hands / Third hand tool
  • Computer with serial port or USB/Serial converter

Step 2: Make the MiniPOV

Make the MiniPOV following the instructions at Ladyada.net, but omit the LEDs. The LEDs will be replaced by the Pig flashlights.

Step 3: Prepare the Pig Flashlights

Open the flashlights:
  1. Remove the keyring.
  2. Remove the nuzzle, now you can open the flashlight
  3. Take off the "heart button".
  4. Take out the LEDs and remove the coin cells. Save the coin cells for another project.
Solder wires to the LEDs:
  1. Spin the leads of the LEDs together. Mind the polarity: Spin the two anodes together, then the two cathodes.
  2. Solder one piece of wire to the anodes
  3. Solder one piece of wire to the cathodes. I recomment to use different colors and make notes of it to easier differ it later.
Replace and close:
  1. Replace the LEDs to the flashlight. Avoid to short-circuit the anodes and cathodes. If you want to keep save use electrical tape.
  2. Run the wires though the heart.
Do the same with the seven other flashlights.

Ready for the next step!

Step 4: Prepare the Record Disk

Mount the flashlights
  1. Virtually divide the record disc into 8 sections, one for every flashlight
  2. Drill two small holes to every section
  3. Run the wires through the holes and back through the hole in the middle of the record
  4. Hot glue the pig in place
  5. Repeat the steps 1 to 4 for every flashlight
Connect the MiniPOV
  1. Solder the wires to the MiniPOV, one pair of wires replaces one LED - Mind the polarity!
  2. Hot glue the MiniPOV and the batterie pack to the record
Almost finished. In the next step you program the DiskoPigs.

Step 5: Program the DiskoPigs

  1. Download the code (attached file: diskopigs.c)
  2. Rename it to mypov.c
  3. Download the MiniPOV Firmware for MiniPOV from ladyada.net
  4. Unzip the firmware and copy the new mypov.c to the firmware directory, overwrite the existing file
  5. Program the MiniPOV following the instructions on ladyada.net. They give instructions for Windows, Mac and Linux. Just replace "program-minipov" with "program-mypov" in the last step.
Remove the programming cable. If everything went fine, the DiskoPigs should start flashing the pattern immediatly.

Step 6: Custumize

Custumize the code, add a sensor to the MiniPOV to make it sound sensitive, change the patterns if you like and: Share your ideas!

I hope you enjoyed my Instructable and if you build it or something similar post your pictures in the comments! If you have any questions feel free to ask.

Attribution: DiskoPigs is based on MiniPOV3 and the MiniPOV3 Firmware from Adafruit. Its licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Share-alike License.

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    11 Discussions


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Nice. I saw and bought those pigs at a store a while back. Now I have something to do with them!


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Cool, if you're done, show what you made with them.


    8 years ago on Introduction

    What a sweet project! Also, I love the thinking behind it: the simplicity, maximizing the effect , utilizing cool artifacts to build even cooler artifacts! way to go

    Robot Lover
    Robot Lover

    8 years ago on Introduction

    This is freakin' awesome! You should put some of those rainbow fading LED's instead of the regular.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    Good morning! Its 9pm in Germany ;-)