This is an instructable on how to make your own LED wand with a Joule Thief. It is inspired by Harry Potter and used at a LARP.
It´s very easy an can be done by nearly everyone in one day.
Step 1: What You Need:
- a plastic part for the battery and the electronics, it is used as a handle in the end. I used a plastic LED candle from a dollar store
- a round piece of wood for the wand
- some acrylic paint
- hot glue
- no-more-nails-glue (optional)
- a lighter to soften the hot glue (optional)
- an AAA battery
- some wires
- an LED, I used a white one with a big angle
- 1 NPN (BC547) and 1 PNP (BC557) transistor
- one 1k Ohm and one 33k Ohm resistors
- one 10nF ceramic capacitor
- one inductor between 220µH and 510µH (I used 330µH)
- one push button
I got the Joule Thief circuit from DangerousTim. But i will explain it also in the following.
Step 2: Solder the Ciruit
The first picture shows the circuit diagram. Check if you have all the componens and than place it onto a breadboard to test it.
Before you solder prepare the inner plastic part of your handle. Make sure it can hold a battery in place and has enough space for the electronis.
Solder all pieces despite the LED and the button and the battery together. This is done because the button and the LED need longer wires depentent on the length of your wand.
You can test the circuit again by soldering the LED on to it.
Step 3: Get the Handle on Your Stick
After making the electronics you can glue a wood piece on top of the handle. Just make sure that the inner plastic part can fit inside.
I used no-more-nails-glue to get the parts together.
Step 4: Get Everything in the Handle
Here comes the tricky part. You need to geht everything in the handle. The inner plastic part, the electronics, the battery ans the wires for the LED and the button. You must decide if you want to change the battery or not.For changing more wires has to be inside. Make sure to cut the wires for the LED not too short at the beginning. If the handle is ready you can shorten the LED wire afterwards.
Here is my order of soldering:
- make a hole on the upper an of the outer plastic part for the LED wire. Than cut a wire long enough to reach the end of the wand and make it able to pull the inner plastic out
- cut the LED wire long enough to go inside the bottom of the plastic part
- solder wires on the button and cut them long enough to go inside the bottom of the plastic part
- make sure that you can pull the inner plastic out, if you want to change the battery. It can be a bit tricky to get all the wires inside, but it works.
- solder the wires from the LED and the button onto the other electronics
- get a battery and test it. It should work, if not you have to control all the parts.
Step 5: Glue Everything on Place
After fixing the electronics you can place the LED on the top and glue it on. You can either twist the wire or glue it straight on or make any pattern you like.
Use a bit of glue to get everything in place. You can cover the handle or the whole thing in hot glue to make it thicker and to add some structure or pattern or anything special you like.
But be sure not to glue over the button! It will not work if you do this.
If the hot glue is to uneven you can use a lighter to soften it. Just put it near the glue and it will melt together.
Step 6: Design
Now you can take your paint and design the wand anyway you like. I made a gold-brown and a dark brown-glitter one.
Acrylic paint will work well, but you can also use other paint. To make it last longer I prefer to paint several layers of varnish on top of the end design.
At the end you have a special handmade wand with an LED. Enjoy it and if you have any questions make sure to ask (: