Flyies, a Flying LED Throwie Mod




Introduction: Flyies, a Flying LED Throwie Mod

About: Im a bit of a geek of all trades. Of late most of my free energy has going into Making sure our hacker/makerspace is awesome! Come check us out!

Throwies are awesome, they inspire folks to do more,  about a year ago I tried my first flying Throwies, and had a few problems(indoors helium balloons filled to the max pop very loudly). I will quickly in this short Instructable show how to do it, as cheaply as possible, and avoid the problems I ran into.

Step 1: Ingredients.

1 helium grade party balloon,  18 inch or so
1 LED (I used a blinking red)
1 CR1025 3volt lithium battery, you could use a cr2012 or cr2032 but they are big and heavy and the balloon needs to be inflated to near bursting.
Some electrical tape(I love the 3m clear electrical tape,  but I could not find my roll (perhaps its too clear! ;-))
Some Helium

Step 2: Assembly

Just like on a traditional throwie,  the + side of the battery should touch the long leg of the LED and the short leg should match the -

Try it out,  if it does not light, flip the battery,  if still does not light try another LED and or another Battery

If it lights up,  Trim the legs using some wire cutters, to just long enough to cross the width of the battery.  Wrap it in a little electrical tape, wrapping up to and past the base of the led.  (There is a mold mark around the base of the led,  that is razor sharp, and when inside a balloon it can cut and pop the balloon.

Once you have it taped up, drop it into the balloon

Inflate the balloon, this size flyie will need a fair amount of helium but don't fill the balloon so far it wants to pop.

Tie off the balloon if you just want them on the ceiling you are done,  Or you can put it on a string. to tie off or wear.

Warning the throwie might be a choking hazard, don't leave unattended with small children.

Step 3: Other Options, and Thoughts.

I used a flashing red,  a bright blue or white or green would be much more noticeable/photogenic.

An LED out of a flickering candle would be neat too, the whole balloon would flickr like a hotair balloon. .

These will last a few days,  (The led/battery will likely outlast the helium). feel free to pop the balloon and get the led/battery and take them apart for a future re-use.



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    7 Discussions

    Want to see something really cool done with this basic idea??

    I did something similiar a few - well i guess actually it's several years ago as a club promo idea - only i used the really small multi flashing led jewlery like ear rings and pins and crystal necklaces etc that flash multi colors and seem much brighter than standard leds.

    A pair of ear rings in a larger than standard helium filled bolloon was just the right weight to be lifted and hold about 20 feet in the air and float around.
    - i had include two passes to the club - so whom ever found it - not only had a gift with the led jewelery but the club passes.

    I wish i had taken a picture of  releasing them as it really looked cool with all the balloons flashing multi colors 15 to 20 feet in the air and blowing about along the South Beach Club area.

    I had made up about 50 in total for that promo - it worked really well.

    Nice to see a throwie led balloon with leds making it to instrucables.
    it is a fun idea.
    - chase -

    this is awesome. the only thing that would prevent me from letting a bunch of them go at night in a crowded city would be the pollution.

    1 reply

    yah, the balloons do bio-degrade, but the LED and battery don't a while back i looked into if one should recycle little lithium batteries, and while the EPA says you can take them to a recycle drop off, the amount lithium in them is so small they are approved of for landfill disposal. and there is no recycle facility for the little batteries. The waste caused by these is fairly small. as is the danger if a bird or something eats it. but i wont advocate letting lots of them free just to be safe/nice.

    i hate to double post but i just thought of something. at dollar discount stores in my area you can get these large punch ball balloons. they inflate to almost 2 feet in diameter and are extremely tough. maybe you could substitute those for the baloons?

    1 reply

    No problem, Yes, my dad (whom i borrowed the tank from) on the 4th of july launched one of those punch balloons, with a small flag pennant hanging from it, (we were under serious drought conditions, so they were asking for no personal fireworks).. it went up a about 1000' and then popped. im guessing he had it pretty full.

    Checkout what i did with a huge 36" balloon today.

    cool idea. I like the flashing LED idea. Do up a bunch and let them go at the same time.