Jar of Flashing Lights

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About: I like to tinker and experiment with electronics, robotics, programming, and photography. Along with my latest interest in Steampunk.

A simple oscillator using a 74HC14 CMOS inverter makes a excellent driver to flash leds. Put them in a jar and place it in your window for a showy display.

Step 1: Make the Circuit

Run four vertical bus wires of bare #18 wire between the top lid and bottom disc in the jar. I used a thin phenolic material to support the bus wires. One disc to replace the top lid of a Ball canning jar and one on the bottom for support. You could use perf board material that has copper pads.

One of the wires is used for the positive bus and the other three are negative. I start by spreading out the positive (pin14) and negative (pin7) of the ICs. Solder and support the ICs to the bus wires.

Step 2: Schematic

This is the schematic of one of the IC circuits. I was able to fit 4 ICs along the bus wires. Just tack solder all the parts to the IC legs and build up your circuit. If you use a water soluble organic core solder like Kester 66, you can wash off the flux residue when done.

The values for the resistors and capacitor are not critical. Now is the time to get rid of those extra mix of resistors and capacitors just laying around you shop.

You can download a pdf of the schematic at my Jar-O-Circuits page.

Step 3: Video

I made a video of what it looks like when blinking.

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    12 Discussions

    this looks really cool, but if you added current limiting resistors in series with your LEDs you could normalized the light output so all of the LEDs would have the same brightness.

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    botronics

    6 years ago on Introduction

    I also have a video of the project at my Youtube Channel.
    http://youtu.be/5jz2CKoj_V8

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    tvholliday

    6 years ago on Introduction

    Great project... can you tell me more about how it is powered... since it is in a jar, did you use batteries (what total voltage) or ac?

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    botronicstvholliday

    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I used a 5 volt wal-wart power supply. Such as ones used to charge your cell phone. On the top of the jar I placed a connector for the power supply. You can get the power supplies at a thrift store ($1.50) or a electronics surplus dealer such as Electronic Goldmine for 5 bucks. Sorry I forgot to mention that in the instrucable.

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    botronics

    6 years ago on Step 2

    By the way, the circuit is powered by a 5 volt wall-wort.

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    ramekbass

    10 years ago on Step 3

    nice project man.keep it up bro.

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    roboman01

    10 years ago on Introduction

    You could also make it into a BEAM pummer. It would probably be cheaper than the garden light.

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    sr1sws

    10 years ago on Introduction

    Cool. Now you just need to provide power to it via inductive coupling... sit it on it's base to power up... like a rechargeable toothbrush.

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    botronicssr1sws

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    You could supply power from a solar garden light. The solar unit is about the same size as the jar top. I took one apart and wrote about it here.