LED Throwie - Instant Messanger Tube




You've got something to say, and you want to stick it on metal and let it be seen with an LED glow. Well, your in luck. Today I'm going to show you how to make LED Throwie - Instant Messenger Tubes to get your message spread in the physical world.

see the LED Throwie - Instant Messanger Tube in action at http://abehman.com

Now, I can t take all the credit here

The LED Throwie

"Led Throwies (An LED throwie is a small LED attached to a coin battery and a rare earth magnet , used for the purpose of creating non-destructive graffiti and light displays.) were devised by James Powderly and Evan Roth working together at the Graffiti Research Lab during a fellowship at Eyebeam OpenLab in 2006. The technology, like everything from the OpenLab, is open source and in the public domain. LED Throwies were designed as a new kind of graffiti art to be used on ferromagnetic surfaces like steel. Part of GRL's original campaign involved distributing throwies to a group of people, who were then encouraged to throw them onto a metal sculpture called Alamo, located at Astor Place, Manhattan, New York City."

Step 1: What You Need!

Here's what your going to need
  • 10mm Super Bright LED (preferably diffused)
  • CR2032 3V Lithium Batteries
  • Rare Earth Magnet
  • Tape
  • Transparency Film
  • 8.5 x 11 Paper (with your message)

Step 2: Make the LED Throwie

You can follow me here or a number of other resources on the Web. Here is the GRL link to an instructable on how to make a LED Throwie.

Grab your LED (if you don't have a diffused LED you can easily fake it by using some sand paper to scratch the plastic and make it diffused), Battery, Magnet and Tape.

What you want to do is put the battery between the two legs(leads) of the LED. Be sure to have the longer leg on the +(positive) side of the battery. Next. Take a strip of tape and wrap it around the LED leads and battery to secure them together.

Next, take another piece of tape and secure the magnet to one side of the LED and battery.

Voualah- you have made an LED Throwie.

Step 3: Make the Instant Messanger Tube

Here is where the magic happens. Grab a sheet of the Transparency Film and roll it into a tube. I would give it a diameter of 2-3 inches. Use a couple strips of tape to secure the tube. Next grab your sheet of paper with your message and roll it into a tube as well, but just a little smaller than the first. Be sure to roll your paper tube in such a fashion that your message is visible. Now slide the paper (message) tube into the transparency tube till both ends are flush. You now have your Instant Messenger Tube.

Step 4: Spread the Word!!!

All that is left to do is to use the LED throwie to hold up the Message Tube on any metal surface. Turn off the lights and your all set. Your message glows with LED magic.



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    62 Discussions


    1 year ago



    10 years ago on Step 4

    I don't really like the message on there..... but as an important enlightenment leader said, "I do not agree with what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it!" 20 points to whoever can guess who said it.

    10 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    That quote is often misattributed to Voltair. If it's him you were referring to, I'm right and I get 20 points. If I'm wrong, please enlighten me to who you were quoting.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    yes, it is Voltaire. and why do you say missattributed? I I'm ill informed, I'd like to know.


    7 years ago on Step 4

    its tempting to make a response....with Bush or McCain...........


    7 years ago on Step 3

    Yea that sounds like a simpler/cheaper way


    8 years ago on Introduction

    2008. so long ago... I now know that posting about politics on the internet is like putting your arm into a starving lion's cage after covering it in meat and doing gazelle calls.... someone may come take your arm for it if you're not careful.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    Try not to make an Instructable with political stuff in it. You have every right to do so, but some people will criticize you for it. I am not criticizing you, but there are some people who will not like you for your political beliefs. They are called "radicals," and both major U.S. political parties have them. Sorry for the gloomy comment. Otherwise, cool Instructable! :)

    1 reply

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I agree look how much effort is being put into politics instead of this cool and nifty idea.