In this Instructable, I’ll show you how to make a cheap motion detecting confetti popper using a mousetrap and an air freshener.
Confetti Party Poppers – these are almost always available around New Years or the 4th of July. But if you can’t find them, you can order them here: http://www.amazon.com/OTC-Champagne-Poppers-Dozen/dp/B0008F6O84/
Mouse Trap – Available at most grocery/hardware stores.
Glade Sense And Spray Air Freshener – Available at most grocery stores .You can also buy it here: http://www.amazon.com/Glade-Sense-Spray-Motion-Sensor-Clean/dp/B001V53R4E/
L-Bracket – You can find these at most hardware stores also.
Various Hardware Tools – Drill, Nuts, Bolts, Screwdriver, whatever you deem necessary to make this build easier.
The key to making this project work is the Glade Sense And Spray Air Freshener. It has a motion detector that triggers a plastic arm to move up and down. Basically we will be using this to trigger the mouse trap and pull the string of the party popper.
Read the warnings on the party poppers, as they should not be pointed at the face. Also, you’ll be working with a mouse trap, so expect to catch your fingers at least once.
Step 1: Modding the Air Freshner
Take the cover off of the Air Freshener and remove the batteries (but make sure it works first). Drill a hole through the top of the plastic arm large enough to thread your twine through. Make sure that the twine is running downwards towards the battery. You want to run it this direction because the arm will have more pull on it this way.
Step 2: Attaching the L-Bracket
Attach the air freshener to one of the middle screw holes on the L-bracket facing outwards. You can do this with whatever you have available, be it hot glue, screws, bolts, super glue, etc. On the inside of the L-bracket, attach the mouse trap. You want it oriented so that the L-bracket is facing forward and the mouse trap is setting flat on the table.
Step 3: Modding the Mouse Trap
Underneath the snap plate of the mouse trap (where the cheese normally goes), you want to drill a small hole to thread the twine through. Then tie the end of the twine to the snap plate (the other end of the twine should be tied to the air freshener arm).
Step 4: Attaching the Party Popper
So that we don’t have to tie the party popper to the mousetrap’s catch bar after it’s been set (which is very dangerous), we need to make a hooking system so that we can just hook it to the catch bar. So take a small binder clip and remove one of its metal arms (just squeeze it together using some pliers). Then loop the arm the the mousetrap’s catch bar and re-attach it to the binder clip. To finish the hooking system, tie an s-hook to the party popper string. Now you should be able to easily hook it to the catch bar.
Step 5: Setting the Trap
Thread the string of the party popper through the top hole of the L-bracket (above the air freshener) and then tie the s-hook to it on the other end. Set the mousetrap (making sure the string that goes to the air freshener arm is pretty tight and has no slack). Then hook the string of the party popper to the binder clip. All you have to do now is replace the batteries in the air freshener and you’re ready to go!
When the batteries are first plugged into the air freshener, it cycles through the motion detection, which could prematurely set the trap. So you may want to plug the batteries in before you set the trap. Once the air freshener is triggered, it takes 30 minutes for it to reset, so that gives you plenty of time to set the trap. Be carefully to avoid hitting the button, as this will cycle the motion detection and could spring the trap too (but it’s useful for testing).
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