Motion Sensitive Bubble Machine With LittleBits!

Introduction: Motion Sensitive Bubble Machine With LittleBits!

About: Hi, I'm Jude. I make toys and electronic gadgets.

Make the kids dance for bubbles! Use littleBits and a 5V relay to hack your bubble machine. This is a solderless instructable. littleBits connect magnetically, and we will be using a breadboard for the relay.

This project assumes that you are or have an adult who knows how to use a relay! This is not a relay tutorial. Hacking your littleBits or your Bubble Machine could break them, and that would make you sad. Hacked littleBits are not returnable.

Parts list:
5V relay x1
black electrical tape
wire for breadboarding
littleBits used: power, motion trigger, timeout, led, wire
optional littleBits: sound sensor, light sensor, toggle switch

Tools Required
alligator clips
solderless breadboard
wire cutter/stripper
volt meter

Step 1: Pull Wires From Bubble Machine

Take the batteries out of your bubble machine before you hack it. Locate the wires that go to and from the switch. Check out the video and pictures to see how I drilled the bubble machine and pulled the wires. Separate the wires, put the batteries back in your bubble machine and use a voltmeter to determine which wire is positive and which is negative. Use black electrical tape to keep track of them and keep them apart. When you touch the wires together, the bubble machine should turn on.

Step 2: Assemble LittleBits Circuit and Relay

I soldered 22 gauge wire to a "branch bit" for this step.  If you don't want to solder, then you can cut a "wire bit" in half.  Put black electrical tape on the red voltage wire - we won't be using the red voltage wire for this project.  We will be using the signal orange and the ground white wires.

Assemble the littleBits circuit: power + motion trigger + timeout + led + wire bit ... Test the orange and white wires with a multimeter to confirm which is signal and which is ground. Keep live wires apart with black electrical tape. Turn power off until the wires are correctly breadboarded.

Read the datasheet that comes with your relay, because all relays are somewhat different.  The littleBits wire is smaller than the recommended 22 gauge wire most people use for breadboards, so you might need to use alligator clips with jumper wire to connect the littleBits wire to a breadboard.  Connect the orange signal wire to the relay's positive Input 1, and the white ground wire to the relay's negative Input 2.  Poke around with your multimeter and use your datasheet and knowledgeable adult to determine which leads you should connect to your bubble machine wires.

I used an OMRON G5V-2 relay, which is DPDT, but you could use any 5V relay.  The image of a relay schematic on this step is for my relay.

Step 3: Testing and Adjusting

Try testing with a switch bit instead of the motion trigger and timeout. Once you know the two circuits are working together, use whatever sensors you like.  My video shows a sound sensor, a light trigger and a motion trigger. 

If you are using alligator clips, be sure to wrap them with electrical tape to prevent a mistaken connection!

Cover the littleBits so bubbles don't get them wet! If the motion trigger is a tad too sensitive, cover it with duct tape or craft materials. Visit the littleBits website for tips and tricks on how to adjust the motion trigger sensitivity and direction.

Now you can dance for bubbles!

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Sensors Contest

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Gadget Hacking and Accessories Contest

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