Disclaimer: I am not going to go into very specific detail on how to construct an infinity mirror box in this Instructable tutorial. I will however mention some of the reasoning as to why I constructed it the way that I did. If you are interested in knowing how to construct this particular box, please let me know and I will put together a construction tutorial on that at a later date. Anyway, this tutorial will be about how to lay out a simple circuit and demonstrating how you may apply this skill to a real project.
Step 1: The Layout
For the inside of my project I decided to use basic copper tape for a few reasons.
1.0 The first reason may be the most obvious; it is a very conductive material.
- I am powering a few simple LED with a 3 volt battery so there is no need for me to use resistive material or to solder resistors anywhere.
- It is important to realize that doing anything that uses a current from a power source how much "resistance" you will need to properly power your LED, motor, Arduino or whatever you may be using.
2.0 An advantage to using copper tap is that, unlike wires, when you tape it down, it will lay flat and stay neatly where it was placed.
- You can in the images that I used a combination of copper tape with wire. You'll notice that the wires that I soldered to the tape crosses over and under each other making things look much messier and hard to follow the more wire that you add. The good thing here is that the copper tape helps reduce the length of the wires and it is easily labeled to reference again later when you may have inevitably forgotten what you've done.
- However, the wires are necessary because I needed to be able to cross over the current lines without shorting the fuse... wires have insulated coating around them, making alright if they happen to touch each other.
3.0 The last reason for using copper tape is that it is, of course, flat.
- In order to have access to this circuit I needed some way to extend it to the exterior of the box I constructed.
- The reason I created "frames" instead of using solid pieces of wood, was so that I could run my copper tape behind the mirror and out the opening of my structure.
- NOTE: in case you are wondering, mirrors have silver in them, which is what makes them reflective, however most mirrors are made of glass with a coating to make the reflection. The glass is an insulator so it will not conduct. Depending on the coating, it might conduct but I would generally say that a mirror will not conduct electricity. You can use a multimeter to check if the coating conducts. If it does that just use a piece of clear tape to cover the copper tape as it wraps behind the mirror.
After you have this setup, you can use a switch that you've made to close the circuit and turn on your LED's.
Make sure to label positive and negative sides and be sure to check that you don't have it reversed before you do any soldering, or else it will be a pain to undo everything just to flip one thing around.
In this set of images, you will see that I was able to neatly slide the mirror behind my lego construction and over the copper tape without harming either the mirror or the tape.
I also included a strip of LED's that run around the perimeter at the top of my box. The strip takes 12 volts of power so I decided to use a wall plug in order to provide proper power without worrying about replacing batteries every so often. However, the principle would be the same, you'd just need enough batteries to add up up to the sum of the voltage needed. In the future I may incorporate an RGB LED so that I could have multiple kinds of inputs that have different effects inside the infinity mirror box. This would make for a more interactive experience instead of the "generic" art pieces you might see at an exhibition, where you would only be able to look at the work rather than be apart of the Art.
There you have it, I hope you find my project interesting! Please feel free to send me questions you may have and I will do my best to answer them. :)