With Halloween nearly upon us, Here's a simple smartphone controlled pumpkin that can be made with just a few dollars of parts.
Step 1: Parts List
Parts needed for this project are quite simple, and should only cost a few dollars. Lots of these components can be substituted—smaller LEDs for example.
- Wemos D1 Mini ESP8266 dev board (Amazon)
- (2) 10mm LEDs (Amazon)
- Wire (Amazon)
- Portable USB battery
- USB cable
- Bread Bag
I used a TS100 soldering iron (Amazon), which as noted in the video I really like. I highly recommend checking it out if you want to upgrade your cheap iron.
Step 2: Trim Wires and Solder LEDs
Twist the cables together, then solder the ground wires into the Wemos board, and the positive leads into the two IO pins that you're using.
Trim the LEDs were then trimmed then solder the wires to each lead as shown. I bent the legs into a sort of hook that I could wrap the wires around before soldering which worked out well. Once done, that's the extent of the hardware portion of this hack.
Step 3: Program Wemos Board
Program your Wemos board with the included sketch. Change the network name and password to the one you'll be using, and change the IP. Once active and powered up with a portable USB charger, you should be able to turn the lights on and off.
Step 4: Carve Pumpkin
Carve the pumpkin into a face or whatever you prefer!
Step 5: Zip-Tie and Insulate Electronics
Zip-tie the cable and Wemos board to the battery as shown, then insert it into a bag or tupperware in order to keep it dry inside the pumpkin. Use hot glue on the LED light leads to provide some insulation.
Step 6: Insert and Attach
Insert your pumpkin guts as shown, then hot glue the eyes in place.
Step 7: Enjoy!
You now have a pumpkin that you can turn on and off with your smartphone, computer, or other connected device! Depending on your needs, this concept could be expanded greatly, perhaps blinking the lights in sequence, or some sort of movement with a servo.