The Arc Reactor

Introduction: The Arc Reactor

The Arc Reactor first started out as a Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo demo in order to augment the intelligence and add superhuman-level multitasking. It was so popular that we decided to make it into a kit so everyone can feel some superhuman in them. This realistic looking pendant is supposed to be worn under the garment and shine through with 6 pre-programmed color and pulsing modes. You can get the kit here .

This project uses an Arduino Pro Mini processor, a NeoPixel ring , and a LiPo battery. Other misc parts are used to put everything together. This is a perfect introduction to microprocessor-based electronics. The infamous "Hello World" mixed in with a bit of addressable LED magic. Huge WoW factor for very little effort!

Kit includes:
Set of acrylic parts
Power switch
Momentary tactile pushbutton
Lithium Polymer battery - 400mAh
Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 5V/16MHz
Adafruit NeoPixel Ring - 24 x WS2812 RGB LED with Integrated Drivers
2-pin JST-PH Connector (2.0 mm Pitch)
Wire, twisted Pair
1/16" Heat Shrink Tubing - black

Six selectable color schemes
Select color by tapping center
Designed to wear under white shirt
LiPo battery included (req’s charger)

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Step 1: Peel Off the Paper

Remove brown paper from all 4 acrylic pieces - the pieces are actually clear, so remove all the paper from both sides.

Step 2:

Carefully push out the tiny plastic slivers using a small flat-headed screwdriver. The hardest is the thick piece, be careful with that one. They should all pop out with a bit of effort. They will push out from one side better than the other because of the kerf of the laser cutter.

Step 3:

Line up the ABS plastic strip with the switch slot.

Step 4:

Snip the 2 legs off of the pushbutton switch and solder remaining legs to pins 2 and 4 as shown in the photo.

Step 5: Side Piece Fitting

Start pressing the ABS into the thick acrylic. Do it small amounts at a time: it is designed for a tight fit.

Step 6:

Cut and solder wires from the LED ring to the processor. Follow the table.

Step 7:

Assemble Slide Switch / Battery connector - her are some points:

The switch has 3 pins - snip ONE end pin off. Only 2 pins are needed, the middle and one end.

For both the switch pins and the battery connector, be sure to use some heat shrink tubing to insulate the solder joints from each other. (In the photos, some of the heat shrink is yellow)

Always double check the polarity of the battery connector. The battery only plugs in one way, the black line is Gnd, and the red is +V.

Step 8:

Be sure to heat the heat shrink once in place as it will shrink to 1/2 its diameter.

Step 9:

With everything soldered, it's time to start fitting the parts into the case. Start with the switch. From the front of the acrylic, (the side you inserted the PVC into) push the switch through the hole to the back side and slide it into the acrylic as shown.

Insert it into the acrylic, minding the pins. If you didn't trim the 1 side pin, now would be a good time to do so - it won't fit without trimming.

Attach the back plate to lock the switch in place.

Step 10:

Position the LED Ring on the front. Rotate it so that the processor fits within the bottom of the hole as shown.

Step 11:

Carefully insert the wires and battery connector into the space provided. There should be just enough room to squeeze the battery in as shown.

Step 12:

Once everything looks neat, place the small round disc in the middle of the LED ring and snap on the outer retention ring.

Step 13:

Snip a 5cm section of cord off to create a loop. Use a lighter or a torch to carefully melt the ends together.

Step 14:

Do the same with the rest of the cord to make a necklace.

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