The Motorized Led Bolas of Doom




About: Swedish expat living now living in Malaysia after spending some years working in Dubai.

The Motorized Led Bolas Of Doom is a simple POV (Persistance Of Vision) toy that I made last night.

By connecing two small leds hooked up to a motor by wires you get two rather wobbly glowing rings floating in the air. See the video in the last step.

As I live on the 3'rd floor (the first floor with appartments) in a 12 storey building I have a huge private terrace wich, by accident or by just out of plain laziness, the other tenants in the building sometimes happen to drop stuff onto. On the 10'th floor there's an obnoxious little toddler that likes to throw stuff out of their balcony door. Usiually it's hit mothers perfume bottles and things like that, but somtimes his toys goes the same way. (Maybe it's his mother punishing him for throwing her stuff out of the balcony..) Yesterday a small electric toy car crashed down to our terrace. The body were smashed into several pieces but the motor was intact so I decided to actually try to make some use of the freebies they are kind enough to give us. And after some pondering I came up with the idea of this instructable :-)

I had all the other stuff on hand in my junk box. Two old battered leds, an old battery holder from a broken christmas tree decoration, some wires, and the white plastic thing was a part from an old RC-servo. The only new thing I used was the 3 volt button cell for the leds.

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Step 1: What You Need

*A small toy motor
*A small circular plastic disc
*Two leds
*A 3v button cell battery
*Batteries for the motor
*...and a box to hold them
*40-50 cm of tiny insulated wires
*Some glue

Step 2: Building

I started by hotglueing the disc to the motor.

I ran some copper wire on the top of the disc to be used as one pole of the battery holder for the leds. Then I put another wire a few mm abode the other wires as the other pole. Make sure that the battery can just squeeze in between them to it will be securely fastened, otherwise you risk getting the battery flying out of your toy at an considerable speed hurting someone or destroying something.

The wires extends to the bottom of the disk.

Solder the insulated wires to leds and connect them to the poles of our makeshift battery holder on the plastic disc. Observe the polarity of the leds, it they are connected wrong they won't light. If so, just connect the wires the other way and it will work.

I glued the motor to the big batterybox and connected the wires from it to the motor.

Step 3: First Test Run

The first test run was made with wires about 25-30 cm (just under 1 foot) long. It didn't turn out that well as you can see in the picture below...

The wires were too long and the motor spun up too quickly so the wires just got tangled up on the motor shaft.

Step 4: Second Test Run

After shortening the length of the wires to 10-12 cm (4-5 inches) it worked much better.

But I think it'd be more fun to have the wires longer and more wobbly. Still, I did something out of the junk from my terrace so I'd call this mission accomplished.

Step 5: Video and More Pics

Here's a video of The Motorized Led Bolas Of Dom in action...

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    9 Discussions


    9 years ago on Introduction

    You know, you can just make some LED throwies and stick them to a ceiling fan. Sleepy night  make feel nice.

    el triste13

    10 years ago on Step 5

    i carry pepper spray nah just kidding i ma guy but i made one with blue and red and it looks awesome


    11 years ago on Step 5

    i don't know why she didn't at least mace him. lol. nice job btw. good explanations and step dividement.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    hehe u have a bucket on ur head u look like a *amazing* guitar player :P anysways i may try this out :)


    11 years ago on Introduction

    nice, but not bolas....... in any way really, for a start most if not all bolas had three weights :D


    11 years ago on Introduction

    Cool, I saw something similar to this... at least I assume they put it together as you did. It was an interactive art piece where they had a whole ceiling covered with these randomly spinning LED's, it looked crazy. I probably saw it on but I cannot remember where.


    Reply 11 years ago on Introduction

    Hmmm, yes, that's true. Maybe I should call it "The Motorized Unthrowable Bolas Of Doom" :-)