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I finished this sucker this week, and set it up in the shrubs having it seen at night
finally (been raining the last few days) I have concluded the eyes need to be gathered
together in a single area for better effect. You will understand after the description.
The premise is easy all you want to do
is rotate a coffee (or whatever type can on axis of its length like a drum rolling down a
hill) with a small motor spinning it. You need one contact point that will be consistent
to supply power to the drum, and etched areas through the paint to contact brushes to
complete the circuit this circuit illuminates the LED's. Be sure to use a DC power source
for this part, god forbid you become a ghost while making this.
OK, this is the real basic early shot (pardon the picture quality, this dig camera blows)
coffee can has been mounted with some homemade brackets fashioned from aluminum
a nine inch piece of all-thread plus sufficient nuts and washers to fasten it to the
brackets, but enough slack to allow the can to spin freely.
You can see the wall-wart and
water-resistant mount box to the lower left, and the motor (1rpm AC) mounted to the right
hand side of the can lid.
A good tip, use the can lid to
determine the center point for drilling the can bottom, there is a injection nipple there
from when the lid was made, right on center.
In this shot you can barely see anything, but I wanted to point out how I connected the
power to the can. Basically, I used a butterfly wall anchor to keep contact with the can
as it rotates, by mounting it to the board, and having one leaf ride the can rim.
You can also see the terminal strip
that connects the wiring to the contacts that complete the circuit.
I think you should be able to get the point from this picture. I scribbled the can with a
rubber dremel wheel to remove the paint where I wanted the contacts to close the circuit,
lighting the LED's. The contacts are connected to the terminal block, and the LAN cables
are connected to the other side. I jumpered the negative connection to every other block,
with the positives coming in the gaps.
The contacts are just pieces of brass
12 gage wire, stiff and springy enough to maintain contact.
motor shaft came with a small gear on it, and I didn't have a good coupling, so I added
some rubber bands around the lid of the can for traction. To guarantee traction, I also
added a spring to tension the axle shaft that passes through the can.
Here is the unit with the styro cooler cover in place and LAN cables with blinky eyes
waiting to be hidden, yeah, I know they should be painted to help hide them.
OK, just a quick gander at the LAN cable assemblies.
Can from coffee (consumed) 4.50
scrap wood (ply) .50
rubber bands (from broccoli) .99
wall wart (from surplus shop) 2.00
terminal strip 1.00
assorted wires .50 (?
cover (outdoor, hinged) 1.79
box (outdoor) 2.29
strain reliever .05
butterfly wall anchor .10
connectors (assort.) 1.10
motor (1rpm AC, surplus shop) 1.95
LAN cable approx. 200ft (Home depot surplus) 3.00
32 LED's (assort colors) 8.00
Total cost 29.01
plus 2 hours labor
I can double the amount of eyes with voltage to spare for another 12.00 hehe
Oh yeah, I had a thought gang (since I
used one for a weather cover for this device). You can probably get styro coolers (roughly
18x18x10, plus a variety of other sizes) from your local petshop that sells fish. I have
probably 100 of these from my aquarium biz days in my garage. I plan on using em for
covers, fog chillers, fog expanders, tombstones....... Plus, enamel rustoleum is styro
safe (painted the foam cooler with it to hide it easier).
I will try to get pics of the finished
lights in place at night, and animate it so you can see the effect.
New version coming
up driven by 555 circuits, stay tuned!