Friday, October 29, 2010

Dark detecting LED Ghosties have been created

Earlier tonight my daughters and I created the two LED Ghosties that I have been working on for about a week.(one for each daughter).  I was planning on making three, right now I am kind of glad I only made two.  I thought I did enough pre staging of the parts but nope took a bit of time.

The first part in building of the Ghosties are in the previous posts:
Evil Mad Scientist (Dark Detecting LED Pumpkin)
First circuit build
Second circuit setup

Now that you are caught up on the initial stages here is the link from EvilMadScientist about the LED Ghosties.

Parts required for the second half of the build are:

  • 20z water bottle (2)
  • String (lots)
  • Cloth/Sheets (2)
  • Dark Detecting LED Circuit

Tools required:

  • Scissors/Knife
  • Tape

The first one took the longest as I was using an Diamond Almonds plastic jar instead of a normal 20z water bottle. It has  harder plastic to cut through, and I did not have any of the main holes cut (I know now for next time).  I wanted to have my daughters involved, but it was a lot more steady hands required then I hoped.  I had my oldest help string the string through the top to hold it in place.  And I wish I took more pictures but it was a time sensitive matter, as they need a bath soon.  

After I had it setup like the picture below, I had my oldest daughter help lay out the sheet on top and we she made dots for the location of the eyes, string, and the photo transistor.   She then went ahead and gave the ghost some eyes in the general area of where the dots were and added a mouth.  My oldest was responsible for turning on/off the lights to keep testing the ghosts to make sure wire connections did not break, like what happened with the second one.

It took about one hour to create them, and well they are not perfect and thats the way they should be.  I also had both my daughters tear at the cloths after I made some cuts in them with scissors to give it the worn, old look to the sheets I was using.

A few things I am know now to be better prepared for next time.

1.  More pre staging.
2.  Longer sheets.
3.  A spare LED setup (one of them broke and I had to tape the leads to a piece of solder with some electric tape, it will hold for the time.)
4.  Make sure the on/off switch is easy accessible (yea that was an after thought, was not to sure how long the 2 AA batteries would keep these guys going, as they are not outside yet I did not want to waste the batteries. I did cut some access holes to switch the on/off but I could have made it easier if it was not an after thought.
5.  Make more then 2. :)

Here are some photo's of the two we created tonight:

This first is the one for my older daughter, before the cloths are on it.  I used white LED's this one is more senstive to light, not sure if it was because we used white instead of the yellow like on the one for my other daughter.

Here is a quick picture of both ghosts in action.

My younger daughters.  I helped my 3 year a little with the drawing on this one.  :)

My older daughters