The approach used is detailed in our flicker page. Basically, it involves the use of several self-flashing light emitting diodes (LEDs).
We decided on the following colors:
We used the following layout:
Y G R G Yintending that no LED be placed next to another of the same color.
The LEDs are all wired in parallel and the whole mess powered from a wall wart power supply.
|1||red self-flashing LED||$.33||$.33||LED-84 All Electronics|
|2||yellow self-flashing LED||$.50||$1.00||LED-4Y All Electronics|
|2||green self-flashing LED||$.50||$1.00||LED-4G All Electronics|
|1||plastic toy kaleidoscope||$.25||$.25||see below|
|1||wall wart, 4.5VDC, 1A||$1.75||$1.75||56-420 Hosfelt Electronics|
|1||1/8" mono audio jack, inline||$.55||$.55||Orvac|
The plastic toy kaleidoscope serves both as a chasis for building the device and case to contain it. The faceted plastic lens mixes the light. Finding this was both a stroke of genius and good luck!
We initially planned to use conical kaleidoscopes, $2.95/dozen at
OTC (October 2002).
The order number is PL-25/2440
We then found some cylindrical kaleidoscopes at Jo-Ann's, a package of 9 for $3.49, discounted to $.87
(dang late October 2002).
The plastic body of the kaleidoscopes came in several different colors, including orange and green.
Each came with a band of colorful printed paper around it.
Either one would do, but we thought ones that the cylindrical ones fit better in the garg eye sockets.
Note that the wall wart power supply can power more than one eye. We used one wall wart for both eyes in each garg, and it also powers the lamps that illuminate the gargs.
The 1/8" mono audio jack was chosen to match the connector on the wall wart. We were lucky that the wall wart didn't have some strange and expensive connector.
The LEDs are inserted in the center hole, moved into a slot, and held with hot-melt glue.
The fifth LED is put in the middle and held with still more
The long wire from each LED (anode) is bent outward.
A loop of wire around the rim of the kaleidoscope connects all the LED anodes in parallel.
All of the LED cathodes (short wire) are soldered together in the middle.
A cable will bring low-voltage DC to the eye.
Red is positive. It goes to the anodes on the outside.
The completed eye assembly fits neatly into the garg eye socket.
This batch of eyes used 5 self-flashing LEDs, and that is probably the bare minimum. It looked good, but could look better. If I were to do it again, I would use more LEDs per eye. Six or seven sounds good, if it were not for the "significantly different color" issue discussed later.
You might need to use a lower voltage wall wart, or put a resistor in series with the whole eye assembly.
We helped this by scuffing the red LEDs with fine sand paper. The resulting frosted appearance helped diffuse the light.
We might add a resistor in series with the red LED in the future.
Next time, I will probably use:
G Y Y R R G G Y
Thank you for visiting. Your comments are welcome.
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