If you’ve ever seen something metal and thought that there should be a small light on it, then the LED throwie is for you! Here’s a video of one I made in action:
In order to make one of these simple devices, you’ll need the following:
- A 3 VDC (or 2 1.5VDC) coin cell batteries – here’s some cheapies.
- An LED light – like this variety pack.
- Tape, duct tape seems to work best.
- 1 or more rare-earth magnets, like these Neodymium magnets.
In it’s most basic form, all you have to do to make one of these is touch the long lead from the LED light to the positive side of the 3VDC coin cell battery, place the rare-earth magnet on top of one lead, and tape everything securely. The LED will turn on and you’ll have a long time until your throwie burns out. Although they will grow dim, these LEDs can stay on for several days, even though they may get very dim after a while.
What is described above is the normal way to make one, but naturally I wasn’t content with just making a “normal” throwie and accepting it as a fun toy. To begin with, I didn’t look at what others had done, but instead just made my own out of the CodeKase that I was sent in the mail and some “Buckyballs” neodymium magents (my review) that I had laying around. I ended up using four of these magnets on each side outside of the duct tape to allow for less interference when sticking to a surface. It worked, as seen in above video, but there was still some room for improvement.
On a related note, as for what can be done with throwies, check out this video from Graffiti Research Lab (who purportedly invented these things) of them throwing them around en masse on some sort of metallic structure.
I’ll go over some of my experimental designs (including the “ping-pong ball throwie” in the first video) in an upcoming post, so be sure to check jcopro.net obsessively to see what comes up next!