Ultimate LED Throwie Designs!

If you saw the first or second post that I made on LED throwies, you may have thought that they were pretty cool (or that I have too much time on my hands).  I did too, but I’m rarely satisfied with the “normal” design.  As much admiration (?) as I have for the “Graffiti Research Lab”, who supposedly originated these devices, throwies still have some untapped potential, in my opinion.

As you can see in the video, the first throwie, made with “Buckyballs” (see my review) didn’t work all that well when thrown against a milling machine.  Throwies just didn’t stick all that well when thrown with any force against an object.  I believe this is because the LED assembly doesn’t always land magnet-first (and being at an angle to the mill didn’t help either).  Like throwing a dart without a tail.

To improve the chances of hitting magnet-first, I added a tail in the form of a ping-pong ball.  In order to do this, you’ll need most of the stuff for a regular throwie (see this post), plus a ping-pong ball.  The magnet will have to have some weight to it for this to work properly.

The steps to make this Ping-Pong ball throwie are quite simple:

  • Attach the LED to the battery without adding the magnet.
  • Cut a slot in the ping-pong ball and insert thes lit up LED.
  • Securely fasten the magnet over the slot with duct tape
  • Optionally roll the ball around until the LED sticks to it.

Once this is done, you should be able to throw the ball at a metal surface and have it stick nearly every time.  This ping-pong ball also serves as a light diffuser which is a cool effect.  If you want more light, you can always put a hole in the side opposite the magnet.  Additionally, the tape over the magnet will provide some amount of protection for the surface you’re throwing at if that matters to you.

The second throwie innovation is one that can be assembled then turned on later.  I’m calling it an “Emergency Throwie” since if you have a throwie related emergency, you can always have it on-hand.  To make it a true pocket-storable throwie, put it inside of a ping-pong ball for storage and safely tape it.

You’ll want to make the throwie in the usual way, but put a thin piece of plastic between one of the leads and the battery.  This will keep the circuit unmade until you want to use it.  The packaging that the batteries sometimes come in can make an excellent “pull-switch” depending on how the plastic is formed.

That’s the end of my throwie experiments for now, but here’s a bonus clip of “balloon throwies” which I didn’t make, but look cool anyway!


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  3. Hackaday Links August 23, 2012 - Hack a Day - pingback on August 23, 2012 at 8:00 am

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