Sunday, July 17, 2011

Diary of a disco ball

So my Sweet Girl wanted a disco ball.  We were having a soiree of sorts and she thought it would be a nice addition.  And, when she wants something, she gets it.

Off to the trusty interwebs whereupon I found a likely candidate.  A dual ball with multiple led lights that sequence. Could be mounted on the ceiling or wherever.  Under $40.  Target has it.  Right, off to Target.

Except they don't have it.  And there is apparently no one employed at the store that has a measurable amount of sense.  I was told variously that the disco ball would be in Electronics, Home Improvement and Toys...  All of them were wrong.  I got tired of the run around and called the store (while standing inside it).  Turns out, the item was at another store, the *wait for it* "SUPER TARGET".

So whatever, off to the other store and I called ahead and asked them to pull it for me.  Which they did.  And I acquired my "Solar powered Disco Ball" (insert sound of needle pulling off record)...

What?  Solar powered Disco ball?  Is this a joke?  I get it home and it's no joke.  It's actually solar powered.  Which is great except that:

1. People generally party at night
2. Night is generally lacking in sunlight
3. What, no batteries???

I cannot believe that someone would be stupid enough to think that a solar powered disco ball would cut it.  It won't.  So I grabbed a screw driver and with the help of Josh, modified it to accept battery power.

Here's the finished product.

Details on the surgery:

The solar cell output about 1v DC.  Give or take.  Apparently there isn't enough light to generate any appreciable power unless you're actually in a beam of sunlight.  Seriously.  Ambient light wasn't enough to turn on the electric motor.  Which if you pause to think about that, all these people that think that solar power is a way to get off the oil teat are smoking crack.  There's just no way you're going to generate enough power to replace the grid.  But I digress.

We started by removing the cover for the motor and snipping the wires leading from the electric cell.  I'm interested in gadgetry so I saved the solar cell.  We soldered new wires approx 2.5" and insulated the motor with electrical tape.

Cover goes back on and the gap at the top of the motor housing is the perfect size to accommodate a single AAA battery.  The AAA gives out 1.5v and that little battery spun the ball from about 6pm to 3am without a hiccup.

I want to add an on/off switch because we simply taped leads to the battery ends and that's pretty gettofabtabulous.  And I'm thinking that it might be kinda cool to use one of these old remote controls from cars and helicopters that are gathering dust.  Imagine, a remote control disco ball...  Gives me shivers.

The link for the horrid product in case you want to see what not to buy is here.

1 comment:

Be nice. Get a sense of humor. Deal people.