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Lunch Box Laser Light Show - Build Night
As Seen in Make Magazine
This is our first night building the project from Make Magazine #20 (Nov. 2009), the Lunchbox Laser Shows starting on page 110.
We expect this project to take about three evenings to complete. We had a variety of lunch boxes, cookie tins, and other containers to house the project. Tonight's work focused on cutting a board to fit our container, salvaging motors for the rotating diffusion wheel, and building parts for the supporting structure.
Recovering Salvaged Parts
One place to look for a motors is from an old CD/DVD ROM player, the type used inside a computer. We are looking for one to control at about 1 RPM. It is not to hard to find these, after people upgrade their computer they get removed and set aside on a shelf where they usually remain unused. We managed to find several to use for salvaged parts.
A small phillips screwdriver is all we need to dismantle the CD drive. They have three motors and gear assemblies. Most we disassembled tonight had three dc motors but a few had a stepper motor in the read/write head mechanism. The part we are looking for in particular is the motor that drives the CD tray as it moves in and out of the player.
Another step in building the project is the diffusion wheel for the laser beam to shine through scattering the light. One of the items brought tonight was a plastic diffuser used to cover fluorescent light fixtures.
We wanted to cut the diffuser panel pieces into circular discs before they are mounted on the motor assembly. We used a bandsaw to shape these discs.
The mechanical assembly is mounted on a plywood base before inserting into the lunch box. Each of the lunch boxes, cookie tins, and other containers came in different sizes. We also need to cut and shape the wood so it will fit inside.
Our future dates to work on the project are Tuesday evenings on October 12 and 19. At those times we will work on soldering some electronics for the voltage regulators and final assembly of the light shows.
If you missed attending tonight's build, plan to attend our next session to get caught up and build the next phase of this project. We need to know how many electronic components to order for our voltage regulator circuits. If you plan to build one of these let us know so we can have enough on hand at our next build night.
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