Flashlight

  The first assignment for Intro to Fabrication is to make a flashlight of my own. I began this project with a trip to the junk shelf right after class on Thursday. There, I found the end piece to a vacuum cleaner I thought would make a good casing for my flashlight. There is no other flashlight in I know of made from the end piece of a vacuum, so this one should have some character to it when finished.

I visited the professor on Monday and got some tips about making the flashlight. One of the things I would use is a super bright LED so I am able to see the end result with just light perception.

Here’s how you can build a flashlight from scratch. I had a lab assistant throughout the assignment to help me solder things, since I know of no way of doing that blind without getting burned. 

Materials

9 volt battery.

9 volt battery connector.

Female plug for the 9 volt battery connector.

A switch.

Wires.

Breadboard.

330 ohm. resistor.

A super bright yellow LED.

A vacuum cleaner part as the casing.

Soldering iron.

Hand drill.

Method

Part I

1) Strip a red wire, and a black wire.

2) Screw one end of the red wire to the female plug of the female plug for the battery connector marked with a plus sign.

3) Screw one end of the black wire to the female plug of the female plug for the battery connector marked with a minus sign.

4) Insert the other end of the red wire to power on the breadboard.

5) Insert the other end of the black wire to ground on the breadboard.

6) Run the resistor from the power column to one of the rows on the breadboard.

7) Run the LED from the same row you just plugged the resistor into over to the ground column on the breadboard.

8) Plug one end of the 9 volt battery connector into the battery, and the other to the female plug for the 9 volt battery connector. This will power the LED.

Breadboard with lit LED

 

Part II

Steps 1 to 3 in part II are the same as these steps in part I. I am repeating them assuming starting from a point when nothing is connected.

1) Strip a red wire, and a black wire.

2)  Screw one end of the red wire to the female plug of the female plug for the battery connector marked with a plus sign.

3) Screw one end of the black wire to the female plug of the female plug for the battery connector marked with a minus sign.

4) Solder the other end of the red wire to one of the side plugs of the switch.

The switch has three prongs, with the middle one being the ground pin, and the pins to the right and left of that for power.

4) Solder a small wire to the middle pin on the switch, then solder the other end of that wire to the resistor.

5) Solder the resistor to the super bright LED.

6) Solder the super bright LED to a black wire, then the other end of that black wire to the first black wire leading to the female plug of the battery connector.

Work space with wires soldered together

 

Part III: prepare the casing and install the circuit

1) Measure the diameter of the outside part of the button with a caliper. 

Image of a caliper measuring the diameter of the button

 

2) Select a drill bit, and mount it to the drill.

3) Clamp the casing to firmly to a table.

4 Drill a hole in the casing.

5) Drop the circuit into the casing, LED side first.

6) Push the button through the hole you just drilled in the casing. This was easier to do when there was nothing soldered to the button.

7) Secure the button to the casing with a nut.

8) Tape the battery to the outside of the casing. 

Note: it used to fit inside the casing before we soldered all of the parts together, but now it must live outside.

Final step

Flip the switch, and your flashlight will turn on.Antonio holds the flashlight in his hand

 

One thought on “Flashlight

  • November 1, 2018 at 5:24 pm
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    Good work. I like that you used the junk shelf as a resource for materials.

    And like I said in class today, if you removed the barrel connector and plug, there would be more room inside the vacuum cleaner attachment. I bet you could then fit the 9 volt battery inside.

    Also, the LED is not that bright for a super bright. Either you are using a large resistance resistor, or you used a regular LED. We could swap in a super bright to see if we can get the flashlight brighter.

    Reply

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