Posted:A fellow poi spinner build himself some pois from "StrobeFX" light wands. These toys are absolutely AMAZING. They have a gazillion different light patterns (well ... 12 ... but they can also be varied by keeping the button pressed longer) and are bright and cheap (10 bucks including batteries) and easy to convert into poi (just bend the flexible rod into a loop). The best thing about this toy from a poi point of view is that the light emitting ball at the top is soft and squishy and survives high impact collisions no problem.
So after seeing these things I ran off the next day and got myself a pair. Now, the big problem is that they turn themselves off after 1 minute. Apparently, there are different versions of these things around, as the other ones lasted for 5 minutes before shutting down. While still annoying, 5 minutes I could live with, but 1 minute just isnt long enough. So I openend it up, and the controller is this tiny circuit board with a bunch of surface mounted resistors and one big capacitor. I guess I was hoping for a nice jumper labeled 'auto-off' that I could pull out or something like that but no such luck.
So if someone with more electronic knowhow and skills than me is looking for a project ...
I would be extremely happy if somebody found a way to disable this stupid timelimit by some simple soldering modification.
Posted:They take 3 AAA batteries. And I dont know too much about LEDs, but I would assume that the batteries would last a looong time, like say 20 hours of continuous flashing. But thats just a completely uneducated guess . Mine are still going strong on the batteries they came with. But they also have not been lit for much more than an hour in total so far.
squarefish (...trusty steed of the rodeo midget...) Location: the state of flux Member Since: 23rd Sep 2002 Total posts: 403
Posted:Yes, oh yes! they rock don't they? you can get around the auto off function by moving on to a new program, but if I was at home working on them myself I'd try finding a pair of matched capacitors of the same voltage but with higher capacitance than those installed.
if that doesn't work or makes them shut off even quicker try ones with a lower capacitance!
They're very nice aren't they ? But they gave my mother a headache so maybe those with sensitivity to bright flashy things should stay away (eg. phtosensitive epilepsy)
I extended the length of the units by replacing the wands with lengths of telephone cord and was working on finger loops with integrated controls before I moved away.
Posted:Quote: guppi: any chance you can post a picture of the circuit board?
Alright, here it comes. I suspect some magic is hidden under the big black dot, as I cant imagine all these fancy light patterns being created by just a bunch of transistors, resistors and one capacitor. But what do I know ...
Posted:Good news! I found out that if you keep the power button pressed, the auto-off timer does not kick in. Sadly, you can not switch programs while the power button is pressed. Which is too bad because I was thinking about extending the program switch button to the handles for pattern switching during spinning. But well, you cant everything. I was worried also that keeping the power button pressed might cause excessive battery drainage, so I measured the current. And luckily it turns out that it does not increase the current at all. So I will just replace the toggle button with an on/off switch. Btw. the current is about 30mA. That is for the programs where the LED is continuously on, just changing colors. The 'flashier' programs draw less power, typically around 15mA. So given these numbers, my guess of 20 hours continuous operation on normal batteries seems about right. Probably more like 30, or in the case of the flashing programs 40-60 hours.