Let's Make Robots!

illuminated tiger

Enlight What You Adore

Christmas is past and our boys got blessed with some presents under the christmas tree.

One present contained a scale model of a Patrouille Suisse F-5 Tiger. This Tiger was exactly
what my boy wanted. He adores this crew and the airplanes. 

...fear... ...admire...


So as soon as we came home the Tiger needed a place where it is visible whenever the
boy enters his room.

So he put it in the center of his cabinet. The other airplanes got squeezed together into one
compartment so that this new Tiger has it's own. Center. Top. Most important.

The next day he went on and searched through our electronic tinker equipment and dissapeared with
a LED tester and some LEDs. Then he called to come and see and he presented the new light
he embedded. My LED tester sticked with masking tape on the side of the compartment.

Light on - Tiger visible. Light off - Tiger hidden.

Fine then. Well done young man. 

After a while he came up to me and said, that it is a bit of a pitty that he has to keep on
pressing to keep the light on. Whenever he wants to sit in his bed to make shure he 
can see the Tiger from there - the light turned off as soon as his finger stopped pressing.


Take it to the next level

He asked if I can support him and make this switch. I nodded. After some minutes I
came up with the idea of making a remote control so that he can turn on and off the
light while sitting in the bed. He nodded too.

So here some impressions from this make.


The Making-Of

This is the end result:



First I went on to embed the LEDs into the furniture. Drilled some holes and cable channels.

The boy insisted to keep his three color LEDs in the make. "First the yellow one,
then the red one and then the green LED" he said.

The first light test showed that this make is going to give the Tiger a good look.

I smuggled in a white light on the floor of the compartment to shine up the Swiss Cross.


In the meantime this blue ice-cream treasure chest was found in the tinker-box and reused
as a remote control.

Stuffed up with one switch to turn the remote control on/off.  One switch to turn the lights on/off.
A red LED to indicate that. An Arduino Nano, a 3.7V LiPo, one 315MHz transmitter and
one LED to make the remote control shine blue in the dark. 

Actually there is space for six switches... the cabinet has six compartments...
Maybe this boy comes up with the idea himself to expand illumination to the other
compartments... We'll see. 

After the two boys went to bed I started to breadboard two circuits. The upper is the circuit
for the furniture. The lower is for the remote control. 315MHz wiring from here.

To make this cables and silicium some thought about life, the universe and everything
some lines of code came together.

The furniture receives commands from the remote control. The command is interpreted
and forwarded to the corresponding light. 

The light is either on or off.

The receiver dispatches the commands.

Time for a nap now. All tested and system works. Turning on/off the cabinet via remote
control. From one room to the other :)

Here some electronics sketches.

That's it. Done done.


Further Readings

315MHz RF Link
   Simple kit for wireless data transmission via 315mhz band.
   Transmitter Standard Pin 12. Receiver Standard Pin 11.

Patrouille Suisse Scale Model
   F-5E Tiger II Patrouille Suisse J-3091

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Very nice little project, Nils! :) Good to hear that kids get involved! Well documented as well, as always! ;)

Thank you. The joy this kids have with their new device is encourageing... it is oil into our maker engine :)


And good pictures, Nils :D