The Spangler Effect - LED Throwie Science Season 01 Episode 25

Uploaded by TheSpanglerEffect on 08.08.2012


STEVE SPANGLER: So today's questions.
Who likes a lot of these lights and these lights here
and some batteries and this thing and some electrical tape
and a whole thing of super strong magnets?
This guy.
I'm Steve Spangler and I'm all about making science fun.
For the last 20 years, I've been teaching ways to turn
ordinary science experiments into unforgettable learning
I have an amazing team who will do whatever it takes to
affect the way people think about science.
And to do that I live by one motto, make it big, do it
right, give it class.

As a kid you probably had a whole bunch of these Christmas
lights, you know the strand that breaks, and somebody
throws them away and you figured this out.
You figured that you could take a pair of scissors-- no,
not while it's plugged in-- you could take a pair of
scissors, cut it, strip the ends off and get something
that looks like this.
This now, was perfect to be able to learn how to use and
make circuits.
So you'd find yourself a big battery, because you needed to
have a good supply of energy there.
Because you never wanted to hook up just one.
You'd want to hook up multiples.
So you'd hang onto this one.
And this one would hook up and use alligator clips.
And, low and behold, if you completed the circuit, it
looked like this.
You see, as a kid, I was easily amused.
You could do parallel circuit and series circuits and
switches and whatever else you wanted to but, in short order,
LEDs gave way to all of this material here.
And this, was the new battery and bulbs unit.
LEDs, light emitting diodes.
They come in all these different sizes and shapes and
colors, and they run off such a small amount of energy.
This is a watch battery, so instead of that huge one we
had before, now you just have this small little battery.
In this state here, this will last 30, maybe 40 days
constantly on, and this is the basis of today's project.
It's amazing what you can find online.
I want to show you how to make a throwie.
A throwie is a device that was invented back in 2005, by
Graffiti Research Lab.
The idea was this-- what if you could make light in a
device that you could throw and have it stick to a metal
object and literally, graffiti the side of a bridge or a
building, something like that, using light as a graffiti
source instead of a can of paint.
And that's exactly what a throwie is.
Still don't understand what we're talking about?
Take a look at this video from Graffiti Research Lab.
Here's what you're going to need, some LEDs.
Now, LEDS come in all shapes and sizes.
These are 10 millimeter LEDs.
They're super bright and they're probably--
I don't know--
$0.20, $0.30 cents apiece if you're buying a bag of 100 of
them, in bulk, online.
To power them you're going to need to have these watch
batteries here.
These are CR 2032s, very, very common.
It's a three volt battery.
Again, in quantity, maybe $0.30, $0.40.
You're going to need to have some electrical tape.
And finally, neodymium magnets, so
super strong magnets.
And that's what's going to hold it in place.
So let's start by making a red LED throwie and you're going
to start with the LED.
Now, these are 10 millimeter super brights.
And you're going to open up the little ends like this, so
that you can take the watch battery and kind of put it
right in between.
No extra wires needed, just hold it in place and it works.
If for some reason it doesn't work, it just means that you
have the LED probably reversed.
So if you put in place and it doesn't work, it doesn't mean
the battery is bad or the LED is bad.
Try just reversing it since this is polarity sensitive,
meaning plus goes to plus and minus goes to minus.
And it's ready to go.
It's just a simple little diode.
It starts with a piece of electrical tape.
If you pull off a piece of the tape, you can now make the
throwie like this.
And you want to just tape the leads in place around the
battery so it's making constant contact and this, is
a simple circuit.
Now, I guess it could be tossed around.
You could do something with it.
But it's not sticky and that's where the magnet comes in.
Well, to turn the LED and the watch battery into a throwie,
you're going to need to have a super strong neodymium magnet.
Now, these little guys have become expensive over the last
year and a half or two years, so that's the most expensive
part of the project, but you really do need these small
little neodymium magnets.
Here's how it works.
We use the watch battery to complete the circuit here with
the LED and then, we put the magnet right on the lead so it
literally, holds it in place.
Now, this whole thing gets wrapped with the electrical
tape and you have yourself a throwie.
We have everything in place now we just need to have
something metal.
That's where the trash can lid comes into place.
And that's what you call a throwie.
Now, you just need more.
What a perfect way to be able to combine science and art.
What if you had a throwie that you could turn on and off
using this little plastic tab?
It's easy to make.
Higginsworth actually came up with this.
This is a little plastic tab here that you
just pull in and out.
And it's made out of this little plastic here.
So we just took a piece of recycled packaging material,
cut it up in there.
It was perfect.
And this electrical tape that you see here, has another
piece of electrical tape here that won't stick to this, so
that it's easy to be able to slide it in and out.
Wrap the electrical tape around, put it on the magnet
side, and watch this as you pull, it lights up.
When you're done playing with it you are
back as you were before.
So let's say you're making a throwie, you've got your LEDs.
You've got the battery.
You've got your electrical tape.
The only thing you're missing is, of course, those super
expensive neodymium magnets.
Is there another way to get it to stick to something?
Well, how about Velcro?
So we just went out and bought some of the sticky back Velcro
and cut the Velcro so that you put, for example,
the hook side here.
And now, it's easy to be able to throw it onto the loop side
and it sticks perfectly.
Which got me to thinking, what if you could make an entire
suit, a jumpsuit, out of Velcro?
And you had, oh, I say, 150 or so friends that would throw
throwies on that jumpsuit.
Take a look at this.
Well, you know how to make a throwie using the Velcro.
The only thing you need now is something to throw the Velcro
to and that's where Higginsworth comes in.
Higginsworth, you have the Velcro and it's the other side
and it sticks.
It's perfect.
But that's not very fun.
It would be fun if there are hundreds of them like this.

Now, that's cool.

Now, I have three Velcro people
and hundreds of friends.
Watch this.

Let's here it for Velcro, people!

HIGGINSWORTH: What kind of ice cream do we get to try?
FEMALE SPEAKER: Caramel cone, cookies and cream, mango
sorbet and Belgian chocolate.