Reverse Engineering Solar Toys

Thread Starter

FiveAlarm

Joined Feb 26, 2020
2
Greetings,

I came across a boat load of those solar powered dancing flowers and a huge dose of boredom. I would like to take them apart and turn them into other things. I am looking for help on a few things so I couldn't post this in just one topic.

First would be advice on what not to damage in taking them apart. I have a full range of cutting tools or I could slowly just pull them apart, I have no clue how fragile a dollar store solar strip is going to be. Then I would need advice on measuring the output of just one unit, they barely wiggle under lamp light but move pretty decently in a sunny window.

After knowing what I've got I'd need advice on how make a steady use of the power, I'm imagining sending the power from the mini panels to some form of rechargeable battery, then from the battery to what ever is going to make use of the power. I know I need something between the panels and the devices being powered for stability. So far my only ideas for the use of energy is to power LED's, possibly a phone charger and eventually small dc motors that I will pull out of other toys.

I'm not looking to invent something new or avoiding something I could simply buy, like said solar phone charger, I'm just looking to cure some boredom with a pile of stuff I already have laying around. I have taken Electrical Theory but it was mostly for residential wiring pre solar boom. A lot of my questions could probably answered just by links to other threads or articles.
 

MrChips

Joined Oct 2, 2009
22,093
Greetings,

I came across a boat load of those solar powered dancing flowers and a huge dose of boredom. I would like to take them apart and turn them into other things. I am looking for help on a few things so I couldn't post this in just one topic.

First would be advice on what not to damage in taking them apart. I have a full range of cutting tools or I could slowly just pull them apart, I have no clue how fragile a dollar store solar strip is going to be. Then I would need advice on measuring the output of just one unit, they barely wiggle under lamp light but move pretty decently in a sunny window.

After knowing what I've got I'd need advice on how make a steady use of the power, I'm imagining sending the power from the mini panels to some form of rechargeable battery, then from the battery to what ever is going to make use of the power. I know I need something between the panels and the devices being powered for stability. So far my only ideas for the use of energy is to power LED's, possibly a phone charger and eventually small dc motors that I will pull out of other toys.

I'm not looking to invent something new or avoiding something I could simply buy, like said solar phone charger, I'm just looking to cure some boredom with a pile of stuff I already have laying around. I have taken Electrical Theory but it was mostly for residential wiring pre solar boom. A lot of my questions could probably answered just by links to other threads or articles.
Welcome to AAC!

If your are of the right mindset then you'll have many enjoyable hours ahead to kill your boredom.

You say that you have a boatload of these things. Then take one apart with a hammer or any heavy duty tool that you can lay your hands on. Seeing how it is assembled will allow you to take apart a second one without destroying it,

Good luck and have fun.
 

Delta prime

Joined Nov 15, 2019
576
How about how about a rubber mallet see if you can take one apart gently and if you can't take a photo I'd like to see it and I can point you in the right direction but I have to warn you I'll probably wind up telling you how to make another toy!
 

Thread Starter

FiveAlarm

Joined Feb 26, 2020
2
Most of those toys simply snap together with no glue or fasteners. You can pry them apart with a small, slim flat screwdriver.
100% correct, thank you, they pulled apart with less than 5lbs of force, did it slowly as not to break the wiring and I was wise on that part, I've never seen wire so thin. It turns out the the little solar strip goes to ultra hair thin wire spun into a coil of itself, creating an electro magnet. The electro magnet is in the base aimed upwards at a small standard magnet attached to an offset pendulum. When the electromagnet powers up the opposing magnet fields cause the pendulums magnet to get kicked out of the magnetic field. As the pendulum swings away gravity throws it back into alignment with the electromagnet and they repel each other again. The range of motion is tiny but constant. At the top of the pendulum a fulcrum splits the pendulum into two moving leaves and a flower head, creating the dancing flower.
 

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oz93666

Joined Sep 7, 2010
737
If you can snap off the dome like cover the solar panel should be underneath ... A close up picture of the face of the panel will indicate it's voltage by counting the number of solar chips on it ...

The two white wires feed the panel output into some sort of circuit
 

Delta prime

Joined Nov 15, 2019
576
If you have one and grab a multimeter makes measurements and how many do you have. This looks like fun. Oh yeah that's right a boat load I'm thinking a solar array we could start off with.
 
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