Star Projector Mods

This is another mod I did with a trash can. I was looking for a star projector to create effects in a dark room. I found this one and, while it is not the most scientific of educational toys, it does project star-like lights on the ceiling and rotates them slowly, creating the feeling of sleeping under the night sky.

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The “punk” in Atompunk is all about modifying and creating things along a certain theme so that they look or behave like your vision of the atomic age. To trick this littljeoe guy out, I did the following things:

1. The battery case was wired so that the projector can plug into a wall. Out of the box, this projector only runs on batteries, so this mod involved taking the whole thing apart and soldering wires from an AC adapter to the battery contacts inside. This modification was key because I wanted to shine the stars in a room so someone could go to sleep with the stars shining over their heads, but not burn out a bulb or have to replace the batteries each time I used the projector. Since the projector is now able to plug into a wall instead of just run on batteries, a simple timer can be used to that the projector only runs for as long as I want it too.

NOTE: Never tamper with anything electrical unless you know what you are doing. Misuse of electric devices presents great danger from shock and/or fire! My modifications are NOT recommended by the company that manufactures this product, and all modifications to any device are made at the artist’s own risk.

2. The fin was added. This is the trash can part of the mod. The fin is cut from a trash can because the plastic from most large trash cans is tough enough to hold its shape, and it bends instead of breaks is your strike or drop it. This fin was inserted by cutting a slot in the top of the projector with a Dremel and then fitting the trashcan piece into it. I cut tabs in the fin so that, once it was inside, I could heat and bend them to hold the fin in place. With the front tab bent left and the back one bent right, this fin was not going anywhere. Getting the fin to stand up straight took a fair bit of fiddling I can tell you. Once it was straight, I buttressed the whole assembly with hot glue.

3. The tip was added to the blue protective dome. The tip was the foot from an old ruined piece of furniture. To attach it, a screw was drilled through the inside of the protective dome. the screw had to be trimmed with a carbon wheel so it was just the right length. I also added a washer so that the screw would not crack the dome. This was cut from the cap of a soda bottle. These are thick, tough plastic with a thin layer of rubber inside. With a touch of hot glue, it worked perfectly.

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This last picture is of the projector with the dome off. The dome needs to be removed for the projector to show the stars clearly, but the fin looks nifty even without the nose cone.

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