Sunday, November 25, 2007

Don't Buy Hampton Bay Solar Lights!

I bought two boxes of 4 each Hampton Bay #498-959 Solar Garden Lights at Home Depot. After about two years operation, the translucent plastic housing became brittle and fell apart. This plastic is not sunlight resistant! I wrote to Home Depot a complaint, but got no reply. For those who would like to know how to Hack a solar light and use them for other purposes, here is a pdf of the construction. Perhaps you should wrap aluminum foil around the translucent plastic housing to keep the sunlight from destroying the plastic.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Electronic Candle

Build yourself a electronic candle that is safe from fire. I found a great program to load in a 12f675 PIC microcontroller from a website named Mondo Technology. I changed the circuit to allow using a mosfet to flicker a 12 volt light bulb to simulate the candle. I mounted the bulb inside a glass star to complete the effect.

The circuit can be built on a piece of prefboard. The circuit is attached between the lamp inside the star and the dc power source. You can get my version of the schematic here. You can also view a movie at Youtube here.