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Dually Sparkleball Construction


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If you like the round lighted spheres that are sold at stores like Target, etc. then you might be interested in checking out a Sparkleball!!!!

http://www.sparkleball.com

I built up a sample last night using the instructions on their website and some 4 oz. Souffle cups (or what look like condiment cups) purchased from a local Smart & Final store. A soldering iron is used to melt the cups into each other, and it's pretty quick and easy (watch those fumes, though).

Tonight I built another sample, except that this time I made it dual-color with two strings of 100 lights (red and green) so that my LOR setup can animate it with two channels.

Here's a close up photo of the Sparkleball with two of the red and two of the green lights in each cup. It was a little bit trickier to wire than the single color model I made last night...

It's a pretty easy project to make, and relativelyinexpensive.....Check it out....

Here's a short video I took that shows a real simple LOR Animation I cooked up tonight with my new dually Sparkleball....

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2496195591772043574&hl=en

Randy

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Once that plastic melts and resolidifies, it seems pretty rock solid. I melt through each cup where it touches another cup, so I have taken every opportunity to join as many as possible together....

So I would say that it should work no problem.....

Randy

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Hi Brian,

Good link.....Just goes to show (as Chuck said during PLUS) that we all get ideas from each other.

And your link was a good thing because it made me think of a couple of comments.

First, you can use the clear drink cups that tend to be more brittle (they'll crack). The thing I don't care for as much aboutthose is that they are transparent. I like how the ones I used are a little bit more opaque as they tend to hide the wires a bit. And another bonus is that they won't crack, they just bend a bit.

Second, drilling holes and stapling cups together is very time consuming. Sure, it'll work. But to me, nothing beats the soldering iron and melting the holes and then melting the cups together. You'll notice in my photo that the holes in the rear are pretty clean, so you can drill if you want and staple if you want but I prefer the soldering iron method.

Thanks, Randy

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Sparkleball Lady is lovin' this. The more sparkleballs out there, the more wonder and magic for us all! I can't wait to see yoursparkleballs in action, for real, Randy and Brandon!

So Randy, you made the mini-sparkleball with the 1 oz condiment cups or were they larger? If smaller, how did you fit all that wire in the middle?

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The Sparkleball lady is here!!!!!

The cups I useddo look the same as the smaller 1 oz. ones, but mine were 4 ounces from Smart & Final. Plenty of room in the middle for wires. The biggest challenge is when you get both halves wired with one length of 3 or 4" of wire between them as the last lights go into place before they get glued together.

It is especially challenging when you have two sets of wires to deal with.....But I've built two and plan on at least a few more...

Did you get my photos, Sparkle Ball Lady? I sent them yesterday....

For the others on PC, here is the latest photos of my blue and clear sparkleball....

Randy

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macrosill wrote:

Brian,

Thanks for this link. I searched high and low on the internet for a good how-to for sparkleballs, and when I couldn't find one, I built my own. This may be the one that several folks mentioned to me-- but they had lost track of it and couldn't locate it again. I'd truly love to know who invented these. I mean, who in the world sat around putting Christmas lights inside plastic cups?????

Through my experiments, the glue gun or staple method just won't hold up. That's why I solder mine, although the fumes are deadly, I'm sure. And Randy is right: the opaque cups make stronger sparkleballs.

Sparkleball Lady

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BetterDays wrote:

If used outside, how does water/snow/etc. not fill up the top cups?

Good question. I'm in Southern California so that's not a problem. But back east, I used mine on a porch and the rain never seemed to hurt it.I've also heard of people in Oregon hanging them in trees. I think on another thread (Spheres?) there's a post where a man hadhis own answer and I think he used shrink wrap?

SBL

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These are so cool. I am going to build four of them that I can control with Light-O-Rama. Instead of using aSoldering Iron, I am going to use Plastic Model Cement. I use this stuff on Model Rockets to hold plastic pieces together. What this stuff dose is it melts a little bit of the original plastic and bonds it with a little bit of the other piece. Actually Because it takes two hours to set, I think I am going to use the soldering Iron to hold the cups togetherand after put on some plastic cement. I'll try to get a picture when I finish them.

post-2014-129571000627_thumb.jpg

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sparkleball lady wrote:

...I think he used shrink wrap?

SBL

That could add a whole new dimension to the sparkleball.

The extra plastic could give them additional shimmer (more surfaces for the light to reflect/refract through). Colored wrap could also be used......

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