LED Cyr Wheel v1 Problems

Circus/Cyr Wheel

Some of the problems with my original LED cyr wheel:

1. LEDs are dying, from me stepping on them. I took one of the bad sections apart, and it seems to be because some solder connections break (such as for the resistor). I can solder them back together, but it is not worth the time to reskin/glue it. I need to figure out a better way to protect them.

Here you can see a resistor that fell off when I removed the protective skin. I think some hard epoxy on plain bare LED strips might “cement” them in place really well. Or some flexible silicon glue.


The strip above lost the ability to do blue on the 3 set of LEDs. The single color strips are pretty durable..but I’ve broken *a lot* of them this way:


2. Gluing the PVC on doesn’t work so well. The PVC doesn’t feel perfectly round in your hand, and it is harder to slip through.

3. The Arduino “reboots” if I hit the wheel hard. I finally figured out what causes this. My battery pack is made up of 8 rechargeable AA’s connected in series to give 9.6v (1.2v for a NiMH cell times 8). If I jerk the pack hard the spring compresses in the holder and breaks the connection on a cell, causing the Arduino to loose power. A capacitor might smooth this problem out, but the real solution is going to be a different battery pack that is permanently put together (i.e.: LiPo). I found some cells on Hobby King that should hopefully work, be more powerful, and lighter!


4. The Arduino takes a long time to boot. I just need to remove the boot loader, which waits a bit before starting the Sketch/Program. I ordered a hardware programmer to do this.

5. The interconnects between wheels suck. Yeah, I couldn’t find any locally when I made the wheel. I ordered some better ones from Mouser yesterday.

6. The cyr wheel inserts are tapped wrong; I tapped them sort of inline with the center of the wheel…which is where I want the LEDs! The next wheel I do I’m going to tap them completely on the side of the wheel (and not on the inside diameter where I stand).


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