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DIY Exploding Balloon

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Exploding Balloons

If you like to decorate for parties, the exploding  balloon is one of the better ideas.  Here  is an easy and inexpensive way to have the same balloon exploding effects as  the pros.  You must assemble the pieces  and then attach to the balloons.  This  method works for one or several balloons and for many different types of  balloon displays.


You will want enough wire to explode the balloon or  balloons from some location away from the guest activities where the balloon  displays are placed.  Then at the right  moment, you can push the button and watch the guest’s surprise reactions.


The basic idea here is to have a sharp object, in  this case a simple stick pin, slightly scratch the balloon surface, just enough  to rupture the balloon.  This is a fairly  simple project and inexpensive.  Once you  have the DIY Exploding Balloon system working, it can be used multiple  times.  You do need to practice attaching  the micro-motor on test balloons first.


Material needed:

  1. 2 Conductor Wire: telephone wire or similar, length as needed $7 for 50 ft 
  2. Connectors: telephone wire splice (optional) 
  3. Battery: 6V battery holder (4 AA work well) $6 with batteries 
  4. Switch: pushbutton SPST momentary (small) $3 
  5. Box: Project Enclosure (5x2.5x2)  $4 
  6. Micro-motor: 3VDC Micro-Vibration Motor $4  
  7. Stick pin: ordinary  $0 
  8. Epoxy: metal to metal quick drying $3


The total cost is around $27. The first five items in the list can be  found at RadioShack, http://www.radioshack.com/ on the internet or in the store, usually the stores not located within a mall will have more items available.


The electrical connections, see diagram, shows the  battery supply, the pushbutton switch, wire and micro-motor.   There can be several micro-motors if you  want to explode several balloons at once. Use 6V on a 3V motor to help compensate for the long wire runs and  provide some extra power.  Since the  motor only spins for a couple seconds, this higher voltage is not a problem.


The sharp end of the stick pin is cut to leave ½  inch in length.   Bend the stick pin to a  45◦ angle at the center.  This bend is just to provide a better fit on the motor shaft counter weight.  Using a small amount of epoxy, attach the  stick pin onto the side of the counter weight with the bend centered on the  open side of the weight.  The sharp point  should be 3/16 to 1/4 inch from center to tip.  The stick pin should be able to turn with the  motor shaft in a clock-wise direction when looking towards the motor end. It is recommended to tape the motor onto a  hard surface with the shaft end tiled slightly down so the epoxy does not run  onto the motor itself and create a bond between the motor casing and the shaft  that turns.   After the epoxy dries, cut  the non-pointed end of the stick pin off as close to the motor counter weight  as possible to help avoid accidental bursting of the balloon during attachment. This end can also be made smoother with a  metal file and covered with a slight amount of additional.


Drill two holes into the Project Enclosure box, one on top to mount the switch and one on the end for the wire.   Using a soldering iron attach the battery holder onto the switch and telephone wire as shown in the diagram.  Attach the other end of the telephone wire  onto the motor wires. Cover each of the electrical connections with a small piece of electrical tape.


Hint:  Add a small about of packing foam or other non-conductive material inside the Project Enclosure box to keep the battery holder from sliding around.


You can test the proper direction of the spinning  stick pin by loosely touching the motor wires to the battery prior to final  assembly. The wires can be reconnected later if the pin turns the wrong direction.


The micro-motor is attached to the side of the balloon with a 5 inch piece of clear packing tape to hold the micro-motor body  tightly against the balloon surface.  If the distance between the stick pin tip and balloon surface is to great, the pin  will just turn without bursting the balloon.  If the stick pin tip is to long, the micro-motor will not be able to  turn the pin far enough to rupture the balloon.  The tape can be removed if necessary. The wire can be hidden within the  other supporting decorations surrounding the balloon.


Hint:  Push a small pencil eraser onto the stick pin  prior to attaching the micro-motor to the balloon.  This will help stop accidentally bursting the  balloon during attachment and decoration assembly.  Practice a few times on a standard 12 inch  balloon until you feel comfortable in not bursting the balloon.  You do not want to take the time to stuff  numerous small balloons into a large balloon just to accidentally have a  balloon explosion.  The eraser can be removed just prior to the scheduled event.


Happy  decorating!

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