Hacking the Blinkybugs Book

Blinky Bugs Book

Our good friend Ken Murphy recently published his wonderful Blinky Bugs as a book and kit and was awesome enough to send us a copy. Blinky Bugs are easy to make LED critters with antennae as blinker switches that activate in response to vibration or air movement.


Blinky Bugs Book & Kit

Chronicle did a very nice job with it–the book itself comes out of the nifty sleeve that holds the kit and book together. The cartoon illustrations by Alexander Tarrant are very clear and there’s a nice assortment of accessories to go with the core hardware.


Blinky-o-lantern build

The bug circuit went together very easily. These little guys are super compact and self contained, which means they’re adaptable to all kinds of uses. And while putting them on pipe cleaner legs is seasonally appropriate, they’re a perfect fit for a mini-pumpkin. The first thing to do after gutting the gourd is to mark and cut the holes for the LED eyes. A 3/16″ bit turned by hand makes a hole that is just snug enough to hold a 5 mm LED firmly in place.


Blinky-o-lantern inside

A couple of slits let the LED leads stick up through the body of the pumpkin where the antenna wires will be able to reach them.


Blinky-o-lantern off

Finally, the pumpkin lid is trimmed to allow the antenna wires to move freely.


Blinky-o-lantern in the dark

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5 thoughts on “Hacking the Blinkybugs Book

  1. That’s pretty cool. So each LED is activated individually? Could you have the two LED leads touch so they activate together?

  2. I have a question. If you changed the LED to a diffrent output or color, would you need to solder any more resistors into the premade board?

    • There is no board or resistors for this project, and instructions for making blinkybugs are available at the blinkybugs link in the story. The book kit comes with a few colors of LEDs, and the instructions are the same no matter which LEDs you use.

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