220 ohm resistors
and place them
into R1-R8. Bend
the leads of nine
10K resistors and
place them into
holes in R9-R17.
Place a 100K into
R18, 27K into
R20, and a one
megohm into R21.
Solder all the
which is the pot. Solder C1; it has no polarity. Solder C2;
it does have polarity. Put the long LED into the + pad.
Hold the microphone so it’s facing its pins, and rotate it so
the pins are at the top. Pin 1 is to the left and is positive.
Solder the microphone. Solder the two switches and
transistors, noting their outlines on the board.
Run the two battery wires from the battery holder
through the strain hole below C1; solder the black wire to
“B” and the red one to “R.”
Mount the battery pack to the bottom of the board
using double-sided tape or just put it to the side. (If you
put the battery holder to the side, add four rubber feet.)
PIR MODULE MOUNTING
Turn the PIR module over so that the pots are on the
top of the board. To the upper right are three pads: one
with an “L;” one unmarked; and the other with an “H.”
Take a razor blade and cut the trace to the center pad and
the H pad. Using a small wire, short the L and the center
pad. This will cause the PIR to fire every second when
there is a body present triggering the tree.
On the PIR board, there are three pins: “GND,”
“OUT,“ and “VCC.” Solder three wire-wrap wires to these
pins and strip the insulation off of each one. Thread the
three wires into the main board. Place the two 2-56 3/4”
screws through the bottom of the board and add the two
spacers. Thread the screws into the PIR board. They
should self-thread. Solder the three wires (Figure 2).
The hoops of the tree are made out of 18 gauge bus
wire, which is quite malleable. Go to the article link and
download the hoop template. Cut the bus wires to the
ring sizes under the template. Bend the bus wire to fit
(Figure 3). Butt the ends of the wire together and solder.
I’m a firm believer in using “tacky flux” by Quick Chip©
and always have a syringe around for both soldering and
de-soldering. Massage the wires so they are flat and
round. There are seven hoops; do the same for the rest.
With each hoop, place the butted ends between the
spokes. Place a drop of solder on each spoke crossing.
At first I tried using a Sharpie©, but it makes a big black
mess with the tacky flux on the LEDs.
Cut eight bus wires to a length of 10”. Using two pairs
of pliers, pull the wires taut and run them over a sharp
edge (of a table, for example) to straighten them.
MOUNTING THE LEDS
I found it best to mount the 10” wire on a ruler with
two pieces of tape at the ends; refer to Figure 4. If you
are using colored LEDs, download the LED matrix file. The
microprocessor is programmed to the color pattern on this
matrix. (I used one of wife’s muffin pans to put the LEDs
in so they didn’t get mixed up.)
Bend the long anode lead
of the green LED out at a right
angle. Slide it under the column
wire with the LED pointing to
the right. Solder the anode to
the wire so there is about 1/16”
between the LED and the wire
at position 1 (which is 1-1/4”
from the end of the wire).
Using the matrix, go
34 December 2014
■ FIGURE 2.
■ FIGURE 4.
■ FIGURE 3.