Sherbert fountain based Infrared marker

I spent some time a couple of years ago playing with Johnny Chungs idea for a wii remote driven interactive whiteboard. I didn’t have a projector so I used the screen from my 24″ iMac and I cobbled together an infrared pen using not much more than sticky tape.
With a planned desktop version of Sketchshare waiting in the wings I decided it was time to resurrect my whiteboard experiments. The further nudge I needed happened when my wife bought me a Sherbert fountain.

The end result

1. The starting point Eat contents. Clean both parts of the container and let it dry, the plan is to use the opening to gain easy access to the battery compartment

2. The components very basic circuit, I’ve skipped using a resistor for this one but the rest of the bits are easily found at maplins. The push switch I went with was a Black Sub miniature push to make switch requiring a 5.2mm cut out.

3. The circuit The soldering went fairly smoothly until the battery compartment (the one component I’d forgotten to tin) and I’d misplaced my insulation so time to break out the gaffer tape.

4. Making holes Didn’t have my drill to hand so made the holes with a pair of scissors (turning not cutting). I needed some accurate sizes so I used a metric set of allen keys to gauge the diameter of the holes.

5. Putting it all together Getting it in was a bit of a squeeze, i pushed the push switch through the hole by holding it with a needle nosed pair of pliers, the IR Led was held in place using hot glue and the battery compartment was popped back into the body of the container.

6. Checking it works The easiest way to check the pen is working is to fire up Photo Booth and check the infra red LED shows up on the camera.

I had trouble getting the wiimotes to connect to Bluetooth on OSX during my earlier experiments but I’m hoping I’ll have a little more success with this open source project which also handles the Bluetooth pairing.

One Comment

  1. I used a banana the other day as a stylus.
    I’m not a techie but I can see the value in this – really keen to hear how you get on with this and a desktop version of ur app.