Sun mirror is a solar
powered artbot that uses a popular circuit called a "Solar
The circuit only uses two transistors, one flashing led, one resistor,
one capacitor. Start by connecting your parts on a protoboard to
be sure all the parts work together. Fixing a non-working circuit
after building it will make a mess of things. Besides it's fun to
try different values of capacitors and resistors to see what happens.
Your finished circuit can be built on perfboard. This circuit will
allow some changes in component values. I used 2N4401 and 2N4403
transistors because that's all I had. The finished artbot was placed in
glass canning jar. I made a clear view top for the solar cell
instead of using the metal canning jar lid. Notice on the
schematic I added a diode across the motor to prevent any "kickback
voltages" that can damage transistors.
Circuit tested on a protoboard
circuit made into a artbot.
Construction using "Freeform style":
I used a "PCB" business card
as a base.
The tiny piece of perfboard above the blue capacitor
is the circuit.
Thin aluminized mylar "mirrors" are super
glued to motor end.
The motor is held by a plastic cap plug on a spacer.
Capacitor held down with wire soldered to
the PCB card. Circuit held by wires to the capacitor.
Make a holder for the solar cell out of clear packaging plastic.
This will take the place of the metal top that comes with the canning
Cut a second circle and sandwich the solar cell between them.
Place your artbot in a jar. This will protect your Solar
from dust and little fingers. Next place it in the
window and feed it lots of photons.
A different artbot that uses a pager
capacitor on bottom shelf.
The top and bottom sections are connected with velcro and come
Electrical connection is through a Molex connector seen just under the
top solar cell.
My collection soaking up the morning sun.