An Environmentally Conscious, Solar-Powered Throwie

The basic throwie is a a type of street art/graffiti/vandalism — depending on where you stand — consisting of a coin cell, an led, and a magnet taped together. Seeking to be a slightly more eco-friendly troublemaker, [Alaric Loftus] has kindly put together an Instructable on how to build a solar-powered throwie!

In order to be the best maker of mischief possible, [Alaric Loftus] tried a number of different products to find one that was hackable,  supplied the right voltage, had the right form factor, and cheap enough to literally throw away. Turns out, garden path lights hit that sweet spot. Once [Alaric Loftus] has drilled a hole in the light and opened it up, de-soldering the stock LED, attaching some leads to the contacts and sticking it into the freshly-drilled hole is simply done. Hot-gluing a strong magnet on the bottom completes the throwie.

[Alaric Loftus] also advises that drilling the LED hole slightly smaller and sealing up any cracks with hot glue will strengthen its water resistance — because if it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing it right.

We’ve featured some really cooleven creepy — takes on the throwie concept, but please don’t contribute any further to e-waste buildup.

24 thoughts on “An Environmentally Conscious, Solar-Powered Throwie

    1. Oh… I love the idea! I am astonished how many TVs I see on without anybody watching them whenever I take my dog for a walk! I could build a few of them and conceal them somewhere on their lawn and watch the hilarity that it would cause…

    1. This one is even far more polluting! It’s a hunk of abs plastic, a chunk of solar cell covered in resin and a rare earth magnet, all caked up in hot glue. This isn’t a throwie, it’s a puck. People have got to stop making these things. China is just going to keep dumping their trash in our ground.

      1. Ahhh… but I guess that many years from now, this trash might be of value to somebody.

        Anyway, adding a solar cell to a throwie does not make it better, it only adds more pollution as mentioned above. Throwies are fun when there is only one, but when everybody starts doing it it becomes a problem. I guess we’ve just reached that point.

        By the way the TV-be-gone throwie is a fun idea, but I guess that a wifi-be-gone could be the next great success in annoying devices.

        1. There are tons of trash on the moon and it even may be worth to look what has survived in them…

          “By the way the TV-be-gone throwie is a fun idea, but I guess that a wifi-be-gone could be the next great success in annoying devices.”
          I don’t think being annoying is fun.
          How about being constructive instead?
          A mesh to collect some interesting environmental data?
          A mesh for some local communication?

          Not annoying enough?

          We need a new release of humans!

          1. ESP throwie that has a HTML5 game passersby can play in their mobile browsers.
            Alternatively, Solar panel+lipo battery+Raspi zero-w (or a CHIP since it has a built in charger) running a messageboard for disaster areas.

          2. Doc Oct is too far down to reply, but I was actually thinking of doing that with a captive portal leading to an FTP server of ebooks.

            It turned out that the 8266 wasn’t up to communicating with an SD card and serving the files quickly enough, especially to multiple clients, but the ESP32 might be.

          3. Let’s strip the aspect of throwing them away in random directions and instead wear them…
            A mesh on legs exchanging packets on walkby?
            Maybe that can be extended with a near to throwie idea: Mount some of the mesh nodes to your home, dogs, cats, trains, busses, cars, … but only with permission of their owners, so you can place a bigger solar cell somewhere or change batteries if needed…

            \o/ MESH THE PLANET! \o/

            The problem with such an idea is to get enough ppl in the beginning… otherwise it will not be fun.

            Freifunk and similar ideas are nice… meshing smartphones already is there too… but not on the cheap end of the scale. If we could bring that down to e.g. an ESP32-like toy plus a SD card (or fat flash chip), it’d be a lot cheaper…

            It has to be cheap or it never will happen.
            It has to have some benefits or it never will happen…
            Maybe collecting some mesh$ for delivering others’ packets could spice up that idea?

  1. Watch out some of those yard lights occasionally still use NiCd cells.

    Also, if someone decides they don’t like where you’ve thrown it they may put it in the trash, making it e waste.

    Although I suppose if you’re using the lithium battery ones as decorations for your own property that isn’t as much of an issue.

  2. Correct me if I’m wrong but AFAIK thedr solar lights charge a small battery during daylight hours and switch on the LED after dark. So I’m guessing there’s a battery in here as well. And that kinda destroys the eco-friendliness.

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