Fix Everything And Get Your Own Flailing Arms Tube Man

The staple of used car dealerships that prompted Houston to ban all ‘attention getting devices’ is called an ‘air dancer’ and was invented in 1996. And now you can build your own, even if until now the space requirements kept you from doing so.

[dina Amin] shows how to make one from a bunch of discarded hair dryers and stuff everybody is likely to find in his or her workshop. While the build as such is rather basic — these things are really simple devices after all — [dina Amin]’s project video takes us through the interesting detours that turn a build into a project. It touches on the topics of painting plastics, hardware repairs, diagnosing and fixing DC motors, and how hair dryers actually work. As an added bonus we get a good-looking solution for fixing that enclosure with the worn out threads. All that in five minutes flat.

And while you might not know if you need one, [dina Amin]’s wacky waving inflatable arm flailing arm tube man is pretty much guaranteed to work. Unlike this one.


20 thoughts on “Fix Everything And Get Your Own Flailing Arms Tube Man

  1. Using a zipper to close up an adapter, now that’s being creative. Nice. (Yes, I know, anyone can open it while it’s plugged in, but I still think it’s awesome lateral thinking.)

  2. She says the motors are 12v and the extra voltage is normally dumped through the heating elements — in series or parallel? Can anyone confirm that? Seems to me that would mean sending a lot of current through those small motors. It also doesn’t explain blow dryers that have a Cool setting which is just the fan and no heating. Not trolling, just curious about the answer.

    1. Voltage divider, two resistors. One with 100volts across it the other a tenth as high of resistance, with 10 volts across it accordingly. A diode bridge and you get 12 vdc. Loading it with the motor is insignificant compared with the current in both resistors in series, the heater itself. Don’t play with the motor while connected to this hot (hot) source of low voltage.

    2. In series and parallel :-) In normal hairdryers with only warm settings the heating element is used as a voltage divider. If the dryer has a “cool” setting, there is an extra, higher resistance heating coil which is just in series with the motor and drops the right voltage. There are still taps on the primary heating coil and/ or a series diode to get different power or mains voltage (110/230V) settings. So technically the “cool” setting has also some heating, probably around 100W (200V/0,5A)

  3. I for one find that video great.
    Yeah sure it’s maybe not the most sophisticated build with 3D Printers and whatnot.
    But I like it. It’S tinkering and doing something out of basically scrap.
    To be honest – I would guess from the materials used and the backgrounds shown (workshop) it looks like something that might not be “first world ountry” so yeah – love it. It’s the same when you see electronic devices or hacks from india where you can clearly see that the hardware and resources are limited. And this is neat.

    Would I build one myself? Probably not – just because I don’t have “space” for it.
    Would I build one just for the heck of it? Yeah – because I could tinker around with stuff and learn something.
    Do that at school and you got yourself a great DIY project to show kids some basic solder skills and that you can do stuff with “junk”.

  4. This whole video made me happy. From the bucket of power supplies to the smile for the “carpenter” who didn’t think she actually wanted the hole that she marked. It was a fun project and the zipper on the power supply is simply THE BEST THING EVER that I’ve already shared with my local maker space.
    As for why some of the fans pulse, I’m not knowledgable enough to give an exact answer, but having recently experienced it while trying out some motors, I think that the motor is drawing too much current and the psu is cutting out. Mentally, I envision a “soft restart” effect (somebody who knows electronics better should chime in), but don’t know what components are in play to do that. While investigating, it’s only certain motors and certain power supply combinations that exhibit that behavior though.

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