Barking Christmas Tree Topper

Published

Introduction: Barking Christmas Tree Topper

About: I am an author and a maker. My current project is Santa's Shop. I'm working on a science fiction type book--more later. @EngineerRigsby

When you walk by, this dog topper flaps his ears and barks!

We had to "borrow" a neighbor's dog, Juston, and work a while to get some "tree topper worthy" barks.

Step 1: Parts Needed

The parts list includes:

Arduino Uno

Adafruit Sound Board

Adafruit PIR sensor

8 ohm speaker

6 volt, 2 amp dc power supply

(2) mini servo motors

(2) servo extender cables (24 inches long)

3d printed components

Step 2:

The head was formed in polymer clay (by my wife, Annelle), then scanned, modified and 3d printed.

Step 3:

First, thread the wires up through the hole in the neck. The mini servo motor holders (with servo motors mounted) are put in place by melting (using a soldering iron) to the head.

Step 4:

An extender is attached to the servo horn.

Step 5:

Bearing brackets are melted onto the dog head. 2-56 x 1 1/4" screws are used as the axle rod.

Step 6:

Bearing pieces are melted onto the ears.

Step 7:

Before painting, an assembled ear looks like this.

Step 8:

After a trip to the artist's paint shop, the head with unattached ears looks like this.

Step 9:

A box to hold the electronics is composed of a base, top and two hollow elves. The elves are attached to the box by melting (or with glue). I installed leds inside the elves, just so that I would know if power was applied to the electronics.

Step 10:

Before closing it up, load the sketch into the Arduino and load the .wav (bark) file into the Adafruit sound board (see the Adafruit site for detailed instructions).

Step 11:

Assembled, on the ground, the system is ready for installation.

Step 12:

The box is placed on the back side of the tree. I used green wire and metal duct tape to secure the box to the tree.

Step 13:

The PIR sensor (motion detector) is placed where I want to pick up passers by. The speaker is placed at the base of the tree.

Step 14:

For an active, different tree topper, add a little "bark" to your tree!

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