Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Mobile Hack

So, imagine you're a new parent. Your baby hits that magical phase where they LOVE the mobile rotating over their crib/changing table/pack 'n' play. But the mobile only lasts about 5 minutes before needing to be wound again in addition to playing the most cloying lullaby of all time. What is a tired parent to do? Hack the mobile.

I surfed over to American Science & Surplus and bought the small mirror ball motor. AS&S's description:

Slowly I Turned...

Feel the need to have something rotate from the ceiling? This gear motor was made to turn a mirrored ball, but would be just as happy turning a globe, mobile, raincoat, rubber chicken or anything else that needs rotating. The light-duty DC motor runs on (1) "D" battery that you add, spins at 2-1/2 rpm, and works with anything that weighs under 6 lbs. The off-white plastic housing measures 5" long x 1-9/16" dia with a 5/16" dia cup hook on the business end and a removable triangular mounting hook at the ceiling end. Lots of Halloween, craft, diorama, robotics and science-fair applications.


Here's how it looks in our set up.



A comparison with the original mechanism:

You can see that the small mirror ball motor is a little longer. It is also slightly heavier (pretty much the same weight as the D battery that powers it). It rotates more slowly, but based on the squeaks of glee I hear from the pack'n'play, it's fast enough . . . and apparently my baby likes Built to Spill. :)

Mobile with annoying musical wind-up rotating device: $44.99
Small mirror ball motor: $14.95
Getting through dinner without having to get up ten times to wind up the mobile or listen to lullabies: priceless.

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2 comments:

Terri said...

I might have to steal this and hang a mobile of his from the ceiling. He's too big now and pulls it off his crib, so we had to remove it, but his bears were his favorite thing ever. And of course, we had it down to a science of what could be accomplished out of the room in 3.5 minutes. This would have been great earlier, but I had (have) too much baby brain to think of it!

Brilliant!!!

laughingmuse said...

I second Terri's "Brilliant!"

I clearly have a lot to learn. I feel the need for an industrial-strength sewing machine, a toolbox, and an huge Erector set.