Other Projects > Desktop Terrarium

Why this project?
Finished Desktop Terrarium

I saw this project on instructables.com. The actual project was posted by Admiral Aaron Ravensdale. He has quite a few projects posted, all with a Steam Punk theme. His project is of the same title: Desktop Terrarium with Night Light. I thought it would be a rather quick project since I had most of the stuff on hand. Be sure to check out the Desktop Terrarium Gallery.

Note and Disclaimer: Soldering irons get hot. If you solder enough, or not carefully enough, you will get burned. Knives and broken glass can cut. Drills can cut holes in things... even your fingers. Oh, and wear eye protection! And if something blows up, it isn't my fault. It is the Nac Mac Feegles (gratuitous Terry Pratchett reference)! Test, then test again.

I purchased a couple of solar yard lights at an end of season clearance sale for $1.40 each. What a bargain! you get a solar cell, a 1.2V NiCad battery, a bright white LED, and a circuit that uses the solar cell to turn it on when it gets dark. Not to shabby for $1.40. I may have to go back and get more. Oh, and it has a pretty cool copper finish as well. I had some copper tubing on hand, so I only needed to buy plastic light socket and paint it. The rest was miscellaneous hardware that I had on hand.

Solar Lamp Top
The solar cell is 1 3/8ths inch square and rather thick (1/8th inch). I measured 2.3V open circuit under a bright light.
Solar Lamp bottom
Here is the view from the bottom. When fully charged, the light is fairly bright.
Inside the lamp
Here is the lamp with the bottom cover removed. I have already removed the LED and routed the wires through the tube.
Basically done
Here it is basically finished. I had to use very fine wire to go from the base to the LED in the lamp socket. The light bulb was fairly easy to break out he bottom of the bulb. Be sure to use gloves and eye protection.
Close up of the terrarium
Here is a close up of the terrarium with a little clover in it. The base is a plain wooden plaque from WalMart with some rub on stain for color.
Finished Desktop Terrarium
This is the finished terrarium. I am still looking for a small miniture to put in it. But otherwise I like the way it turned out.

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