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Martin High School CSI:DI Flowers


These flowers were created to work as part of our CSI effect. Our story was about a rapidly growing tree that was hiding the sun from the flowers below. Part of the CSI effect was the flower petals curling up as the tree blocked out the sun.

How the flowers were constructed. We:

  • Cut short pieces of PVC pipe (6"-8") for the bases/stems of the flowers.
  • Glued a round piece of wood to the top of a PVC cap that we had sanded flat.
  • Drilled a small hole through the top of the wood and PVC cap.
  • Cut flower petals out of foam and screwed and glued them to the wood to make the petals
  • Cut sections of Electrical wire ties and glued them to the back of the petals. The wire ties were flexible so they would bend but they also had enough rigidity to straighten back out
  • Stuck the pvc stems into holes in a piece of plywood
  • Put the cap with the flower petals on top of the pvc pipe
  • Tied fishing line to the tip of each flower petal and ran the fishing line through the hole in the cap down to below the piece of plywood where we tied all four of them together to a small washer
  • We then tied another piece of fishing line to the washer and used eye bolts to route the fishing line on the back to a motor that was wired to roll up the fishing line thus causing the petals to curl up.

After we had the basic flower working we started working on the controls. We initially just opened and closed the flowers by reversing the power to the motors using a knife switch wired as a reversing switch. As we prepared for Finals we wired the motor so that we could control it remotely.

It took 3 relays to make this work properly. Two of the relays were on a 2 channel remote control relay from a school tech class project. The third relay was a DPDT (double pole double throw) relay that we wired to be able to switch the power leads to the motor used for rolling up the strings. Channel A of the remote control relay was used to turn the power to the motor on and off. The power was routed through the DPDT relay. When the DPDT relay was not activated the motor would turn in one direction to wind up the fishing line. When the DPDT was activated the power leads were reversed and the motor would unwind the fishing line. Channel B of the remote control relay was used to activate the DPDT relay.

The way it worked was that pushing button A on the remote would turn on the power to the motor resulting in the flowers rolling up. To unwind the string and open the flowers we would push and hold button B which would activate the DPDT relay and at the same time we would push and hold Button A to turn the power to the motor on.