But what is a blinkybug?
I first read about them in Make: magazine and thought they were SO cute. Just recently I was reminded of them when I read about them in the Make: blog, with a link to a site called Instructables. The version described here is a simplified soldering-free one, and is said to take ten minutes to make if you have everything you need ready and handy. I must admit, I spent more time doing it. But I did some detours on the way. I checked the inventor Ken Murphy's own site called Blinkybug.com, and studied the photos of the various versions he had made. I decided to go for the soldered version, but I didn't have a battery holder. To manage the soldering without the battery holder, I realized (after some trial and error) that I would need three hands, and I had no one around to lend me one extra. After some testing with the two I have I decided to go for hotglue instead. My bug didn't look as good as Ken Murphy's ones, but I thought it was ok, considering it being my first trial.
I will certainly make more of these, and will also try to come up with some alternative designs. A sub-arctic mosquito needs to be made, being the most numerous animal in Samiland (within my Science Center's region), and outbeating the reindeer multiple times. That would be a nice signature blinkybug for the Science Center of Northern Norway. I will keep you posted on how it works out. There are some photos of blinkybug(s) at Flickr, and the creativity is great out there!
If you want to try to make one yourself, just use the decription at Instructables. I will try the soldered version, and have found battery holders at Elfa (Northern Europe Electronics Supplier). You also get cheaper batteries here, if you buy a bulk of ten or 40 you save a lot.
If you know of other serious, cheap and swift suppliers worldwide, please send me a note about it.