New Year’s Hack

We have a long-standing tradition to spend New Year’s Eve with our friends Dean and Cori (and lately, their son Quinlan). We used to alternate hosting years, or go rent a cabin or something, but since Quinlan came along, we go to their place in Maryland. The last couple of years, this has included an actual party, where the adults bring their kids, we corral them up together, and then drink beer and enjoy ‘grown-up’ time.

Last year, Dean had the idea that we should do our own ball-drop for the kids. We hacked together some LED Christmas lights, hot glue, plastic cups, and string, and put together a cute little show for the youngins. This year, we were ready. We started with the same plastic cup design, but this time we custom soldered color-changing LEDs, supporting electronics, and a battery pack inside the ball, and built a remote controlled, variable-speed winch using a light dimmer, power drill, and some steel rod.

It was unbelievably sweet!