Vani’s Plush Nightlight

The last 2 months of my undergrad degree took place in early 2020 when lockdown started. I worked on my final Advanced Sculpture project from home instead of the workshops. I focused on ways to reduce anxiety.
I crocheted and knitted pillows filled with dried lavender for my bunny. The making process reduced my anxiety and I hoped the lavender would reduce his. Here’s my bunny, Bugs interacting with them while eating raspberries:
(COMPRESSED VIDEO, since youtube didn’t work properly.)

He is so excited by the raspberries that he can’t spend time looking for them. Without the raspberries, he spent lots of time investigating each one, but lost interest within a day.

My plan is to:
1. Create 1 large surface instead of lots of small ones.
2. Use lights to direct him from raspberry-to-raspberry most efficiently, like a treasure map.

The proposed plush toy will be to entertain him, not to calm him. Here are sketches of some possibilities:

Walkie-talkie Teardown

Componts of the Printed Circuit Board (PCB):
1. 1 LCD Display screen
2. 1 Transciever AN29160AA (transmits and receives radio waves)
3. 1 Headphone jack
4. 1 DC jack
5. 1 Microphone
6. 1 Antenna
7. 3 larger Capacitors (temporarily stores electircal charge, used for filtering.)
8. Many mini capacitors
9. 3 large Oscillators (programmable timer or clock)
10. 1 mini oscillator
9. 1 Integrated Circuit / microchip
10. 1 Battery
11. 7 Switches (6 PCB printed buttons and 1 soldered-on button)
12. 1 large Potentiometer (variable resistor with 3 terminals)
13. Many mini diodes (control and redirect energy flow)
14. Many small transistors (amplify electrical enegry)
15. 5 Coil Inductors (temporarily magnetically stores electrical charge)
16. 2 mini inductors
17. 5 resistors (resist the flow of electricity to control energy) (I calculated the values using a color band calculator)

2 Unidentified PCB Components:
1. Serial# 270
2. Serial# CQ WM50HTP (I think it assists the transceiver in some way)

Other Components:
1. Plastic case made of 2 parts
2. 4 Rubber button cover parts
3. 3 screws
4. 2 Plastic covers for removable parts.

Datasheet for Transciever AN29160AA:

Tools used to take it apart:
1. Screwdriver
2. Solder sucker (to remove the LCD display screen)
3. Soldering iron
4. Wir cutters (to remove the protective plate)

Design elements that I like:
1. I like that the antenna is hidden inside the handle of the radio case.
I used radios for my gallery technician job for years and I hated when the antenna would get caught on my clothes or on objects around me. I also hated when they dug into my side while heavy lifting or when bending in odd positions to install lights and artwork on the ceiling.
2. I like that it is voice-activated.
This radio would have been really helpful with my job when I needed help with installation and my hands were full.

Making processes of a PCB:
PCBs are mechanical supports that electrically connect electrical components using conductive pathways.
1. Create the circuit diagram
2. Create a schematic of this using PCB layout software. There are many open source options such as AutoDesk Wizard, KiCad and PCBWizard.
3. Design the physical board layout. This is what your schematic will be printed onto. The software used will help you compare them to determine the best board size. You will also need to decide how to design the connections for soldering. Through-hole components are the easiest to solder, but they take up more space than the more complex soldering options.
4. Etch your PCB. This can be done from home with a laser cutter, photo paper, a blank copper-coated plate, hydrogen peroxide (or ferric chloride with water) and a drill.
-Laser cut the schematic onto the photo paper
-Use heat from an iron to transfer it to the copper-coated plate
-Put the plate into the hydrogen peroxide and shake it until the copper coating is etched off the unexposed copper
-Sand off the printed ink.
-Drill holes for the electrical components.

Photos of behind the protective plate and behind the LCD screen display.

Hi, I’m Vani

I’ved lived in Chicago and Delhi. My parents are architects, as a kid I sketched the Frank Lloyd Wright houses my mom was conserving in Oak Park, as a teenager I sketched the monuments near the technology plants my dad was designing in India.

Sculpture was my focus in undergrad since it combined the design elements I learned from them with my love for the making process. I learned as many fabrication processes as I could, of which woodworking and metalworking are my most practiced skills. My senior year I took furniture-making classes (including CNC) and after graduating I continued on my own by learning a few computer object design programs.

I also love weaving, knitting, glasssblowing, screenprinting, moldmaking and casting, metalcasting and ceramics. With sculpture I liked inverting an object’s recognizable qualities like material choices, size, rigidity, structure, placement and functionality.

I worked as woodshop/metalshop assistant for 2 years and as a gallery technician for 4.5 years. After graduating I worked as a gallery exhibitions assistant for a year. I am hoping to prepare at SVA for a career in object making and design.

I have a dog back home named Pandora and a bunny with me in the U.S. named Bugs. My insta is @vani_ag. I love watching tv and movies, even took undergrad art history film classes to learn more, so please give me recommendations for what to watch!