Animated Skull Candy Bowl – Repair

I purchased an awesome lolly/candy bowl for Halloween. It has a light sensor in it which reacts when you reach into the bowl, jumping forward saying “hands off my candy” and other phrases.

The problem was that only after a few hours it stopped working.

My first thought was obvious, that the batteries were flat. But after a replacement, it was still not working.
Getting access to the internals was difficult as the “clothing” was hot glued in place.

After removing the clothing it was held together with some screws. Looking inside it was a fairly simple PCB but most of it was an onboard chip, so there was not much outside this which could be the issue.

I started poking around at the board and managed to trigger the sensor, so the board itself was working and it must be up further.
Originally, I thought the sensor was motion based, but it turned out to be a simple light sensor.

For some reason, I straight away thought the senor was the issue and replaced it but it still didn’t work. I removed the sensor and shorted out the wires. This still didn’t trigger it. So the issue was the thin wires.

It looks like the movement of the head caused the thin wires to break.

The next step was to test this theory. I soldered new wires on and it jumped to life scaring the crap out of me. Note to self, make sure it is turned off and I am not holding a hot soldering iron!

This confirmed it was the wires, I reattached the sensor and powered it up which worked.

Before reassembling it, I replaced a few other thin wires while it was still in pieces, tested it again then screwed and glued it all back together.

Skully is back in working order ready to protect his candy!


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