Glow in the dark kinetic diabolo?

A little while ago I mentioned how I wanted to see if I could create a kinetic charged light up diabolo.

I have searched and searched and pretty much gave up till I saw a series of kinetic glowing skate wheels. The brightness is amazing, so I bought some as they were pretty cheap for what they are. I was also convinced there was a battery of some kind but absolutely wrong, no battery just two parts.

Getting them I understand how it works.

Light up wheels are powered by a dynamo that sits in the centre of the wheel. This needs to be firmly pressed by the bearings as when the wheel turns, it forms a temporary connection with each LED light, making it appear to flash. At faster speeds, the LED flashes so quickly, that it appears to be always on.

Great everything I needed and I knew it could work.

But the problem is its the opposite of what a Diabolo does. Without diagrams it became clearer that diabolos are one piece. If the axel moved it wouldn’t work. I thought about having the lights on the outside but there’s no guarantee the lights would actually turn?

There is a small light (ironically), with the triple axel/geared diabolos.but I need to really wrap my head around how to make the most of it, without making the diabolo super heavy or so clunky it doesn’t really spin at all. Luckily I have lots of diabolos which I can practice on and I guess retrofit if needed. Shame I don’t have a workshop and the time to do it.

Any thoughts are of course welcomed…

Author: Ianforrester

Senior firestarter at BBC R&D, emergent technology expert and serial social geek event organiser. Can be found at, and