Introduction: Fake Glowing Plutonium

Picture of Fake Glowing Plutonium

I made this to creep out my house mates. It is a glowing  pot of "polonium" with a radiation sign on it.  As a joke I left it in my cuboard to confuse and stop the phantom cookie thief of our diggs.

What you need:
  • Glass spice pot
  • Printer
  • Coloure changing foam light stick (for raves)
  • UV reactive powder (I got mine from here)
  • UV LED
  • Spray mount glue (aerosol type)
  • A scaple or sharp knife

Simple Version: Will glow at a reduced brightness over a long period of time
  1. Spray the inside of the glass jar with the spray-mount glue
  2. Coat the inside of the jar with a mix of aqua blue and spooky green UV gowing powder..
  3. Allow the glue to dry.
  4. Print out the small radiation sign.
  5. Stick the sign on the jar with some more, spray mount glue
  6. Finally place on your windowseal or under a desk lamp to charge up the powder.
  7. You have now finished, just switch off the lights and watch it glow for hours upon hours.

More Complex: Gives a cool pulsing & throbing effect due to a UV led (Much Brighter)

  1. Spray the inside of the glass jar with glue
  2. Coat the inside of the jar with a mix of aqua blue and spooky green UV gowing powder and allow to dry.
  3. Print out the small radiation sign
  4. Stick the sign on the jar with some more, spray mount glue
  5. Remove the light module from the foam by cutting it out.
  6. Desolder the 3 LEDs.
  7. Replace the blue led with a UV LED, this is because the blue and UV LEDs have similar operating voltages.
  8. Place the newly made UV LED module in the top of the jar and screw the origanal jar lid on top of that.
  9. Finally turn the light module on You are done !!


karlpinturr (author)2011-10-22

I'm confused...

Your foam stick has 3 LED's, which you remove and replace with just 1 UV LED - no jumper leads, or anything - and it still works..?

And if "it can keep glowing the entire night once the powder is charged up under a desk lamp", what's the LED actually for?

Im sorry for your confusement. I have changed the instructble now to help.

But basically, the simple (non LED version) will glow for a whole night but will not glow very brightly.

Where as the LED version will be brighter and will have flashing or pulsing effect built in.

The blue LED has an operating voltage similar to the UV LED, hence that is why it is used.

I hope that cleared any confusion, if not please message me again, thank you.

Thanks - that much makes sense.

But I'm still concerned that you've removed 3 LED's, but only replaced 1 - didn't you have to solder in some jumper/bridging wires to keep the circuit complete?

The red and green led can be removed completely and no jumpers are required as this would make a short circuit when the red and green leds are supposed to come on.

Sooo, the LED's are in parallel, and would flash simultaneously in the original foam stick?

eXtremeSomething made it! (author)karlpinturr2016-02-02

Hey, so I took a degree for the last 4 years in order to answer your comment ;D

Take a look at the crappy diagram attached: If an led is missing it wont effect the micro controller as it is connected to the power separately. If the npn transistors are conducting the leds are in parallel.

The npn would only be on or off, so the variation in brightness is done by pulsing the the npn transistor on and of really fast with a duty cycle set to the desired brightness. The duty cycle is the ratio of on time vs off. This technique is called PWM or pulse width modulation.

I hope this clears that up.

Well, I didn't quite go the degree route ;D

But I do have a better understanding of what's happening than I did 4 years ago - thank you for taking the time and trouble.

The red has its own channel, the green has its own channel & the blue has its own channel.

The PCB has a tiny microcontroller that independantly pulses each colour led with a seperate output port. If you where to solder a uv led on each output port you would not be able to see any fading as it is just one wavelength.

By only soldering to one output, you will be able to see the slow pulsing effect as there will be more contrast.

It is possible to solder the uv leds in parallel to the blues output port (up to about 3 leds)

Ah, NOW I understand - Thank you!

And I'm sorry to have been so insistent on such a small point.

Iggybigee (author)2013-03-07

So to make the powder do I need aqua powder blue powder and green powder?

About This Instructable




Bio: I make things because its fun and I like the challenge.
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