There's a lot I liked about Ironman, the movie. A resourceful guy building cool stuff in his man cave using technology was right up my alley. I love a challenge. So what did I do? I went down to my man cave (the basement) of course and tried to make one. When I looked around instructables, I found a few examples of strap-on ones. Sorry, I don't plan on walking around with a light on my chest. So I did a little more thinking, and decided to try to make a usb powered arc reactor. I think I grunted a few times in my man cave.
The arc reactor is made out of:
Plastic snapple bottle
Thin steel coffee travel mug
Diode to drop the usb volage slightly
After a quick Google search, I learned usb voltage is about 4.75v. The three AAA batteries in the tap light added up to 4.5v, so I needed to drop the voltage coming out of the usb a bit. I took apart the tap light, and soldered an inline diode in the positive wire to drop the voltage, and voila! A usb powered arc reactor. Note: when you strip the usb cable, remove the shielding and snip the other wires except the red and black ones. Those are the positive and negative wires you need to solder to the tap light.
I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. It's not identical to the movie version, but it's close enough for me (and it looks cool on my desk).