Introduction: Make Nuka-Cola Quantum

Picture of Make Nuka-Cola Quantum

This is my first instructible so bare with me. Also I apologize in advance for any spelling mistakes as I am dyslexic but I'll do the best I can.

I made this for a friend who's birthday is coming up and while I was at it made one for myself as well.

It's in the Elemental LED contest, so if you think it's good enough please vote!

Thanks to Whatpayne at deviant art for designing the Quantum label.

Step 1: Necessary Materials

Picture of Necessary Materials

1 Glass Coke bottle - (I used a 330ml one)
1 UV LED - (the higher the mcd the better)
1 47ohm resistor
3 1.5v Button cells - (I used LR1130)
2 Small neodymium magnets - (Mine were from a broken cd burner)
All purpose glue - (Super glue might work but I went with cheap stuff from Bostik)
Nuka-Cola Quantum Label - (Link in the next few steps)
Photo Paper
Tonic water
Blue food colouring

Soldering Iron & Solder
Sharp knife

Helping hands
Rubber Bands
Patience (Take your time, It'll turn out better than if you try to rush it)

Step 2: Bottle Cap

Picture of Bottle Cap

Carefully Open the coke using a wide bottle opener going gentle round the sides easing it off, we will need this to go back on.
Pour out the coke into a glass with some ice for a nice drink.
Sand off the branding on the top of the bottle cap and if you are really picky like me sand off the "Coca" in "Coca-Cola" around the side. Give it a tidy up until it has that rustic old cap look.

I found It was easier to sand the bottle cap before opening the bottle.

Wash out the bottle and leave it do dry 

Step 3: Label

Picture of Label

Download the Quantum label from here:
I put it in word and after alot of trial and error finally got it the right dimensions.

Print onto the glossy photo paper, cut it out carefully.
Tape the two together end to end so all the branding on the bottle will be covered. (The branding is ceramic and is heat bonded to the glass)
Take the bottle, make sure it is dry (any damp will ruin the label) and set the bottom on the bluetak to keep it steady.
Put the glue along the two ends and in a "Z" on each segment.

Carefully position the label and use the rubber bands to hold it down for the glue to set.
Once set use your sharp knife to trim away any glue that spilled out from the the sides.

Step 4: Electronics

Picture of Electronics

Tape the three button cells positive to negative.
Solder the resistor to one of the legs, doesn't matter which. The longer leg is the positive and the shorter one is the negative in case you needed to know.
Bend the legs at right angles so the batteries can just slide in.
Use one magnet to secure the resistor leg bent into a square to the bottom of the batteries and also secure the whole lot to the bottle cap.
Now when you want the LED on use the magnet to push the other leg of the LED to the other side of the batteries.

To get a stronger hold on the bottle cap you can use a mixture of heat, rubbing and acetone to remove the plastic from inside the bottle cap.  

Step 5: Liquid Inside

Picture of Liquid Inside

To get the blue liquid inside the bottle (obviously) we need to fill the bottle up to where it looks about right, not all the way up to the brim though otherwise the batteries will get wet.

Put in the food colouring, I found four drops was about right.
Mix it up carefully, we don't need the label wet.

The leads of the LED can get wet I found and it doesn't short, weird. I put it down to being DC or something.
It actually looks better when the LED is slightly submerged as the light gets spread out more evenly rather than just a pillar of light shining through it. 

Step 6: The Science

Picture of The Science

Now the mixture glows because the tonic water contains small amounts of Quinine. Quinine fluoresces when exposed to ultra-violet light. Light is considered ultra violet when it has a wavelength lower than 400nm. So using UV LEDs we can make the tonic water glow a blue-ish colour.
The blue food colouring is just to make the mixture blue when in higher light levels when the glow isn't as pronounced.

Step 7: Finished

Picture of Finished
There you go, you now have your very own Nuka-Cola Quantum!

I'm in the LED contest so if you think this could good enough please vote!

The LR1130 last about 2 hours supposedly. I use this to calculate how long the batteries will last:

This for reference on different batteries: 

and this for calculating what resistors to use:

In total I think this cost maybe under £10 and I still have 8 LEDs, 6 batteries, four coke bottles and 48 Resistors.
It makes for a nice gift for someone or just for decoration in your geek cave. Heck with a little alteration you could make some red Victory Nuka-Cola or some Nuka-Cola Quartz..

Here's my video of it:


Canned Pasta (author)2017-07-08

What are the exact dimensions in pixels of the labels when you modified them in word? Please send I'm having trouble with this part.

myrla1 (author)2016-09-23

An alternate idea for the light.... No fuss or tools needed. I use party balloon bullet led lights on a lot of my projects. They come in colors, but also white. Just twist it to turn on and off. About $1.25 each. Like the project!

charlie-lee-rhee (author)2014-03-22

this is my version of the cola. it looks like orangejuce, but it glows!

That looks so awesome! Good job! ;)

stale56 (author)charlie-lee-rhee2015-03-10

I tried this with a red LED and it didn't work too well.

Did you use tonic water for this, or something else?

Wow, nice job!

Psychospazz (author)2013-01-28

RAD I like this a ton
well done

Wackey Alex (author)Psychospazz2013-01-31


Ninjajackrussel (author)2012-12-02

Is it ok if i try and sell these to my friends? I will make sure they know i didnot design it or i could put a wacky alex sticker on base or somthing? Great instructable!

Sure! I would love a picture of the finished thing. The LED I used was a 5mm 2000mcd UV LED.

Ninjajackrussel (author)2012-12-02

Oh yeah and what size led did you use so i can build a personal one?

DUSTERMUSTER (author)2012-09-18

This is great! Just wonder how a 15 year old can do this and a 68 year old can't even figure out what he's talking about. More power to you.

Wackey Alex (author)DUSTERMUSTER2012-09-18

Thank you, I used Google extensively to find out what glows under what and why. Younger people have the advantage of finding technology easier to use as we've always had it.

Gumby45 (author)2012-09-10

I'm so going to make something similar to this for my brother :D
He loves fallout and so do I.
You, sir, are awesome.

Wackey Alex (author)Gumby452012-09-11

Thanks looking forward to Fallout 4, aparrently its being set in Boston.

Gumby45 (author)Wackey Alex2012-09-11

Oooh that sounds cool :O

Aleator777 (author)2012-09-09

All Fallout-based instructables earn my respect, especially ones that are well done. Great work!

Wackey Alex (author)Aleator7772012-09-09

Thanks, Fallout is one my favourite game series, looking forward to Fallout 4.

Mike0924 (author)2012-09-07

This is awesome! I love the Fallout games! Thanks for the instructable, I now know what I'm making for my brother when he gets back from boot camp!

Wackey Alex (author)Mike09242012-09-07

Thanks, me too. I hope he likes it!

mcasas (author)2012-09-01

Fantastico y muy bien explicado!! Te felicito. Saludos desde Chile!!

Wackey Alex (author)mcasas2012-09-01

Gracias, hago lo que puedo. Saludos desde Escocia!

oldhamedia (author)2012-08-31

Just a thought, coating the leads in silicone caulk would help in keeping them from getting wet and shorting out, wouldn't it?

Cool instructable!

Wackey Alex (author)oldhamedia2012-08-31

It would but it could make it look ugly and it doesn't short out for some reason. Apparently it's because the LED is more conductive than the water.

Thanks for commenting!

estebones (author)2012-08-31

This is a very well put together instructable!
I've been a member for some time, but your article has inspired me to give it a go!

Wackey Alex (author)estebones2012-08-31

You really should, it's fun and very satisfying. It also makes a great conversation starter if you have new geek friends round.

Nick_Tesla (author)2012-08-30

The water is less conductive than the led

Wackey Alex (author)Nick_Tesla2012-08-30

Thanks for the comment! I didn't know that. I just guessed.

fishofsword (author)2012-08-20

Hey great instructable, but Im having one problem: the resistor and LED are bent in proper position around the battery, and even work when I squeeze them together on either side of the battery, but the magnets arent seeming to produce enough force on either side to get the LED to light up. Any suggestions?

Wackey Alex (author)fishofsword2012-08-21

I made the resistor leg into a square around the magnet to hold it and then used the one on top as a conductor between the LED leg and the battery. Here's some pictures. The cap is being used as a shade as it kept throwing the focus off.

fishofsword (author)Wackey Alex2012-08-21

Thanks! It works perfectly with that little adjustment. Now I just have to deal with the label and I have myself a finished project!

Wackey Alex (author)fishofsword2012-08-22

Nice one!

thassaj (author)2012-08-21

Nice! Wonder if a truly radioactive version could somehow be made using thorium mantles or old radium-painted clock hands? :-)

Wackey Alex (author)thassaj2012-08-21

Well... If you get the radium off the clock hands, then you could combine it with some blue fluorescent powder to make it glow. I think that could make it glow. I do physics, they wouldn't let me do chemistry.

Aggrieved (author)2012-08-20

An easier way to make sure the label prints out exactly right would be to use photoshop or gimp (or some equivalent). open a new image and give it a working area of 9.7cm, then paste in the labels and resize to fit the whole image. print without stretching to fit and it should work fine right off the bat.

Wackey Alex (author)Aggrieved2012-08-21

Ah, thanks. I'll remember that next time. It really was a pain in the **se. I printed off like 12 pages (in black and white with normal paper) before I got it right.

Aggrieved (author)Wackey Alex2012-08-21

fantastic instructable in any case

thor74 (author)2012-08-20

amigo te salio excelente,felicitaciones por tu trabajo,muy prolijo y bien explicado.

Wackey Alex (author)thor742012-08-21

Gracias, me esfuerzo.

fastm3driver (author)2012-08-20

As a dyslexic engineer I aplaude you. keep it up. I'm not sure why but I think being dyslexic makes you a better engineer.

Wackey Alex (author)fastm3driver2012-08-21

Thank you, I'm hoping to become an electronic engineer, or marine engineer. As randomray said it's because we can think outside the box.

MrSkittlz15 (author)2012-08-20

your views have rocketed since yesterday good job ;-)

Wackey Alex (author)MrSkittlz152012-08-20

Thanks ;-)

annpesta1 (author)2012-08-19

This is great Alex. I plan to try it with my 8th grade students. I think they will love it.

Wackey Alex (author)annpesta12012-08-20

Thanks, I hope they do!

syates3 (author)2012-08-19

Did you think about repainting the cap because you sanded it all down it would take paint really easily that way it had a more authentic look? There is even a design on the cap from what I found.

Wackey Alex (author)syates32012-08-19

I did but I don't have any blue paint and I just made sure all the branding was gone.

VIPER2475 (author)2012-08-19

You should sand the round tip of the LED it will disperse the light better

Wackey Alex (author)VIPER24752012-08-19

Thanks for the tip! I hadn't thought of that.

amandaghassaei (author)2012-08-16

cool, you should post this here:

About This Instructable




Bio: I'm 17, I like computers, and anything techy that has something to do with light, LED's, EL Wire etc....
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