Introduction: Quantum, UV LED Display
Guess I'm on a Fallout Kick, as this Instuctable came about due to needing a display for my Nuka Cola Quantum prop. I studied up on what I would need and came up with a few Ideas. Kicked them around for a bit and ended up with the pictures you see here.
Step 1: Tools and Materieals
A folding utility knife with new blade
High speed rotary tool
Fiberglas cut off disk for ruff shaping your plastic
Medium barrel sanding drum with medium grit
big bulky soldering iron. (really get the (9.99 kit from makers shed if you need one. It's ideal for this and other small projects.) I used my wife's that she uses for jewelry making. The tip is about worn out and is a really cheap one to boot.)
Electrical solder (has flux in the core.) I used .050 dia solder. 60% tin 40% lead.
fine Rat tail file
course, medium and fine sanding paper. I glue all mine to a fingernail file. Or make your own.
Small wire (I used some wire out of a cat cable)
switch (autozone) (but I got mine out of one of my parts bins. No idea where or what it came from)
UV LED (2 for 1.99 at radio shack)
100 Ohm resistor (5 for 1.19 at radio shack)
9 volt battery clip (5 for 2.99 at radio shack)
9 volt battery (.99 from radio shack. Mine was on sale but you can get them at dollar stores for a buck too)
a stip of 6mm foam
silver or chrome paint (TEST IT OUT FIRST)
Old Broken Mag light. One of those 2 dubble A jobs. Off brand works too. This is kinda optional as well but I like it.
Step 2: Prepping the Base
I used a tuna can. I liked the size and shape of a tuna can as it is short and already has the metal reinforcing ring that I wanted to use as the top once you remove the lid.
Open your can of tuna. Save the lid to trace on the Plexiglas later. DON'T use one of them side cutter openers. We don't want that here. I thought that the cans with both top and bottom removable would be the best but I did mine with the type with a rounded bottom. Once finished I changed my mind and like the way this one turned out. You could use the other kind in fact if you want to access every thing from the bottom and you have both kinds of can openers that might be the way to go too.
Dump out the tuna, preferably into a bowl. Mix in some mayo, mustard, chopped up boiled egg, What ever you like. Throw it on some bread and make some sandwiches. You might get hungry during the build. Of course you may want to wash it down with an Ice cold Nuka Cola.
Now you need to lean the can. I threw it in the dishwasher. You also want to remove the label. I had to soak mine in hot water to remove some of it. I also sanded any ruff spots left by the can opener with fine sand paper.
Figure out where you want the switch, cut in the hole where it will go. This will depend on what switch you get. Make sure it fits properly. and that you will not have problems with installing it later. You don't want the hole too small OR to big. If installing a square switch you can cut the long sides with your fiberglass cut off disk. I did and it made it really easy. Cut down the middle then bent the two side pieces till they popped out from fatigue. I then filed off any burs, dry fitted the switch, filed some more ect Until it fit.
I then coated the inside bottom of my can with 3 coats of plasti-dip spray to insulate the metal from any electronics. Once dry I cut a strip of 6mm foam 1 7/16 wide. I cut this off the long side of my sheet of foam. Then dry fitted it inside the can and marked where it overlapped. Cut on the mark. Re-dry fitted to check that it was tight. (a little big is fine) Pulled it out. rubber cemented the two ends together. Then stuck it inside. Since it was just a little to big it fits really snug. Just how I wanted it. The foam insulates the rest of the can from the electronics. It also acts as a lip on the inside of the can to hold your top.
I was working on the lid while the Plasti-Dip was drying so you get a sneak peak of it before the next step.
Step 3: The Lid, Top, Whatever You Want to Call It.
I used 2mm Plexiglas. Or you could use the plastic from a CD/DVD case or anything really. It could be made out of wood or metal. I wouldnt use glass however, but that's just me.
Using the lid from the tuna can and sharpie trace a circle onto the Plexi.. Ruff cut with the rotary tool and fiberglass cut off disk. switch to sanding drum and carefully Sand the edges all the way down until you hit your sharpie line. Testing for fit every once in a while. Once your "lid" fits you want to use some fine sandpaper to finish the edges a little. I had a messed up "lid" that I attached to a mandrill that fit in my drill. (used a big blob of hot glue) I then glued the two "lids" together with rubber cement. (don't use hot glue to hold them together. It's to hard to get it off your finished "lid"
I then used the sanding file I made and sanded the edges really well. Till they were almost clear again.I could of then hit the edge with a flame to finish the job but there really was no need as the finest sand paper I had came from a model sanding pack and it did a really good job.
I was doing all the parts at the same time. Some of it was waiting for stuff to dry or coming up with how to do something.
Now I wanted the plexi to have a mirror finish and i thought that the American Accent silver paint I had would work. It didn't but it is what I had. I sprayed the underside of the lid but I needed a non-painted part in the center the size of the reflector from a mag light I cannibalized. I tried a few things but ended up masking off the center of the lid with a washer that was just smaller than the opening on the cone reflector. I used a clamp and some scrap craft foam to make sure the washer didn't move. Then I spray painted two coats of Silver paint.
While the paint was drying I needed to widen the aperture on the cone reflector to take the 5mm UV bulb. I should have drilled out most of it but I used a rat tail file to do it all. It took forever and my hand hurt afterwards. The file kept trying to thread when turned. So I had to turn the opposite way which isn't the effective way to use this type of file. Eventually I persevered and while trying to dry fit the bulb for what had to have been the 20th time it finally seated all the way in but was still snug enough to hold the LED without gluing it into place. Something I wanted in case I ever had to change it.
By this time the silver paint was dry so I took the reflector and a burnt LED from an old toy placed the LED into the reflector as a place holder then centered and hot glued the reflector onto the, dried silver painted, lid. First a dab on one side. Then the opposite side. Checked to make sure it looked good from the front and finally ran a bead of hot glue all the way around.
Grabbed my can of spray on Plasti-Dip and once the glue cooled I coated the whole back side in it. I could have used a few coats of black paint or something but the Plasti-dip is tough and I put it on thick. This will keep the silver paint from getting scratched. (this step is also why I used an old burnt LED to keep any spray from getting inside on to the surface of the reflector.)
That completes the lid portion. Was I completely satisfied with how it turned out? No. I wanted a mirror finish. But I can only blame myself for not testing the paint I had. A chrome paint instead of a silver paint would probably have worked. I know I've seen chrome spray on paint that can look really good so next time I'll look for that.
One last thing about the lid. I made it to fit really snug on the can. Snug enough that it doesn't just rattle around or fall out when turned upside down. Even with the weight of the 9 volt battery on it. Its friction and suction.
Step 4: THE GUTS. or Wiring
Now I am not an electrical expert. In fact this is only the second project I've soldered in years. I used Instructables and the net to do research on what I wanted. The simplest way to run an Ultra Violet Light. What i finally came across is XxShadowxX14's Instructable UV LED Torch . It was perfect and so simple even I could do it. I looked up quite a bit of information. How LED's work. The fact I wanted something that would last for a while ect. I didn't want just a throwie in this. I wanted something that if I needed to I could later add a wall supply to it. I know there are 9 volt power supplies for powering Arduino's so that's what I went for. XxShadowxX14's design was perfect. With a few modifications.
Just check out his Instructable to see how a pro does it. I did make up my design so could follow it and add a little more information about LEDs than what Shadow had so I'll add that picture. The other picture is there mostly for laughs.
Notice the resistor is on the black wire? I installed the switch on the red one. I did not have the switch in the diagram because I actually know how to wire in a simple switch. Just use extra wire if you need too. I used a longer wire After I soldered the resistor onto the black wire. I later had to loop the black wire and tape it to itself as it was too long but better a little long than too short.
The only thing about this step is I could have used some of that heat shrink tubing to help it look nice. Instead I used electrical tape. Next one I will invest in the tubing. Once I get some I will probably go back and fix this one.
Step 5: Finished Product.
That's basically it. Just put it all together. The Switch hole was big enough that every thing fit through it so I didn't have to solder the switch in while it was in the can. The switch had plastic v shaped pieces that let it just snap in place. So didn't even have to fasten it down. I grabbed the lid and pushed the LED into place popped on the battery, closed it up and flipped the switch.
UV light can damage your eyes. Don't look at it. UV light is what tans and burns your skin. When welding it is what is emitted and can cause eye damage. Just be cautious when using UV LED's.
In the picture you can see it just before final assembly. I know it looks hacked together when it is apart like it is but just check out the next picture.
The lid fits so snug that I have to use a suction cup dart to get it out. Better than a tiny screw and battery box on the bottom if you ask me,
A few last things, I got the quantum label from Whatpayne's deviantART page. I modified it into a long strip.While I wanted a nice new label on the display itself the bottle is going to get a label designed by Wasteland Elvis over at Wasteland Outpost. He's working on a weathered one that I want to use on the bottle. The one currently in use is just a place holder. It's not even glued down just clipped into place. Once again my printer doesn't want to print out the size Gimp says the size is so the label isn't quite as tall as I wanted. But ran out of ink right after I printed this one so made due.
A bunch of action shots follow the four main pictures as well. I was trying to get the best picture in the best lighting on my cell phone camera. I should really invest in a nice one one of these days.
Step 6: Thanks.
I'd like to thank Bethesda Softworks for making Fallout 3. Brought back one of my favorite series.
XxShadowxX14 and his great UV torch Instructable. Made this project really simple for me to understand LEDs
jaime9999 for his Soldering Iron stand as seen in one of the pictures. (the stand my ex-wife had was ((in a Scottish accent)) CRAP!!!) (I can roll my R's, Honest.)
Everyone over at Wasteland Outpost . A community of Fallout Prop builders. some Really talented people there.
Whatpayne on diviantART for his work and letting anyone use his labels however they want. Check out his stuff. seriously.
I am entering this into the competition but have been working on it even before it was announced. Pretty good timing if you ask me.