Introduction: Pulp Fiction Briefcase

What exactly was in that magical briefcase in Pulp Fiction? Well now is your chance to find out, since you'll create your own! This project may be a little more technical than some usual prop instructables, but trust me when I say the payoff is worth it!

Step 1: Supplies

  • LinkIT ONE Board by MediaTek
  • 3 Mosfet's
  • RGB LED Strip
  • Snazzy looking Briefcase
  • Grove IR Distance Interrupter
  • Some tape

I picked up my Briefcase at goodwill for under $10. If you're just looking for a 1-off , this might be a good option.

Step 2: Building the Briefcase Circuit

In order to get our brief case to have that wonderful pulp fiction glow, we'll need to add in a circuit full of our RGB LED lights.

Lucky for us, that circuit isn't too complex. All you will need is a few MOSFET's (which you can find here) and an RGB LED light strip. This is a simple, and popular circuit that you can find detailed instructions too all over the web.

Copy the diagram above to create your circuit. Use a breadboard and jumperwires to prototype it first and ensure it works.

Step 3: Attach Your IR Distance Sensor

Next, let's attach our Grove IR Distance Sensor. Grove sensors are a wonderful thing. They allow quick and painless prototyping with a simple plug+play tinkering model.

Another great feature about the LinkIT ONE board is that there is a Grove Slot built right in. This means we don't need to attach any other base shields!

Simply attach it directly to the Grove Slot to complete the circuit.

Step 4: Run LEDs on Inside of Your Briefcase

Couple of different ways you could do this. If you still wanted keep things in the brief case, you might want to only put the LED lights on the side, however, be mindful that you might not get the same effect.

I simply ran my Lights up and down the briefcase like the picture above. This gave me a great glow, even in semi-bright light!

Using glue or tape here is certainly possible. Just be mindful that if you glue it down, you are straight up ruining the briefcase. Tape or Stick-tack might be a better option.

Step 5: Download RGB Light Library

I Created a custom RGB LED light library to have a little more control over the light strips. There are different libraries for the digital strips, but for the more basic (and cheaper) ones, this library will get the job done.

You'll want to go to github and download the zip file.

We will use this library in our next step (the full on code) so it's important you download it and include it as a library in your Arduino IDE.

Step 6: Deploying Code

Deploying to a LinkIT ONE is just like an Arduino. Heck, it even uses the same IDE!

The logic around this code is fairly straightforward:

If the lid is open, then turn the lights on.

Otherwise, keep the lights off.

Yup. That easy. We read the infrared sensor to detect the distance and see if the lid is open or not. From there, we control the LED Lights.

Download the attached code file and deploy it to your Device.

Step 7: What's in the Briefcase?

What's in the case? That seems to be a legend that nobody can really solve. Hopefully "A bunch of LED Lights" serves as more compelling answer to some!

Best of luck tinkering!

Make It Glow! Contest

Participated in the
Make It Glow! Contest