Introduction: Lighting for Transformers™ Masterpiece Soundwave's Energon Cube.
This is a quick project to add a bit of flare to an accessory of the Transformers Masterpiece Soundwave. I made one of these a number of years ago and thought I'd make a new one and share the process.
Masterpiece Soundwave (Takara MP13 or Hasbro MP-02) comes with an empty energon cube fashioned after those seen on the original 1983 Generation 1 cartoon series. Takara, the makers of Masterpiece Soundwave, released a printable papercraft insert for the cube to "fill it with energon." I thought it would add to the effect to install a small battery operated light inside to emulate the glowing energon. The one thing I didn't want to do was to have to open the cube, mess with the paper insert to get to an on / off switch. I decided the easiest way would be to use a reed switch and a small magnet instead.
Step 1: Materials, Tools, and Skills.
This project will require a few materials.
- One LED in the color of your choice.
- One reed switch.
- One button / coin cell battery. (3v)
- One battery holder / sled. (to match the battery.)
- One small magnet (not Shown)
- Soldering Iron.
- Needle-nose pliers.
- Desoldering tool. (if you are a messy solderer :P)
Special skills required.
- Ability to do very basic soldering. (This included knowing to to over heat everything and burn things out.)
Step 2: Preperation.
Start by identifying and noting the positives and negatives of you components.
- Test the LED using the battery to determine its polarity. Usually the longer lead is positive.
- The battery is marked and the large flat side with markings is the positive side.
- The battery holder has surface contacts for the negative side of the battery and an edge contact for the positive. the positive side of the battery will face out when inserted.
- The simple reed switches do not rely on polarity so you don't have to worry about it.
Start by bending the leads on the LED and reed switch similar to shown in the picture. This is to get the LED in a central location and the reed switch out to an edge. This will assist the function once completed.
Step 3: Soldering Time.
*** Make sure the battery is removed from the battery holder during soldering. Batteries should not be overheated. ***
Lightly tin the ends of all of the leads on the LED, reed switch and battery holder. Do not over heat as you could burn out or melt the components. (Tin is a technique of applying a small amount of solder to a lead or wire prior to soldering components together. This helps speed up the actual soldering.)
With the battery holder upside down, solder the LED to the battery holder matching polarities. negative to negative and positive to positive.
Solder the reed switch to the opposite lead of the batter holder.
Solder the LED and reed switch together on the remaining leads.
You should end up with something similar to the picture.
Step 4: Testing the Circuit.
Time to test it out.
Insert the battery into the battery holder and draw the magnet near the reed switch. If it fails to light up recheck the polarities and test components to ensure they didn't burn out during soldering. Correct any errors or replace any components to rectify the issue.
Step 5: Cube Paper-craft.
If you do not already have a paper insert, you can do an internet search to find a few examples.
below is a link to both low and high resolutions versions of a very good one posted on the Transformers World 2005 forum.
Credit to Users 'Vangelus' and 'Deadsled' for their contribution.
Cut out and assemble the insert. I suggest cutting the tabs as small as possible. I also suggest using very small pieces of tape or paper glue, as you will see the tape once lit. leave the back flap open to access the inside to insert the light.
Orient the light so that it is centered in the cube the reed switch is closer to the rear. Once placed inside lose the cube up.
Step 6: Test Again.
Test the light using the magnet once again. If it fails to light up you may need to adjust the light position or use a stronger magnet.
Step 7: Finished.
Now you have a functioning energon cube for your display. Set the magnet behind the cube to turn the light on or remove it to turn the light off. You will only need to open the cube again to replace the battery, which should last a long time with casual use.