Make Nuka-Cola Quantum




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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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:

LED Contest with Elemental LED

Finalist in the
LED Contest with Elemental LED



    • Build a Tool Contest

      Build a Tool Contest
    • Pie Contest

      Pie Contest
    • Remix Contest

      Remix Contest

    75 Discussions

    Canned Pasta

    1 year ago

    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.


    2 years ago

    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!

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

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

    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!

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    1 reply

    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.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    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.

    2 replies

    6 years ago on Introduction

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

    1 reply

    6 years ago on Step 7

    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!

    1 reply