The last few days of waiting for Fallout 4 were excruciating. Space was cleared on my hard drive. Drivers were updated. I had even pre-loaded the game via Steam. All that was left was the waiting... Until one of my coworkers sent me this tweet. Jones Soda was making a special batch of Nuka Cola Quantum!
It was a given that I would have to get some*, but how does one properly store a radioactive beverage? Sure, I could put it in the fridge, but I don't want my cheese to start mutating, or my eggs to hatch into tiny deathclaws.
There was only one thing to do... Make a special holder for my prized bottle of Quantum. Now I had something to focus on during the last three hours until launch!
For this, I would need a few things:
- Wide-Mouth Mason jar lid (I used a two-part lid)
- Mirelurk slime (I used glow-in-the-dark Sculpey)
- Wonderglue (I used a hot glue gun)
- 70mm LED ring from Cool Neon (I'll link to the part as soon as their on-line catalog gets updated)
- 12v wall-wart from Cool Neon
- Lever Switch (Radio Shack 275-0016)
I also used the following tools:
- Wire cutters
- Soldering iron
- Hot glue gun
- Drill with 3/16" bit
* Silly me! Sold out everywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area by 9am. Looks like I'll be giving these two display stands away.
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Step 1: Preparing the Lid
In order to place the LED ring on the lid, we were going to need to cut a hole for the contact points. As I wanted my stand to 'activate' when a bottle of Nuka Quantum is present, I also cut a hole for the lever switch. Using a hammer and chisel, I cut a T-shaped hole into the lid.
Step 2: Installing the LED Ring and Switch
Assuming you are using the LED ring sold by Cool Neon, we need to make a quick mod here that we will undo later. We need to remove the leads to the LED, because there is an in-line rectifier and voltage regulator that isn't going to fit through the hole we made in the lid.
You need to make note of two things:
- Which leads connect to the LED (Tape them, trim them, or tie them in a knot. Just don't forget which ones they are!)
- Which color lead goes to which solder point. On mine, if the solder points were towards me, the pink lead was on the right.
- De-solder the leads from the LED ring.
- Place the LED ring face down on a clean workspace.
- Add a bead of hot glue around the ring.
- Carefully orient the lid, also face down, over the ring so that the solder contacts are clearly visible in your T-cut.
- Lower the lid onto the ring, and apply firm and even pressure for a minute so that the hot glue cools.
- Now place the lever switch into the T-cut, with the common post towards the center of the lid, and hot glue it into place.
Once the glue cools, you will probably need to trim the contacts on the lever switch. Place the lit into it's lid ring, and check to see if the contacts protrude past what will be the bottom of your stand. If they poke out too far, trim them with wire cutters.
Hot glue the LED ring's voltage regulator module to the lid, and re-solder the output leads back to their original positions on the LED ring.
Solder the white wire of the input leads to the common post on the lever switch.
Now we can set this aside for a little while.
Step 3: The Upper Stand
Mirelurk slime is incredible stuff. It helps adhere those eggs to the sides of sewer walls, and even after you loot the eggs they are stuck to those walls forever. That's why I chose it, known by its brand name Sculpey, to help hold my Nuka Cola Quantum in place on the stand.
I'm no artist, so you are pretty much on your own here. The basic gist of what I did was roll out some Mirelurk slime into a long ribbon, form it around the top of the lid ring, trim away excess, and make sure it conformed to the shape of a Nuka bottle.
Once I was happy with that, I baked it per the package instructions.
Once it cooled, I separated it from the lid, and then securely glued it back on.
Step 4: Putting It Together
We're in the final stretch...
I used Wonderglue to secure the lid into the ring.
Then I drilled a small hole on the opposite side of the T-cut, and fed in the power lead from the 12v wall wart. Once I had it positioned, I tied a knot in it.
I soldered the negative lead to the Normally Open post on the switch. For this Radio Shack switch, that was the center post.
I soldered the positive lead to the pink input wire, and then I shrink-wrapped it and secured it with Wonderglue.
Once everything was secured, I added some Wonderglue to secure the knot in the black power feed against the side of the lid.
Step 5: Final Pics and Comments
Well, it's 12:28, and what started as a distraction has now cost me 30 minutes of time playing Fallout 4.
If I have forgotten any details, could show better pictures, or anything else, please leave me comments and I'll add updates as quickly as possible. Please be advised that I expect to only return from the Wasteland every 24 to 48 hours, and even then it will only be for short naps. :)
Why did I choose glow-in-the-dark Sculpey? Well, Blick didn't have any Transparent Blue in stock (web order only), and the glow-in-the-dark has the added benefit that it behaves like an irradiated organic material. It continues to glow for a while after the Nuka Cola Quantum has been removed from the stand. :)
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