Introduction: Tilt Activated LED Glow Cube
This instructible will show you how to quickly and easily build your own tilt activated color changing light cube!
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Step 1: What You'll Need
The materials I used are:
1) 3 5mm rgb slow fading LEDs (look on ebay. I found 50 for $12)
2) 1 baseball display box (hobby store, $2.99)
3) clear glass marbles (hobby store $.99)
4) 1 9v battery holder (Radio Shack, $.99)
5) 9v battery clip (Radio Shack approx $3 for 5)
6) 1 sub-mini momentary switch (Radio Shack $1.50)
7) soldering iron
8) glue gun
Step 2: Assembling the Electronics
First solder your LEDs in series. I used 3 5mm LEDs that have a forward voltage of approx 3.2v, so in this project I didn't use a resistor with the 9v battery. Solder the LEDs so that the positive (the longer leg) of one goes to the negative (shorter leg) of the next. Next, solder your negative battery clip wire to the positive end one of your end LEDs.
I needed a hole in the bottom of the cube for the momentary switch and found that the soldering iron did an ideal job. I melted the hole to the right size and slipped the switch in. When the plastic cooled, the switch was secure. The actually switch part sticks out just enough from the bottom to be pressed when the cube is set down with a little pressure.
Finally, solder the positive lead of the battery clip to one of the switch posts, and the final LED leg to the other post.
Test your connections with the battery. If all is well, use a drop of glue on each of the 3 supports made to hold the baseball and secure your LEDs. trim any excess.
Step 3: Almost Done!
The area in the middle of the LEDs is a perfect fit for the battery holder. Glue that right in the middle. secure your battery vertically. Don't worry, once the marbles are in place, you won't be able to notice the battery.
This baseball cube comes in two pieces that slide together. In order to add the marbles, put it together, leaving just enough separated to fit the glass marbles through. It can be a little tricky, but if you cover the bottom openings and take your time, you'll be able to fill it up quickly.Stop occasionally and shake it lightly to even out the way the marbles sit. Don't try to overfill or you won't be able to close it properly!
To hold the two pieces closed, you could glue them together. I choose not to so that I can easily change the battery when need be. You can use what you like to secure them, but I chose an elastic decorative string I had around. Tied tightly, this keeps the whole cube in place and makes it look like a small gift.
Step 4: The Finished Project
The weight of the marbles will activate the momentary switch when you set it upright. The marbles do a fantastic job of diffusing the light from the LEDs. And once they start changing colors out of sync, you'll end up with three distinct colors at a time!
I'd love to see different variations done on this. I plan on trying different colored marbles/materials. Let me know what you think!