The glass case is removable from the base, so I frosted it inside and out with a few coats of the frosting spray, then I lined the inside with the thinnest styrene sheet I could find. This helps give the cube a great diffused look. For the lighting, I ordered some LED panels from ebay with nine blue LEDs per surface. I used four total, and mounted them to a square of styrene I built.
I wired them all together, then wired in a switch and connected everything to a 12v AA battery pack I had lying around. Eventually I'll downsize the battery pack since it is a bit bulky and barely fits under the base
It makes the LED(s) "breathe" and looks cool. Plus there isn't any programming or anything like that. I'm going to use a few LEDs to pulse the light and a few LEDs that will be constantly on. In my build photos you can see the circuit blinking (not breathing) but I'm working on it.
The blinking in the video was about 20 LEDs if I remember correctly running off of 4 AA batteries. It lasted around 4 hours.
Thanks, I've since learned that there are LED ball lights that emit light from a series of lights all around the whole outside of the ball. Only drawback is one series is pink so in strobe/crawl mode it blows the effect. My friend ken and I have talked about sacrificing one and removing the pink/red and resolving blue or a dark purple in its place. He used a baseball sized cube and wax paper as a diffuser and it looked awesome. I just think baseball size cubes are too small. I'll keep going with the softball cubes. If I remember where he bought them I'll post it. I may have to ask him again. I'll try for a brand too for all the web heads
Just caught the latest Cap'n America and was reminded of this project. I had been thinking of building one for a while now. My only contribution to this excellent thread is sort of old-school. I was planning to make a base for the cube (since the full case is more ambitious) and using a magnet in the base and a normally-on magnetic switch in the cube. Pick it up and it comes on; replace it and it turns off. Hopefully I'll have something to post one of these days.
So while attending the Microsoft Tech Ed event last week I came across these Lited Ice cubes. They have 7 colors in each one and a rotating color swirl mode. I grabbed three of them to try out inside the cube. Not sure if 1, 2 or 3 will work best. I will try to nix the color combos to see what looks best. There is a white, dark blue and a light blue that seem useable. I still have to make my cube but will post pictures as I get them done.
a couple of links that came up in the Google search:
Hi everyone. Earlier in the thread someone mentioned using flickering LED "candles" as a light source to get the swirly power effect.
FWIW, I found a set of two such lights at Hobby Lobby for $2. (The online store only has this 6 pack.)
The "flame" part pops off easily if you come at it from the side. The case itself is a cheap, thin plastic and you can get into it easily. Be careful not to snag any wires though. Just remove the upper part of the case until you can see the guts. You're left with a CR2032 coin cell battery, a switch, and two wires soldered to the yellowish LED. The switch's box appears to contain all the circuits needed to make the LED flicker intermittently, because that's the only real component in there.
If you want a Tesseract like the films, you can easily remove the yellow LED and replace it with a 3V blue one. That should give you the correct color and keep the flickering effect intact. (I haven't tried this.)
There isn't really a battery holder for the CR2032: It's just two wires with bent metal to make a connection. The good news is that you can replace this setup with a coin cell holder from Radio Shack, or if you need more than 72 hours of light*, any other battery holder that will provide 3V. I tried a 2xAA battery holder and it worked.
(I can provide pictures if you want, but really the thing is so simple I don't think you'd gain much by seeing them.)
Hopefully someone will find this useful.
*The packaging claims each LED tea light will provide 72 hours of illumination. I can't comment on that.
I built my own Tesseract this weekend, and I used some lights that I wanted to share. I found them on Amazon.com for about $5. Three AA batteries connected to a string of 20 very bright blue lights. I made a ball of wax paper, and wrapped the 20 around it. It's a nice cheap way to really light up your Tesseract. I'll post the pictures of the lights, so if anyones interested, you know what ones to get. I'll also post my Tesseract, so you can get the full idea.