With repeated thanks to CrazyBadCuber, I’ve hit 1,500 Youtube subscribers. (At the same time, my blog subscriptions have increased, but certainly not as dramatically.)
1500 is a big milestone that coincides nicely with the holidays. Time for a give-away!
THE GIVE-AWAY CONTEST
One of the most popular posts on this blog and videos on my Youtube channel surrounds a LED-backlit Ghosthand Crystal Cube that I “hacked” for constant-on, blink-free illumination. As showcased in the how-to video below, I’ve hacked another one, and I’m giving it away through this contest.
The contest opens immediately, and there are three ways to enter:
- Post a Youtube comment (anything non-inflammatory, non-spam) on the video tutorial below.
- Submit a short Youtube video response that is a tutorial about anything related to 3x3s or 4x4s. Basics, advanced techniques, new algorithms...anything.
- Subscribe to my blog. (Use the box in the blue header.) To be fair to my early blog subscribers, all subscribers as of the close of the competition will be entered.
Yes, that means that you can enter up to three times. But only once in each category. Cheating will lead to disqualification.
I’ll number each of the comments, video responses, and subscriptions and then will use a random number generator to pick a winner. I’ll announce the winner on January 1, assuming Southern California’s forecasted 80-degree weather doesn’t send us to the beach....
THE VIDEO: “HACKING” A CRYSTAL CUBE
The video below introduces the contest and then features a step-by-step guide on how to re-wire the circuit board in the core of the Crystal Cube:
If you know the basics of soldering, it should be a fairly easy project. You can buy the OEM cube here. Interestingly, it seems that the cube currently being sold may have been updated to feature translucent stickers, rather than 3D tiles. I’ve ordered a few more, and I’m interested to see if that also means that the centers feature removable caps for tensioning.
APB: Electrical Engineers, Puzzle Builders Wanted!
Note that the video (at about 13:00) asks for any ideas on how to improve the switching mechanism — both the mechanical mounting and the circuit itself. The circuit could be vastly improved by using a latching circuit triggered by a momentary switch. That could mean a micro tact switch or even a magnetic reed switch, which would be really slick since it could be triggered by an external magnet without needing to reach into the core at all. Theoretically, if I had access to more precise tools and steadier hands, I’d dispense with the OEM circuit board altogether, use a small button cell battery, wire multiple LEDs (probably 4) to it, and then control power through the improved switch.
If we can get the circuit physically small enough, I do think it can be made compatible with translucent speedcubes (such as the Cyoubx-designed VERY GOOD Maru CX3). It would just be a matter of 3D printing a ball core that could house that small circuit.
PLEASE DO CONTACT ME IF YOU HAVE AN ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING BACKGROUND, ELECTRONICS HOBBYIST SKILLS, OR PUZZLE MAKING KNOW-HOW, AND WANT TO PARTNER UP TO EXPERIMENT WITH IMPROVEMENTS.