A quick post and a quick video. I caught a glimpse of the Maru CX3 Phantom Cube the other day and really dug it. In contrast to a typical cube of black plastic with colored stickers, the phantom has black stickers on colored plastic. It’s basically a stickerless cube stickered (on all six sides) with black stickers.
Since I had a handful of black stickers and a Yulong stickerless cube laying around, I figured I could make one myself:
I’ve always been intrigued by stickers on colorless cubes anyway, and this one performs pretty well. That said, the “inverted” scheme makes color recognition really tough. A fun cube, but definitely not one for speedsolving.
Well, the “Hacked” LED-Backlit Cube Give-Away has come to a close. Dozens of new blog subscribers and loads of great youtube comments later, it’s now time to announce the winner.
(music: “Luckie Street Jam” (11.17.2000), String Cheese Incident)
To pick a winner, I first did a virtual coin flip on random.org to determine whether the winner would be a blog subscriber or youtube commenter. Yes, the 50/50 chance gave disproprotionate weighting to the blog subscribers, which are fewer in number than the comments on the video — a thumb on the scale, if you will. No matter, tails meant a youtube commenter. To pick which commenter, I used a Youtube Random Comment Picker tool.
CONGRATS SKCUBER! I’m a new fan of your channel, and encourage others to check it out. It’s got solves, unboxings, creative projects, and good production.
Thanks to everyone who participated. And remember what I wrote in the opening post: If you have any ideas on how to improve the re-wire job or have the skills to partner up on something more ambitious related to it, let me know....
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: Continue reading
Below is a video of a 35-second solve in total darkness. No, not a blind solve. I can’t do that!?! A solve on an LED-backlit cube….
(music: Medeski Martin & Wood, “Uninvisible”)
I wrote a few weeks ago about the custom stickers I had made at 123stickers.com. I was fairly pleased with the visual appearance of those stickers, but they were clearly of a different sticker stock than normal cube stickers. As I wrote in my review, the stickers were very thick (probably three times a normal sticker) and the UV coating was especially shiny. Also, I had printed only monochrome stickers (black/gray), so I wasn’t able to comment on 123stickers.com‘s full-color print capabilities.
When I posted to speedsolving.com, someone pointed me to Oliver Nagy’s sticker site. Oliver is based in Hungary, and apparently makes custom stickers for a lot of Euorpean cubers. I contacted Oliver through his site, and exchanged a few emails. He was extremely responsive and easy to work with. Here’s a link to the logo section of his shop. Continue reading
Yes, I know this is a LONG post. It really needs the backstory to contextualize (and justify) the cube-dying project. If you’re here for the DIY only, skip to the jump
Backstory — The Force Cube
I’ve been cubing for about seven months now, and, in so doing, have gotten four friends to take up cubing. The five of us have spent our fair share of time on amazon.com and comparing notes, and have each come to favor Dayan Zhanchis as our go-to speed cubes. No real surprise there; many consider Zhanchis the gold standard. The surprise is more subtle. Of the three varieties of Zhanchis (black, white, multi-colored unstickered), we each rank them in exactly the same order: first, the unstickered; second, white; third, black. There’s just something “softer,” smoother yet clickier, more controllable about the unstickered cubes. We guessed that the matching preferences were the result of either small differences in the plastics or a shared placebic hallucination.
Slightly confounded, I found validation in this speedsolving.com thread about the “Force Cube.” Turns out another cuber, AL60RI7HMIS7, also had a hankering for stickerless Zhanchis. Realizing that they weren’t competition legal (the piece edges reveal the color of a face pointing away from you), she came up with a clever solution: Buy six stickerless Zhanchis, disassemble, and then reassemble, creating six different Zhanchis — each of a single color of plastic (read: competition-legal), and each made of the stickerless plastic that
many some cubers prefer. Those solid colored cubes could then be stickered like any other cube. BRILLIANT! The only rub was that six Zhanchis would generate only one white cube, with five “byproduct” cubes in undesirable colors. Of course, none of the six were black.
I just received a set of color stickers from Oliver Nagy’s shop, and prefer them over the ones described below. Review here
About a month ago, I wrote about my crazy idea of having custom center cubie stickers made for my cubes. Cubesmith offered that service at one time, and now doesn’t. Bummer. Not one to give up easily, I reached out to handful of sticker sites. The quotes I got back varied widely, from $19 to $625. Yes, six-hundred dollars! In (very partial) defense, those more expensive ones included one-time art, silkscreen fabrication, and die-cut tooling charges that would not appear on repeat orders. And those would have been exceptionally high quality stickers with precision screening akin to the Cubesmith logo stickers.
Alas, not willing to throw hundreds of dollars at this project, I settled on one of the cheaper options: 123Stickers.com. For $20.00 plus $4.95 in shipping, they quoted 180 custom-sized (0.61″ square with rounded corners) CMYK (multi-color) stickers on vinyl with a UV coating. Continue reading