Winner Announcement: Backlit Cube Give-Away!

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 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....


1500 Subscribers + Christmas = Backlit Cube Give-Away!

1500b_300pxWith 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!


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

Clearly Zhanchi

clear-zhanchiI discovered a couple months ago on the forum that Dayan made a small run of Zhanchis in clear plastic around April 2011. They were prototypes, and only about 100 were made. A few vending sites, such as and list them, but as sold-out at this point. Given the rarity, they’ve been hawked on Ebay for over $800!?!

I’ve always dug clear products. Getting to see the inner-workings of intricate machines is fascinating. So, the chance of getting my favorite puzzle in a translucent model was intriguing. The rarity of it made it that much more so. But I wasn’t going to drop 8 Franklins for what is otherwise a $12 puzzle!?!

I eventually found someone on the forum who was willing to part with a new DIY kit at a reasonable price. I received it a couple weeks ago and finally got a chance to assemble it. Here’s a video:

Continue reading

DIY Panshi — FAIL!

video-setupI had grand plans for this post. I figured I’d say how excited I was to get the new DaYan Panshi DIY kit; that I put together a highly sped-up video of me assembling, lubing, tensioning, and stickering it; that it’s a very good cube but not necessarily better than a Zhanchi or Guhong v2; yadda yadda yadda. My posts are always so verbose; for once, I figured, this one could be video-driven.

Well, things didn’t quite work out as expected.

I did setup my video camera and assembled the Panshi as planned. And the resulting video is below. But instead of ending by showing H and F and U perm executions on a new cube, it ends with a 42mm Zhanchi sacrificed for its (now-ruined) core and a defunct Panshi with a broken core, four broken torpedoes, and one broken corner stem. All the result of a badly-made screw.

(music: String Cheese Incident performing “Galactic” on 7.30.03)

What happened? Continue reading

Lego Cube

There was no toy I enjoyed more as a kid than my Legos.  I remember the exact drawer in which we stored them and have vivid memories of building a two-story house with my Dad, with shutters that we would open and close each morning and evening.  In the world before cable TV and the internet and iPads and computers, I had Lego (and Brio) — and that was all I needed.

Now that I’m all growns up, so to speak, with new hobbies and distractions and family obligations, it’s always fun to re-live some of that childhood nostalgia.  My son loves playing with my old Brio set and Lego.  What great cross-generational fun!

Which explains why I was so excited to stumble upon RedKB’s well-produced video showing how to make a Lego-adorned Rubik’s cube.   Continue reading