8x8x8 LED Cube Case

Back in January, I finished assembly on the 8x8x8 LED Cube. Around the same time I bought an acrylic case for $13 from AliExpress. The case isn’t designed for this specific cube, but this style of case is the only option available anywhere.

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Needless to say, it needed some modifications. I had to drill new holes in the bottom to match up with the mounting holes of this particular board. I also opened up some holes in the back for easier access to the power switch and programming pins and in the side for the power plug.

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After the mods, everything went together surprisingly well.

With all of the soldering and LEDs, the cube is very fragile, so this case should keep it safe. Over 14 months after receiving HackerBox #0030: Lightforms, the full assembly is finally complete. Now I have to update the firmware so I can program my own animations.

Wallet Slayer Vol. 2

I loved the Q Card Case so much for my iPhone 7 Plus I looked to see if there was a version for the iPhone X available. Yep! It’s called the Q Card Case for iPhone X “Wallet Slayer Vol. 2” (CM4). I immediately ordered one in the Blue Jade to go with my Silver iPhone X.

This new version looks and feels nicer than the old one. With the 7 Plus I used to take the case off around the house, but because the iPhone X is so slippery, I’ve been leaving the case on this one. I really like it.

Here are some photos for comparison.

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A Wallet Update

It’s barely 10 days since my post about wallets, but I already have an update. Matt sent a Q Card Case my way. I’ve always been very anti-case for my iPhone. I don’t like the extra bulk.

I’ve never gone wrong with a product recommended by Matt, so I was willing to try it. I needed to minimize even more to make it work. No more backup credit card. If something happens to my everyday card I can use my debit. My flex spending benefits card also got left out, because I only use it every 4-5 weeks. I can’t get myself to completely part with cash, even though I rarely use it, but I cut down to a couple of twenties.

The first time I put the case on and headed out of the house I was pleasantly surprised how free I felt. Without a wallet, there was one less thing to grab and keep track of. When I arrived home I’d slip the case off because I definitely wasn’t carrying it around the house. I continued using the case each time I left the house.

I didn’t expect this outcome, but it’s here to stay. Minimizing down to a credit card, driver’s license, and debit card feels right.

Pibow PiTFT+

Found this case for the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B and the 3.5″ TFT LCD. Got it from Adafruit, where I tend to look first for any accessories, but you can also buy it directly from Pimoroni (they make similar cases for other Pi models or if you don’t have a connected display). The fact that it’s blue (hard to see from this photo) helped make it a quick purchase.

The case is a really neat design, using 10 different layers (there are also 2 extras depending on your display and Pi model) that fit around the board and all of the ports. The 4 plastic screws don’t even go through the Pi board itself at all, which you may think wouldn’t be secure. The way the different layers fit together around the ports means nothing moves even if you shake it. It’s snug. Here’s also a close shot of the clear bottom.

Make Your Own Kindle Cover

Earlier this month, we bought my Mom the Kindle from Amazon for Xmas. I remember seeing Joy’s homemade cover and thought it would be cool if we could create one for our Mom. Isaac and I picked up an old hard cover book at a used book store and some crafts supplies from Hobby Lobby.

Costs

  • Used book: $2.50
  • Foam Sheet: $0.79
  • Elastic String: $1.59
  • Gorilla Glue: $4.49
  • Wood Sticks: $2.15

I actually needed the glue for around the house anyways, so I don’t count that as an expense. The foam sheet and sticks were 50% off the listed price, so we paid a total of $5.56. We bought two wood sticks because we weren’t sure which size would work best, so the total cost could have been less that 5 bucks

The first step was to cut the pages out of the book. I used a hook blade with the utility knife but could have easily used a straight blade instead.

We cut a piece of the foam to cover the left side of the cover and the spine. Glued it down and let it dry overnight. Then we cut pieces of the wood that would cover the entire top and bottom of the Kindle. Two smaller pieces were cut for the bottom so keep the buttons and the USB port free for use. We cut some foam and glued it to the wood pieces.

Then we glued the top and right wood pieces in place and let them dry. Using the Kindle as a guide, we determined where the bottom pieces needed to go. When you do this, make sure there is some wiggle room to get the Kindle in and out. Also make sure there is enough room at the top for the elastic to squeeze in. Once the marks were set, we glued those small wood pieces down.

Next we drilled some holes in the book cover. These are used for the elastic string. At first I thought it would work using two pieces of the elastic with one across the top (just above the screen) and one between the screen and the keyboard. It turns out the top piece wouldn’t work because of the rounded corners on the Kindle. So instead, for the top we went with two pieces of elastic that reach diagonally across the corners. Check out the photo after this one to get a better idea of the hole placement.

Once the holes were in the correct spots, it was time to cut a piece of foam for the right side of the case (behind the Kindle). Notice the notches in the foam piece that allow the elastic to pass through. We glued the foam in place.

We had some trouble with the spine of the book bending correctly because of the glue and the foam there. Used clamps for a bit to try to loosen it up and form the correct closed shape.

Fed pieces of elastic through the holes, put the Kindle inside the cover, and tied off each piece of elastic. You don’t need to pull too tight or else it will be tough to get the Kindle in and out of your cover. The elastic should be just tight enough to keep it from moving around.

After it was tied off and everything fit properly, we glued the knots so they won’t come undone. After the glue dried we cut the excess elastic.

Here is the finished product!

We probably spent a combined 2-3 hours on this. It was a fun little project and Mom loves it. For a handful of Washingtons you can create your own Kindle cover too!