Nuka-Cola Prop Looks Deliciously Radioactive

Yet another Fallout post here on Hackaday. This time, instead of the PIP-Boy, someone has built a fantastic prop for the iconic Nuka-Cola. The circuit is super simple, really just an LED array to light up the beverage just right. The construction of the base is quite nice though. If you’re a fan of functional props, or at least semi-functional (we doubt it tastes very refreshing), you’ll enjoy the build.

In case you’re wondering just what is in that bottle, it is basically just tonic water. For those who are unaware, tonic glows under UV light. [Kfklown] did add a few drops of paint to get the perfect color though. You’ll note that there are red and blue LEDs in the base as well as UV for color as well.

12 thoughts on “Nuka-Cola Prop Looks Deliciously Radioactive

  1. Good simple project. Like keastes said you really just need the quinine for the fluorescence to occur but it’s probably just cheaper to buy tonic water. Of course as mentioned it can go bad.

    A solution to this are additives (preservatives) or a different fluorescent compound. On that note I’d be very hesitant to use bleach. Carbonation imparts acidity to the water and mixing bleach with acids in general is a recipe for disaster. Though to be honest I’m not sure if the acidity from carbonation is enough (I’d suggest not to risk it).

    /begin chemistry nerd rant
    Another fact to consider is that chemically fluorescence (especially in the visible spectrum) is actually a pretty rare phenomenon for compounds since it’s a long (time-wise) path for the energy to take to be released from the atom/molecule. This also leads to the fact that it’s also very dependent on the environment the fluorescent chemical is in.
    /end chemistry nerd rant

    The point is: some additives may actually change the chemical environment too much for the chemical to glow. Do some tests before you do big batches. For chemicals which glow in water I’d suggest methanol or ethanol as a preservative (chemically a preservative most similar to water).

    Also a better solution might be to use a different chemical. In particular soaking the guts of highlighters in water is a very good way to impart some glowing action.

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