I got this toy at the Outpost Toys this afternoon for RM29.90. OK, so I am a big kid but hey, this is my only chance to get an Iron Man Arc Reactor that I can play around. The toys hit the shelves a month before the movie is due and right now, many fans are snapping them up. Without being left out, I bought it straight away. The problem with this toy is that I don't remember seeing Tony Stark's Arc Reactor being yellow in colour in the trailers. Anyway, details are never my strong points and so, I decided that it myst have White LEDs inside. Can it be done? Let's find out as I open the toy.....
This is how the toy looks. Somehow the yellow LEDs gave it a very 'dirty' look and it looked as if the toy was made in the last ten years.
The toy is actually about close to 3 inches. Its made of soft plastic so that kids who are prone to hitting walls would not get plastic shrapnels too.
The toy takes two AAA batteries which is good because I was afraid it would be using those button cells. Nice thing is, they added some spongy material for the cover.
The toy taken apart. It is held by four screws. And, heh, the back cover serves as a screw tray. You need it because yuou will be opening five screws. See the three grey dimples? They are the switches for when you press on the reactor.
This is the front cover. It is two pieces held together with melted pillars. So, I cannot do much about it. I was thinking of using aluminium tapes to create some pattern and also reflect the lights back. Nah, too much work here. Ha ha ha!
Right smack in the middle are the three yellow LEDs. Its on a separate circuit PCB and held together by a smaller screw. Two red pillars makes sure its the tright way round.
Once you unscrew the PCB, you will immediately recognise that its a simple LED circuit with the resistors to control the current. See the three black SMD resistors? it says '470' which is 47 ohms. I calculated that itsa bout right because they have the yellow LEDs about 2.2 volts and 20mA of current.
Measuring the voltage with an el cheapo multimeter, it says there is about two volts passing into the circuit. Which is alright because a Yellow LED needs about 2 volts or less to light up. So, with this fact, I am very confident that I can now change the yellow LEDs into White ones. Problems is, what about the resistors?
So, I tested the white LED using the 47ohms on a breadboard. Note the brightness.
Then I tested it with a 1 ohm resistor because I am giving it 3 volts and 20mA. Slight change to the brightness.
Now, before you start changing the LEDs, pleas note the orientation of the LEDs because if you connect them wrongly, they will not light up.
And also, take note of the positive (red) and negative (black) power cables to the LED circuit board.
So now, I will start to desolder and remove the first yellow LED. I have to do it fast beasue this board is made of SRBP abd bit fibreglass. In other words, cheap. And easily destroyed by heat if you're not good at soldering.
Looking at the original yellow LED, its 5mm shorter than the white LED. This is what some people call 'straw hat' LED. Why, I am not sure. But its a new design to me.
The while LED soldered in place compared to the other two yellow LEDs. Don't worry. I have seen the space available inside the reactor before I decided to do this.
A brief test of the LEDs. With a 1ohm resistor, I can make it brighter. Or, I can short the three resistors instead. But I will change them on my next trip to the electronic shops.
And so, I continued with the desoldering and soldering. You have to be very fast to do this so that the heat does not destroy the board and unglue the copper tracks.
Final test before I put the board back into the toy. Looks OK to me. But now, with the higher power consumption, the toy will definitely not last. But how long?
See? I told you not to worry as there is a lot of space inside the toy. If you look carefully through the slits, you can see one of the white LED.
I feel like Tony Stark now, putting the Arc Reactor except this is not a cave.
Trial run. Looks promising. No turning back because if I desolder and resolder, the SRBP board is definitely burnt. And please, do not sand the LEDs in the hope to make it brighter. It does not work. Trust me.
About the back cover, what you do is to slip it behind your shirt and then slowly clip the toy in top of it. It will 'grab' your shirt. This is the first time I have ever seen this idea implemented.
If you think the toy is a bit off, you can turn/swivel it. But I would not go as far as to jump around with it on and spreading your arms like, well, Iron Man.
And so, there you have it. An Iron Man Arc Reactor (for kids) with modified white LEDs. All in an evening's work (longer if you have kids like me). You do not need to have a hole in your chest like Tony. Heck, its upside down. And look at my manboobs!
Oh, just to let you know, I am doing this test in the bathroom as my Wife thinks its silly. But let me tell you this, once I switch off the lights...... whoa!
Kaelynn demonstrating she is Iron Tot.
I wanted to try this on my Wife but she refused. And then I thought, why not two on her? Heck, why not six? Eight? Bwahahahaah!