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DIY Light-Up Borderlands 2 Zer0’s Sword

zer0 sword 1

In Borderlands 2, Zer0’s primary melee weapon is his sword. The assassin’s blade glows blue, and Instructables user Shadow of Intent made a cool replica of it. He used a 5m RGB LED strip, 3mm thick acrylic, copper sire, epoxy resin, hot glue, and a few other supplies and sevreral tools. Even though the weapon isn’t used a lot in game play, Shadow of Intent figured it was basic enough to go with other costumes and would still look good in his collection of game weapons. After he constructed the blade and handle, he took the following steps to wire the sword so it would glow:

As with most devices, I oriented the Li-Ion cells to go in positive end first. As such, I soldered a sopper strip to the +12v terminal of the LED strip via an SPDT switch, and the RGB ground terminals to wires long enough to reach the far end of the handle.

There is a 500Ω potentiometer connected to each colour channel, to allow them to be dimmed individually. These are all soldered together to form a common ground (I used 2 wires to connect this to the copper strip to make it more durable when fitting all the bits into the handle. If you have the right solder, you may even be able to use the handle itself as the ground “wire”.

The original 150 LED strip had a total power consumption of 60w. The 85cm strip I cut off only had 24 (9.6w, 0.8A, 15Ω), with a single colour channel having a resistance of 45Ω. I figured that 500Ω potentiometers would drop the voltage across the LEDs by about 90% (Thus turning them off completely), but for some reason it only seems to be about 60%. Annoying, since I wanted to be able to completely shut off 1 or 2 channels using the slider alone, so I’d recommend 1kΩ or 2kΩ potentiometers instead.

zer0 sword 2

zer0 sword 3

Read more at Instructables.


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