So, in my last post, I explained that I decided, despite a complete lack of knowledge as to how, to build a “magic” treasure chest for my daughters that could only be unlocked when three crystals were placed into the lid.

Since I didn’t know how to do this, you’d think that’d be enough.

The problem, I learned, is that in the absence of actual planning (as, say, someone who knew what the hell they were doing might do), all you’re left with is pie-in-the-sky imagination.  Now, that can be a good thing – sometimes.  But in my case, that meant that what began as one difficult task soon became several.

See, as I mentioned before, I was going to have one crystal per daughter (and I have three daughters).  So, 3 crystals.  When I started thinking about how to place those crystals on the lid, there weren’t many options.  Basically, (if you recall your geometry class), unless I put them in a straight line, the three crystals would define a triangle.  So, imagine for a moment that you have the words “magic”, “treasure”, and “triangle” floating about in your head.

I don’t know about you, but when I think magical treasure triangles, I think “Triforce”.

And everyone knows that there are three Triforces (courage, wisdom, and power), which continued with the theme of “3”s.

More highly technical blueprints. You can see the Triforce theme starting to emerge.


But then, I reasoned, if I have three glowing crystals, it would look weird to have three non-glowing triangles.  So…the triangles would have to glow too.  Okay, fair enough.  If I can get the crystals to glow, after all, it shouldn’t be much harder to get the triangles to glow, too, right?  And what if, when the triangles lit up, you could see my daughters’ initials in them?  Wouldn’t that be cool?

And then I thought…this is a magic treasure chest with three glowing crystals and three glowing triangles on the lid.  Was I seriously going to have this thing open without playing the “Secret” theme from Legend of Zelda?

No.  No, I wasn’t.

Of course, now this thing involves speakers, which are going to need more power than what a few LEDs would require.  Plus, I have no idea how to play music on anything that’s not, you know, already designed to play music.

Okay, so now my task list looked something like this:

  1. Figure out how to make crystals glow.
  2. Figure out how to make triangles glow.
  3. Figure out how to make letters appear within the triangles.
  4. Figure out how to make placing the crystals open a lock.
  5. Figure out how to play music when the lock is opened.
  6. Figure out how to power it all.

At this point, looking over the list of things I didn’t know how to do, my thought process was something like: “I need to buy something now before I talk myself out of this.”  So I plunked down $120 on a soldering iron and a Beginner’s Arduino Kit from Amazon, and blundered off.

Next time:  I actually try to build something and get Rickrolled in the process.

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