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Project: ProtonPack (On Hiatus til 10/1)

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by Pete_Venkman, 20 Jul 2005.

  1. Pete_Venkman

    Pete_Venkman What's a Dremel?

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    Thursday goodness, continued

    Yesterday I started sketching out plans for a matching keyboard, using this here quality item:
    [​IMG]

    I've had this Gateway keyboard for about 6 years, and it's been one of the finest I've ever known. It was previously labelled up for a different theme, but I've cleaned it up and drafted it back into service. This picture is pretty terrible but will give you a general sense of what I wanna do. (disregard the 'wireless keyboard' note at the top)
    [​IMG]

    As always, thanks for taking the time to czech out my mod. :rock:
     
  2. CaPs_On

    CaPs_On What's a Dremel?

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    Looks good, the scetches looks ace(the ideas :D )
     
  3. Jipa

    Jipa Avoiding the "I guess.." since 2004

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    Can't yet see any way this could end looking like jetpack :D Keep it up anyway, and welcome to barefoot-modders-club :D
     
  4. Pete_Venkman

    Pete_Venkman What's a Dremel?

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    I didn't think it'd be long before someone pointed out my toe-cameo. You guys don't miss much!
     
  5. Liquid Steele

    Liquid Steele What's a Dremel?

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    I dont think that it is supposed to be a jet pack, it is a Ghostbuster Proton Pack it should be quite effective in removing that Red growth at the end of your big toe just kidding I know it is a RCA cable

    I love the case keep it up :rock:
     
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2005
  6. Liquid Steele

    Liquid Steele What's a Dremel?

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    OMG I just looked at your keyboard diagram and I noticed that you were considering putting superballs in your keyboard FOR THE LOVE OF GOD DONT DO THAT and shame on you for entertaining the thought :D :D :D

    Great Job so far NO SUPER BALLS :naughty: :D

    Just so we are in agreement you arent going to use super balls right. :naughty: OK great then it looks like I got here just in time to stop you :clap: you dont have to thank me now but some day I will need a favor from you and bla....bla...bla... you know the freaking rest. :D
     
    Last edited: 12 Aug 2005
  7. Pete_Venkman

    Pete_Venkman What's a Dremel?

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    If you insist! :hehe: I may take those spheres off anyways...they don't seem to fit the design. No superballs tho...i promise. :thumb:
     
  8. Pete_Venkman

    Pete_Venkman What's a Dremel?

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    Stay tuned for a pictorial update tomorrow morning...my wife had the digital camera tied up all weekend. I did get some substantial work completed Sunday...and will add to it tonight. ROCK!
     
  9. Pete_Venkman

    Pete_Venkman What's a Dremel?

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    Bear with me

    So I don't have as many pictures as I had hoped. I spend too much time working last night and not enough time taking pictures for y'all. I'll try to explain as best as I can!

    First of all, I found a perfect little knob to make the R-302 valve look like an R-701...from a trial size bottle of mouthwash! I just lightly sanded it, primed it up and pasted it down.
    [​IMG]

    Then I was able to get these clip-on fresnel lenses from Mouser. They take the focused output from the water clear LED and diffuse it perfectly. The result 1" from my outer lenses went from a .25" diameter hot spot to completely diffused across the 1.25" lens. The strip in the picture is a piece of styrene cut from a large 'For Sale' sign. I drilled the hole for the lens, then insert the lens into the strip and the LED into the lens. Then bend the strip in a 'U' shape and slip it into the cutout in the back of the cyclotron. The strip holds the LED at the perfect distance for it to light up the outer lens! Eventually I'll glue them into place.
    [​IMG]

    Here is some more bondo and filler action. I'm slowly finding the best uses for the normal bondo and it's little brother the spot filler. When to choose which to use and all that.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    While the bondo dries, or in between parts of the main pack, I've been working on the keyboard. First I masked off the keys and primed it with about 5-6 coats of Dupli-Color grey sandable primer, with some sanding thrown in. My original sanding was with too aggressive a grit, so I've been slowly filling in the deeper scratches.
    [​IMG]

    Then I cut 1/2" strips out of 1/8" balsa wood, measured and superglued them down to the keyboard. When they had setup, I took a piece of 240grit to them and blended the seams in real nice, and curved the edges. I'm EXTREMELY happy with the looks of them...to the point where I want to put more! (the second picture fell victim to my fatigue in my not turning off the
    flash OR reviewing the pic...but I kept it in because I wanted to show you a closeup of the blending. The black line on the one strip is pen, and was eventually sanded off.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I wish that I had more pictures, but most of the stuff I did on Sunday was tedious measuring and fitting. It took me a little while to figure out how to cut a mounting plate for the PSU, but I eventually got it. It will be attached to a piece of the plywood, which sits on standoffs directly over the harddrives. That way it will be part of the inner backplane with the rest of the computer. The plate that it sits on stands flush with the outer backplane,
    putting the psu behind the cyclotron. I'm working out a short ducting system to pipe the PSU exhaust out of the case through the bottom.

    In one of the photos above you can see a 60mm fan. It's temp-glued to the inner backplane, for fitting. It has a twin on the other side, and I haven't decided how I'm going to mount them yet. I'm thinking there will be one to each side, pulling fresh air into the case. One will blow between the harddrives and the optical drive, the other up toward the motherboard area.
    The very top end of the case between the two backplanes will have exhaust holes cut out with somekind of grating in them. These will be the two main exhausts for the system.

    My friend asked how I intend on displaying the case on an everyday basis, upright or laying down. At first I thought laying down...for the benefit of the optical drive being horizontal. But I'd rather keep it hanging upright or at an angle, for looks and to help the air travel in the correct direction. That decision will come later. I am going to make the bottom pieces around the circular part out of stiffer basswood with an aluminum plate covering to protect that area when the case is sitting upright.

    I've found that the overall speed of the project is slowing down, as I'm having to make more decisions. I can see that I'm near the finish line regarding the proton pack body. The detailing will be simple in comparison. I hope that the bondo/filler element turns out, as this will directly affect the finish of the paint. After seeing how the primer was affected by the scratches in the keyboard body, I went back and applied another layer of filler to the scratches in the cyclotron. It'll be sanded only with 200grit or above from now on.

    The keyboard part of the project is a little more fun, as I have creative freedom. The pack has to conform to a specific design...so it's a little harder to do. My biggest worry is what I'm going to do with this time when the project is finished! :waah:
     
  10. Kumo

    Kumo What's a Dremel?

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    I like the idea to pimp the keyboard.
     
  11. Pete_Venkman

    Pete_Venkman What's a Dremel?

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    Mini Update

    Kept pressing on last night. Monday night I bought on'a these at the local Army/Navy Surplus store, $40US. I shopped around eBay and the web to find that it would almost cost as much for a used one when shipping is included. The one I got was brand new in a bag. It's an A.L.I.C.E. pack frame that soldiers use to mount their gear on. The sources that I've found say that this is what the propmakers used originally on the movie proton packs. Mine has all the same straps and pads, but the frame is flat black instead of OD.
    [​IMG]

    I lined it up on the inner backplane, masked it up and drilled through the two. Then bolted them together with 5/16" elevator bolts (do they really use these on elevators?) and wingnuts. As soon as I had it buttoned up, I put it on for the first time and ran around the apartment feeling like more like Louis Tulley than Pete Venkman. :blush: Of course, all I had on the frame was the single backplane with nothing else, but it felt good to actually have something start to look the part. I posed in the mirror for about 10 minutes checking the height of the pack relative to the base of my skull, the bottom of it to the top of my ass, etc. Wanted to make sure that when it's got all the stuff on it that I'll still be able to walk around. Everything looked good.

    I pulled the bolts out and frame off...then went to a task I've been dreading since this project started. :waah: Turning off my PC and actually taking it apart. You see, I'm one of the superstitious types that gets the willies when I gotta start pulling parts out and laying them about...even in an environment that I can control. Once I finally got my motherboard out I lined it up in the silouhette I had drawn on the backplane and traced in the mounting holes with a pencil, then removed the board and drilled the holes through and countersunk them on the other side. I'm using 6-32 1" machine screws with a flattened phillips head, stuck through the backplane, topped with two nuts and then the board...with one more nut to hold it down. The two nuts will give the assembly the height to not only clear the elevator bolt that lies beneath the board, but ensure that the bottom tips of the agp and pci card connector plates line up perfectly with the otherside of the backplane when nestled into their dremel'ed out 'ditch'.
    [​IMG]

    Suddenly feeling naked without a running PC in the apartment, I hurriedly stripped the rest of the parts from my case and bolted them onto the board. The PSU bracket isn't ready, so it sits to the side. ITS ALIVE!!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    For the few interested parties that read this log, my specs are as follows:
    AMD Athlon XP 3000+
    Soyo KT400 Ultra, Platinum Edition
    2x512 Corsair CMX512-3200C2PRO (with sweet LED action)
    ASUS V9999GT 128 (nVidia 6800GT)
    40gb Maxtor 7200rpm (main)
    200gb Maxtor 7200rpm (storage)
    Generic DVD writer
    Belkin 10/100 NIC (onboard stopped playing nicely)
    Enermax 431watt Silent(yeah, right) PSU

    Humble specs, but they get the job done. I'm hoping to upgrade next spring but my wife might disagree.

    Once it was back up and running I let it do its idle thing while I continued whittlin' on the keyboard. I had intended to pull off the old green LED's and replace them with reds on dongles. But I don't have the budget to invest in desoldering gear, and I felt lazy so I flipped the board over and soldered my lines directly to the back posts of the existing LEDs. These later got slathered over with hotglue to insulate and give the joints some support.
    [​IMG]

    Then I soldered some water clear reds to the other end of the speaker wire and heatshrink'd them up real nice. I plugged it into my little HP power-test rig and everything lit up the right way! Bonus!
    [​IMG]

    The rest of the night included some more planning on the keyboard, and watching Sin City. Great stuff, if you haven't seen it I highly reccommend it. :rock: :thumb:
     
  12. Pete_Venkman

    Pete_Venkman What's a Dremel?

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    question for the kiddies

    Reading through some worklogs on various sites, I caught mention of sprayable Plasti-Dip. I've used the brush on plasti-dip before, it's pretty cool stuff. It's basically a thick liquid you can brush on that dries in to a rubbery coating like you find on older hand tools. Lowe's had the spray on stuff for just over $4 a can, so I got some to try it out. I was originally just gonna use it to coat the handles on the sides of the keyboard mod.

    Last night was temperate and less humid, so I decided to test spray some scrap wood to see what kind of finish I could get outta this stuff. I prolly put on about 6-8 thin coats about 10 minutes apart. The result was pretty amazing. The spray goes on really easily and really nice, drying with a texture similar to leather. Feeling rambunctious I whipped out my 128meg generic USB thumbdrive and hosed it over a couple of times (without sanding). I'm EXTREMELY happy with the results. The texture is really cool, the sheen is kinda flat/satiny, and the durability is top notch. With my caveman thumbnail, I can't scratch it off...and any mark is easily rubbed off. Plus it's nice and thick, as it covered up a little crack on the side of the thumbdrive cap really nice.

    So I'm thinking about using this stuff for the final finish of the proton pack, keyboard and anything else I make. I'm a little apprehensive, as it seems that if I use this and don't like it, there will be no going back (easily at least). I was going to use flat black primer, rubbed with steel wool and sealed with matte clear coat.

    So, the questions for y'all...has anyone used this Plasti-Dip on a larger scale? How is the finish? How is the long-term durability? Are you happy with it?

    I have some spare gear around the office, I might take some home to test-spray and see how it turns out. Please gimme some advice...I don't wanna finish this proton pack only to ruin it with the paint step.
     
  13. Pete_Venkman

    Pete_Venkman What's a Dremel?

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    New Deadline for main body

    I finally have a hard deadline to finish the main part of the body. My friend has scheduled a LAN at his new house (congrats, TD) on Saturday, September 3rd. I want to have the proton pack finished and in working condition by then to take to the LAN. But mostly because I don't want to have to put all my gear back into the old case!

    I don't think I'll have the proton gun finished (or started?) by then. It'll prolly be enough of a squeeze to get the pack done by then.

    Cross your fingers!
     
  14. doryakov

    doryakov What's a Dremel?

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    good job .
     
  15. the_secret

    the_secret What's a Dremel?

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    seems to be comming together really nicely. can't wait to see the final product.
     
  16. 1005UnlimitedHours

    1005UnlimitedHours Banned

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    Man, this mod is kicking my asshole in!
     
  17. bootupbuddha

    bootupbuddha grunge modder

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    This is looking great. you know there is also a spray on bondo that you might want to use. I havent used it myself but some other modders have and it looked it good.
     
  18. Pete_Venkman

    Pete_Venkman What's a Dremel?

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    Spray on bondo? Sounds perfect...any idea where I can find it? I've been looking for spray putty as a bridge between spot filler and primer with no success.
     
  19. Sva4g3&*

    Sva4g3&* What's a Dremel?

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    More please? Interested in final!

    -Rob
     
  20. Pete_Venkman

    Pete_Venkman What's a Dremel?

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    Racing toward the finish line, and I love wet sanding!

    Some random bits to get started before I get down to the big stuff.

    Here's the mouse I'm going to theme to fit this project, the venerable old MX500...battle worn over many months:
    [​IMG]

    And with the base removed, masked and sanded. I was going to sand that metal plug down and paint it smooth but I think I like the way it looks bare.
    [​IMG]

    I initially spray it over with the black plasti-dip spray, but I'm not caring for the finish, so I think I'm gonna peel that off and deal with it later.

    These two chrome tubes are for the base of the power cell, they hand down with wires hanging out that connect to the side of the cyclotron. They look sweet chromed out, but I'm gonna end up sanding them down and painting them to match the body.
    [​IMG]

    I've been searching the DIY stores for something similar to modder's mesh to use for intake and exhaust grills, but with smaller openings. I was about to break down and order some real MM, when I found this packet of goodness at AutoZone:
    [​IMG]

    There are two in the pack, thin mesh pieces coated with adhesive on the back. They're made to span holes in an auto body to give the bondo something to grab onto. First thing I had to do was get that pesky adhesive off, as it wouldn't be good to have the grills sticky...also the adhesive was basically a thin sheet of stickness that actually covered the holes. I dug out this little pan that came with my toaster oven, put the grill in the bottom and hosed it with "Goo Gone" (btw - if you EVER need to take the adhesive offa something, Goo Gone is the goddamn best).
    [​IMG]

    After soaking for fifteen minutes or so, I rinsed it off, then attacked it with a green dishwashing pad and a bath of dish soap and hot water. It took some time and dealing with a nasty liquid adhesive glue, but I got it all off and this was the result, perfectly sized, thin and lightweight:
    [​IMG]

    And a testfit of the grill in one of the plates at the top of the pack (disregard that chunky paw holding it):
    [​IMG]


    As for the main body, I had bondoed and filled and bondoed some more...I just wanted to see where the hell I was, so I layed it out on the balcony and hosed it with Duplicolor Sandable Primer. The big paper 'flame' in the center is to mask out the fan intake.
    [​IMG]


    While that was drying I started playing with these little guys, brass thread inserts.
    [​IMG]

    The interior thread is 8-32, to match those little paddle thumbscrews, and the exterior is nice an chunky, made to be drilled into wood to give it threaded holes. My plan was to tape the whole thing together and drill through the inner backplane and into the wooden dowel legs that come down from the outer backplane. Then drill the holes in the legs up bigger and screw these inserts into them. Then I'll be able to bolt the backplanes together with the thumbscrews.

    Problem is, the inserts I bought were WAY to chunky to fit in the basswood dowels without splitting them like a microwaved sausage.
    [​IMG]

    So I raced out to a different hardware store, where I luckily found different inserts with the same interior threading but with thinner walls and a less aggressive outer threading. I chose eight wooden legs around the perimeter of the pack and drilled the inserts into them, then put the inner backplane on and screwed it down. Eureka!
    [​IMG]

    Although, I don't care for the paddle-shaped thumbscrews, so I might go to something else later on. These will do for now.

    With the backplanes finally bolted together, I was able to start 'skinning' between the two backplanes with slats of balsa and basswood. I used basswood in high-traffic areas, as well as where I intended to put vents, computer ports and at the bottom where the pack would rest when standing up. The balsa worked fine for the cosmetic areas. I superglued the plates to the top backplane, and to a leg if there happened to be one there. Then unscrewed and removed the inner backplane and flipped the whole mess over:
    [​IMG]

    Once the superglue had set to my satisfaction, I reinforced the joints between plates with thick woodglue. I'm giving that a day to setup, then I'm going to coat the interior of the plates with bondo to make them nice and sturdy. The two areas missing plates are going to get vents (you can see at the top where the vented plate I showed earlier will be). And once THAT's all done, I'm gonna fill in the gaps on the outside of the plates, tidy up all the wood, fill in the grains and prime it again.


    Here's one of the outer pieces of the pack enjoying some time in the fading sunlight:
    [​IMG]

    I let the bondo'd parts dry outside to take the fumes with them. Pictured is actually the second coat of bondo on that piece. When it was done, I rough sanded it with 60 grit on the mouse sander, then coated it with the red bondo spot putty. I used WAY too much, but I'm happy with the results after I finally broke out the WET SANDING!
    [​IMG]

    Here you can see two pieces now nearly finished and ready to paint. Both were coated with spot filler, then wet sanded with 220 grit. The finish is pretty sweet, and there are only a few spots that need touching up. They'll be lightly sanded and then primed.


    And in finishing, lets talk about finishing. Originally, I read somewhere that taking steel wool to black primer leaves a nice finish for a proton pack. I was going to do this, then I found the rubbery plasti-dip and wanted to use that to finish the pack. After being exposed to this stuff for a week, I'm not thrilled about the idea of using it, due to its tendency to peel after being even slightly torn. So I reverted to the sanded-primer route, and tested it on the first primer coats of the main body. I wet sanded with 400 grit, and the finish was AWESOME! Hard and smooth, like light grey obsidian! So I'm in love. Once I have all the nasties filled in, it will be coated with black Duplicolor sandable primer, sanded, coated and then wet sanded with 400grit...and I may try out 1000grit to see how that goes.

    Thanks for tuning in. :D
     

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