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Project The Iron Policeman

Discussion in 'Project Logs' started by The Widow Maker, 21 Jan 2006.

  1. The Widow Maker

    The Widow Maker New Member

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    As some of you might know, I currently work at Gatsometer, they design and produce traffic law enforcement equipment like speed cameras. A lot of people hate these speed cameras and they are often set on fire here in Holland. A few weeks ago I carried some of these burned speed cameras to the Gatso Graveyard; I came on the idea of building a computer in one of these things. Together with a colleague, we where stripping those speed cameras to bring them to some sort of steel recycle company. At the end of the day, we had a trailer filled with burned and exploded speed camera’s who were blown up during new years’ eve with fireworks and things like home-made bombs.

    [​IMG]

    So I asked my boss if I could have one of those burned or exploded casings, the next week he told me that those casings were not given to third parties, even if they are exploded or burned to the ground. So I asked for the drawings from those casings, and after a few weeks he told me that they didn't want to do that, just like a moderator dont likes your topic and locks it with no reason. But I can understand that.

    After a few weeks, I still wanted to make a computer in a speed camera. I see those things every day, not only at the company where I work, but also in my neighbourhood. And as far as I know, nobody ever build a computer in one of these things. That makes it pretty interesting to build one. And at a certain point, somewhere around Christmas, I had a nice idea: why don’t I just make pictures from a speed camera, take those proportions to AutoCAD and make a nice 3D model from a speed camera. At that way, I don’t even need to work at Gatsometer to make a nice speed camera computer case, everybody could do this.

    So the next day I jumped on my bike to a local speed camera – which is about 200 meters from my house. I took a lot of pictures, worked it out in AutoCAD and there it was, a good drawing to make a computer case.

    This is the local speed camera I’m going to make; this is one that works with radar.
    [​IMG]

    After a few hours in AutoCAD, I make this 3D drawing:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The modern speed camera casings are made from several layers of steel. The inner case is protected by thick steel plates on the outside, to make the vandal proof factor higher. These casings can withstand a 9mm bullet from a pistol. My idea is to build a frame from 20mm square aluminium pipe. I put aluminium plates on the sides from that frame, and then the side panels which is the second skin from the casing, those shield things. I want to paint this case in a nice beige colour, just like the real speed cameras. The colour from those things is RAL7032, that’s an industrial standard colour, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find someone who can do that. And of course, I'm going to build an arm and a pole underneath the speed camera so that it can stand on its own on a LAN party or something like that. It's going to be 1.40 meter high, that’s about 4.5 foot. This case is going to be a 1:2 scale model, compared to the real speed cameras.

    A day after the photo shoot with the real speed camera, I bought some aluminium stuff and lots of pop rivets to build the frame for the case. After an hour of sawing the workbench looked like this:
    [​IMG]

    Those aluminium profiles are riveted together with some aluminium profile I cutted to 2cm. There are 8 of these spots in the whole frame, so I’ll need 24 aluminium profiles and like 96 pop rivets.
    [​IMG]

    Here you can see the complete frame near some cheapass computer case lying around. It's a bit wider, but it’s not a big difference. It's shouldn't be a big problem to build all the hardware in there :).
    [​IMG]

    You might ask, is that frame a bit firm? I was wondering the same, so I tried to stand on it, and it looks like it can hold me! I weight about 90kgs (that’s about 200lbs) so it’s a pretty firm frame.
    [​IMG]

    So, with the frame done, it was time to order some aluminium plates. A friend of mine, mir4dor, works at a nice company where he can order big aluminium plates from 250x125cm (that’s about 100 inches long and 50 inches wide). These plates are 1.5mm (1/16th of an inch) thick, that’s thick enough for my case. He needed some drawings for the plates; he can cut, weld and bend aluminium at his work, so it was time to make a lot of drawings for him. Sunday the 8th of January was the AutoCAD day: I spend about eight hours behind my computer drawing and calculating things for mir4dor.

    I made a drawing of the aluminium plate, with all the lengths from the plates on it, so he could easily cut it.
    [​IMG]

    These are all the aluminium pieces I needed so far, only the panels for the frame, the panels for the shields on those frame-panels, and a few pieces of aluminium for a HDD bracket.

    About that HDD frame, I found an old drawing somewhere in my drawing-directory from a HDD bracket I once made, for 7 HDD’s. [​IMG]

    But 7 disks is a bit overkill for this casemod, and since I was working the whole day with AutoCAD I also changed this bracket to a 3-HDD-1-CD-and-one-pump-bracket. The pump on top of the drawing is an Eheim 1048 pump. The HDD’s are mounted with those Zalman HDD cooler rubbers to an aluminium plate. Those rubbers prevent the aluminium from vibrating and thus making noise. This render is just a raw sketch from how it’s going to be.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. The Widow Maker

    The Widow Maker New Member

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    Wednesday, 18th january.

    Today I missed my bus in Haarlem, so I decided to walk to the next bus station. I was thinking about putting a flash from a digital camera into my casemod, but it’s much better and easier to put an external flash into the case. I had a visit to a photography specialist on my mind in one of these days, I prolly would have waited for the next bus on Haarlem if I did not. Anyway, that shop had nice external flashes in their shop window, so I walked in and asked the shopkeeper for a cheap external flash, for my casemod. He came with an older type of flash unit, with an hotshoe connection at the bottom. Those flasher flash if you connect the two poles in that hotshoe, so it’s quite easy to connect this thing to a flash-button. I bought the flash unit, this is what it looks like:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The flash unit works with four AA-batteries, and the flashes are quite bright, if you keep it in your hand you can feel the heat of the flash. It’s much better than a flash unit from a digital camera or something like that.

    I don’t really have an idea how im going to place the flash unit. It’s going to be on the right side, but the motherboard is going to be there too. So I made an autoCAD drawing (I love that program) from the internals of the PC.

    [​IMG]

    That brown thing at the right is the motherboard, on the left you can see the HDD bracket, and that red squary thing is an expirimental place for my PSU. I don’t know how big the webcam is that’s going to be on the left, but if it’s a small thing, I might just place the PSU as well there. It’s a much better place because if its placed in front of the PCI slots, you can see all the wiring and that’s not cool.
    Anyway, theres about 2cm between the motherboard and the edge of the frame, so the flash unit is not going to fit there. It might work with mirrors, but that’s crap. Im going to open the flash unit tomorrow to see what’s inside, maybe the flashtube and the reflector are small enough to fit between the mobo, the rest of the electronics is going to be mounted somewhere else. But it’s quite expirimental, I don’t even know which motherboard I’m going to use, so nothing is sure in this stage. I might just buy/get a mini-atx mobo and the whole flasher-problem would be solved, but most modern boards are full size ATX.

    The next day I opened the flash unit, there’s not so much in there, just two PCB’s, an capacitor, reflector and flashtube.

    [​IMG]

    The reflector is about 22mm thick, so it’s possible to mount that thing behind a full size ATX mobo.

    Saterday the 14th januari.
    Yesterday (Friday the 13th..) I was working on a thing that could convert 12V to 6V with an 7806, but when I tried it on the flash unit, it flashed once, and didn’t work anymore. I was quite sure that I connected everything correctly, my voltmeter showed 6V on the output of the converter, but somehow I blew the whole flashunit up. I tried another flashtube and capacitor, but that didn’t work either. After some research, I found out that the capacitor didn’t load anymore. I checked some of the electronics in there, but you cant do much if you don’t have a diagram how everything is connected. I asked an colleague if he knew anythng about these things, he told me that the flash unit works the same as a flash unit in a speedcamera. He also told me, that he might be able to fix me an used flash unit from a real speedcamera.

    Wednesday, 18th january
    Big update. I told you before about mir4dor, he ordered a big aluminium plate, and it was delivered to him (well, at his work) Monday. I gave him all the drawings on how it should be cutted, and this morning he did that at his work. And if that wasn’t enough, he also made a few pics from the cutting process for you.

    [​IMG]
    This is the cutting bench at his work, this works waaaay better than doing it myself with an saw.

    http://home.planet.nl/~adria243/casemod/klein/pallet_met_alu.jpg[/url]
    And this is the result, a pallet full of alu plates :D

    But as you prolly knew, I blow up the flash unit I bought. An colleague was able to hook me up with a used flashunit, like the ones used in real speedcamera’s.

    [url=http://home.planet.nl/~adria243/casemod/fipflitser.JPG][img]http://home.planet.nl/~adria243/casemod/klein/fipflitser.JPG

    This is what the flash unit looks like, you can see that the reflector is rotated a bit so that it’s aimed at the road.

    To see how this flash unit performs compared to my digicam flash, I’ve made a test. I mounted my digicam on a tripod, one second shutter time, and I made 3 pics, one without flash, one with digicam flash and one with the flash unit flash.

    [​IMG]
    The pic without the flash. You can see some lights from the people in the neighorhood.

    [​IMG]
    Second picture, with only digicam (Kodak DX4900) flash. You can see my window on the left.

    [​IMG]
    And the last pic, I opened the window a bit more, the flash unit is very powerfull as you can see, I don’t think this one needs any more explanation.

    [​IMG]
    The only problem is that the flash unit doesn’t fit in my frame, but hey, this flash thing is 1/1 and my casemod 1/2 scale.

    Saturday 21 January.

    Allright, I’ve made the pole for this casemod :). I’ve been working on this with mir4dor, he works at a company who makes steel things and stuff, so he fixed me a square pipe from 10x10cm (4x4inches), the steel is about 4mm thick and the pole is 140cm (55 inches) long. This piece of steel is going to be used for the pole.

    So today mir4dor hired his workplace for a day (a Saturday), and we could nicely work on it at his workplace. Sadly enough I forgot my digicam, so I don’t really have pics from the work in progress.

    But after a day of welding things together, this was the result, a nice speedcamera pole.
    [​IMG]

    This is what the arm looks like if you see it from the bottom:
    [​IMG]

    On the inside from the pole I’ve made a hole for the cables from the computer. They are going to be mounted at the bottom. The dark places you see are from the welding process, things get heated up ;) .
    [​IMG]

    And this is what it looks like from the side, those metal strips are only welded at the top and the bottom, it’s not to thick so you easily burn trough it with the welding stuff. Those holes and gaps are filled up with putty.
    [​IMG]

    And this is what the weld at the corner from the arm looks like. All the welding was done by mir4dor, I’m not so good at it as he is. [​IMG]

    This is what the arm really looks like IRL, as a comparison point. [​IMG]



    In my picture archive, I found this picture of the laserguided saw bank we were using. This thing is sooo sweet :p .
    [​IMG]

    I have also taken the alu plates for the frame with me, I’m going to make them fit to the frame one of these days.

    Oh and sorry for my crappy dutch to english translation, this was done in a hurry, but if you don’t understand something, just ask :)
     
  3. The Widow Maker

    The Widow Maker New Member

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    Project: The Iron Policeman

    After my second and quite succesfull KaasMod (CheeseMod, in Dutch), my modfeelings started to rush again. I bought an ammocase, but when I posted a picture from it on the internet, some dude attended me to the fact that ZapWizard already modded one, exactly the same I bought.

    So a few months later, I started working at a company in Holland, Gatsometer (internship). It’s quite possible that they are the most hated company in Holland. Hated? Why? Well, because they design, maintain and produce speedcamera’s. You can find a lot of them in Holland, and in the UK, actually all over the world. So I came up with the idea of making a casemod in a speedcamera casing.

    [​IMG]

    Feel free to discuss the mod, I will try to answer as much as I can.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 6 May 2006
  4. The Widow Maker

    The Widow Maker New Member

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    Arg, can somebody move this topic to the right subforum :wallbash: ?
     
  5. Thadeez

    Thadeez New Member

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    Well, it's one way to attract the attention at LAN partys! I hate those damn things... Going over 190km/h, FLASH! Right then you're not only going fast, but you can't see sh*t either..

    Well, good luck on the mod, it's looking good so far...as far as such an evil device can look "good"...
     
  6. kill_me_quick

    kill_me_quick Big and Blue

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    I like this mod, nice work so far.
     
  7. Fahey

    Fahey New Member

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    Wow dude your going to have a speed catcher as a computer crazy. In US California they look alittle different. here they are circular.
     
  8. The Widow Maker

    The Widow Maker New Member

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    And a fresh update :)

    As you might know, the speedcamera's got a small black hatch at the top of the pole, and i've just made that hatch.

    [​IMG]
    That greeny thing on top of the pole is the hatch :) you can also see a red wire, that means that all the cables are going trough that pole into the case.

    [​IMG]
    These are the lips, made from steel and welded to the pole.

    [​IMG]
    And here you can see the hatch mounted on the pole :)
     
  9. PilchY

    PilchY Member

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    dude this is a sweeet mod! how big are the internal flasher units on the proper cameras and are they easy enough to shrink down to your size case?
     
  10. The Widow Maker

    The Widow Maker New Member

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    And here is another update. I haven't done much on the casemod, I cutted the alu sidepanels to size, but somewhere it went wrong with the drawing and one of the plates is too small now. Not a big problem, i still have about a square meter of aluminium, so i'm going to fix that soon.

    Also, MSI is now officially sponsor for my mod. I'm going to place a MSI K8N SLI-FI motherboard, and a X1300Pro videocard. Im really happy with this, now the casemod doesn't only look good, it also got some l33t hardware inside.

    This weekend I'm busy with my room, im going to change some things in there, so i wont be able to make much progress on the casemod. Anyway, this casemod must be finished before 22 april, im going to participate in the NKCM (Nederlands Kampioenschap CaseModden, Dutch Championship CaseModding).
     
  11. The Widow Maker

    The Widow Maker New Member

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    Hmm sorry that I didn't see your post here a week ago :X

    Anyway, there isn't much in the flash unit, only a reflector, a flash tube, a PCB and two bigass capacitors, and some switches on the front. If I put the mobo about 10cm to the sidepanel, it's going to fit easily. Then I have about 20x30x10cm room for the flasher behind the mobo, and it wont be a big problem to place everything in there.
     
  12. Deimosje

    Deimosje New Member

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    Nice Mod will it be done before The party (NKCM2006) ?
     
  13. Fahey

    Fahey New Member

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    awsome man
     
  14. The Widow Maker

    The Widow Maker New Member

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    Here's a new update :) I've cutted all the aluminium sidepanels to the right size, and I also placed the PSU in the case.

    [​IMG]
    I drawed the lines from a PSU on the aluminium, and drilled a lot of holes.

    [​IMG]
    After I dremeled the whole piece aluminium out and finished the hole for the PSU, this is what it looks like.


    [​IMG]
    And the PSU fits quite good :)

    [​IMG]
    Here you can see what the case looks like now. I mounted the PSU in its place, and put a few hardware things in there to give you an idea what it should look like.
     
  15. The Widow Maker

    The Widow Maker New Member

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    Yes it will, because I want to participate in the NKCM :)
     

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