Monday, 24 November 2014

Proton Pack build continued

Over the weekend I printed out the Proton Pack motherboard onto A1 paper. This allowed me to accurately position the holes. Each part of the PP has several mounting holes underneath, and I am using #4 x 19mm self tappers to fasten the individual parts. It's starting to look pretty good:

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Who ya gonna call...2

Well here it is, the worlds first, fully 3D printable Ghostbuster's proton pack. There are 3 parts missing that others have already created, so there seemed little point in duplication. It's missing the synch generator details, but these will be posted asap.


Sunday, 2 November 2014

Seeing things running through MY head.

In my quest to design a fully 3D printable Ghsotbusters' Proton Pack, I've had to make the part known as the 'Synch Generator'.

This is a large part, and it's the biggest thing I've ever made, weighing in at about 770g.

It's made of 6 paired copies, plus two other pairs, and is designed to be bolted together with M4 bolts. I printed it all in PLA to avoid ABS warping. Both my printers are in heated chambers, but even that struggles to prevent warping on such large parts.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Who Ya Gonna Call?

My wife and I have been invited to a 50th birthday party in February, but it's fancy dress....Movie Style. And she wants to go as a Ghostbuster.

This does of course mean that I'm going to have to make us a proton pack each:

Now I could buy a kit, but these start at around £500.

So, it's time to fire up the 3D printer and the CAD system.
There are excellent plans available online at the GBFans website. But these are traditional 2D drawings, and not suitable for 3D printing.

There are some partial parts available on Thingiverse...

But none of these are either full kits, or have the 'difficult' parts missing. So I decided that I'd have a go at making a fully 3D printable kit. The first thing was to make a CAD model of the pack from the 2D drawings.

From this I made each part printable. For example, the Crank Generator is split into top and bottom sections as it is a wide, tall part that would be rather wasteful of plastic if printed in one piece:

This is one of the largest parts I have printed. It came out pretty good in white ABS in my heated print chamber:

Another interesting part is the 'spinner' on top of the crank generator. These are large potentiometer style knobs from the '70s with the part number MS91528-3S2G.

Almost totally unavailable in the UK. So from limited 2D drawings online, I modelled and printed it:

Another old part is this PH25 can style resistor:

And after printing:

This is still a work in progress, and there are several more parts before it will be complete. I'm putting all the parts onto thingiverse as I go along.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Retro Heaven

Visit Tagbits to see the full range of tagger products described in this blog.

Just got back from PlayExpo at Manchester's EventCity. This is an annual event for modern and retro gaming + Cosplay.

My son had been asked to go with a friend, and he suggested I come along too. Fantastic idea!

There were tables and tables of Sega Megadrives, Master systems, Atari 2600/800XL, C64, Intellivision, Vectrex etc etc. on free play.

My favourite was the retro arcade section. They had brought in loads of old arcade machines to play:

Defender, a personal favourite of mine:

My oldest checking out a classic:

And a modern silliness, virtual horse racing with Oculus Rift:

More retro goodness, Crystal Castles:

I had the chance to have a brief chat with Jeff Minter, I met him in the mid 80's when I was freelancing for Red Rat Software. I remember him as being a really nice guy then, and the years have not changed him. He took time to talk to me about the old 8 bit days of software development. Compulsory (unflattering) selfie:

And some not quite retro-retro:

Thursday, 2 October 2014

'er indoors....

Visit Tagbits to see the full range of tagger products described in this blog.

She really does have to tolerate me sometimes...and she does...mostly.....

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Ohm on the range

Visit Tagbits to see the full range of tagger products described in this blog.

I've been asked to make a large lasertag sensor harness for a client. This comprises of six Tagbits lasertag sensors on a single lead.

I was asked for four of these, three worked perfectly but the last one had a short between the power lines (+5V from a 7805).
A visual examination did not reveal the fault, and as I didn't fancy disassembling each sensor one by one I wheeled out my Polar Instruments Toneohm 700.

This is no spring chicken being last manufactured in 1988. But it's a great piece of kit having a 200mOhm (milli Ohm) range, and audio feedback with a higher tone indicating less resistance.

My normal multimeter in continuity mode indicated a short no matter where in the cable the probes were placed. But the Toneohm didn't even register a connection between +5V and 0V on any sensor until I tested the sensor that actually had the fault. e.g. It is so sensitive it registered open circuit along a 60cm piece of wire which was shorted at one end.
In fact, it's so sensitive it could detect which side of the PCB the fault was on:
Between the +5V and 0V connections on this side of the PCB, the resistance is 93.9mOhm.

But on the other side of the PCB, the same connections show 49mOhm, indicating the fault is on this side of the board.

And lifting the PCB showed a single strand of cable between 0V and 5V. Problem solved.