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 Post subject: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: October 16th, 2009, 12:57 am 
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Ghosthead
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The ECTO-1X began as a concept over a year ago when I first began noticing the Chevy HHR out on the roads. My intention up to that point was to develop a PT Cruiser into an Ectomobile, however the HHR quickly changed my mind. I've spent many months since then planning the construciton of the roof rack, the application of decals, the type of lightbar to buy, etc. Several people had a hand in its construction and I would like to thank them:

Patrick Creel & Ken Plant & Dawn Rawley (Tampa Bay Ghostbusters)
David Anderson
Randy Cooper
Robert Ryder
Tyler Plant
Jennifer & Casey & Javon at Fedex Office

The car is a 2008 Chevy HHR in Summit White. The roof rack is made out of PVC with a plywood base. Each piece of equipment on the top is secured seperately so that I can remove them independent from each other for repairs / modification / replacement. The different components consist of:

PC case
Stereo
VCR
Scanner
Fax / Copier
Toilet paper dispenser
Hand sanitation dispenser

The "sniffer" / "binocs" and the radome and its stand are created from PVC. The directional antenna is created from CPVC for the arrow and a clear serving bowl cut in half and bolted to a base of lexan.
The sniffer pivots at both the base and the neck. The directional antenna also pivots freely. The knobs on the side of the PC case turn as well. And the storage tube on the passenger side actually opens from either end so you can, well, store stuff. The entire rack is held on with a ratcheting luggage strap that passes through two steel eyelets on the sides, under the plywood base, and through the passenger doors. The lightbar consists of amber LEDs that plug into the cigarette lighter, have 30 different flash patterns, and mounts to the roof with 4 magnets.
Now some pictures...

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Different day, different Florida sunset...
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At the 2009 Light The Night walk...
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This is only the beginning. Some future additions I am planning or currently working on:

White tank mounted to back of rack
Additional hosing to rack components
Black access ladder on passenger side
Red triangle going down the sides to the tail lights (either painted on or vinyl)
New "no ghost" logos from vector graphics
DOT reflective tape
Replace directional antenna with a better one
8.5 foot whip antenna

I will continue to update the thread as I update the car. Questions / suggestions / comments are welcome!


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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: October 16th, 2009, 1:09 am 
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That looks awesome


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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: October 16th, 2009, 9:25 am 
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Very nice, although I reccomend not to use DOT reflective tape.
Anytime someone tries to take a picture of the car at night with a flash, the resulting photo will have a bright piece of tape, and dark everything else.
Made that mistake on the Ecto-4 roof rack. The DOT rated stuff is not easy to peel off.

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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: October 16th, 2009, 11:07 am 
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This
crusader_x wrote:
Image

is absolutely beautiful. Way to go on making found items do exactly what you want them to do!

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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: October 16th, 2009, 1:22 pm 
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I like how you just strapped it down to the roof through the back doors. Just wish my van had a door on the other side...sigh.

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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: October 19th, 2009, 8:53 am 
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Beautiful Man!!! Freak'n awesome!!! Is the ecto-x gonna be with the truck for guavaween?

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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: October 19th, 2009, 5:20 pm 
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EctoTrk wrote:
Beautiful Man!!! Freak'n awesome!!! Is the ecto-x gonna be with the truck for guavaween?


You know it!


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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: November 21st, 2009, 4:37 pm 
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god i really miss tampa....


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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: December 10th, 2009, 5:03 pm 
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When I saw the title of this thread, I expected to see the nightsquad ecto lol

I had the same idea once before, but yours came out awesomely! Great job!


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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: February 22nd, 2010, 3:44 am 
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Ghosthead
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Thank you guys for all the feedback, it's very appreciated.
I've changed the car a bit so here are some new photos and a list of the updates:
- Changed caution striping on doors
- Added amber reflectors to front bumper
- Added red reflectors to rear bumper
- Added cosmetic plating to front of VCR on roof rack
- Added white tank with red/white caution tape to rear of roof rack
- Replaced roof rack's plywood base with a plastic base

Image
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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: February 22nd, 2010, 8:53 am 
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Can not wait to roll up to the chevy dealership with our cars! Looking sharp sir.

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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: March 1st, 2010, 5:48 pm 
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Crusader_x, thanks again for letting me do a piece about your special Ectomobile!

http://onscreencars.com/fan-created-rid ... rolet-hhr/


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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: March 2nd, 2010, 6:18 am 
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I'm honored to be the first subject in your series of articles on "fan created rides" over at http://www.onscreencars.com
Keep up the good work!


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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: May 22nd, 2010, 2:23 pm 
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Wow looks good!! did you consider going with a 48 inch stobe bar before putting on the led one?


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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: May 23rd, 2010, 5:10 pm 
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EurekaLandau wrote:
48 inch stobe bar


lawl

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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: May 26th, 2010, 3:45 am 
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EurekaLandau wrote:
Wow looks good!! did you consider going with a 48 inch stobe bar before putting on the led one?


Yes I did but I measured the roof, and while the exact width escapes me, it is well short of 48 inches. So I opted for a mid-sized light bar in the 3 foot range and went with one that uses LEDs as they are more energy efficient, programmable with several different flash patterns, and give the car a more modern look. I believe a Ghostbuster group in Utah (The Salt Lake GBs?) have an Ecto HHR that uses a full sized 48 inch light bar on the top, and while I mean no disrespect at all, I don't think it looks very good as it hangs off the sides slightly. The only real downside to this is that the lightbar I purchased off of Ebay seems to have a slight malfunction where some of the LED modules do not light up during certain flash patterns so I can see I will need to take it apart and check the connections and possibly do some soldering.


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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: May 26th, 2010, 9:17 am 
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crusader_x wrote:
seems to have a slight malfunction where some of the LED modules do not light up during certain flash patterns so I can see I will need to take it apart and check the connections and possibly do some soldering.


These might be secondary mode flash patterns. Most police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks have a park kill, which turns off some warning lights once the vehicle is parked. Spastic fast flashes with lots of light are good for clearing traffic, but a slow and deliberate pattern is best for being seen while parked at night without blinding passing traffic.

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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: May 26th, 2010, 10:51 am 
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GhostbustersNJ wrote:
crusader_x wrote:
seems to have a slight malfunction where some of the LED modules do not light up during certain flash patterns so I can see I will need to take it apart and check the connections and possibly do some soldering.


These might be secondary mode flash patterns. Most police cars, ambulances, and fire trucks have a park kill, which turns off some warning lights once the vehicle is parked. Spastic fast flashes with lots of light are good for clearing traffic, but a slow and deliberate pattern is best for being seen while parked at night without blinding passing traffic.


I know what you're trying to say but rest assured, there are lights modules that are broken or have a bad connection. While letting a pattern run, one and only one module will be out... sometimes when I hit the top of the lightbar it will light up and then go out after a bit. And this was a module that used to light up fine when I first got the lightbar. I guess this is the penalty for trying to cut down on cost and not get the highest grade models available...


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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: May 26th, 2010, 11:37 am 
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Aye, ebay lightbars are usually china made. A bit of saudering and maybe a touch of weatherproofing extra and you should be all set.
Realistically though, the pro grade stuff is overkill at time, I'm asked ever so often to turn mine off at events because it's "too bright".

I must say, the bar fits the car rather nicely.

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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: May 26th, 2010, 7:39 pm 
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hey boss did you see the video that my team made about our ecto? we put a nod in it of you guys with a pic of your car

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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: May 26th, 2010, 10:39 pm 
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A friend of mine has that same lightbar and has never had any problems with it. I have interior lightbars made by the same company and I haven't had any problems with those either. LED Outfitters is the company that produces the lightbars and if you bought the lightbar new from their ebay store you should have a 5 year warranty.

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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: May 27th, 2010, 12:29 pm 
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LED outfitters is just a vendor. they sell Sabre led mini lightbars, which are slightly different than the Streamlined ultra mini led lightbar you can find at Uniforms and Accessories warehouse. There are a lot of clone bars like this with various names.

Prettymuch as far as emergency lighting goes, you have Whelen, Code 3, Tomar, Able2, 911EP, Signal, Sho-me, Sound-off, and Star as the big boys with some clout. These are brands that have the customer service and quality assurance that are needed to have big government contracts.
While some other companies do make good products for less, such as Juelen Axistech or RocketX, spare parts and replacement heads being avaliable 2-3 years in the future is questionable. Also if you do have to act on the 5 year warranty, you might just have to ship it back to the manufacturer overseas if the vendor doesn't have any left to exchange.

Granted, being primarily showcars, most Ecto's don't need the top notch expensive stuff. But it's just something to keep in mind if the lightbar rides ontop of your car 365 days a year.

One other pointer, with any magnetic lightbar, be sure to take it down and clean off the magnetic feet every so often. The magnets tend to draw brake dust from other cars which can quickly turn into rust.

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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: May 27th, 2010, 1:11 pm 
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I got this phone call from my mom the other day. She was commenting on the 1X's driver's driving skills. Or lack there of. I just giggled and said I'd pass on the message.

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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: May 27th, 2010, 8:15 pm 
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Quote:
I got this phone call from my mom the other day. She was commenting on the 1X's driver's driving skills. Or lack there of. I just giggled and said I'd pass on the message.
I don't know when she was driving behind the 1X, but I've convoyed to several event behind "the driver" and I've never noticed any bad driving. However, other drivers around the 1X tend to lose all driving ability when the 1X passes! lol

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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: May 27th, 2010, 11:58 pm 
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I missed this till now, looks GREAT

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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: May 29th, 2010, 3:16 am 
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FunkPunkTwang wrote:
hey boss did you see the video that my team made about our ecto? we put a nod in it of you guys with a pic of your car


No I haven't seen the video yet but I'll be sure to look it up.


RPMs wrote:
A friend of mine has that same lightbar and has never had any problems with it. I have interior lightbars made by the same company and I haven't had any problems with those either. LED Outfitters is the company that produces the lightbars and if you bought the lightbar new from their ebay store you should have a 5 year warranty.


I'm not sure if that's who I purchased the lightbar from but the name does look very familiar. My experience on eBay, however, was not fun at all. They shipped me a lightbar quickly, but it turned out to be half red/half blue. I emailed them back immediately and told them the auction I won was for an all amber lightbar. The communication over the course of the next few weeks was terrible, with the guy emailing me back and telling me to call his "customer service department". When I called the number I got someone's personal voicemail on a cell phone, so I left a message to call me. Never got a call. Instead I got emails, with several days of waiting in between, about how I needed to take the lightbar to UPS and have it shipped to him and tell them to "bill his account". I tried this but UPS of course said that they can't just bill someone's account and he'd have to mail a shipping label. Screamfest was fast approaching and I kept stressing that time was of the essence but still never raised anyone on the "customer service" line. Long story short (too late?) he did get me the label, got his lightbar back, and got me my amber lightbar just in time for Screamfest. I elected not to leave him any feedback on eBay, since I was particularly annoyed that he took almost a month to handle the situation even though he did get it resolved. I can honestly say I would not recommend him to anyone, so it's good for him that I can't remember his name :D
I don't recall anything in the auction stating there was a warranty. The auction was short and did not include much information beyond what the lightbar could do.


DentArthurDent wrote:
I got this phone call from my mom the other day. She was commenting on the 1X's driver's driving skills. Or lack there of. I just giggled and said I'd pass on the message.


Where and when did your mother see the ECTO-1X? My wife has the car while in Tampa at her job, but when it's on the other side of the bay (Pinellas) it's most likely me that is driving. I take great pride in being an extremely safe driver to the point that my wife says I drive like a "granny".


Ghostbuster J wrote:
Quote:
I got this phone call from my mom the other day. She was commenting on the 1X's driver's driving skills. Or lack there of. I just giggled and said I'd pass on the message.
I don't know when she was driving behind the 1X, but I've convoyed to several event behind "the driver" and I've never noticed any bad driving. However, other drivers around the 1X tend to lose all driving ability when the 1X passes! lol


Which is a good point. In a typical run down the street I'll get lots of looks and several people hanging out of the window to take pictures. I've nearly been run off the road many times by other drivers trying to get a shot or staring at the car for too long (lots of fun stories to share).


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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: May 29th, 2010, 7:02 am 
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I don't know the specifics, other than it was 56th and Fletcher. I just giggled that she knew I knew y'all. Not doubting your granny driving abilities at all man.

PS, share your funny stories in the "Driving Around" thread!

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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: May 29th, 2010, 7:02 pm 
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Quote:
I'm not sure if that's who I purchased the lightbar from but the name does look very familiar. My experience on eBay, however, was not fun at all. They shipped me a lightbar quickly, but it turned out to be half red/half blue. I emailed them back immediately and told them the auction I won was for an all amber lightbar. The communication over the course of the next few weeks was terrible, with the guy emailing me back and telling me to call his "customer service department". When I called the number I got someone's personal voicemail on a cell phone, so I left a message to call me. Never got a call. Instead I got emails, with several days of waiting in between, about how I needed to take the lightbar to UPS and have it shipped to him and tell them to "bill his account". I tried this but UPS of course said that they can't just bill someone's account and he'd have to mail a shipping label. Screamfest was fast approaching and I kept stressing that time was of the essence but still never raised anyone on the "customer service" line. Long story short (too late?) he did get me the label, got his lightbar back, and got me my amber lightbar just in time for Screamfest. I elected not to leave him any feedback on eBay, since I was particularly annoyed that he took almost a month to handle the situation even though he did get it resolved. I can honestly say I would not recommend him to anyone, so it's good for him that I can't remember his name :D
I don't recall anything in the auction stating there was a warranty. The auction was short and did not include much information beyond what the lightbar could do.


That sucks. I purchased directly from their website, not that it should make a difference. Your car is amazing and I can't wait to see more pics.

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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: June 16th, 2010, 6:11 pm 
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Great job guys!!!


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 Post subject: Re: The ECTO-1X
PostPosted: June 23rd, 2010, 6:50 pm 
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i think it woulda looked better if you had the logo on the back be on the window. one of those 2 way deals


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