#4799436
Hey everyone, thought I would show my progress so far with my gigameter build. I've been very excited to start this as the gigameter has remained for a long time one of my holy grail props. It looks superb in the film yet finding a scrub n' buffer to work from is nigh on impossible. I was lucky to acquire a cast of a shell from Kingpin, I believe it's an AZ spidey cast from a few years back. Cyland props has been a constant source of research on this build as there is so little information available on the build techniques and above all the electronics. There's been a lot of guess work so far and I imagine there will continue to be. I've drawn some rough sketches to get my ideas down on how exactly to get everything working as close to as seen on screen as I can manage.

Anyway, enough waffle, on with the build!

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Here's the shell as it arrived, aint it pretty? The first thing I did was to get rid of all the mould struts on the inside. Next, I dremeled off the motor hump and using a piece of styrene, cut a piece to fit in the top part to match the other side. I used milliputt to fit the piece and then sanded it smooth to match the left piece

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I then glued the two halves together using some strong plastic glue. I filled the inside of the handle with more milliputt which came in handy when I started to round the front of it. I also filled the rear flange of the body in preparation to sand that smooth too so it was more in line with the body.

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Next came the bit that I was dreading the most, cutting the body along the horizontal so that rather than there being a left and right, theres a top and bottom portion. I realised that if I messed this up it would be game over so I took my time marking things out. I used a craft knife to gently mark a line around the body. Next I used my dremel to mark a channel around, just to make sure that the line was straight.

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Following the channel, I then went ahead and slowly cut the body lengthwise. Defo squeaky bum moment, but voila!

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Now that the body was split, I began work on shaping the top portion. Using milliputt, I built up the front portion of the handle to create an angled box, then plated it with 0.80 styrene sheet. I filled the line along the top of the handle, sanded it smooth and also added the rectangles along the top

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I then went back and sanded the front handle box and used my craft knives just to tidy up the lines slightly, make it a bit more crisp.

Next up was the side rectangles, I got them cut and using fine sand paper rounded the corners off, a really boring way to kill an hour!

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And here they are attached! I must say, just adding these small details really makes it begin to look like a gigameter :)

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I decided that I would focus on the top portion of the giga first so next up was the microphone box, using the lower portion of the shell, I traced the general shape to create the base and lid of the new box. It's not complete yet, but here's where I'm at. A lot of it is eyeballing and guessing measurements, for the moment it's just blu-takked together to see how it looks. Gutting the realistic microphones wasn't nearly as difficult as I thought it would be.

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So here's where it's at so far! I'm very happy so far with how it's progressing and surprised how fast it is too! Elements of this I thought would take time and patience and whilst that's been true, it's really come together over the space of 2 weeks.

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For the moment, the dome is just a place holder. It's one half of one of those plastic balls from those machines where you put £1 in, turn the handle and there's a small toy inside. The size of it is perfect but the clear dome has a money box hole cut into it. Ho hum, at least it lets me know what size I need, I've already found a pretty good supplier of the domes and very cheaply too. I'll be ordering a better dome soon.

As mentioned before, I've been sketching ideas out for the electronics, for the dome I've hit upon the idea of having the circuit board inside the dome with the telephone detangler just acting as a power conduit to it. I've found a small chaser circuit about the size of a cyclotron lense that will fit in there nicely. I figured too that a rubber wheel off a toy mounted onto a small motor would be able to drive the dome round. This seems the best way I've figured of doing it so far, The chaser kit I've found only has 8 LEDs so only half the dome lights will light though I figure it will spin so fast it won't be noticed

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The microphone movement is still confusing me but I figure that this is probably the best method I've thought of. A fixed arm will be attached to each microphone that will attach to a hinged drive rod that attaches to a set of gears. I figured that the motor will most likely have to be positioned downward into the main body of the gigameter and not inside the microphone attachment. I get the impression that the original prop was modified after it's Star Trek appearance, getting rid of the numerical readout and replacing it with a motor to drive the microphones. There's so little room there to play with that if they managed to cram a motor into there, the guy who made the prop is a certified genius! The microphone box is about the size of a coffee cup and has a height of around 2cm at a guess.

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Well, that's all I got so far :) I'll post more updates as they happen
Last edited by Bob Wobbaz on January 29th, 2015, 11:02 am, edited 7 times in total.
User avatar
By Bob Wobbaz
#4799916
Tyrael wrote:Beautiful! I'm going to be using the exact same dome propulsion method and phone cord method for the dome. :D


I've just seen your thread, amazing how we came to the same idea separately haha. I've been scouring what information I can on this prop, there's so little to work from, hardly any measurements etc. I am definitely eyeballing things and trial and error-ing a lot with this I can tell you! AZ Spidey seems to have managed the dome spinning and the lights without using the phone detangler, I'm utterly in the dark as to how he's managed, would love to know as my current idea, space would be very tight in the dome, even with me halving the number of LEDs in there :S
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By slimer28
#4799932
Awesome job!! I have an AZ spidey casting myself, I worked a little on mine a few years ago but I recently started Work on it again. I'm excited to see this finished and keep up the good Work!
User avatar
By Bob Wobbaz
#4799982
Have had a big rethink regarding the spinning dome and it's lights and I think I've come up with how they did it with the original prop. What triggered the idea was this

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Now, it's my understanding that these have a single light source inside them that shines through the clear windows. The same principle can be applied to the gigameter dome, I think cyland said that acrylic rod was used in his build to make the X on the dome. I was thinking lighting gels could be placed over the back of the rods on the inside to get the red and green colours. Then a single light source would shine through those rods to create the lights on the dome. It may be even possible to butcher one of these disco lights to suit my purpose, I've found one ebay for £5 that runs off 2 AA batteries.
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By Tyrael
#4800018
It might be possible, depending on the size of the disco thingy. One of my inlaws has one of those and it's not exactly a giga-friendly size.

I also have no idea how AZSpidey managed to get his dome working the way it did, with the motor in the center. In any case, it's more accurate to the original prop to have the cord detangler anyway, at least according to the Cyland Props build page.
User avatar
By Bob Wobbaz
#4800070
Oh I'm not planning on fitting the disco ball in as is, I plan on gutting it to see how it works. The acrylic rods on cylands must've had lighting gels on the inside of the dome to create the red and green lights seen. Although the phone detangler is accurate to the prop built, if I can get the correct effect by a simpler method then I'm going down that route ;)
By slimer28
#4800311
AZ spidey wired up everything from scratch himself so it's his own custom design. I was a computer tech for and cellphone repair tech for almost 3 years, a buddy and me are designing a crazy light and motor system for the gigameter that will knock the socks off some poor librarian. If you are willing to wait i will share with the community how I did it.
User avatar
By Bob Wobbaz
#4800328
Awesome stuff but I've ordered the parts to make my electronics in my own. Have come up with a much simpler solution to the dome problem, I'll post a picture soon as I can :)
User avatar
By Bob Wobbaz
#4800408
Ok, so here's my doodle of how I figured to get the dome working. I've been looking at this thing the wrong way. Rather than seeing the dome lights as individual LEDs, they're merely just tiny windows for one single light source.

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A disc of styrene is cut and made to fit into the body of the main shell. In the center, a hole is cut and the a motor is fixed in place, with the drive rod pointing downwards. Fixed to the drive rod would be a tube to lengthen the drive that would fix to the center of the dome, when the motor is running the dome spins, simple. The lights, well, looking at the dome and seeing how small a place it is, I figured back when the original was built that cramming LEDs into there would be impossible, they must've done it some other way.

The lights for the dome are very simple really, it was Cyland's build that clued me into how it was done.

"The acrylic rods were cut to 1/4" and
arranged in an X pattern on the surface of the
dome. Lights were mounted behind these rods so
that they each had a light."

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The acrylic rod segments are basically little windows that let light shine through from one larger light source. Using coloured acetate or lighting gels fixed on the inside of the dome, it would tint the lights to the correct colours as seen on screen. Cyland's build talks about the phone detangler being used to give power to the lights in the dome but it's not really necessary. I would guess that lights mounted in the same plate where the motor is mounted, some ultrabright white LEDs, would be more than enough to be seen through the dome.
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By Tyrael
#4800425
The trickiest part of that will be getting the spindle attached to the dead center of the inside of the dome and not at any kind of angle, which will produce a bad wobble at higher spin speeds. I wish you the best of luck!
User avatar
By Bob Wobbaz
#4800436
I'm thinking of getting small brass or copper tube. My local model shop sells it for steam engine builds, 2mm should be a nice snug fit on the end and be straight as an arrow :) the dome I have has a bump from the mould bang in the center so lining it up should be a piece of cake :)
User avatar
By halliwax
#4800713
slimer28 wrote:AZ spidey wired up everything from scratch himself so it's his own custom design. I was a computer tech for and cellphone repair tech for almost 3 years, a buddy and me are designing a crazy light and motor system for the gigameter that will knock the socks off some poor librarian. If you are willing to wait i will share with the community how I did it.

very very interested to hear and see this! so excited!!
User avatar
By halliwax
#4800715
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wicked excited about this! cant wait to see how u rig up the electronics! i agree with you the gigameter is the holy grail to me as well, and my all time favorite prop

i am still hoping AZ brings back another run of meters... i want one bad!

cannot wait to see more progress!!
User avatar
By Bob Wobbaz
#4800733
Bit of progress with the lights in the dome, experimental mostly. My 2mm acrylic rod arrived along with the lighting gels, I couldn't resist trying my idea for the lights being fibre optic so I grabbed my LED torch to give it a try, I think it's going to work perfectly

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Cut to length with a cluster of white LEDs shining into the dome, i think this is going to work a treat :D
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User avatar
By halliwax
#4800946
Bob Wobbaz wrote:Bit of progress with the lights in the dome, experimental mostly. My 2mm acrylic rod arrived along with the lighting gels, I couldn't resist trying my idea for the lights being fibre optic so I grabbed my LED torch to give it a try, I think it's going to work perfectly

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Cut to length with a cluster of white LEDs shining into the dome, i think this is going to work a treat :D


ho ho ho! i think its gonna work too!!
User avatar
By Bob Wobbaz
#4801000
More progress! I've had a ton of parts arrive so I have pretty much everything i need to finish this build now. Both the inner and outer domes arrived, I managed to source a UK supplier and they really look the business.

I created the extra box on the underside using styrene, smoothed and sanded it so its a all pretty :)

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It's also a pretty neat fit for my battery clips. I've been mulling over how to keep the look of the gigameter without adding extra screw holes and the sort but still be able to open it up to change the batteries. I think what I'll do is to make this box removable with the batteries hidden inside it.

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I've also added the rear portion and sanded that smooth into the body. Still need to drill the hole for the rear switch there, but i'll cross that bridge when I come to it ;)

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Also had the light kit arrive for the microphone ears, will need a little modification, going to swap the 5mm yellow LEDs for 3mm orange. Having said that, the kit is great, lots of different patterns, it remember which pattern it was in when you turn it off and above all, it's tiny! it'll take barely any room at all inside the shell.

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And just because I couldn't resist, a pic of it all together as it is now ;)

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This weekend I think I'll tackle the spinning dome, have a try at getting that working :cool:
User avatar
By Bob Wobbaz
#4801270
More updates!

So this weekend I thought I'd tackle the scan dome. First, I hit the dome with a good few layers of grey primer. I then drilled the holes in the X pattern, the holes are 1cm apart.

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Using 2mm acrylic rod, I cut to size segments and fitted them in the holes. I then cut still strips of coloured acetate and glued them into the inside of the dome, this is what creates the different coloured lights in the dome. I couldn't resist shining a torch through to see how it looked :)

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I then went about attaching the motor, I needed the extend the drive spindle so I used some 3mm pipe, it fit over the spindle perfectly

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And the effect when the motor is active?

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I'm pretty happy with how its looking so far, needs a little tweaking but as a concept, I'm more than pleased with it. I get the feeling that the patterns we see on the film is nothing more than the acrylic rod "windows" moving in and out of the light source on the inside. I plan on using white LEDs to shine into the dome so hopefully with some clever positioning I can emulate this effect.

Here's the gigameter as it is at the moment. The dome is just resting in there at the moment, no sense in fixing it there seeing as I still need to spray the body.

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Next, I'll be adding the heatsink to the underside, the hoop around the dome opening and making the battery box removable :) Stay tuned!
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User avatar
By AZspidey
Supporting Member
#4801492
Lets not forget that Cyland props did not have access to the original, so the phone detangler is just what he used for his, not necessarily what the real prop used.

Mine is motor driven with parts from a spinning globe used.
-Todd
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User avatar
By halliwax
#4801592
AZspidey wrote:Lets not forget that Cyland props did not have access to the original, so the phone detangler is just what he used for his, not necessarily what the real prop used.

Mine is motor driven with parts from a spinning globe used.
-Todd


would love to see your thread updated with your gigameter! dying to see it in motion!

rumor has it the original gigameter was thrown out after it was badly damaged, does anyone know if thats true?
User avatar
By Bob Wobbaz
#4801627
AZspidey wrote:Lets not forget that Cyland props did not have access to the original, so the phone detangler is just what he used for his, not necessarily what the real prop used.

Mine is motor driven with parts from a spinning globe used.
-Todd


Oh absolutely, with there being so little information on the original and no photos of the inside mechanisms we have to make do with what we can come up with :)

Ok, on with the newest update!

After struggling with making 10 fins to make the heatsink (probably due to my hamfistedness) I decided to go another route. AZ Spidey, man I wish I had access to a laser cutter like you!

I decided to make a wedge shaped box instead and then layer styrene strips on the top to create the illusion of a heatsink.

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And here it is in place on the body, not bad eh?

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I suppose the biggest update is, I got the dome totally sorted! Here it sat in the body, aint it pretty?

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AND, here's video of it in action! I need to put a little more film over the top 2 rings of lights, I'm getting some white bleed from the LEDs rather than it being solid red, it's going a pinkish tinge but I'm very happy how it looks :D

https://www.flickr.com/photos/62174436@N08/14485795009/
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That's pretty cool, more details, please.

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