User avatar
By propcicle
#4827628
So long time lurker here, on and off over the last 8-10 years. I first started working on a couple proton packs for me and my son over 5 years ago. We got busy and moved from Indiana to Colorado almost 4 years ago and the project went into hibernation. I got the urge to pick things back up a couple of weeks ago after poking around some of the forums here. My goal is to have two scratch packs put together by Halloween 2015. I've got a decent start from the first go around, and using Stefan's plans as my guide. I hope to do a decent job on these first two to be able to sell one and get a more accurate shell. Looking forward to the journey ahead. Plan to post my current as built pictures soon.
User avatar
By propcicle
#4827650
Here's what's sitting around the workbench:
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So the synch generators, n filters, HGAs are roughed out. Just put the putty epoxy on the edges today to see what it would look like. Still have lots of putty work to fill in and smooth everything out. Since I'm building two of these at the same time, I'm splitting them up as prototype and final version.

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Going to shoot a bit of primer on these to see where the low spots are. Next up is working on the booster.
User avatar
By propcicle
#4827697
So today I did a couple minor tasks. Put some more "welds" on the ion arm, sanded the power cell ribs and worked on boring out a slot for the PPD. I didn't have the proper hole saw for the PPD so went an 1/8" larger and will fill the rest with putty. Instead of making the next booster tube box out of solid wood, I might build a box on the next one. I'm afraid the press board laminate might add to the pack weight.

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Few more welds...
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Might need more putty
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User avatar
By propcicle
#4827890
Not much progress the last couple days but I did place everything just to see if it looks like a pack or not. So far, so good. Saturday looks like it's goog to be a full day of pack work. Need to go buy some dowel rods for a couple pieces before then.
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User avatar
By propcicle
#4828196
I spent a few hours working on the pack today. Decided to tackle the gearbox. For such a simple box, I had a few issues.
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First, I forgot about the different heights needed in the center section and had to pry the piece out before the resin set up. Image
Gluing this up was another struggle, but I made though the hard parts.

Also found some 1.25" plastic pipe to use for a few of the other bits. Thanks to Stefan's and Venkman71's plans for getting me this far and to Vince's research on the pipe sizes to move things along.
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Next up is to finish the gear box and start gluing these pieces all together.
User avatar
By Hammer
#4828234
Looking good! I can't wait to see where the Mac N' Cheese duck tape goes!
User avatar
By propcicle
#4828700
Today I thought I'd take a look at the thrower. I've seen a couple scratch builds on here using ABS or PVC that looked interesting. I lucked out and found a plastics supply place in the town. Stopped there this morning and picked up some black ABS in 3/16" and 1/8". They also had red and blue acrylic for the lenses I need, so I picked that up as well. Finding out that the plastic is pretty easy to work with and the set time for glue is much quicker than with wood. I started 2 throwers with the plastic and finished gluing up the sides on the gearbox. Next up is to sand the box, round the edges and put the ribs on.

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Image

Also put some more putty on the PPD's and ordered some resin Clippards. Baby steps...
User avatar
By propcicle
#4828767
Slight update, went back down to the basement to cut a couple more pieces of acrylic. Instead, I ended up cutting this...
Image
This Post Contains Spoilers
My building days are over for the week until I get some skin growth back. I did have my safety glasses in, but the tablesaw kickback didn't care about that. In figuring my thumb must have glanced the blade when all hell broke loose. Be careful kids.
By GBfan77
#4828792
I got that beat. When I was building my scratch built pack the utility knife I was using slipped. Two inch laceration on the back of my left hand. Seven Stitches and a scar to remind me of the importants of using the right tools for the right job. All the same, that looks like it hurt like a sumbitch.
User avatar
By propcicle
#4828967
So while I'm taking a few days off, how do most folks mount the split loom hose to the gearbox? I've seen a couple pics that look like a wire tie is being used, but I have seen this on the movie packs, only the ones on display. Waiting on some resin bits to show up this week and finish the gearbox this weekend. Feels like the home stretch.
User avatar
By Grimmy GB
#4828980
Loom to gearbox: That's an area that people use their creative liberties to mount. A lot of 'busters leave a hole in the gearbox just big enough for the loom to run into, and affix the loom inside a piece of PVC or to a wood dowel. I mounted the loom using a piece of tapped dowel to the exterior of the shell, but mine was fiberglass and not like your beautiful build.
As far as the wire tie, it COULD be functional, but for the most part it is aesthetic. pchrisbosh really goes into detail on how he bent and tied his in one of his builds.
User avatar
By travisccook
#4829132
I've always been a member of the attach-a-dowel club. When I was operating with a wooden gearbox I just used a rather long screw to attach the dowel to the box then glued the loom to the dowel.
User avatar
By propcicle
#4829456
Thanks for the info on the dowels. I'll go with the wooden dowel epoxied in. Last night I went back to the thrower. I've been thinking about how to get a nice consistent bend in the ABS and decided to build a wooden buck I could shape the plastic over. Not sure how this is normally done but I think it worked out pretty well. I left the plastic wide on the curve to give me material to shave back in case of distortion while bending.
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Bending the plastic in the jig...

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And rough fit on the rest of the box...

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I also started putting the ribs on the gearbox and epoxied the tube in the middle. Filled in some putty under the ribs on the rounded edge this morning. I may try to glue up another piece on the thrower tonight. Oh and I also got some great pieces from Wiz last week. These are great replicas if your looking for some.

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User avatar
By propcicle
#4829671
Got my Arduino Mega board a few days ago. I've been playing around with board, watching some Arduino tutorials and just trying some code out. First, I put together a couple circuit boards years ago based on the commonly available 555 timers and shift register chips. I originally bread boarded the circuit out and it worked fine. When I built the circuit and started soldering everything together, the circuit was a bit flaky. I decided I would use these boards to start from and keep the 9V supply and switching transistors, but use the Arduino to trigger the transistors.

So far I've got the cycle of the powercell lights down pretty good (may need to adjust the delays) and the cyclotron lights. I've seen a couple startup sequences here that I liked the look of and decided to replicate. This gets executed only once on board startup or reset (when I push the board button). I also temped in a push button to test driving an output (proton stream probably) to another LED. Going to keep playing around with this until I get something that covers all the bases. Still need to figure out what I'm doing on the wand bar graph, I've got plenty of outputs to drive a multi segment display, but I haven't bought one yet.

The transistors are there for two reasons - first, I was concerned about overloading the Arduino board with all these LEDs and probably more importantly, I already had these boards built from before and didn't want to de-solder them. Yep, I'm lazy. Hopefully the video works below, looking for suggestions to improve. Will post the code later.



Chad
Rowan J. Zweig liked this
User avatar
By propcicle
#4829928
Made some changes to the Arduino code and I'm happy with where this is now. My early versions of code overused the DELAY function, which caused overall code execution delays when using a pushbutton switch for other features like vent light and and proton stream activation. I wasn't happy with the way this acted, so I looked into using the MILLIS function which checks the clock time to drive actions. Note that the final powercell cycling prior to power off was probably due to a switch bounce when trying to turn of the pack and not a normal light sequence. Video here:



Anyway, this code only uses the DELAY function when the proton steam is fired, which I intentionally included to slow down the powercell cycling. This is still pretty basic code, but I'm going to go with this for now as it does what I was trying to accomplish. Code is included in the spoiler for those that are interested in using on their projects. I tried to fully comment the code so have fun and let me know if you have problems implementing or improvements that make things simpler. I'm going to start investigating how to interface this with some of the various Arduino shields that provide sounds, but I might wait a while on that one. There seems to be a lot of affordable sound cards out there I could easily interface with using the Arduino or DPDT switches.
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
// Propcicle's Arduino Code for Proton Pack and Wand Lights
// Feel free to use in your pack along with an Arduino Mega Board
// Developed March 2015
///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

int arrayIndex = 0; //Index variable for powercell lights
int arrayEnd = 15; //Index limiter for powercell lights
int cyclo = 1; //Index variable for cyclotron lights
int powon = 25; //LED On delay for power up sequence, recommend setting to 25
int state = 0; //state = 0 for pack off,state = 1 for startup seq,state = 2 for normal powercell cycle

// the follow variables is a long because the time, measured in miliseconds,
// will quickly become a bigger number than can be stored in an int.
unsigned long previousMillis = 0; // will store last time LED was updated
unsigned long duration = 40; // interval at which to blink (milliseconds)

void setup() {
//
pinMode(22, OUTPUT); // Power Cell LED 1 and Wand Bar LED 1
pinMode(23, OUTPUT); // Power Cell LED 2 and Wand Bar LED 2
pinMode(24, OUTPUT); // Power Cell LED 3 and Wand Bar LED 3
pinMode(25, OUTPUT); // Power Cell LED 4 and Wand Bar LED 4
pinMode(26, OUTPUT); // Power Cell LED 5 and Wand Bar LED 5
pinMode(27, OUTPUT); // Power Cell LED 6 and Wand Bar LED 6
pinMode(28, OUTPUT); // Power Cell LED 7 and Wand Bar LED 7
pinMode(29, OUTPUT); // Power Cell LED 8 and Wand Bar LED 8
pinMode(30, OUTPUT); // Power Cell LED 9 and Wand Bar LED 9
pinMode(31, OUTPUT); // Power Cell LED 10 and Wand Bar LED 10
pinMode(32, OUTPUT); // Power Cell LED 11 and Wand Bar LED 11
pinMode(33, OUTPUT); // Power Cell LED 12 and Wand Bar LED 12
pinMode(34, OUTPUT); // Power Cell LED 13
pinMode(35, OUTPUT); // Power Cell LED 14
pinMode(51, OUTPUT); // Cyclo Light LED 1
pinMode(52, OUTPUT); // Cyclo Light LED 2
pinMode(53, OUTPUT); // Cyclo Light LED 3
pinMode(50, OUTPUT); // Cyclo Light LED 4
pinMode(7, OUTPUT); // Vent Light Output
pinMode(11, OUTPUT); // Proton Stream Output
pinMode(8, INPUT); // Pack Power On - "Activate" Switch
pinMode(9, INPUT); // Vent Light On - Bottom Bar Graph Light
pinMode(10, INPUT); // Fire the stream - "Intensify" button
pinMode(40, OUTPUT); // Any wand light that should be constatnt on after startup
}

void loop()
{
// here is where you'd put code that needs to be running all the time.

// check to see if it's time to blink the LED; that is, if the
// difference between the current time and last time you blinked
// the LED is bigger than the interval at which you want to
// blink the LED.
unsigned long currentMillis;
unsigned long elapsedMillis;

//int ledon = 25; //On delay for individual light for normal powercell
//int ledoff = 250; //Off delay for bar of lights

//Code for pack on sequence
if (state == 0 && digitalRead(8) == LOW) //Initial Starting point
{
//Do nothing - all lights off
digitalWrite(22, LOW);
digitalWrite(23, LOW);
digitalWrite(24, LOW);
digitalWrite(25, LOW);
digitalWrite(26, LOW);
digitalWrite(27, LOW);
digitalWrite(28, LOW);
digitalWrite(29, LOW);
digitalWrite(30, LOW);
digitalWrite(31, LOW);
digitalWrite(32, LOW);
digitalWrite(33, LOW);
digitalWrite(34, LOW);
digitalWrite(35, LOW);
digitalWrite(51, LOW);
digitalWrite(52, LOW);
digitalWrite(53, LOW);
digitalWrite(50, LOW);
digitalWrite(40, LOW);
digitalWrite(7, LOW);
state = 0;
}

else if (digitalRead(8) == LOW) //Turn all Lights off
{
digitalWrite(22, LOW);
digitalWrite(23, LOW);
digitalWrite(24, LOW);
digitalWrite(25, LOW);
digitalWrite(26, LOW);
digitalWrite(27, LOW);
digitalWrite(28, LOW);
digitalWrite(29, LOW);
digitalWrite(30, LOW);
digitalWrite(31, LOW);
digitalWrite(32, LOW);
digitalWrite(33, LOW);
digitalWrite(34, LOW);
digitalWrite(35, LOW);
digitalWrite(51, LOW);
digitalWrite(52, LOW);
digitalWrite(53, LOW);
digitalWrite(50, LOW);
digitalWrite(40, LOW);
digitalWrite(7, LOW);
state = 0;
}

else if (state == 0 && digitalRead(8) == HIGH) //Startup Sequence
{
for (int y = 0; y < 14; y = y + 1) {

int x = 1; //Light Loop incrementor
for (int powled = 35; powled > 21 + y; powled = powled - x) {
digitalWrite(powled, HIGH);
delay(powon);
digitalWrite(powled, LOW);
}
digitalWrite(22 + y, HIGH);

}
state = 1;
}
else if (state == 1)
{
//Code for turning on the next cyclo light
digitalWrite(40, HIGH);
switch (cyclo)
{
case 1:
digitalWrite(51, HIGH);
break;
case 2:
digitalWrite(52, HIGH);
break;
case 3:
digitalWrite(53, HIGH);
break;
case 4:
digitalWrite(50, HIGH);
break;
default:
cyclo = 0;
}
//Main Code for incrementing Powercell lights
currentMillis = millis(); // capture current "time"
// all time related variable are unsigned long
elapsedMillis = currentMillis - previousMillis; // see how much time has passed
if (elapsedMillis >= duration) { // time for next occurrence of event?
previousMillis = previousMillis + duration; // set up time for next occurrence of event
arrayIndex = arrayIndex + 1; // increment pointer
if (arrayIndex == arrayEnd) {
arrayIndex = 0; // reset to beginning
digitalWrite(22, LOW);
digitalWrite(23, LOW);
digitalWrite(24, LOW);
digitalWrite(25, LOW);
digitalWrite(26, LOW);
digitalWrite(27, LOW);
digitalWrite(28, LOW);
digitalWrite(29, LOW);
digitalWrite(30, LOW);
digitalWrite(31, LOW);
digitalWrite(32, LOW);
digitalWrite(33, LOW);
digitalWrite(34, LOW);
digitalWrite(35, LOW);
//delay(40); //Optional delay before starting lights again

switch (cyclo)
{
//Code for turning off the previous cyclo light
case 1:
digitalWrite(51, LOW);
break;
case 2:
digitalWrite(52, LOW);
break;
case 3:
digitalWrite(53, LOW);
break;
case 4:
digitalWrite(50, LOW);
cyclo = 0;
break;
}

cyclo = cyclo + 1;
}

// do action based on value stored at arrayIndex
// This cycles the powercell lights
digitalWrite(21 + arrayIndex, HIGH);

} // end time check

if (state == 1 && digitalRead(9) == HIGH) //Vent Light Activation Loop
{
digitalWrite(7, HIGH);
}
else
{
digitalWrite(7, LOW);
}
if (state == 1 && digitalRead(9) && digitalRead(10) == HIGH) //Proton Stream Activation Loop
{
digitalWrite(11, HIGH);
delay(30);
digitalWrite(11, LOW);
delay(30);
}
else
{
digitalWrite(11, LOW);
}

} // end loop

}
This Post Contains Spoilers
This has been fun project geeking out with doing some programming. It's probably been 20 years since I've done anything close to this back in college and the Arduino makes it much easier to configure.

Chad
Ecto-1 fan liked this
User avatar
By Hammer
#4829987
Right on! I like.

My mind is already plugging in some of the thrower bar graph code.

My snag was programming a ramp up to the overheat followed by a shut down and reset. I'm getting better with the coding. I literally had to stop messing and start actually learning the code from the beginning.

It's a challenge but I was having fun with it.
User avatar
By propcicle
#4830616
No updates lately because I've had little time to focus on the build this last week. I did get some more plastic (1/16" ABS and some 1" square acrylic tubing) and got a few more things done. First, the gearbox is nearing completion. Too bad I still have another one to build. Just need a few more putty fill ins and sand the grooves on the bottom edge.

Image

Next up was the thrower heat sink. I fired up Google sketchup and based on some reference pics here, I used the Cube printer at work to spit this out:

Image

Image

Also worked on a trigger box but I need to figure out how to get the switches inside it. Probably going to have to cut an access door but a need to get the switches ordered. So here's where I'm at for now:

Image

I tried to pick up some aluminum for the mobo but the supply place would only sell me a 4' x 4' sheet for $105. So that's on my list of things to figure out in the coming weeks. Slow progress, but learning a lot.

Chad
User avatar
By propcicle
#4831997
It's been a little slow lately but I'm still working on my packs. Trying to round up a few resistors and other odds and ends.

Electronics: I have a pretty good handle on the light sequences and triggering sounds when needed. I ordered the Sound FX board from Adafruit and should have a couple new boards later the week. Then I'll be looking for an amp and speakers. Next up is to order the switches and buttons and a few more LEDs.

Most work has been focused on the wand lately. I attached the rear tube and place a rivet through the top knob stalk. With this and the epoxy, tube feels pretty solid. I also went looking for punishment and starting working on the grips.

First, I used a hole saw to bore out for the tube:
Image

Then, drilled a few 1/2" holes:
Image

Next was to make a few cuts and take a plane to the sides to start rounding it over:
Image

And finally a little cleanup work with a file and sander:
Image

Still needs a bit more file and sander work, but it's not looking too bad. I may decide to just scratch build one set and get a set of TC's for the second wand. If I had a decent recip saw, I think I could get the profile a little closer to Stefans's plans, but that's what putty and sanding is for.

If anyone has a good source for toggle switches let me know. I also went to Lowes to look for the wand screws but didn't have much luck there. Have to look for an online source for those.

Chad
User avatar
By Hammer
#4832012
Looking very good! I'm in "watch the mail" mode as well. Over the last week I've began a total redo of many things. It's amazing how I look at this now, as opposed to a year ago. Knowledge gained has sharpened my eye and lessened my tolerance of "close enough".
User avatar
By propcicle
#4832437
I received the Adafruit AudioFX board in the mail this week. I've been playing around with this the last couple days and was successful getting sound output based on inputs to the Arduino board. Next step is to get an amplifier circuit and a speaker. As far as pack progress, not much new lately. I need to finish up the grips I started and go back to the pack parts. Having problems with a local sourcing for the mobo. Also checked out some surplus stores in Denver last weekend and they were wanting $150 for a flight suit. Guess word got out in the khaki suits. I need a larger one for my son.

Also printed out the two side adjuster knobs this week. Things have been busy around the house with school finishing up soon for the kids. Video below for the sound board work.

User avatar
By propcicle
#4832915
Progress update: printed out the adjuster knobs this week. My first go around had a little size issue:

Image
One of things is not like the others... I guess I screwed up dividing to figure out the radius. Anyway, 4 new knobs properly sized and printed.

Also finished up the other wood grip. Probably not going to do another set and will find someone to buy a pair from. They're not bad but I should have used the styrene form plus sculpy method that I found in Throwing Chicken's buildup. Didn't see that until after I started.

I also have one gun track complete and started on the rear cylinder with the side cuts. Knobs are glued on and now I need to get some switches ordered. I have a few picked out on Amazon and also trying to track down a power pack, amp and LEDs for the wand bar graph.

Image

After I get the bar graph, I'll go back to the arduino to figure out that sequence and I should have the electronics wrapped up. Picked up some JB weld steel stick to do some more welds and patches.
User avatar
By propcicle
#4833169
Looky what I've got here. It's starting to look like something familiar.

Image

Image

Sent a note to Throwing Chicken about parts for the second thrower. It will be a nice comparison between the full scratch and half scratch versions. Still need to do some work on the clear acrylic tubing and figure out how to permanently mount the handle to the gun box. Right now I have just a short inner pipe sleave holding them together, but some SteelStick will hold in place if I go that route.
By ssturwold
#4833508
Looky what I've got here. It's starting to look like something familiar.

Image

Image

Sent a note to Throwing Chicken about parts for the second thrower. It will be a nice comparison between the full scratch and half scratch versions. Still need to do some work on the clear acrylic tubing and figure out how to permanently mount the handle to the gun box. Right now I have just a short inner pipe sleave holding them together, but some SteelStick will hold in place if I go that route.
Can you share your arduino code? I can put most if it together but jave no luck with code. Plus nice find on the audiofx board that looks sweet.
User avatar
By propcicle
#4833519
I got a couple presents this weekend, both that came in boxes. First, I've needed one of these for a while and just finally broke down at the last trip to Lowes:

Image

This is going to help a lot with the detail work I've got coming up.

Next up, one of the fastest deliveries that I've seen in a while, compliments of Throwing Chicken:

Image

Image

Let me say, quality on these pieces is top notch. I can't wait to start using these on my second thrower. Thanks again TC for the extras.
User avatar
By slicerd1
#4833614
Hey Propcicle your packs are looking great. I like that you are using arduino I just bought a bunch myself and will be working on programming soon.

I did have a question about where you found the 1.25" plastic pipe. It looks pretty thin walled which is what I want all the stuff I have is thick and heavy.
Tom’s complete spirit overhaul

Thanks guys, much appreciated!

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