User avatar
By Batfly
#4900543
So yesterday, November 1st, the weather was indeed above 40° when I got out of work at 3pm. It was also raining, but I cheeked the humidity and it was only 70%. Krylon's website said anything under 85% is ok. The balcony is covered.

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So I made a bucket of hot tap water and threw in a can of metallic silver and satin black. While they were hot tubbing it up I prepped all the parts that needed touching up or were just forgot the last time. I put 2x4s on the bathroom floor like before.

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Grabbed the Alice frame and roughed up the vertical bar I replaced to give the paint something to "bite".

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Took the metallic silver out of the bucket, dried it off, and took the shell outside and got 2 coats on. This awesome paint goes on well and says it only needs a minute between coats. Came inside and put the shell on the 2x4s in the bathroom. That was it for silver.

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Since I was racing temps of the weather, spray can, and painting surfaces, I didn't get many in process pics. But here is everything I painted. Most things only needed certain spots touched up. The booster frame and ppd were the first to get sprayed a full coat then brought inside and hung up on the shower curtain rail. The thrower got a whole extra coat next. It lost quite a bit of paint from me putting the barrel back in while it was still tacky. Then all the other hung up parts got spot treated followed by the stuff on the board. Painted up the Alice vertical bar and motherboard. In the bathroom they went. Lastly the booster frame and ppd got a second coat of black.

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I don't know if it was humidity, lower temps, tiny droplets, or rouge bed liner grains, but there's a uniform speckling on all smooth surfaces on all parts. Silver and black. It's pretty sparse and they are very tiny, so I'm not really stressing over it to much.

The cyclotron rings really lucked out somehow. Only the top left has a few speckles.

The black paint doesn't show it as much. It's there, but you have to have it in just the right light and angle. The thrower was most evident with the largest flat surfaces so far that are black. The other parts its hard to see. I'll have to look at them in the sunlight, but I think I'm over scrutinizing. It seems the silver reveals it prominently with it being shiny while the black hides it. These shots are from the next day btw.

I totally see how people say a pack is never really finished. There's always something I think could be a little bit better. Already considering stripping the paint and redoing it in the spring taking my time with better weather. We'll see how I feel when its all together, finished and weathered.

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Something I find helps to control paint smell when things are curing indoors is a towel on the bottom of the door. It still smells for a few hours, but maybe a sixth of how it would without the towel.

So now I wait a week and then hope its warm enough to get a few coats of satin black on the shell. Along with guts in, greebles on, and dry rubs placed on the thrower. Also will get the motherboard mounted to the Alice frame and install speakers, switches, and battery. Then wait another week for the shell to cure and I can... dun dun dun... do final assembly and apply stickers and weathering. Ahhhhhhhh!

I'm freaking out. Ok bye.
twmedford23 liked this
User avatar
By Batfly
#4900694
Had Sunday, October 5th off from work. Put some greebles on some parts and got some electrical work figured out.

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I just got the urge out of nowhere to put the resistors and such on the ion arm. So I did that and next thing I know is I'm reaching for the hga. Then the injector tubes, followed by the beam line tube. Last was the clipboard valve base.

These parts were curing for over 10 days. How long does krylon (non fusion mind you) take to fully cure? These still had a very very slight takiness to them. Grrr. If I do end up stripping it and repainting I think I'm going to go with rustoleum. I can already feel the bug for aluminum upgrade parts biting me to reduce the amount of things needing paint stripping.

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I looked up what the heck NC, C, and NO meant on the switch. I had an idea that NO was normally open and NC was normally closed, but not what C was. Duh, means common. So, if you don't know switch/ button terminology, these terms refers to a terminal/post's state when no action is being done but only on momentary switches (meaning they return to their original position when no action is applied). Switches that stay in a position use on and off terminology.

Therefore, NC means that when not pressing on the switch, a conection is made and its broken when you press the button. This is good if you want something to stop momentarily when the button is pushed. I didn't want this.

NO means its resting state is open/no connection is being made. When you push the button it makes the connection and breaks it when released. That's what I needed. C or common is the originating point of what needs to be connected, be it power or ground. Hope this makes sense. Here's a quick text drawing of the connection when the button is not pressed and then pressed.

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The replacement switch has two sets of NC, C, and NO posts for activating two separate circuits with one button. One is for the original fire button to the board and the other for the plasma tube. I didn't want to throw 12 volts to the board, so I needed the circuits separated but activated with a single button. This is called DPDT, dual post dual throw. If it was single throw, the sets of posts would not be separate circuits.

Anyway, I cut a short length of speaker wire, fed it through the IB/TB assembly, and soldered a wire to NO and C. Before soldering though I cut some heat shrink and slipped it over the wires. After soldering and letting it cool for a tiny bit, I slipped the heat shrink over the wire and posts they are soldered to. Hit the shrink stuff with the heat gun. This provides strain relief and helps prevents anything shorting out. This side of the switch will complete the 12v ground circuit to the plasma tube board when the button is pushed.

Then I cut the wires from the original fire push button that came with the gbfans kit, fished them through the bars, and slipped some heat shrink on them. This way I retained the small connector that plugs into the circuit board. Soldered them to C and NO posts on the other side. Did the same with their heat shrinking.

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I made sure to solder the wires to the sides of the posts so I had clearance for the access panel cover. Inserted the switch with the button head removed into its hole. Used the star washer and screwed the nut down. This is not just test fitting anymore folks! Woo! Put the button head back. Here's a comparison of the original and new button heads. Yes, I'm painting the new one black. The size is quite different but not obscene and it'll be a unique differentiating feature of my pack.

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I took the toggle switch with the longest wires and fished them through the instrument and trigger bars. Then I placed it in its hole with the wires positioned so they were the two lower posts. The switch should operate with the position being opposite of the posts to be connected. Like so:

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Then I screwed the access panel cover on. Looking good!

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I moved onto the 10k ohm potentiometer volume knob. I slipped some heat shrink on the three wires and a larger diameter one on as well. Then soldered a wire to negative, sweep, and positive. Then put the heat shrink over the posts and applied heat. I slid the larger shrink tube over the ends of the smaller shrink tubing a little and applied heat. Did this just to clean it up a little and prevent unraveling of the twist.

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I soldered the other ends of the wires to a Molex connector but used the opposite gender end than I did the power Molex. I did this so I couldn't accidentally connect the power to the volume of the board or potentiometer to thrower board power connector. Did the same heat shrinking as before.

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Then I soldered and heat shrunk up the connecting end of the Molex connector. Screwed the bare wire ground, sweep, and positive ends to the thrower board. If I don't like which way the knob turns for volume up and down, I can simply switch the positive and ground wire (red and white) positions on the board to reverse the volume up/down turn direction.

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Rewired the plasma tube with larger gauge leads and not so close together as last time. Jumped the steady on/sound reactive switch solder points so its always on. Put some quick connects on the plasmas tube, power in and out of the board wires. Connected the switch in the trigger bar to the 12v grounds from the battery and board.

The results can be seen in this video:


Then I drilled a few holes in the mdf board I've been using to paint parts on and mocked up the ion arm rods, thrower side discs, heat sink, and trigger button cap. Roughed up the button head surface to take paint better. No pics taken of this mock up.

That was it for Sunday, October 10th.
MasterOod liked this
User avatar
By Batfly
#4900709
Monday, October 8th: rushing sucks!

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Woke up with my mind set that I was going to get the shell painted. So, while I waited for temps to get above 40°f, I sat at my desk to remake an S-hook disc to replace the lost one from the thrower gun track. I flipped through this build thread to see off I had the measurement I used for it documented. Nope, I didn't.

Then I got the idea to look through my stock of old washers. Wouldn't you know it, I had two perfect washers. One was pristine and the other a bit worn, but both black too! I thought of using both stacked together to match the thickness of the lost piece. Decided I liked the lower profile of one washer better. So that was settled.

I screwed the V-hook onto the gun track with the thrower bottom plate. Next the front disc, then the rear disc with the S-hook got screwed on. You can see here results of the rushed paint job. It's not horrible, just not great. This theme will continue.

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Threw a used and a new can of satin black in a bucket of hot water.

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Then I washed the heatsink, side knobs, and ion arm rods and put them back on the board for painting.

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Grabbed the used can from the bucket, dried it, shook it up, took the board of parts outside, and gave it a coat from four sides. Then I brought it into the bathroom.

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Took the shell outside and gave it a pretty heavy first coat. It was only 42° out so I was trying to get this done. Brought the shell back into the bathroom.

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Waited a half hour and then got a second, final coat on the board of parts. Metal seems to take this paint really well. I might be spraying a little far away as I got those speckles again. Perhaps the temp is making the paint mist condense into small droplets together before hitting the surface? I don't know. It's aggravating but not the end of the world. It goes down some as it cures to.

Took the shell out for a second coat. Wish I had the luxury of taking my time with better weather. You can see where it went on a bit heavy on the gun mount, next to, and under it.

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Waited another half hour and got a third coat applied. More like sixth coat with how heavy I was spraying the coats on. It went on heavy again on the gun mount areas, but now also next to the power cell and the top of the synchronous generator above of the cyclotron. Grrrr.
Back in the bathroom it went for a few hours with a towel under the door to minimize fumes.

Then I got a haircut and saw Thor: Rangnarock with my fiancee. Can't recommend that movie enough! We both loved it. The art direction alone is amazing.

When we got home I moved the shell to the kitchen table and board of parts to the living room.

The next day the heavy paint parts were less smooth and the texture underneath showed through more. It's not perfect, but not as bad as when the paint was fresh. So a bit of relief there. I'll get a pic of how it's looking.

That's all for now. Exiting times.
User avatar
By Batfly
#4900712
Here's a few shots as it sits on the kitchen table. Just wanted to show how much better the over sprayed sections look now that the paint is semi cured and not fresh and flowing.

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I might try and press the paint down randomly with some sculpting tools to see if i can't simulate the texture on those gun mount paint ripples.

I might not have to repaint in the spring after all.
User avatar
By Batfly
#4900721
Ecto46 wrote:Man tht plasma tube is off the hook! Im gld ya documented this so well looks like I will have to try it. I am assumeing you are yusing two different power sources to tget the 5v for the board and 12 v for the tube?

Nope, same 12v battery for everything. I'm just isolating the plasmas tube from the gbfans light and sound kits. Power goes to a DPDT switch on the motherboard. That's where it separates. One side goes to the sound board which passes power to the powercell and thrower boards through ribbon cables. The other side of the motherboard switch power goes directly to the plasmas tube's transformer/board with the ground going to one side of the fire button. I have a wiring diagram somewhere recent-ish in this thread. Lol

Gbfans boards run off 7-14 volts. :)
User avatar
By Ecto46
#4900732
HAhahaha yeah I see that now......fer some reason I was thinking about the Arduinno stuff I have been looking at for a trap.....arduinna to power the doors but needed to step up to 12 volt for the strobe light....lol Great stuff man...I ordered styrene today......should be able to start construction next week!
User avatar
By Batfly
#4900733
Ecto46 wrote:HAhahaha yeah I see that now......fer some reason I was thinking about the Arduinno stuff I have been looking at for a trap.....arduinna to power the doors but needed to step up to 12 volt for the strobe light....lol Great stuff man...I ordered styrene today......should be able to start construction next week!
Lol I know how that is when different projects coalesce in your mind. I did find the aux on the thrower board is 5v+ for either a rumbler or ultra bright flash bulb.

That's exciting you ordered styrene! Should I be looking out for a build thread?
User avatar
By Batfly
#4900758
While at work yesterday, November 8th, I was looking at what else but reference photos, and noticed something I forgot to paint! Can you guess which part that would be?
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If you guessed the aluminum barrel adapter, then you're correct! So I rushed home after work. It was 4:45pm by the time I arrived. Sun was almost set and temps were dropping from 43°f.

Grabbed the barrel adapter and masked off the electrical tape I already had on there. I could have removed the e-tape, but it fit so perfect and snug that I didn't want to mess with it. Left a long masking tape tail for easy handling. Then I washed it.

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Placed it on a board outside and got a nice coat on from four sides plus top. Hung it off the edge of a tv tray by the masking tail with the spray can holding the tail in place.

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Then I changed clothes, took the dog out, and ate a snack while I waited a half hour before the second coat. Then took it back out to the balcony and sprayed the second coat on. Took it to the bathroom and wedged the tail between the spray can and cap. There it shall sit until it doesn't. Lol.

I know this is all pretty self explanatory and didn't need such detailing. I just wanted to pad out this very simple update.

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I also just ordered this so I can plug my phone into my pack and play sounds, music, or video audio through it. I was going to do Bluetooth, but didn't feel like getting an extra 12v to 5v dc step down for charging it up. I saw a little ultra portable one that I could always just plug into the motherboard externally. I originality wasn't going to incorporate any aux sound input, but I'm glad I am now.
User avatar
By Batfly
#4900917
Had an interesting weekend. A lot of motivating progress, a slight set back that got resolved, and then another to be continued bit of electrical drama.

Here's the progress from Saturday, November 11th: Final assembly begins

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Started by mounting the motherboard to the Alice frame. I inserted the three bolts. The top is 2" while the bottom two are the new 3" bolts to accommodate the battery.

The bottom bolts are a tight fit getting them past the angled support bars. Screwing them down pulls them past the bars but they did leave marks. Authentic weathering!

Placed the hockey puck spacers on the bolts.

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Fed the bolts through the motherboard holes and got the top spacer secured down. These nylon lock nuts are no joke. Held the nut still with a pair of players and screwed the bolt into it with a screwdriver.

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I got the bottom left spacer screwed down fine. For some reason the right side nut seized on the bolt about a half inch down. I couldn't even loosen it. I thought, "crap, this is going to take awhile to hack saw off!" Then I remembered I bought a Dremel. That sucker was chopped off fast. Loving this Dremel.

Had to loosen the left side to get the new 3" bolt past the angled support, through the spacer, and into the motherboard without having to completely remove the motherboard.

Got all nuts cranked down. Glad I had extra of all these parts. It's obvious in the pics, I think, but I used washers between the screw heads and surfaces, and nuts and surfaces.

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Next I installed the volume potentiometer, power/charge switch, and charged port. Nothing complicated. Just insert in hole with proper alignment and screw nut down on opposite side.

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Went on to wire up the switch. Started with the positive charge port connection. Slipped some wide heat shrink over the wire first then screwed it to the corresponding terminal post.

I placed the battery in its cradle making sure its tiny switch was off. Slipped heat shrink on all the wires and screwed them to their switch posts.

Then I placed heat shrink down over the terminals and hit them with the heat gun. Turned out as planned.

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I ran the wires between the battery and Alice frame bolt, then placed the retention bracket over the battery on the bolts. Placed washers and nuts on and got it screwed down.

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Got the speakers screwed down. I forgot I had marked top and bottom with up orientation marked on each. Present me thanked past me for the foresight. These speakers plus the battery sure did add some heft.

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Shifted over to the thrower. Started by getting the pvc compression extension back onto the plasma/acrylic tube assembly. Inserted it into the barrel, lined up the markings on the extender and screwed its set screw down. Easy peasy.

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Decided it was a good time to apply the dry rub transfers. I heard these can be a nightmare if you aren't prepared. So, in preparation, I watched a few YouTube videos a couple days prior on how to properly lay down these transfers.

I simply cut out what I needed and placed some scotch tape on it with enough excess to secure it to the surface. Didn't want these moving as I rub them. All through this I was making sure not to touch the back side where the adhesive is on the decal. I laid the uncut transfers back onto their wax paper to not get anything on them.

Started with the bar graph pies. Cut them out and slapped some tape on. Put the decal in place carefully. There are no second chances. Once rubbed they're in place and can't be repositioned. Then I rubbed it down. I started with a large metal Allen key but moved onto the plastic hex head handle of a tiny screwdriver I have. The metal felt liked it was trying to grip and tear at the decal. The plastic glided over it nicely. What's cool is the color changes letting you keep track of what's been rubbed down and what needs to be rubbed. I went over it about three times just to be sure.

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Next were the switches by the bar graph and red dial indicator arrow. To preview if the decal transferred well I lifted up one edge while the other side was still taped. This let me lay it back down if need be and continue rubbing while maintaining position. This is about the only leeway you get with these. This method works great.

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I installed the rear grip as it just felt weird holding the bare pole. Makes such a difference even when only installing things.

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Installed the side discs before the wiring diagram decal so I could have a better reference point for placement of said decal.

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Cutout, taped in place, and rubbed down the diagram decal. The little number 13 by the right most circle literally blew away when I lifted the bottom edge to check the transfer. Note to self: lift slowly!

I just took the tiny screwdriver and revealed some of the metallic paint under the black where the 13 was supposed to be. Boom, battle damage! Not even upset cause it looks so good. I do like the number 13 though. Lol.

Put the cosmetic screw in between the side disc.

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Here's the second bit of frustration for the day ('member the seized nut? I 'member!). I installed the front grip with the ear light and switch wires running though it. Didn't get pics of this.

Cut a length of some huge heat shrink I bought specifically for the ear. Placed it on the ear without the switch and light. Cut out the two holes in the shrink tubbing and removed it. Placed the led and switch in the ear and painstakingly put the shrink tubbing over it all. When I went to apply heat it instantly split completely down the middle from the rough cut holes. Damn! I didn't get any shots of this as I was weathering an expletive storm.

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So I cut a new section exactly to length of the ear and placed it over the switch and led with their wiring. Even more painstakingly as I didn't pre cut any holes. Applied heat, and while it didn't spilt this time, it did shrink lengthwise. Double damn! I had one more section left. Gulp. I cut off this too-short heat shrink.

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So I held the last section up to the ear. Made sure to hold the front edge up to the base of the weld where it meets the barrel. Then I cut about 1/8" past the end of the ear. Stretched and pulled it again over the switch and wiring. Squeezed it down to cover the whole weld as best I could. Then applied heat.

Bingo! Worked great. What did I learn from this? Shrink tubing shrinks lengthwise as well.

Lastly I cut around the button and hat light hole. Then I screwed the button nut on.

You can see paint damage from using the heat gun three times in the same area. Looks like heat damage from the stream exiting the wand tip and that's how I'm justifying it! Lol. Luckily it didn't go past the black paint coat.

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Wrapped some Teflon tape around the threads of the orange hat light lens. The hole for it is a little stripped but this tape took care of it.

In the last pic you can see how the wires exit the grip and enter the gun body.

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I wore away some overspray paint from the inside surface around the recessed hat light hole. Then I epoxied in an orange hat light lens from the underside. Clipped in the clear clip light in front of it.

I also screwed in the super sexy and rare vintage milky white hat light lens. I love this thing! No need for Teflon tape as it has pretty beefy threads. So sexy!

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Applied the activate and intensify dry rubs and slow blow sticker to the instrument and trigger bars. Inserted the red slow blow clip light.

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Got the numbered stickers on the bottom of the gun track.

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Installed the green lever (no barrel extension at this iteration), front knob, and top dial. Applied the 123 dry rub to the top dial.

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Ran the IB/TB wires into the gun body and screwed it down with star washers and nuts. Installed the power and vent switches. Then installed the clippard valve. I'm not much into brands but love technical diagrams, so I put the diagram facing up and brand label down.

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Screwed the bar graph in place with the ribbon cable already attached. Didn't matter as the cable came out plenty of times while working in such a tight space. Does anyone know of a source to get longer versions of these ribbon cables? Perhaps I'll hit up spongeface Doug if it annoys me enough.



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Hot glued in the LEDs for the slow blow, milky white hat, recessed orange hat, and clear clip lights.

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Made a quick and dirty shelf for the vet light. Cut a channel for the wires with the Dremel and it holds it in snuggly. Wore the paint away and glued the shelf in place making sure the LED was in the middle of the center vent slot when viewed from the outside.

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Ran the wand to sound board ribbon cable along with the plasma tube transformer wires into the handle and gun body. Installed the gbfans wand light board and hooked up its wiring. Then the plasmas tube transformer board and its wiring. Screwed on the bottom plate/gun track.

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Screwed on the cut down hose barbs and installed the green hose.

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I, of course, wanted to test out the electronics. So I went to power up the sound board and noticed the positive screw terminal was missing the screw and metal tab thingy. Wth?! After looking all over frantically and not finding the terminal screw, I screwed the ground wire into its terminal and soldered the positive to the solder point on the back of the board.

Connected the wand cable to the sound board. Then the plasma tube power and ground. Flipped on the battery power and main switch and then the switches on the thrower. NOTHING! Pressed the fire button and the plasmas tube did its thing. Oooook.

De-soldered the positive sound board wire, found a screw that fits the terminal, cut its point of, and installed the positive to the terminal hole. Still nothing. Not even the power indicator LED on the sound board. It was about 11:45pm at this point, so before I rage quit the world, I put everything down and decided to hang out with the fiancee and sleep on this.

Here's some money shots of the thrower though.

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To be continued...
Last edited by Batfly on November 14th, 2017, 12:03 pm, edited 7 times in total.
twmedford23 liked this
User avatar
By Batfly
#4900922
Ecto46 wrote:Wow! just.....Wow.... My styrene came in today, gonna start cutting the thrower tommorrow....I hope mine turns out half as nice as yours......excellent work!


Thanks Ecto! WOOOOO styrene! Can't wait to watch your build.
User avatar
By Batfly
#4900929
nastynoah wrote:This has been the greatest build thread I have ever read !!!!!
You need to read more build threads then. Lol, joking aside, that's an incredible compliment! Thank you very much.
User avatar
By Batfly
#4900953
Sunday, November 12th: problem trading

I woke up after a night of going over in my head what could have gone wrong with my wiring. I even dreamed about it. So, after walking the dog I sat down to start troubleshooting.

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First, I carefully cut the red heat shrinking off the group of wires from the motherboard switch. I wanted to make sure I ran it all correctly, split the ground and power, etc. It all looked good. So I knew it was past the first end Molex connector.

I also cut the hat shrink of the motherboard switch posts on the sound board side. Those were good too. I'll need to disconnect those two wires, slip some new heat shrink on them, put it over the posts, and heat em up.

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Since the plasma tube was working, I used it as my control for further trouble shooting. I already know the plasma tube power and ground work from before. Therefore I tested the sound board on the plasma tube power and ground. The power indicator light came on. That was a relief, the sound board was still good.

Leaving the board ground intact with the plasmas ground, I took the positive from the board off the plasma positive and put it on the wire it was designed for on the board side Molex connector (second end). Nothing. For the hell of it, I connected the positive from the board to the "negative" on the Molex connector. The power indicator came on! What? Really? Commenced rapid face palming!

I took the board ground from the plasma ground to the Molex power. Again, indicator light came on. Some how I soldered the board's red wire to ground position and black wire to positive position on the connector. This is reverse off how I normally do it. Looks like the heat shrinking concealed the wire colors so I didn't catch my goof. Weird and simple mistake. Glad it's such an easy fix. Just have to remember to wire the sound board power and grounds backwards. Red to negative and black to positive. Lol.

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I wired the speakers up in series to the sound board and plugged in the thrower connection cable. Fliped some switches and the thrower came to life! With sound no less. Sweet!

Started the song with the activate switch and confirmed the remote volume potentiometer on the motherboard worked. Double sweet!

Pressed the fire button and the fire sound started but the bar graph didn't do its inside out animation. It kept doing its up down up thing. The plasma tube didn't ripple either. It just had a faint plasma glow. Damn!

So I disconnected the plasma tube power and ground and pressed the fire button. It worked as it should, bar graph and all. Then I did the reverse of no thrower board connected and reconnected the tube. Pressed fire and the tube worked again. Plugged the board back together and same problem. Grrrr. They aren't playing nice together but fine solo. I was hoping with a styrene/pvc thrower and dpdt fire button that I'd avoid the dreaded electro magnetic interference. Nope.

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So I jumped in the car and went to Micro Center. Bought a 12v dc 12amp spdt relay and a .1uf capacitor. Not sure what voltage capacitor I got, but I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter at such low voltage. It's definitely rated over 12v. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

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I know I only needed an spst relay, but the only one they had was huge and way overkill at 70amps. I just won't use the NC (normally closed) post. Relays are nifty. They use a small current to energize the coil. The coil is a spring that reacts to a small current when passed through it. When the switch is pressed the current makes the coil activate its internal switch. This internal switch allows a much stronger current to be isolated from the button. It also allows multiple relays to be hooked up to a single switch but all be isolated. I hope that makes sense.

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It'll get wired up as such (I excluded the motherboard and battery switches and connectors for simplicity).

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The .1uf capacitor will go between the red and black wires on the ear light-and-switch connector on the thrower board. Pic credit goes to kregiec. I used his build as reference. He contacted spongeface and posted his solutions to the EMI issues. Tons of thanks to both of them!

With everything planned out, I left it all as is and the fiancee and I went to go see Thor: Rangnarock again. In 3D this time :)
User avatar
By Batfly
#4900955
This will be a short venting post. Last night, Tuesday, November 14th, I got home from work and a packaged was waiting for me in the mail box. Woohoo! It's my female 3.5mm TRRS (tip ring ring sleeve) to screw terminal panel mount connector. Or so I thought.

I opened up the outer clear bag and see the bubble envelope ripped open and beat to hell. Then I read the clear bag it was rolled in.

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You can zoom in and read it. It basically says the package was damaged due to high volume processing and sorry for any inconvenience.

Inconvenience?! The friggin item wasn't in the envelope! I got an empty envelope and an infuriating government bag with no contact information for recourse!

I can imagine what happened as the postal workers push carts with a bunch of people's mail and packages down the sidewalk. When they get to an apartment building, they grab the mail for that building and leave the cart by itself outside the gate/door unattended.

This is Chicago! I don't know how they think this is a good delivery procedure. I bet some guy waking down the street (we're on the corner of a major road) grabbed my envelope out of the unattended cart, ripped it open, took my connector (disappointed I bet) and threw the empty envelope back in the cart. Then the mail lady probably saw it and threw it in the "sorry for your inconvenience" bag.

I'm only out $10, but it's so aggravating! Its the first time its happened yet it puts such a paranoid and sour taste in my mouth.

Can't go after the shipper as they sent it and it's not their fault. Can't go after usps cause it's not insured and they couldn't give a crap.


I ended up reordering it and paid $7.50 for 2-3 day priority instead of free 5-7 day economy. Fingers crossed.

/grumble_grumble
User avatar
By Batfly
#4901026
Wednesday, November 16th: insulating issues?

Got out of work at 5pm. Walked the dog, changed, and got right to working on the relay rewiring. Not much to describe. Did a bunch of soldering and head scratching. Then more soldering.

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Since the wires to and from the thrower increased I started labeling them. This is where most of the head scratching was done.

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Got the relay soldered up with quick connects on the ends. This guy is gonna live pack side to save space in the thrower.

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Ran a new positive off the motherboard switch for the coil in the relay. Heat shrunk it up. Re heat shrunk the main power to the switch I undid the day before while I was at it.

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Put the .1uf capacitor in between the red and black ear wires.

Now it was test time!

It all worked. Sweet! Or so I thought.

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I didn't like how the capacitor was just loose except where it inserted into the wire connector. So I put some heat shrink on that guy too. Should keep it in place just fine.

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I wanted to get a rumble motor in there. I thought I'd use the screw for the right side dial. Made a hole in some styrene and glued the plastic housing of a motor from a broken PS4 controller to the styrene. I got it in the thrower but it kept hitting either the bar graph ribbon cable or other wires. There pretty much just isn't any room. I could get it up by the vent light, but it'd be seen through the slots. Poop.


Then I affixed both the thrower and plasma tube boards to the bottom plate, shoved the wires in the gun body, and wrestled the bottom plate on and screwed it down.

Tested it again and now I only get a glowing plasma cloud and no electric ripples. The sound, lights, and bar graph all work as they should though.

As I hold down the fire button, if I wiggle some of the wires pack side I can get the tube to ripple. But on the next button press it'll go back to a cloud. I think I have a wire insulation issue inside the thrower. I thought perhaps the power or ground isn't a large enough gauge, but they are larger than the original wiring at a shorter length. I'm on my way home from work now so I'll be looking at it today. Wish me luck!
User avatar
By Batfly
#4901047
Thursday, November 16th: wasted time and effort

Did the normal dog and change routine after work and sat down to figure out the thrower plasma tube issues once and for all.

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I opened the gun up and made two dividers for around the vent light to keep wires away but still utilize the surrounding area. Glued them in place and let them sit for about 10 minutes. Then I inspected and rearranged the wires best I could. The new areas around the vent light helped. Saw the capacitor wasn't seated fully in the connector. Fixed that. Got it all together and the same plasma cloud issue persisted. So I thought perhaps the transformer board itself was throwing off too much EMI.

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I decided to try and house the transformer in the shell. Unplugged what I needed. Pulled wires out of the thrower through the handle. Made a shelf for the transformer board. Ran new thicker gauge to the plasma tube from inside the pack. Rewired the relay. Put new shielded disconnects I found in my tool box on the transformer wires and tube leads. Got it all tucked in and buttoned up. Powered on and pressed fire. Sound and lights worked but nothing from the plasma tube. Not even a cloud. That was 2.5 hours wasted!

I figured since longer cable on the AC run from the transformer made the tube not fire at all, that shorter leads might make it fire stronger. So I cut them down to barely workable and put standard disconnects on the ends. Re-reran everything. Glad I still had labels and disconnects on the old wires. I also realized I could pull a lot of slack into the rear handle. This cleaned it up a lot inside. Relocated the transformer back to its original spot. Still to tight for a rumbler though.

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And bam! Just like that its working great. I guess the AC current to the tube is very sensitive to lead length. Please don't mind the red slow blow lens flare on the front barrel.

The only weird thing is that when I grip the front handle with all fingers, the fire sound doesn't work but the tube ripple is still strong. If I lift my pinky, the sound comes on. Like, I can press fire with all fingers gripping, have no sound, keep holding down the button, lift my pinky, and the sound would start. I even tried it with a rubber glove on and the same happened lol. I think I might have to video it and send it to spongeface to see what he could recommend.

I'm ok with it for now. My pack will have quirks! Lol.
User avatar
By Batfly
#4901048
Btw, I'm very disappointed in this Krylon paint. Is this stuff enamel based? I can't find anything on the cans about it. It's still tacky and leaves residue on my hands after normal handling and wares away super easily. I'm not as worried about the pack as it shouldn't really get much handling. But these thrower handles are starting to look weird and feel almost sticky. Grips included.
User avatar
By Ecto46
#4901068
Did you scrub the grips and handles good with dawn dishwashing detergent and scuff it up with some 400 git sandpaper prior to primer and painting?

I'm soooooo glad you are thouroughly documenting the trials and tribulations with the electronics........
User avatar
By Batfly
#4901069
Ecto46 wrote:Did you scrub the grips and handles good with dawn dishwashing detergent and scuff it up with some 400 git sandpaper prior to primer and painting?

I'm soooooo glad you are thouroughly documenting the trials and tribulations with the electronics........
Sure did and took pics of the cleaning. I thought you said you read through this. Lol jk. I wonder if it's reacting with the metallic coat underneath.
User avatar
By CountDeMonet
#4901072
I've been really enjoying your thread. Sorry to see the issues you are having but these things are always a journey :) Good luck.

I tried the krylon paint as well and too had sticky issues and ditched it. I ended up going with the rustoleum flat black instead but I wasn't going for fully realistic on a left handed 83% pack :). I think I was dealing with similar temperatures as well when we painted. My stuff was tacky with the rustoleum for about 2-3 days and then no more tacky. The chrome took longer than the flat black to not take fingerprints. That was more like 5-6 days.
User avatar
By Batfly
#4901085
CountDeMonet, thanks. Yeah, if I do end up stripping it in the spring I'm going with all rustoleum. I might just redo the thrower only. Then I'd have to get new dry rub and stickers to. Who knows, that's too far forward lol.

Ecto, I'm just ribbing you.
User avatar
By Batfly
#4901097
Friday, November 17th: Sticker shock

Got off work and started looking at reference photos for label placement.

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Started with the aluminum backed metallic beauties. Got the top of the eda one on there. Then the crank gen. The HGA label isn't raised like the screen accurate ones. I did look through my washers and couldn't find anything suitable. I thought about stacking some aluminum tape to the required thickness and cutting a circle. Then I decided it wasn't worth the effort to me. I did incorporate the center divit when made the hga. That helped centering the sticker. Finished the metallic stickers with the bumper.

For all stickers I like to run over them with the back of a finger nail to press them down. This especially helps with adhesion on textured surfaces.

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Then I applied the vinyl labels. Started with the yellow synchronous generator sticker. Then I did the injector inlet guy. I accidentally used the silver gb2 sticker and caught myself and swapped it for the red gb1 one. Then I added the red cyclotron one next to the elbow. I attached the ppd and laid its label down about 4 times before I got it to be straight across.

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I attached the bumper and hga to the pack. Looking good!

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Went on to install lenses and lights next. I removed the protective backing material by taking out a screw and post one at a time. Peeled some material back, screwed out back on and took the next one off. Lather, rinse, repeat 4 times. Removed the material from the front as well. Got it in place and screwed down its retention rails. Went in smooth.

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Removed the backing from the cyclotron acrylic front and back. Only had to loosen and not remove the screws. The material just ripped out from under them. Screwed it in place. Then I placed the reflectors, put their retainer over them and screwed it down.

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Screwed the soundboard in place. Plugged in and routed the cables and speaker wires.


https://youtu.be/XoqjZVvY5O8
Time for a test!

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I got a cold with symptoms starting the day before and it was causing me to get really tired. So I finished up the day by attaching the injector tubes and hose barbs on its inlet.

This is getting exiting!
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That's pretty cool, more details, please.

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