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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
I installed the rear grip as it just felt weird holding the bare pole. Makes such a difference even when only installing things.
Installed the side discs before the wiring diagram decal so I could have a better reference point for placement of said decal.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
Applied the activate and intensify dry rubs and slow blow sticker to the instrument and trigger bars. Inserted the red slow blow clip light.
Got the numbered stickers on the bottom of the gun track.
Installed the green lever (no barrel extension at this iteration), front knob, and top dial. Applied the 123 dry rub to the top dial.
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.
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.
Hot glued in the LEDs for the slow blow, milky white hat, recessed orange hat, and clear clip lights.
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.
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.
Screwed on the cut down hose barbs and installed the green hose.
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.
To be continued...