By JustPlainJoe
#4901508
Just took a bit of inspiration from the Dollar Store PKEs here, and attempted to build my own. I'm pretty proud of how it came out!

**EDIT with (hopefully) better links**

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Last edited by JustPlainJoe on December 3rd, 2017, 9:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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By doctorevil30564
#4901513
JustPlainJoe wrote:Just took a bit of inspiration from the Dollar Store PKEs here, and attempted to build my own. I'm pretty proud of how it came out!

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Photo bucket links aren't working. Can you try imgur or another similar site. Would love to see how your PKE meter turned out
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By doctorevil30564
#4901523
JustPlainJoe wrote:Just took a bit of inspiration from the Dollar Store PKEs here, and attempted to build my own. I'm pretty proud of how it came out!

**EDIT with (hopefully) better links**

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Awesome! Got a parts list? I am still working on making my PKE meter, so I am always looking for new ideas.
By JustPlainJoe
#4901529
Hey there! Thanks for the interest and the kind words. I'll try to break down the parts as best I can:

Silver antenna pieces are from a 2 pack of pens with "chrome" grips ($1, dollar store)
Antenna Caps are 2 clear wire caps ($0.40 at a local hardware store)
2 X 3/8 double end couplers and washers (Had these at home, normally about $1-2 each)
1 small plastic tackle container for the body (with the little insert tabs left on their sprues to make the "spine" ($2-3 at Wal-Mart for the size I wanted)
7 bottle caps of various sizes. The Red dial was from a bottle of engine cleaner, the front knob from a 20 oz Sprite, the others from various bottles my old lady was throwing out (Had these at home)
front rectangular plate is a electrical cover plate with the tabs cut off ($0.70 at Home Depot)
Handle was from an electronic jump rope that measures how many jumps you've made. ($1 from thrift store)
Toggle Switch ($4-5 at Home Depot)
Front Acrylic Plate was from a 2x3 magnetic frame I found at Michaels ($5)
Neodymium Magnets X 2 for the plate, also from Michaels ($1.50)
Side vent plate was from an old toy ray gun (Thrift Store, $1)
The Radar screen and electrical inspection sticker I made in photoshop, then printed along with the other labels I found on the web (radar on paper, since clear adhesive was not holding color, the labels on Avery glossy Sticker Paper). The Dial label on the front was a found image of a vintage radio dial, cut to size, and then red and green lines added.
Lights are a battery powered string of 8 blue LED Christmas lights ($1 at the dollar store)
LED light cover I had.
Lots of screws, washers, and wires I had laying about.
A ton of hot glue (especially for the "welds" on the front)
Metallic Aluminum paint, flat black paint; black, red and green paint pens with narrow tips
Black electrical tape

Painted the whole thing in and out with a base coat of metallic aluminum, masking off the area for the screen. I then painted it a flat black. remove masks, and lightly scuffed the black off to show the aluminum beneath. Areas that were transmitting too much light I used the black paint pen to touch up, then used a silver sharpie to add weathering.
The dials I wanted to be able to turn, so I mounted a small cap with hot glue, then set a screw through it, locking it to the appropriate length with a nut. I then used a shot of hot glue to the inside center of the exterior dial, and held in place til dry. They come off with any amount of aggressive play, but are easily re-glued. I just didn't want screws to show, or I could have just gone through the outer dial.

The dials I gave a base coat of aluminum before their primary colors, which I purposely went light around the edges so the silver would show through. The red dial I just gave a quick mist of silver and left it alone.

Hope that helps!
User avatar
By doctorevil30564
#4901549
JustPlainJoe wrote:Hey there! Thanks for the interest and the kind words. I'll try to break down the parts as best I can:

Silver antenna pieces are from a 2 pack of pens with "chrome" grips ($1, dollar store)
Antenna Caps are 2 clear wire caps ($0.40 at a local hardware store)
2 X 3/8 double end couplers and washers (Had these at home, normally about $1-2 each)
1 small plastic tackle container for the body (with the little insert tabs left on their sprues to make the "spine" ($2-3 at Wal-Mart for the size I wanted)
7 bottle caps of various sizes. The Red dial was from a bottle of engine cleaner, the front knob from a 20 oz Sprite, the others from various bottles my old lady was throwing out (Had these at home)
front rectangular plate is a electrical cover plate with the tabs cut off ($0.70 at Home Depot)
Handle was from an electronic jump rope that measures how many jumps you've made. ($1 from thrift store)
Toggle Switch ($4-5 at Home Depot)
Front Acrylic Plate was from a 2x3 magnetic frame I found at Michaels ($5)
Neodymium Magnets X 2 for the plate, also from Michaels ($1.50)
Side vent plate was from an old toy ray gun (Thrift Store, $1)
The Radar screen and electrical inspection sticker I made in photoshop, then printed along with the other labels I found on the web (radar on paper, since clear adhesive was not holding color, the labels on Avery glossy Sticker Paper). The Dial label on the front was a found image of a vintage radio dial, cut to size, and then red and green lines added.
Lights are a battery powered string of 8 blue LED Christmas lights ($1 at the dollar store)
LED light cover I had.
Lots of screws, washers, and wires I had laying about.
A ton of hot glue (especially for the "welds" on the front)
Metallic Aluminum paint, flat black paint; black, red and green paint pens with narrow tips
Black electrical tape

Painted the whole thing in and out with a base coat of metallic aluminum, masking off the area for the screen. I then painted it a flat black. remove masks, and lightly scuffed the black off to show the aluminum beneath. Areas that were transmitting too much light I used the black paint pen to touch up, then used a silver sharpie to add weathering.
The dials I wanted to be able to turn, so I mounted a small cap with hot glue, then set a screw through it, locking it to the appropriate length with a nut. I then used a shot of hot glue to the inside center of the exterior dial, and held in place til dry. They come off with any amount of aggressive play, but are easily re-glued. I just didn't want screws to show, or I could have just gone through the outer dial.

The dials I gave a base coat of aluminum before their primary colors, which I purposely went light around the edges so the silver would show through. The red dial I just gave a quick mist of silver and left it alone.

Hope that helps!
Thank you, appreciate the info :)
User avatar
By doctorevil30564
#4901637
JustPlainJoe wrote:Thank you folks for the kind words! I really appreciate it. I was very nervous as this was my first build, but I'm glad it's been well received!
It looks really good. Definitely gives off an extreme Ghostbusters cartoon vibe. I wouldn't mind having one like this in a holster on my belt.
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