#4917223
“No time for a bench test…”

The Players:
Anovos Proton Pack Kit – Shipped October 2018
GhostLab42 Pack, Blaster, Power Cell boards, lights, etc. – October 2017

I’m not going to do a step-by-step build. That has been done far better both here and on the RPF.

For some Anovos specific help, I recommend Livewire008’s build and video viewtopic.php?f=2&t=45360

A previous order from Anovos for an Imperial Officer hat took a year and a half, so I was cautious when the pack kit was announced. I waited until there were actual kits delivered in 2017 before placing my order. My kit could be could called a “Second Wave Kit” delivered in the Fall of 2018. Fortunately, no broken parts and little to no rust on the metal bits. Unfortunately, the sheet of labels was folded during packing, so I have a couple of annoying creases.

As mentioned in the video - Be careful when drilling! The Anovos parts will crack if you try and increase drill sizes too fast. The temptation is to get to the finished size quickly, but you’ll spend a lot more time repairing the damaged parts. At most, every other until you are at about 1/8”/5mm then stick to then next size up. Be particularly careful on the first complete turn, when the cutting edge grabs the material starts to dig in.

The GhostLab42 system was designed before Anovos even announced they were working on a pack/thrower kit, so I expected that “some” modifications would have to be made.

I wanted to be able to repair or replace as many parts as practicable, so extra time was spent on figuring out how to assemble the parts using screws, bolts and nuts.

Starting with the thrower, matching up both kits revealed that this wasn’t going to be a “shake the box” build by any means.

A test fit of the bar graph:

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As you can see, on this version the circuit board extends all the way to the edge of the housing. The kit wall is about 1/4”/6mm thick, so there was no way that stock display would fit. The slot was also too narrow to fit the LED array, so it would have to be cut wider. Since the opening would have to be resized, the existing raised “bezel” was ground off and the opening extended

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Gloves, eye protection, and particle mask! The resin and fiberglass dust created when grinding are "Bad" :sigh:

Since I would have to create a new bezel detail, I did not have to make the opening exactly square.

I still had to get the whole assembly flush on the outer edge, and keep the ribbon cable connector to connect the controller board. I carefully de-soldered the circuit board from the LED Array. This took about an hour going very slowly and careful to not overheat the array and damage any of the segments. Keep your finger on the plastic case, keep moving the iron, and back off when your fingers tell you “too hot!” If you have upgraded the ribbon cable on your Spirit pack, you can re-use a short segment of it here! I used a through-hole-plated prototype card to act as the connection between the array and the cable. This way, it is a stronger mechanical connection, and is much easier than trying to attach a tiny wire to a tiny pin. Match up pin for pin on both ends

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I still had to cut the board edges flush with the LED array to get it into the housing.

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Test fit until it looks good

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Some styrene strip stock was cut using a miter box and razor saw to create a new raised bezel

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Prime, putty, and sand as many times as needed, until you are ready for a finish coat of satin black

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While test fitting, a couple of solder joints came loose, causing minor panic attacks “Did I burn something?” After finding and re-soldering the broken joints, generous amounts of hot melt glue were used to reinforce all the connections.

Next – Switches, the trigger and instrument boxes.
#4917306
Part Deux: Switches, the trigger and instrument boxes.

Test fitting the switches from the GhostLab42 kit into the body.

Top is the GL42, bottom is the Anovos part.

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Well, that’s not going to work. However, Anovos included actual switches in the kit. It was probably a lot cheaper to just by a couple hundred stock switches instead of having custom made non-functioning switch replicas (I wish they had done that with all the brass fittings).

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Break out the soldering iron, transfer the wires and heat shrink the connections. A lot easier than trying to grind away the inside of the main body.

Instead of permanently gluing everything together, I wanted to be able to disassemble as much as possible in case something ever needed to be repaired or replaced (I did have to take it apart to make a correction. More on that later). I had taken a lot of pictures while I was doing the actual work, but now I can’t find them. Hopefully, they are on an SD card that’s been misplaced, but for now, I actually took things apart to get these photos. So it actually works.

First, the back of the instrument box had one hole already drilled out, and it was too big for the 3mm screws that I used almost everywhere else. It was close enough to run a 4mm tap, so I drilled the other corner to match.

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The front and rear cylinders are secured with 3mm screws. With the screw so close to the edge of the parts, really be careful when drilling! I tried to skip up 3 drill sizes and cracked a chunk of the front cylinder. Glue, sand, primer, putty, repeat.

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My camera had a tough time focusing for this shot.

The instrument box has a really tight fit to start with, so I used just one 3mm screw to secure it. Check where you put this one, I didn’t look to see that it is almost blocked off by the “SLO-BLO” LED. I can get to it, but only by pressing on the wires.

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I used two 3mm screws to secure the trigger box. I glued some scrap ABS inside the trigger box at each end.

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The plate now overlaps the ABS pieces, and still leaves enough room to mount the switches and run the wires back to the controller board.

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The brass “barb” fittings have only a couple of threads. Nice and tight when screwed on to another brass fitting, but no strength on the resin parts. I took some longer 3mm screws, put a washer under the head and ran then from inside the box and cylinder. With the “barb” over the screw, a 3mm nut pulled them on nice and tight. Heat up the tubing ends (hot water or a controllable low-temp heat gun) and smash them over the screw and nut until flush.
#4917330
“No time for a bench test…”

The Players:
Anovos Proton Pack Kit – Shipped October 2018
GhostLab42 Pack, Blaster, Power Cell boards, lights, etc. – October 2017

I’m not going to do a step-by-step build. That has been done far better both here and on the RPF.

For some Anovos specific help, I recommend Livewire008’s build and video viewtopic.php?f=2&t=45360

A previous order from Anovos for an Imperial Officer hat took a year and a half, so I was cautious when the pack kit was announced. I waited until there were actual kits delivered in 2017 before placing my order. My kit could be could called a “Second Wave Kit” delivered in the Fall of 2018. Fortunately, no broken parts and little to no rust on the metal bits. Unfortunately, the sheet of labels was folded during packing, so I have a couple of annoying creases.

As mentioned in the video - Be careful when drilling! The Anovos parts will crack if you try and increase drill sizes too fast. The temptation is to get to the finished size quickly, but you’ll spend a lot more time repairing the damaged parts. At most, every other until you are at about 1/8”/5mm then stick to then next size up. Be particularly careful on the first complete turn, when the cutting edge grabs the material starts to dig in.

The GhostLab42 system was designed before Anovos even announced they were working on a pack/thrower kit, so I expected that “some” modifications would have to be made.

I wanted to be able to repair or replace as many parts as practicable, so extra time was spent on figuring out how to assemble the parts using screws, bolts and nuts.

Starting with the thrower, matching up both kits revealed that this wasn’t going to be a “shake the box” build by any means.

A test fit of the bar graph:

Image

As you can see, on this version the circuit board extends all the way to the edge of the housing. The kit wall is about 1/4”/6mm thick, so there was no way that stock display would fit. The slot was also too narrow to fit the LED array, so it would have to be cut wider. Since the opening would have to be resized, the existing raised “bezel” was ground off and the opening extended

Image

Gloves, eye protection, and particle mask! The resin and fiberglass dust created when grinding are "Bad" :sigh:

Since I would have to create a new bezel detail, I did not have to make the opening exactly square.

I still had to get the whole assembly flush on the outer edge, and keep the ribbon cable connector to connect the controller board. I carefully de-soldered the circuit board from the LED Array. This took about an hour going very slowly and careful to not overheat the array and damage any of the segments. Keep your finger on the plastic case, keep moving the iron, and back off when your fingers tell you “too hot!” If you have upgraded the ribbon cable on your Spirit pack, you can re-use a short segment of it here! I used a through-hole-plated prototype card to act as the connection between the array and the cable. This way, it is a stronger mechanical connection, and is much easier than trying to attach a tiny wire to a tiny pin. Match up pin for pin on both ends

Image

I still had to cut the board edges flush with the LED array to get it into the housing.

Image

Test fit until it looks good

Image

Some styrene strip stock was cut using a miter box and razor saw to create a new raised bezel

Image

Prime, putty, and sand as many times as needed, until you are ready for a finish coat of satin black

Image

While test fitting, a couple of solder joints came loose, causing minor panic attacks “Did I burn something?” After finding and re-soldering the broken joints, generous amounts of hot melt glue were used to reinforce all the connections.

Next – Switches, the trigger and instrument boxes.
Dude you make that look so easy!! I just installed a eBay light kit (I didn’t buy it my friend did!!) for his anovos pack

I told him about the gbfans sound board but he didn’t want to wait for them to re stock in the shop.

Anyway.. there was A LOT of drilling involved to remove all the extra resin inside

You did a real nice neat job with the install!!
#4917493
Part the Third – Ear Trigger and Front Grip

First -
Haliwax, thanks for the kind words! It was a slow process rebuilding the bezel. Many cycles of prime, putty and sand but if it "make it look easy" then I got the result I was aiming for. BTW, are you over on the RPF? The avatar looks familiar.

Echo419 - I'm glad that you were able to find something to use in your build. I spent the first couple of months here reviewing every build thread to see how other people found a way and stash that info in the brain for my eventual project. I guess we all "pay it forward" for the next builder to get inspired and find a solution that works for them.

To all the previous 'busters who were kind enough document and post their builds - Thank You!

This was going to be tricky. With most kits, the grip is a separate part so the wiring for the ear trigger and LED can be run between the grip and main tube. I wanted to be able to extend and retract the tip, so drilling straight in wouldn’t work. After a fair amount of staring at parts eventually I decided to run the wiring on the outside, and somehow cover it.

The switch and LED on the GL42 kit use a common ground and a separate “on” wire for each. I bent the wires to verify they could fit the kit holes.

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I drilled all the way through to fit the threaded part of the push button switch. Then very carefully opened up the hole to fit the body diameter, stopping short so just a few threads were above the top of the ear for the retaining nut. It’s only a millimeter or so from stopping the switch body and going too far. I used the tape-on-the-drill-bit trick for a depth gauge.

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Some grinding with the Dremel connected the holes for the connecting wire.

On the bottom, I removed the paint/dye along the edge of the grip.

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A trip to the my FLHS* to get some styrene tubing, and cut to fit. Some slow-acting gel and let it set up overnight. The bottle says 3 hours, but this was a good place to stop for the day.

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* Friendly Local Hobby Shop
Drill a hole at the end to get the wires into the main tube, paint, and let dry. One at a time, I removed the wires from the connector and snaked them through the surface tube and into the main tube, reconnecting the wire back in the correct position in the connector.

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Mount the switch and LED, hot glue to hold the wired in place and guard against snagging and vibration. I now have all the wires inside the main tube, and the tip is free to move in and out.

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After mounting everything and painting, I realized that I had reversed the positions of the button and LED. I think that was caused by the outer hole on the Anovos kit being too big for the LED and almost the correct diameter for the threaded part of the push button. Oh, well. I’ll call this a “Post-Franchise, Version 2 Model” (conveniently not-seen on screen) :lol:
#4917513
All of this is fascinating as someone who is looking to work with the same kits, but is an electrical noob. Would you mind grabbing a pic of how the anovos switch is soldered on? Going from the three pins to the six pins? Is it still wired the same regardless of the extra pins?

Thank you so much for documenting all this!
#4917578
Yes. Think of the Anovos supplied switch as a "2 in 1". Each side is an electrically separate switch.

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The top switch has one set of contacts, and will connect between the center lug and alternate between the the two outer lugs. A "Single Pole" (one set of contacts) "Double Throw" Toggle (it can be moved in two directions that will make a connection) or "SPDT" The Anovos is a Double Pole, Double Throw or DPDT.

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The push-button is an "SPST-NO-MC Pushbutton" - Decoded, that's Single Pole (one contact) Single Throw (only one circuit) Normally Open (the wires are not connected until you press the button) Momentary Contact (you have to hold it closed, and will open the circuit when released).

There are more options if you have a need, such as "Center Off" or "ON-OFF-ON" where the switch has three positions, where the center( straight up) does not connect to any terminals.

Switches, like most electrical components, are rated for the maximum Voltage and Amps (current) it can safely handle.
The Anovos switch is marked 6A125VAC. You can run 125 Volts AC (normal household power in the USA, Canada, and other places) up to 6 Amps of current. Go over over 125V, and you run the risk of arcing between contacts; over 6 amps and you will start to get hot and possibly start to burn. For the electronics we are using, maybe 14V and at most 2 Amps, they are fine.

When you connect your wires, test and mark on the switch which way is "up" when you want it to be ON. As I mentioned earlier, it was a good thing I could take the Trigger box apart - I installed some of the switches backwards. To power on, the switch moved down. I was able to remove them and flip them around.
#4917664
Trigger Tip and Banjo Fittings

This bring up a common issue with the Anovos kit. On the actual props, the small red/blue/yellow tubing is either plugged into an actual fitting that is designed for this or slides over a lug or post. In the kit, there are several places where you are expected to butt-glue a tube or wire to a flat surface. This of course, will break the first time it is touched.

This leaves us with three options: Find the actual part; Drill a hole big enough to put the tubing in; or attaching something that the tube can slide over. A quick search shows that yes, you can purchase the actual Nycoil part at $35 each on etsy, or from industrial sellers but typically requiring a $100 minimum order. There are “replicas” available, but are listed as “Special Order – 60 Day Lead Time”. There’s a saying in the USA about “being Nickeled and Dimed to death”, where there seems to be a never ending list of “Oh by the way…”additional parts or fees that weren’t included in the original bid or order, that you have to buy to finish.

With this kit I’m changing that to “$15 and $50 Dollared to death”

“How can I make this work with what I already have?”

The Anovos parts are drilled, and will take a 3mm tap. The holes are just slightly oversize, but the tap will bite in and cut the threads. Cut the head off a 3mm x 15 or 20 mm screw, add a nut, spray with gold paint (it dries to almost a perfect match to the brass).

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Test fit

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Cut to length, squirt a dab of hot melt glue in the tube ends and push down over the screw threads.

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Kingpin liked this
#4917900
Finishing up – Hose, wires, and detail parts.

While upgrading my Spirit pack with the Count D Monet lights, you discover one of the really annoying things about the design of this prop is whenever you move one part the other moves also! Shift the pack, the tube moves with it and the wand falls off the table. Pick up the wand, the pack rotates and knocks something over.

I knew that I was going to make the hose removable on “The Big Pack”, ideally at both ends. Consulting the GhostLab42 documentation, you only need 9 wires. 3 wires are used for +, and another 3 are Ground. I found some 9-pin Aviation style connectors on Amazon for a reasonable price and ordered up a pair. Once the Anovos kit arrived, I discovered that the connectors were larger than the thrower handle diameter. Any sort of adapter or mount strong enough to handle the stress would be at least a half an inch (15mm) larger than the handle and would really detract from the look of the wand. So, I resigned myself to only be able to easily detach the host at the pack end.

I still wanted to be able to remove the hose and wires from the wand for the inevitable repairs that will happen in the future. Here’s my (hopefully) brilliant solution:

https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:3623550

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The part is sized to firmly fit into the kit hose.

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The hole is printed ready for an M4 tap, and the slot allows you to slide over the ribbon cable without having to remove the connectors.

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The grip is molded with some fake Hex Cap screws. Drill out the center of the rear one just large enough for the threaded part of an M4 screw to pass through. Then carefully drill out to fit the screw head - just deep enough to sit flush with the grip.

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The resin is brittle so go slowly, just one drill size at a time!

***NOTE: Again, this applies to the entire kit! A lot of the time I was twisting the drill bits by hand to not crack or chip the part I was working on. “More Power!” is not the answer.

Slide the hose in until it stops (about halfway), mark, and cut a small hole in the hose to match up with the new hole in the grip. When it’s time to close up, slide the adapter over the ribbon cable. The other end will slide through the hose if you give a twist to the connector.

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End view of the handle with adapter and cable

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The M4 screw will pull the adapter tight against the handle interior, trapping the hose in place.

I did test fit with the hose before running the ribbon cable out the handle. Since you have to cut off an unspecified length for the pack, I’ve left it off for now and coiled up the ribbon cable until final assembly.

Finishing Up.

Now it was the detail bits and bottom cover. I used a 5-minute Epoxy for the remaining knobs and bits. An actual Clippard replaced the replica. Unfortunately, the holes on the thrower body were countersunk for no good reason. The Clippard screws (10-32 thread) only got about 3 threads to grip. Off the hardware/home supply store for some longer ones. There is a real tight fit between the Clippard and the knob. You may have to grind the mounting ear to clear the knob.

The bottom. *SIGH*

So far the worst engineered part of the whole wand. I haven’t done the pack yet, there may be something that’s even worse. I hope not.

All of the same problems Livewire008 ran into during his build were present in my kit. His build video viewtopic.php?f=2&t=45360 covers the problems better than I could describe in words. There’s no way around it, so prepare to drill new screw holes, putty, etc. “Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.”

With some careful work and patience, you can end up with this:


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Overall, I used Charcoal, Flat Black, two brands of Satin Black and a Semi-Gloss Black. By using some slight color variations, the eye sees a bit more contrast between the parts instead of just a big lump.

You can see in the background how my stickers were creased during packaging. Also, other builders here on the Forum have reported that the Anovos stickers are already peeling off, especially from curved parts. I’ve ordered up a set from the Shop, and one of the machined Trigger Rings.

I’ve already started work on the pack. The Ion Arm assembly is another one of the areas where the holes are mismatched, and there’s a lot of grinding to fit the blue plastic and making room for the power cell light circuit board.
#4918612
A quick update. Lots of work taking priority over posting.

Discovered some serious "orange peel" on the HGA. Since that requires basically sanding it down to the bare resin, I decided to replace the "fake" hex head bolts with real ones.

I used the hollow centers as a drill guide, and then cut off the molded bolt heads with a diamond cut-off wheel
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Cleaned up the top, tapped the holes and in with the real screws
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Here's all the tools needed
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To attach so it can be removed if needed?
The bottom hole for one of the fittings is over the mounting post on the shell. Drill through the hole into the post and tap.
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The part can be attached with an M3 screw
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The fittings then thread in, covering the mounting screw.
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