#4952840
Scuba Steve wrote: July 29th, 2021, 5:19 pm I built a 3D printed pack as part of my 'Stay sane from working at home' COVID boredom... and, all told, it was probably $700? It depends on how clean you want the final 3D printed pack to look. Filament to print the entire pack/wand was about $100. .. but then you start adding all the things you can't print such as the ALICE frame, motherboard, lenses, ribbon cable, hoses, labels, screws... it starts adding up fast. I did a lot of research on different paints and materials to make the printed plastic look as close to real metal as possible. It paid off... it was far cheaper than buying all the real parts... but I could have just printed the pack in Black PLA, printed the greebleys and spraypainted them quickly and assembled everything into a reasonable facsimile and I probably could have built a pack for $400.
Yeah, I have quite a bit of money in all my small parts. The ironic thing is, printing the whole, giant pack shell, you can get away with a lot and hide a bunch with the paint and texturing. And what really sells the look are all the smaller details. So I've sunk money in there that I could have gotten away with cheaper, printed parts. But the better greeblies draw the eye away from the bigger defects you might otherwise see.

Also, I've noticed that I had some stuff in my accounting that went towards my larger costume, not just the pack. I've adjusted and am closer to 1300 instead. For the sake of argument, here's my break down:

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One number that might stand out there is $65 for "bolt kit." I definitely didn't spend $65 on bolts for JUST the pack. But I did buy a couple of the boxes that come with a big assortment of M# screws so I'd have them for other things. In this case, I attached the cost to the pack though. I also had to rebuy a couple things (like my lens plexi that I got wrong the first time). If we round down on some of the stuff like that and estimate what the pack cost accounting purely for the share of things it consumed, I think you could get to $1200 on this build.
#4952853
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The oopsies continue to stack up. I was going to disassemble the smoke kit to get some additional photos for the tutorial and what do I do? I pulled apart the whole coil. There was a sharp hook of solder that caught the tubing and pulled the coil apart. So now I need to get a new coil and redo this. I ordered a 5 pack of Kanger T2s to replace it. Lower resistance coil, but I can run it at a lower voltage and still get hotter (a little over 7W vs 6.25W).

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In the mean time, I mounted my simple power distribution block next to where the battery mounts. Also, the dog is jealous of the attention the pack is getting.

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Also mounted the lens cups and LEDs into the cyclotron. Ignore the janky alignment of the lower left one. I forgot it had a curve to align, but it's not really necessary.

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Front view of the lenses installed. I sprayed the inside of the cups silver, so they don't really have a resting red tint. I do have some red metallic paint, so I might sit on this for a while and decide later if I want to change it.
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#4952999
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I spent some time organizing stuff today. I'd reached the point where this "little" project had spawned piles of stuff across four different rooms. So naturally, I did the only thing that made sense - I just popped up a table right in the living room and brought all of it together in there.

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Dressing up the motherboard. Got the sticker down and foam padding along the top (I'll follow behind in a bit and trim it around my screw).

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Also one final part shipment. The GBFans V-hook, light covers for the wand, and I popped on a couple aluminum knobs for the wand as well.

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Powercell lens goes in now that I have the lights centered.
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By Fienen
#4953129
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Because the injector tubes are a relatively small around, I wanted to do a more delicate weld line than I could pull off with Steelstik. The solution was gel super (CA) glue, dobbed on around the edges, then dusted in baking soda. Why baking soda? It's what's called a "kicker." When added to super glue, it causes it to rapidly set, and it helps it harden. They also make spray kickers too to speed up CA setting, but those don't help add body and hardness quite as well in my opinion.

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Here are the injector tubes after being washed and coated with silver. The weld lines look great.

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And here it is after a spray of black and distressing.

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Epoxied the hell out of the joint and the insert that holds it in place. The insert you print to mount the injector tubes is super tight, and the clamp helped press it into place.

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Finishing off the tubes with... tubes!

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So here's a fun little hack. On the repop ALICE frames, they usually have the stamped rib on the middle bar reversed (the rib should point out TOWARDS you). The middle spacer you can print for the Q-Pack has a channel in it meant to register it to that rib. But if it's reversed, there's nothing there for it to lock onto. I had some scrap tubing that was nicely sized, so I just glued it into place. It's ugly, but you'll never see it, and it forces the spacer to line up nice and straight and centered.

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Finishing off this update with a quick vanity shot check in. The shell itself is REALLY close now. My punch list for what remains on it is:
  • Attach resin parts (nipples, Clippard, shock mount, and crank)
  • Attach V-hook
  • Hit the pack with some scotchbrite to buff it down a little
  • Weld line around the base of the booster tube
  • Treat some "wear spots" with Rub N Buff
  • Give it a black and brown wash to spread some dirt around and distress stickers
  • Toss some Fuller's earth at it
  • Rub down hoses with some motor oil
  • I might replace the hose from the PPG to the ion arm. I feel like I cut it a bit too short, and it's fighting with the Spectra cable more than I'd like.
Basically, just dialing in the look and feel with more weathering and distressing.
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By Fienen
#4953232
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Stage two unlocked! Time to start putting the hours into the wand. I'd already given the body box a sanding and coat of filler primer. I followed on that with a TON of filler, sanded again, and gave it a second primer coat after this. For some reason, this particular print showed a lot of banding from printing. You can see that a bit where the filler set in. Trying to speed up a little here since there's some mechanics to get the pop mech built.

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It's late at night. There were mosquitos. I was working under a flood light. I had to work around that broken off standoff. Forgive the absolute butchering I gave the motherboard while cutting out the speaker hole. Luckily, you won't notice once the speaker and grill are mounted. Not pictured: Got the speaker wire cut to length and ran as well. Oh yeah, also tucking my NJT sticker in there.

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Since I decased my Talentcell battery to save space, I need a way to mount the power control board. Believe it or not, Thingiverse isn't overrun with folks who have done this. So I'm teaching myself Fusion 360 by building a bracket to mount my board. I've left a slot in the base because the board will mount on edge. I'll cut a matching slot in the motherboard, that way the charge level LEDs can show through. I might use some of my leftover frosted acrylic to make a "window" just to dress it up.
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#4953254
I gotta say thanks for showing your workflow here. Ive been following along a bit as Im also printing my own. I have not gotten to printing out the wand yet, but Ill run into a similar problem as you with the Ninjatunes kit. So Im interested in seeing how all that goes together. Marc has a great design, but no real guide on how it all goes together. Im not the most tool savvy person to say the least, so its pretty daunting.
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By Fienen
#4953281
GhostPrime wrote: August 4th, 2021, 10:31 am I gotta say thanks for showing your workflow here. Ive been following along a bit as Im also printing my own. I have not gotten to printing out the wand yet, but Ill run into a similar problem as you with the Ninjatunes kit. So Im interested in seeing how all that goes together. Marc has a great design, but no real guide on how it all goes together. Im not the most tool savvy person to say the least, so its pretty daunting.
I'm ALMOST done with my motherboard work now that I've started the mounting process for the speaker. Once it's mounted, I need to drill and set my charging plate. I'll get some good vanity shots for you of where I put everything, and how I routed my wiring. I need to get that stuff installed to assess a spacing issue. Aside from my vent kit and cyclotron LEDs though, I found room to mount all the electronics to the motherboard.
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By Fienen
#4953384
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From my brain to reality, a bracket to mount the power board with! If you want to do the same thing, I've posted the model at https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4924596

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Here's how the board slots into it.

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And here's how it is installed and tied into my power block and battery. I still need to run my remote power switch that will live in the charge plate on the back of the motherboard. Once that's done, the switch on this board will stay off, and the other will be connected in parallel.

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I need to get some tiny files to clean up this slot, but you get the idea. Now I can easily tell in a pinch how much battery I have left in the pack.
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By Fienen
#4953538
jonogunn wrote: August 8th, 2021, 1:39 am What was your sanding method for these parts? Ppl online seem to all have slightly different takes on sanding and smoothing
Lots and lots of filler primer. Usually I'll do a prep sanding on the bare part to knock down the high print lines. Then I'd spray it down with filler primer, let it dry, sand it, and review. If there were larger defects, I'd hit it with some wood filler, resand it, then hit it with some compressed air to clean up and do a second coat of filler primer. Basically, this process repeats until I'm happy. For most things, 3-4 coats of primer and sanding is enough.

You can fake it a little, too. Black paint will be very forgiving in general, and keep in mind, a lot of the parts get a coat of texturing too, and that will hide A LOT. I also spent a lot of money on the fine detail parts because those draw the eye and attention away from things that didn't go perfectly.

The outcome isn't so much in the technique or process, but in the time you put into it. For instance, I didn't step through 12 different grades of sandpaper to created a perfectly smooth end result. I used 2. 180 and 320 (well, I used 3, because I also used a power sander to speed things up and I think it was 220 - but you don't want to power sand the last pass).
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By Fienen
#4953541
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Marking out my holes for the charging plate. Notice anything weird? I didn't...

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Wait. No, see, I don't know what I did that was stupid enough to not only start doing this, but finish doing it, but this is messed up and I wasted a perfectly good piece of aluminum. I think I was caught up thinking about the spacing of my centers, but didn't account for diameter and spacing BETWEEN. So yeah, this is wrecked.

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Temporary solution, I'll just design my own! Getting more comfortable in Fusion 360 now. So, I'm happy to share the STL for this if anyone wants, but it is specific to my my switches. 22mm for an XLR, 2 x 12mm for switches, 11mm for DC port. I might not keep this long term, but it does give me something to use for stubbing everything out and getting my wires cut to proper length and everything until I get more metal.

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This is the remote relay switch for my smoke kit. I've decased it, and need to design a mount for the board to stand it off from the motherboard. Just feeling out where I'll have room to mount it. I do believe I'll need to reverse my wiring plans to include this, as the negative is NOT switched in the relay, so instead of running negative through my relay as described above, I'll be running all positive on the switching. Could I reverse the polarity on this remote switch? No clue, and it's a cheap thing, so I don't want to risk blowing it up to find out. Easier to just reverse the wiring polarity.

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Handle goes in the booster box, and gets some fake gel CA weld lines with the baking soda kicker like the injector tubes.

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While the handle dries, I'm fitting the steel rod for the pop mech and marking it for length and bends.

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Got my replacement polycarb tubing in, and marking it for the frosting again.

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Handle is dried, everything got a finish coat of black to even the finish out, and I went ahead and threw on the two aluminum knobs. I'm really glad I went with real aluminum on these rather than painted resin. They have a very nice pop that makes a big difference.
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By Fienen
#4953588
GhostPrime wrote: August 9th, 2021, 11:29 am Is the handle metal, PVC, or printed?
My handle is PVC. Home Depot has an S-Trap kit that has a 1 1/4" straight piece that's perfect: https://www.homedepot.com/p/Everbilt-1- ... /205154326
GhostPrime wrote: Nevermind about the baking powder question... I can read I swear!
Yay chemistry!
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By Fienen
#4953602
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Good look at the handle welds and added some of the stickers. Still hunting a proper metal tube for the front inner tube of the pop mech. Turns out that's harder than expected. That's holding up the pop mech assembly right now. Also need to do some minor mods for the switch mounting due to one of the switches falling apart when I went to mount it. I have replacements, they're just a tad bigger than the small ones that come with the NJT kit.

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Pack V-hook now mounted and ready to hold the wand. Slowly scratching off the remaining pack assembly.

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So, I just gotta say, this 3D printed charging plate turned out fantastic. Honestly, after prime and paint, at a glance, it LOOKS every bit the part of metal. I can't believe how good the finish came out. Left to right is charging, battery, and NJT switch. I'm still hunting a 4-pin XLR plug for the big hole. It will be for looks only.

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Got my replacement vape coils today too, and rebuilt my assembly. Works perfectly again.

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Just got a message from my buddy doing the resin parts for me with this shot of everything, and it looks SO GOOD. He gave me some close ups on the Clippards and the detail in the lettering is just fantastic. Should have this stuff in hand next week.
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By Fienen
#4953648
Bluecrusader wrote: August 10th, 2021, 5:02 pm Awesome builds. I printed the original Q files when I found the facebook page a year or two ago. Do you know the major changes to the 2.1?
I do not. I didn't look back through the past stuff at all. I do know that he's almost got V3 done though, if you're thinking about a new or updated build.
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By jonogunn
#4953783
How did you go about using that blue paint as reference guide? you just put a bit on the back of the shell then put it on?

Also would it be okay to request some more shots of how you have all the electronics connected and bolted onto your motherboard for both the inside and outside?

I'm attempted to do my own myself soon and wanna get as much references on how to properly screw things like the speaker and the amp on.
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By Fienen
#4953800
jonogunn wrote: August 12th, 2021, 12:09 pm How did you go about using that blue paint as reference guide? you just put a bit on the back of the shell then put it on?
I just slopped that stuff on heavy on the back of the shell where all of the piece edges came together, and then laid it down on the motherboard. Sorta like making a hand turkey, except with a proton pack. It's okay to be messy for the most part, because it's all hidden in the end.
Also would it be okay to request some more shots of how you have all the electronics connected and bolted onto your motherboard for both the inside and outside?
I can totally do that for you. I'm just about to mount the last of my stuff (power for smoke, charging plate), so I'll get good shots of how I did everything.
I'm attempted to do my own myself soon and wanna get as much references on how to properly screw things like the speaker and the amp on.
Good luck with it! Let me know if you have any questions along the way, I'll be happy to help! Most of my stuff I drilled and tapped holes for. The speaker and charging plate I drilled through and bolted on.
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By jonogunn
#4953809
thanks man I appreciate that! Been enjoying following your build too

I'm wondering if you know if amps are supposed to get hot and if so how hot before I need to worry. I just tested an onboard amp i got with some speakers. I don't have a battery yet but I had a power adapter that came with my Dyson Vaccum that I used to supply the power. I have 22gauge wires and during the test I notice the amp get hot and I'm wondering if I need to worry and this is beyond my skillset.
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By Fienen
#4953860
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Getting the speaker grill aligned and set. I made a really godawful mess here, and I'm sort of ashamed of it. Got superglue everywhere, and smeared the silver marking fluid I used to mark where I needed to grind out the grill back to fit over the speaker screws.

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Nothing a quick resand and respray won't fix. You can also see where I've added another big hole. This is for the wiring harness with my charging plate. Because of the speaker size and electronics, I didn't have the room to set it below the speaker centered. I kinda like this though. While obviously not screen accurate, it'll have that sort of "we did what we had to" look that comes with something they would have made in a shop. In other words, it'll look pretty authentic. I also took this time to drill the holes for the charging plate mounting.

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Put a coat of truck bed liner on the bracket for the wand wiring harness. This is a not-screen-accurate-quality-of-life improvement to make sure the wiring loom is well supported.

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This is a mounting bracket I made for the remote relay switch I'll add to my smoke kit (https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:4931532). This will have to necessarily be mounted inside the pack shell rather than on the motherboard. I simply don't have the space, I think, to mount it on the board. That sucks, but it's my fault for some bad planning. I'll do a recap on the mistakes I made and things I'd do differently at the end.

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I used some nylon sleeving to sexy up the wiring going to the charging plate. Also, look at that charging plate! You can't tell me that doesn't look like actual metal. It came out so good. The charging plate is one piece that I specifically mounted through hole using nuts and bolts rather than just screwing it into the motherboard for extra stability (the speaker is the other).

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Here's an overview shot of all the electronics as they stand. I'll remount the speaker shortly. I might also cut back the wire sleeving on my power trunk for flexibility. That's really more important to the look on the outside rather than the inside.

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Here's a better close up of the main guts. I added the buck converter (blue board) earlier this evening (it powers the vape for smoke). Everything except the battery power board are mounted with brass stand offs, like what you'd use to mount a computer motherboard in a case. I just mark the holes on the board, use a punch to set them, and then drill and tap the holes. For the power board, it's the same, except no standoff - it's just screwed directly on. The same goes for the power cell LED mount.


At this stage, the only wiring left is for the smoke kit which I'll probably do tomorrow, and obviously the wand. I went ahead and dropped the shell on and fired everything up.

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Current glamour shot of where I am. Resin parts are also in the mail. That will get the shock mount, booster nipples, and Clippard added and the shell will be officially and completely assembled at that point.
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By Fienen
#4953873
jonogunn wrote: August 14th, 2021, 3:39 am So for your electronics they are just screwed in with no nut on the back to secure it?
Correct. You can get a box of assorted brass standoffs pretty cheap (see https://amzn.to/2Ugv4ld). These just screw right into the motherboard if you drill your hole and tap it. You can see it in some shots like this one. You do end up with a little hole, but in the end, it's not a big deal (you could always backfill the holes if you really wanted).

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By Fienen
#4953956
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Finish work in place on the back of the motherboard. Cabling is all sleeved, speaker grill is glued in place, and switches are all mounted. Not pictured yet, this is also now mounted to the ALICE frame, too. Hindsight note (I'll do an overview of this sort of stuff at the end of the project): I should have gone with a 6" or - even better - 4.5" speaker just for matters of space management. I got this to all work, but stuff is TIGHT. If you look to the bottom left and right of the speaker grill, you can see how close it comes to the holes for the ALICE spacers, not to mention fitting electronics on the back around it.

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More work progressing on the wand handle while I hunt a 1.125" tube for the front inner tube of the pop mech. Trying to get everything mounted that needs to fit around the pop mech. I had to swap out my switches because I roached one of the stock ones that came with the Ninjatunes kit. It fell apart when I screwed it down. Luckily, I had some spares that were only slightly bigger, and just swapped them onto the wire pigtails after using a Dremel to slightly enlarge the mounting point. I did find a lot of inconsistency in the hat light arrangement, so I just went with what seemed to make the most sense (which ended up being following the pattern of the Hasbro Spengler wand).

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This represents the very last of the filament 3D printed parts for the project. Working on getting all this done by the weekend, especially the rear wand boxes since that will give me something to work on while the resin parts are in the mail.
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By Fienen
#4954106
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First resin part attached to the shell. This is now a working volume control for the pack.

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Using the Hasbro Spengler wand as a reference for making the pop mech release lever.

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Release lever cut to length, and glued on a piece of leftover green hosing as the covering for it.

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Test fitting the release lever on the wand body.

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Painting the resin Clippard bodies and applying the stickers to them. Tops go on shortly.

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Stupid. Stupid stupid stupid. I was pantiing the wand body bottom and rail and got distracted. Totally forgot them outside, and they sat in the sun all afternoon, overnight, and until lunch. It's been super hot here, and they just warped to hell. The rail might be saveable, but I reprinted the wand bottom.

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I got the emitter tube redone and did a test fit of the front assembly. The wand end finger pull is temporary, as I had to get a resin reprint done at 102% scale to fit right.

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I decided to change my approach to mounting the wand loom. The external clamp assembly was going to be super tight to run the ribbon cable through, and was going to require extra modification to the shell side to fit right. So I went internal instead. I needed to carve things up because of the proximity of the shell mounting bracket and ALICE frame bolt. I was a little over aggressive on how much I needed to trim, but it'll be fine.

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Here's how the loom and ribbon cable all go together once bolted down. This still provides some stress relief for the loom even with only the one screw, which is the important part. I did mount that through-hole with a nut on the back side of the motherboard, as well. I thought the extra security was worth it since I took away the screw on the other side that would normally be there.

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Length testing the loom. I need to trim the loom down at least 6 inches for sure, to give myself the slack needed for the ribbon cable to make it into the wand body. It's going to be very close. I probably could have planned that a tad better when I mounted the NJT main board to have it closer to loom. I think it'll be okay though.
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#4954109
Great Progress! Im still on the sanding and bondo phase of the Cyclotron, and the Sycgen. I had a ton of trouble with it, but on track now.

As for your Wand barrel, where did you end up finding a suitable size metal piece? I think Im the most interested in how to tackle the front of the wand as its the most daunting for me. If you are able to share your process in screwing it all together it would be very appreciated.
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By Fienen
#4954141
GhostPrime wrote: August 20th, 2021, 10:17 pm As for your Wand barrel, where did you end up finding a suitable size metal piece? I think Im the most interested in how to tackle the front of the wand as its the most daunting for me. If you are able to share your process in screwing it all together it would be very appreciated.
Man, finding that inner barrel was a pain in the butt. It's 1.125" OD with .049" wall. Home Depot doesn't have anything off the shelf that's right for that. I do know someone that had luck getting an adjustable curtain rod cheap on clearance that was the right size. I ended up going to OnlineMetals.com and dropping $20 to get a foot of exactly the right size. Way too much to pay for such a basic thing, but I was also totally stuck without it, so I just bit the bullet. Google around and you can find a 15% off coupon at least.

Depending on what else I get done today, I'm hoping to do a bunch of assembly work on the pop mech now that I have the measurements I need (I'm using the scale line drawing from https://www.gbfans.com/w/images/5/5b/St ... _Plans.pdf to get everything lined up right). I'll get you a bunch of good photos of that process.
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By Fienen
#4954159
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It's official, my pack now has nipples.

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I redid the hose where it goes into the PPD. I had some 1/8" rod left from the pop mech release, and cut some to reinforce the hose. This is mainly because the spectra cable butts right up against it and this gives it a little extra strength to not bend over.

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Just mounting the remote relay to the inside of the shell. I'll attach quick disconnects to it for shell removal.

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Interestingly, 204mm for the inner barrel came out a bit long against the reference measurements. I trimmed it down to 196mm.

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Drilled the inner barrel to fit the body coupler. The ugly notch is to give the retention screw a groove to twist in. It is a twist, pop mech, after all.

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Making sure everything lines up properly for the main pop mech parts.

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Marking the alignment of the release for the arm. Need to grind in a flat spot on the bar for the keeper screw to pressure against so the release doesn't just twist around the rod.

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While I'm at it, went ahead and glued in the reflector for the vent light.

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Every pop mech needs a spring. You can buy boxes of assorted springs on Amazon to figure out what's right for your build. I actually think I'm going to switch to bands instead after playing with the springs. The problem I noticed was fatigue in the spring after testing it a few times.


The pop mech! It pops! Using a mech!

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Side knobs and lever now in place. I can lock all this in as soon as I finish painting the outer barrel
Last edited by Fienen on August 22nd, 2021, 9:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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