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By Macktacular
#4924863
Hey there folks. I haven't been too active on this forum but I've enjoyed seeing other people's builds (even if I haven't commented often) and used them as inspiration for when I started building my own ghost trap last year. It was going to be my first year cosplaying at my "local" convention and at the time the Spirit Halloween trap had not come onto the scene. And here I am with no real carpentry or mechanical skills, or a 3d printer. But I do have a bunch of junk and a workshop, so let's get to work!

Keep in mind that in no way is this going to be accurate to traps from the movies or shows. Honestly, part of what makes seeing Ghostbuster builds fun is seeing how people turned random things into something that totally works - and considering that each "franchise" makes a lot of their equipment in-house I'm sure their resident nerd has their own ideas on how to tinker with things.

This is the lump of clay we'll be working from. I got this for free from a friend who didn't know if it was working or not. Short-answer, it wasn't.
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So let's get to it. I opened it up and gutted the thing because the battery and such was super heavy, and since this is going to be hanging from my belt I want it to be light but sturdy. The buttons were removed, electrical outlets filled in with silicone, and then they and other features sanded down until I got tired and didn't care anymore.
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The first piece that was added was a clip for hanging it from my belt. I don't know what this part originally was, but it fits a carabiner so that works for me. Most of the pieces being used in this are salvaged from junk.
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Yup, junk. Living in a rural area you can't always just pop down to the store to get what you need, so you tend to save stuff for a rainy day and become a packrat. But there's use for some of these fuses and knobs I think.
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This end is where the APC's power cord, reset, and phone line bits used to be. We'll find use for these holes later.
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And the bottom of the APC, which will be the top of the trap. You can see why when I thought this would make for a decent cosplay prop - the door for the battery is huge.
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And the compartment inside is big enough to actually contain a ghost! I have no idea where I found this thing, but he became an essential part of the prop. Not really, but he makes people smile when I open it up.
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cristovalc liked this
User avatar
By Macktacular
#4924867
Alright, time for part 2. Here is a very quick mock-up for what I had planned, done in an old version of Photoshop. A handle, a stripey panel, some knobs - all the stuff a proper trap needs.
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And a quick mockup of the side. Basically a switch going to a 2-way LED that could turn green or red. Of course I know nothing about electrical stuff other than what I learned in 8th grade science class, so if that's happening I'll be busting open a toy from the dollar store and stuffing the guts in there.
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Next came the handle. An old cheap frying pan from Value Village "donated" it's handle to the project. All fittings are attached using nuts and bolts whenever possible to ensure that this thing should be sturdy and survive a con or two. Is it the right shape compared to the movie? NOPE. But it was curved JUST RIGHT to fit the curve of the APC with minimal sanding, so I think it works.
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Another salvaged piece, a timer switch. You can find these on industrial equipment but also they're often wall-mounted at places that want to make sure that their lights aren't left on all night. Just like most other pieces this is salvage, so it was cleaned up a little bit before being mounted. Funnily enough, the timer wind-down mechanism still sort of works.
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Also funnily enough, inside the plastic casing there's this molded piece that the timer fits perfectly inside of, nice and snug.
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The torx screws that hold the timer assembly together were removed, and I used their holes to mount the timer to the casing with a couple of machine screws. Using the spot provided by the casing inside means that the knob isn't perfectly center to the top of the trap, but asymetrical is boring in science so let's run with it.
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Next up will be the pedal, and pretty soon we'll be getting ready for some painting and finishing touches.
User avatar
By Macktacular
#4924868
Next up is the pedal. Again since this is meant for a costume I'm not really looking to make something complicated from scratch - I know that electric guitars and sewing machines use foot pedals, so I headed out to Value Village and see what I could find. Of course good pedals for guitars and such would be at pawn shops, but what I did find was a super cheap plastic pedal that had a 35mm mic jack at one end, probably part of some knock-off Rock Band kit or something. Looking inside you can see just how basic the pedal is, but it works. The old cord came out and in it's place I took the APC's power cord, cut off the plug, and drilled a larger hole for it to fit through. A nail through the cord keeps it from pulling out, and some glue on the nail prevents it from turning and poking through the plastic should someone get rough with it.
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The two body halves, the pedal, and the handle were all blasted with multiple coats of black Rustoleum paint to give it that nice metallic finish instead of the dull black plastic look. I left the lid unpainted because we're doing something different with that, but it serves to show the contrast here. I also added a little knob on the side - there'll be more to that later.
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As shown in the previous picture, the cord from pedal to trap is very short. And I haven't installed any wheels. But this is meant to hang from my belt when I'm in costume so a shorter cord is actually preferable. Here you can get a better idea of how it'll look when worn.
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It's about this time that the Spirit Halloween trap makes it's appearance, and I kind of say "whelp, I'm not beating that." So instead of filling and sanding down the cover, and multiple layers of paint, I went the easy-route. Some yellow duct tape, cut to fit, and some masking tape over the cover.
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A blast of the same Rustoleum and removing the tape, and we have our makeshift trap door. It's messy, but I kind of like it that way, a "kludged together" sort of science.
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And now it's actually starting to look like a trap.
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But we're not done yet.
User avatar
By Macktacular
#4924871
So next up are some labels. Now like I said earlier I wasn't about to spend more than the Spirit's cost on making this, so instead of printing decals I just got some sticker paper from Staples and printed on that instead. In the future I hope to make a new version that better fills and utilizes the rectangle shape in the case's molding. I didn't turn the sticker 90 degrees because they the switch would default to the 3rd setting, which in hindsight would have been better I suppose.
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Every piece of work equipment needs some notes and graffiti. And I've been told every knob needs to turn to 11.
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And a label for that other knob. It's not shown here but I added a little tick of white to the knob to better show which way it was set.
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I used a silver sharpie to weather the thing with fake scuff marks. And there are few things spookier than something that reads "DON'T DEAD - OPEN INSIDE".
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A couple of knobs are painted and notched. Looking at the movie props I realized a lot of the labels were just printed directly on the steel plate for wherever they did what they were supposed to do. I'm sure that Egon would have used a label maker for this if he had one at his disposal at the time.
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Unfortunately I didn't have time to rig up a light, so the old reset button went back in. But people at Hal-Con seemed to like it, and some members of the local GB franchise really liked it!
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And then nothing happened, until I found the latest piece just this month.
User avatar
By Macktacular
#4924872
Another salvaged part! Why pay money for a switch that works when you can get a rusty one out of a meat saw? And funnily enough, it fits perfectly in the hole for the reset button.
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Well the neck does. Of course there's plastic inside to hold the reset trigger, and this switch is much larger. So some kludging with a set of wire cutters occured. I want to keep the "pillar" to the left because that's one of the spots where the two halves screw together.
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But when all is done, it actually holds together pretty well! Of course it'll probably fall out the next time I open this up but a kludge job is a kludge job.
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Still not sure what I'm going to do about that hole. Maybe I'll just cover it with a piece of regular duct tape.
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And that's it! So far at least. I hope you folks enjoyed it.
User avatar
By Macktacular
#4925581
Update: I've done a little more work to it before Hal-Con, glueing on a fuse and adding a couple of fluorescent starters to the top to give it a more... science look. But I realize something is missing. On the real ghost trap there's the PKE monitor on the front of the trap, where as mine is smooth.
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But I do have this, a handle off an old saucepan. It doesn't have lights, and it's not the right shape, but it is... in my workshop.
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Now comes the tricky part, how to mount it. I want to avoid directly between the two halves if I can. Mounting it as a handle on the top half may block the trap door, since it slides open instead of swinging open. In the future perhaps I'll cut off the sliding part and put the door on hinges with a magnet to fasten it shut - I have some cabinet door magnets that'd to the trick I think. But for now I'd like to know what you folks out there think looks best.
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I will likely be sanding down the edges to make it fit more snugly to the casing instead of filling it in with silicone and painting it, the handle is much darker than the other plastics I used so it matches without being painted. Upside down and on the bottom half, it is about level with the bottom of the trap, so it wouldn't lift it off the floor when placed that way.

Oh and as a side note, if you're ever looking for something to make some kind of belt gizmo or scanner out of, may I suggest a battery tester? This cost me $10 Can. and while I'm working on my own belt gizmo right now if I ever came across one of these that didn't work, well, that'd be my next project right there.
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*edit* after looking at the trap a bit more I decided that putting the door on a hinge was far more work than it's really worth. I'm more than likely going to mount the handle on it, and place it on the bottom half, facing up. That puts it low enough that it no longer resembles a saucepan while also being recognizable as a handle / bumper.
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