This year, my lovely wife has decided to join me on my ghostbusting campaigns. So I'm planning on getting her set up with a uniform, belt and a custom proton pack (that thread coming soon). So my plan was to build a belt gizmo that was cheap and easy to make knowing that I would be making two. I also wanted to add LED lighting to give it that extra "neato" factor.
The first step, as most of you who have built these know, is the circuit board. Now, this budget doesn't allow for me hunting down an vintage calculator and ripping it to bits. I've got some 1/8" polystyrene plastic sheets and some adhesive printer paper.
I started out by putting together the following image to be printed (based on Exoray's image that can be found on these forums):
The adhesive printer paper is simply a full sheet shipping label (found at Walmart in office supplies).
First thing I did was print this off on regular paper to make sure the size was correct (I'll also use it as a template for cutting the plastic later):
Cut just one side and test fitted it into my measuring tape holster (found at Lowe's Hardware):
With the fit confirmed, I cut off the bottom of the front hook of the tape holster.
Obviously, you won't need to do this if yours doesn't have one of these. I couldn't find one with the correct shape locally, so I settled for this one.
Next, I had to figure out what to use for the nixie tubes. in my travels around the forums, I found somebody who had the idea to use clear pen cases. So I went with that idea (pens found at the Dollar Tree - Also pictured: Battery holder & slider switches from Radio Shack - Red/Blue/White LEDs I already had):
Since the package contained black, blue and red ink pens, I decided to use the colored endcaps in the build. They will be arranged as such:
Next, I remove the ink tubes and end caps:
Then just wrap them in painters tape and cut them with a dremel at the length of the tape's width:
Now we have some nicely cut and (nearly) even length tubes! I cut a rectangle of polystyrene and a square dowel to serve as the nixie holder (dots on the styrene are markings for the holes):
Now after I cut holes in the styrene, I can show you how the tubes will be held in place with the pen caps:
This solution works out surprisingly well! Next, I'll work on the circuit board...