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Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:June 1st, 2013, 7:16 am
by Alex Newborn
I had a non-screen-accurate but very pristine one of these by the Heat Pipe Corporation, but I just scored a pretty banged-up Jordan Electronics version that was a) the correct model and b) I didn't mind altering with the addition of the belt clip.

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Here's a comparison of both models.

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I had been using the Heat Pipe version inside a small camera/cell phone pouch on my belt since it was too nice to modify, but for this one I wanted to have it visible, like in the reference pics.

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Closeup:
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At the suggestion of Brandon (Donkey8012), I removed the belt clip from an old tape measure.

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When I drilled the hole through the casing, the bit would only go a very shallow distance in, and then there was this scary sizzling noise. I thought at first it was emanating from my drill, and I thought the motor had caught on fire or something... then I realized it was coming from the Minirad, and that was worse, as it made me fear for a moment that I was receiving a dose of radiation! Yikes!

It subsided after a few moments, and I realized it was air escaping and hissing out through the hole.

According to the description of the prop found here, http://www.gbfans.com/equipment/other/gamma-rate-meter/, the Minirad employs "a pressurized ion chamber"... I don't think mine is pressurized anymore!

Shrug, that must've been how they made the prop, and the same thing must have happened to the one Harold Ramis used, and he seems to be doing okay thirty years on, so best not to worry about it.

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Ready for action... except...

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... it doesn't have its instruction on the battery cover. Take a look at the reference pic on the Equipment pages of a more pristine Jordan Electronics Minirad...

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Unfortunately, I can't see the actual prop close enough in the reference pics I'm checking to tell if Ramis' sample had the lettering. After all, Egon could have tinkered with the real device to make it take supernatural readings, and could have altered the casing instructions as well.

Speaking of reference pics, I would LOVE to know where this photo came from. Can't we find it bigger anywhere?

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I know the Minirad can be seen on the work table in the basement, so I do plan to watch the new Blu-Ray again and hope for the best.

In the end, I will probably add the instructions eventually. I thought about finding some REALLY SMALL rubdown letters, but ye gods would that be time-consuming.

It would be so much faster to type it up and print it onto clear label paper.

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Of course, just when I got everything sized the way I wanted it against a 1:1 scan of the Minirad...

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... that's when I remembered my printer was out of black ink. Wah wah waaaah.

Alex

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:June 1st, 2013, 7:37 am
by JoeLuna33
That's cool Alex. I seem to find the 179/u model a lot but I'd love to gond one of the genuine ones.

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:June 1st, 2013, 7:50 am
by Zack
nice work Alex! I always enjoy seeing all your well documented builds as well as all the videos you put together, especially the Summer of 89 clips! It was honestly about as cool to meet you as it was meeting Robin and Ernie as goofy as that sounds!

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:June 1st, 2013, 8:13 am
by Alex Newborn
Well, it's nice to be able to give something back, but honestly I'm just building off of the diligent research and generous information-sharing of countless fans before me.

I wasn't even going to start a thread about this item, since there's not much modification to it, but then I thought if someone else was ever doing this and like me started to freak out when the thing is outgassing, they might want to know what to expect beforehand.

Now, let's find that Egon photo in a better resolution!

Alex

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:June 1st, 2013, 1:38 pm
by giric thren
I did a reverse image search, and that was the biggest size there is. Awesome picture

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:June 1st, 2013, 2:47 pm
by Alex Newborn
But where does it originate? Was it posted on Sony? Or was it a book? If it's a book, what is it, because I may have it somewhere and I can scan it larger.

I already went through the Ghostbusters Storybook by Anne Digby, so we can rule that one out. Making Ghostbusters by Don Shay doesn't have a lot of color images, they're all at the back, so those would be easy to check.

Or it could be a lobby card or some other promotional material. It's got to be out there somewhere.

~~~

Just realized that even though this one's a beater, I still got a real one for only a couple bucks more than what a resin copy would have cost me.

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Bought a new black ink cartridge...

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Judging from how tall the letters are on this sticker, I would have required rubdown letters that are slightly less than 2mm tall, and I didn't find a source for any smaller than 3mm.

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Also watched the 4K Blu-Ray to spot this prop. When they split up in the Sedgewick, holy cow that belt clip on the back is HUGE!

Here's some pics I found in another thread from a couple years ago...

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Where can I find a belt clip approximately 2x3 inches?

Maybe if the drill hole for a larger belt clip is lower, I wouldn't have broken the air seal. Shrug.

~~~

By the way, did anyone ever ID any of these other tabletop items?

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I know the yellow box is a Voltmeter, but what about the two blue boxes?

Alex

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:June 2nd, 2013, 11:07 am
by drjameshouse
So I checked all my screen shots, and it looks like there is text on the bottom of the minirad but there is never a clear picture from the movie. That photo that you questioned is obviously from the Gozer fight after Gozer disappears but it's not from the movie, and I can't find it in anything that I have.

The voltage meter has been discussed a little here http://www.gbfans.com/community/viewtop ... =7&t=23389. That's all I know. :)

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:June 2nd, 2013, 1:36 pm
by noslliT
Very cool Alex!
This is mine. The minirad is also glow in the dark.
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Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:June 2nd, 2013, 2:04 pm
by Alex Newborn
Oh that's a gorgeous piece! If I find one that looks that good, I'll definitely upgrade.

I also need to add a Philips head screw to the front. Do you know the length and thread size?

Did you add a belt clip to the back? Did it make that sizzling outgas sound?

I didn't know it glowed in the dark, but I just checked mine and so it does... nifty!

Alex

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:August 12th, 2013, 1:26 am
by JA Slow
Very cool Alex!
This is mine. The minirad is also glow in the dark.
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You bet it glows in the dark, that's radioluminescent paint.

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:November 1st, 2013, 9:15 pm
by Alex Newborn
Still not as good as noslliT's, but I did upgrade to a slightly better Minirad...

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My other one fell on the pavement of the Space & Rocket Center* in Huntsville AL when I was getting out of the car in costume to go see Ghostbusters for $1 on the 24th of last month. The clear rectangle popped out of the gauge window. Haven't fixed it yet.

Perhaps I fated it to happen. I had already bid on the auction for this slightly better condition one, and no one else ever bid on it. So one week later, on Hallowe'en itself, the replacement arrived.

Alex

[*The place they shot the movie SpaceCamp.]

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:November 6th, 2013, 12:22 pm
by msr322
Did you ever find any leads for that giant belt clip? I picked up a Radiacmeter on "the auction site" a few months ago, and was just getting ready to apply a regular tape measure clip onto the back. I'd rather have a slightly larger clip if you'd found any leads...

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:November 7th, 2013, 6:32 am
by Alex Newborn
Nope, haven't come across anything yet.

Alex

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:November 7th, 2013, 9:48 pm
by Cosmic-Riptide
Did you ever find any leads for that giant belt clip? I picked up a Radiacmeter on "the auction site" a few months ago, and was just getting ready to apply a regular tape measure clip onto the back. I'd rather have a slightly larger clip if you'd found any leads...
Nope, haven't come across anything yet.

Alex
It's a different style, but Tandy Leather just started carrying a nickel plated belt clip that fits the replica pistol belts perfectly.

http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-u ... 37-00.aspx

It's pretty hefty so your Minirad should stay put, but that's also one of the down sides since you're not going to be able to just slide it on or off of your belt with just one hand.

I used a similar style clip from another company a few years ago (only availabe in black), though I didn't know at the time that I ordered that the backplate was bowed. I attached the clip to my Minirad with copper rivets (see pic below), which worked great, but the bow in the clip has since warped the back of the Minirad causing cracks to appear in the shell.

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The Tandy clip has a flat backplate (no bow) which should severely reduce any warping issues, but again it's hefty, so I can't promise that repeatedly taking the Minirad off of your belt and reattaching it won't stress the Minirad's shell.

The clip will also cover or partially obstruct the back screw hole on the Minirad's casing, so you'll either just have to live with your Minirad being held together with only one screw (which is what I did the first time around), or you'll have to rig up a little spring loaded tooth to take the place of the rear screw (which is what I'm hoping to try this time around).

For my second attempt I may try a gentler attaching process with some screw post rivets (copper rivets have to be hammered onto whatever your working on).

http://www.tandyleatherfactory.com/en-u ... 96-02.aspx

A problem that I've already encountered with the screw rivets is that the base posts are a little too wide for the belt clip rivet holes (I don't know how easy it will be to widen up the holes considering the clip is made of spring-steal... I may just have to sandwich a piece of aluminum with properly fitted holes between the Minirad and the clip), as well as a hair too long (but some washers should fix that).

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:March 31st, 2014, 3:07 pm
by abaka


According to the description of the prop found here, http://www.gbfans.com/equipment/other/gamma-rate-meter/, the Minirad employs "a pressurized ion chamber"... I don't think mine is pressurized anymore!

Shrug, that must've been how they made the prop, and the same thing must have happened to the one Harold Ramis used, and he seems to be doing okay thirty years on, so best not to worry about it.


Alex


Yeah...I was reading this thread for adding the clip to mine...I'm not sure if I'll bother now!!

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:April 7th, 2014, 9:06 pm
by Alex Newborn
Eep! My words come back to haunt me.

I sincerely hope there's no correlation between a punctured pressurized ion chamber and vasculitis.

Although, I'm 44 now. If I make it another 30 years, that's not too bad of a run.

Alex

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:August 18th, 2014, 5:20 pm
by Alex Newborn
Came across this bit of info...

"The IM-179/PD was a miniature gamma ratemeter for placement in aircrew survival kits that employed a Neher-White pressurized ion chamber filled with argon."

So I looked up argon and it seems to be pretty safe.

"Argon has approximately the same solubility in water as oxygen, and is 2.5 times more soluble in water than nitrogen. Argon is colorless, odorless, nonflammable and nontoxic as a solid, liquid, and gas. Argon is chemically inert under most conditions and forms no confirmed stable compounds at room temperature."

Additionally: "The principal component of air is nitrogen and the only other major component is argon (about 0.9 %). Argon is chemically inert and its presence in the atmosphere poses no problem to human well being."

So apparently we breathe that gas with every lungful.

[UPDATE] Shot a video yesterday that gives a good comparison of the Minirads, among other props.



Alex

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:March 1st, 2019, 10:42 am
by Hoagie27
Thanks for the info! I'm working on adding one of these to my tool box now. Shame most of your pictures are gone though.

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:March 1st, 2019, 9:40 pm
by Alex Newborn
Yeah, I need to go back and repair some of the photo links if I can.

I used to do that every so often over at the RPF, but then those links began to die too, and faster than I could keep up.

Then I began putting links to my YouTube videos in my posts, as those seemed to stay active longer.

Now the video links are wonky on this site.

Alex

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:March 3rd, 2019, 7:58 pm
by One time
I think I have of couple of mint ones of these lying around I was meaning to sell.

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:March 31st, 2019, 6:31 am
by 8bitGamer1984
Hi Mr. Newborn, I watched the movie last Night and It visible after Gozer disappears and before the building starts breaking.
That picture is when Egon says "Ray this looks very bad". However my dvd is widescreen so the Minirad's bottom was cut out. I think the photo was a remastered photo of that scene. Hope this clears things up

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:March 31st, 2019, 8:01 am
by Kingpin
It may be a shot taken by a photographer during a take of the scene rather than a tweaked film still.

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:April 10th, 2019, 6:13 am
by Alex Newborn
Even the on-set photo has now been 'tweaked' by Sony, who has begun altering reference photos.

https://youtu.be/DGWMg3TfybM

Go to 5:14 to see the alterations they did to the Egon Minirad photo.

And right after that you can see one of my own Minirads.

Here's another Minirad-related video, of one of my more curious acquisitions: the clear training version.

https://youtu.be/ynlhsurlcgQ

Alex

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:June 12th, 2019, 3:15 pm
by One time
Even the on-set photo has now been 'tweaked' by Sony, who has begun altering reference photos.

https://youtu.be/DGWMg3TfybM

Go to 5:14 to see the alterations they did to the Egon Minirad photo.

And right after that you can see one of my own Minirads.

Here's another Minirad-related video, of one of my more curious acquisitions: the clear training version.

https://youtu.be/ynlhsurlcgQ

Alex
This is so weird. Ghostbusters fandom is partly about painstakingly identifying props used in the 1984 movie. There's a sense of achievement in exactly identifying the obscure early 80's devices. Why delete details in photographs? Makes no sense.

Re: Alex Newborn's Minirad / Gamma Rate Radiacmeter / IM-179

PostPosted:June 13th, 2019, 2:35 am
by Kingpin
This is so weird. Ghostbusters fandom is partly about painstakingly identifying props used in the 1984 movie. There's a sense of achievement in exactly identifying the obscure early 80's devices. Why delete details in photographs? Makes no sense.
It's Sony covering their butts for featuring stuff which may still be covered by copyright.