This is for other Ghostbusters Props that don't fit into the categories above.
User avatar
By Mercifull
#4996783
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I had a bit of free time this weekend so rather than sensibly working on my unfinished projects like the Minirad and Proton Pack upgrades I thought I’d have a crack at the possessed Sony Discman from Frozen Empire.

Now I want to be clear that I neither have the tools nor the talent for a screen-accurate replica and I also couldn’t justify current eBay prices for the yellow Sport Discman D-421SP. I did, however, have a broken CD player in my box of random electronics junk as well as having my old r/c transmitters from my model aircraft flying days.

Adam Savage did a cool behind the scenes recently and we got to see a fantastic shot of the inside of the real screen used prop. I was able to identify that it uses the following:
  • Futaba T16IZ transmitter (approx £550)
  • Futaba Ripmax R7008SB receiver (approx £100)
  • Savox HV digital servo (approx £65)
  • 2S Lithium Polymer battery (Approx £15)
Plus any other bits and bobs probably over £750 of parts not including props masters time to build.

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But could I make one for more like £20? I already had the CD player, I already had the transmitter. But I’d need a smaller receiver and battery as the ones I had were too thick to fit in the CD player. I’d also need a new micro servo for space constraints as all mine were large and meant for planes.

After acquiring all the parts I needed I spent:
  • Battery (£5.85)
  • Micro receiver (£9.40)
  • Servo (£3.72)
  • Futaba to Molex adapters (£5.14)
Total £24.11 so a little over budget but that’s because I needed some Futaba servo connectors to mini Molex adapters for the receiver unit which I hadn’t considered. I also bought a second hand Spin Doctors CD for £2.34 from Music Magpie.

After a fair bit of tinkering with layouts, cable routing and snipping out all sorts of plastic pillars, posts and walls I had what I thought could work. I utilised the original battery compartment area for the rechargeable battery I am using, the receiver just pokes up slightly into the cut-out area due to height and the servo is at the back. Wires, where possible, are hidden under the front. I cut off some components from the original circuit board like the headphone jack port and knobs and glued them in place for some added realism to the device.

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The hardest bit was then working out the distances needed for a full (or close to full) open and close. I 3D printed a small “horn” that is glued to the lid of the cd player and then connected to the servo arm by a bent paper clip. I had to snip the latch on the lid otherwise when it closes it locks shut and then the servo goes a bit haywire.

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It is controlled via the elevator stick in my transmitter. I’d rather have gotten it working using the throttle because it has a ratchet to keep the stick in place but it would have required another splitter or something because on the micro receiver unit, the throttle channel (3) is a shared connection with the battery. I can keep the discman open or closed by simply powering off the transmitter with the stick up high/low. When power resume it opens half way.

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It still needs a bit of tweaking and I want to use a stronger paper clip as the wire and more neatly bend it now that I know the right lengths but I’m generally very pleased. If I ever get a bunch more time again I might see how much of a big deal with would be to move this servo control over to the throttle channel. In the mean time, I can keep it closed by pulling the elevator stick down and then turning off the power to the transmitter.

User avatar
By Mercifull
#4996909
So it turns out you can give power via ANY channel not just the throttle (3). So I swapped the mini molex adapter from connecting to the servo and the battery in channel 3 and vice versa. Now it works on the throttle :)

Still needs some more tweaks to get it to fully close. There's also an occasional twitch from the servo but this could just be because it was £3 as opposed to the £70 for the one used in the film haha.

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