Ghostbusters Project: The first money shot

A couple of minor updates within the last few days, that in itself were not big enough to warrant a blog post, but now..

First off, I took the daring step of drilling hole in my shell for the split loom. I had previously 3d printed a loom holder, and it was time to jump off the cliff..

I marked off where the loom would pass through the shell, and step drilled the hole up to 30mm, which was the diameter of my holder, then used my dremel to cut down from the half circle to the bottom of the shell.

A little sanding and filing, and it turned out pretty good.

Can’t wait for my proper motherboard to arrive so I can start mounting things. I did have to bondo and sand and repaint a bit around the hole, but that was fixed as well as the bondoed piece on the right.

In addition to this, I got a new shipment of fun pieces. Not all of these are accurate, but to my defense, I ordered some of these prior to finding the proper ones.

Having almost all pieces in place, I decided it was time for my first pic with placement of most parts.

I still intend to replace most resin parts with aluminium, but until I have them, the resin parts will do.

It was about here I found how wonky some parts of the shell is. The upper left corner where the ion arm is supposed to sit had a height difference of 3 mm from the corner to the inner corner of the ion arm placement. I had to balance the resin ion arm (that I had sanded flat) on an m3 nut on the inner corner for it to not fall down.

To fix this, I decided to mask off parts of that shell, sand down the highest points and add loctite putty to build up a base. It took me about 45 minutes to fix, but the result was pretty good.

You can clearly see the bulk that was build up. Dry fitting with the ion arm leaves this:

Nice and flat!

The shell went out on the balcony for a bit of touch up on the hammerite black paint, and once that’s dry, most of the shell work should be done.

I also hot glued in my coloured lenses for the power bar and the cyclotron…

… only to realize that I have RGB LED’s in my light pack, and the program does four different colours, so I had to cut them off. Oh well 🙂

I also took out the metal parts and the black glossy plastic box of my 3d printed ghost trap, courtesy of countspatula and went over them with flat black before assembling again.

I have built in a remote control in my pedal to not have to use the hose for anything functional at all, and I decided to also wire up the LED on the remote to a small LED on the pedal. It is not very bright, but a nice little addition, I think.


By | 2017-04-14T16:53:59+00:00 April 14th, 2017|Building, Costuming, Ghostbusters Proton Pack, Stormtrooper|Comments Off on Ghostbusters Project: The first money shot

Ghostbusters Project: Modifying the Clippard

One of the features on both the proton pack and the thrower (the “gun” if you will) on the Ghostbusters costume from 1984, is a Clippard Valve. It is apparently used for something in the real world. In the Ghostbusters world, it is a thing that looks cool.

A while back, I 3d printed a copy of a clippard to keep on my proton pack to keep the weight down, and sitting right next to the real deal, it looks pretty good!

The twist knob still needs a little more work, but I’ve got a resin copy of that coming in, but what I’m devoting THIS post to, is modifying the original Clippard (The one that is supposed to go on the gun) to work as a volume controller for my proton pack.

After first opening the clippard and taking it apart, removing everything on the inside, I had to first saw off the round tab on the bottom  and drill a hole, allowing the cable to run through.

I also 3d designed a huge spacer/holder for the potentiometer that was to be placed inside the clippard.

I needed to cut down the pins on the potentiometer in order to make it fit properly, and once it was cut down and the wires were soldered, this what I was left with.

In the picture you can also see a spacer that I threaded and had screwed in place, and blue painters tape on the threads and rotary part of the potentiometer. You’ll see why shortly…

To make sure I had enough room for the solder joints, I drilled out the top of the inside of the Clippard with a stepper drill, just to give some more space. The enclosure will be held in place 6 mm further down where the inside diameter will match the 3d printed enclosure perfectly.

The potentiometer fit like a glove into my 3d printed enclosure.

Pushed down into the Clippard with the cable going out through the hole I drilled in the bottom:

When I started to put the clippard together, the thin axel of the potentiometer didn’t exactly look like the original… so I had to do something here. I took the original threaded part that was hooked up to the clippard and the rotary knob, and put it in my power drill with a metal blade to cut off a small piece.

It was still larger than the potentiometer on the inside, so a few turns with painters tape was just right to center the brass bit.

Finally, attaching the knob at the top again, and I now have a potentiometer for the volume built into my Thrower Clippard!

Can’t wait to actually fit this on my pack in the (hopefully) near future.

By | 2017-03-27T00:17:37+00:00 January 5th, 2017|3D Printing, Building, Costuming, Ghostbusters, Ghostbusters Proton Pack|Comments Off on Ghostbusters Project: Modifying the Clippard

Disaster, Recocery and moving along…

Last week, I took R2 out to a gaming/cosplay convention in Uppsala, Birdie Expo!

Birdie is also one of very gracious sponsors of the VERY nice R2 Builders backdrop we (now) have!


Anyway, day 1 went by well, I managed to get some time in hooking up a servo, rerouting some cables (the quick and dirty version) and doing some code on both my receiver and the new arduino I placed inside R2.

Since I was doing most of this on the fly, with a lot less tools that I usually use, the result was… well .. let’s call it “less than optimal”.

Sure, I got R2 working GREAT with both the new code and the new panel and some of the extra tidbits in it (still not finished with the code, but that will be done at a later time), but .. the results are quite horrible.

The insides of my R2 body now look like this!


The extra amp, speakers, arduino and servo, without any properly done cabling at all, has turned my once so tidy R2 inside to a gigantic web!

So what was the results? .. well … this!

So, end user result is great, and I’m really happy. It is also the FIRST motorized servo in R2 I’ve done code for, so it marked a milestone!

For well over a year, I’ve had servos in the dome hooked up with no place to go. Now, this will change..

Second day of the Expo started out great.

I thought I’d get some time doing some tweaks in the control board when times were slow, but after a quick update, something went terribly, TERRIBLY wrong!

R2 started jerking, moving by himself and seemed really weird!

A little debugging told me that the communication between the bluetooth wireless Wii Nunchuck I was using, and my controller board had gone bananas. Instead of receiving real world values, it started receiving random signals.

Turns out that the old libraries used (third party) had not been upgraded in the past 3.5 years, and the later versions of arduino seemed to rupture something. (I did try and reinstall an old version to no avail).

So, I had to sit down and focus and see if I could fix the issue.

It ended up with me programming an arduino library for the nunchuck myself from scratch. I had no idea how or what to do when starting out.

About two hours later, R2 is back and moving again! PHEW!

Good thing though, is that now I can throw out the buggy code, and maybe even get more third party nunchucks working with better resolution!

Back at home after the ordeal, I’ve spent a few evenings looking in to the updated controller code, and will soon move over to the whole new branch of code I’ve written and improved upon from the original R-Series code to various contributions form other people.

Not wanting to sit and just do coding, I decided to get the hooked up servos in the dome moving.

I decided to not use the small Adafruit breakout board for 16 servos that I had, mostly because I cannot detach the servos at will, like I can with normal Arduino coding.

Said and done, I found a Servo shield at a local hobby place, bought it, took it home, only to realize that it was the shield version of the same Adafruit PWM board.

Now, that board could work great, if only I knew how to detach a servo in it, and unfortunately I don’t.

Instead, I purchased an empty shield and did some soldering. An hour or so later it was time to make the cables for it (which is a really fidgety job that takes way longer than people think, cutting, peeling, crimping, removing bad crimps, peeling, crimping again, realize it is not sitting tight, remove the second bad crimp and make a third one… and so on.

Once that was in the head, I started hooking things up and got really weird results from the first servo. First servo alone. It wasn’t supposed to be doing anything… yet.

I removed all code that would make any servo move, and still I got really weird results from a servo. Why? what’s going on?

I pulled everything out again and started writing from scratch… turns out that after a bit of googling on what I found, pins 0 and 1 on the Arduino are earmarked for Serial connection, so you have to disable the serial in order for them to work as a normal pin….

Once I found that out, I managed to get a sketch going, and started setting max and min values on the servos.

Not having a lot of time, I did not have time to investigate why one of the servos are not moving. The pie panel not moving in the video is not moving since the nut and bolt that was holding the piano wire that connects to the servo, fell out. Something to fix later on when I investigate why my servo on the 3rd panel doesn’t work.

Here’s a quick video I took after setting the max and min values. I’m not done yet by a long shot, but at least it is a start!

That’s all for now!

more updates next week!

By | 2016-12-06T00:00:18+00:00 May 19th, 2015|R2-D2|Comments Off on Disaster, Recocery and moving along…

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