Saturday, October 14, 2006

Jedi Props: Holo Projector — Day 4 — Version 1 Complete!

In foraging through various forums (The Custom Saber Shop, Jedi Council Forums, The Jedi Assembly) I was inspired to build some props to go with my Anakin costume, namely: a Holocron, a Communicator, and a Holo-projector. I decided that I had sufficient skill to try to create these myself, and will herein chronicle my attempt.

Day 4 — Oct 14, 2006

The LED arrived today so I was able to continue working on the projector; it's bigger than I expected. Due to poor planning and poor design the battery holders I purchased do not fit inside th container with the LED. Actually, again, due to poor design—there really wasn't much design, I just threw this together off the top of my head, it would have benefited from some planning—I attached the batteries in the worst possible way, I soldered wires to them, so they're very impractical to change. I didn't even have the foresight to use new batteries, so they're not even at full charge. So if I have time before Halloween I'll cut the battery holders apart so I can use those contacts for soldering, and the batteries will be replaceable. Additionally, I'm thinking I'll do a version 2 of this in the next couple of months using a circular Altoids® container. But, it's been wired together, batteries to the switch to the resistor to the LED to the batteries. The LED is bright enough that it shines through the reflecter enough to tell there's a single point of light, plus it can be rather blinding if the light reflects into your eyes just right. I found that a small piece of white cloth between the LED and the reflecter diffuses the light sufficiently.
Things I learned
Plan the thing all the way through before begining construction. The switch I bought is much too large—the one I wanted was a momentary switch which didn't fit my requirements, but the one I did purchase takes up too much space inside. The hole I cut out of the plastic container for the reflecter ended up being too big. I had first thought to attach the reflector to the breadboard so I cut the hole big enough to put the reflector through. After realizing how tall the LED was I realized it would have been better to attach the reflector to the surface of the container, but there was no longer enough plastic to attach it to.

Finished! Pics!

Here you can see the uglyness that is the innards of this poorly designed holoprojector. Click for larger versions. Here is the completed projector, lit up, with the kitchen light on. (The tape is to hold the reflector down while the adhesive sets. The completed projector, lit up, in the dark. The holoprojector receives a transmission from Darth Maul. Well, there you have it. My first homemade Star Wars collectible/prop/whatever. I'll probably grab another Bubble Tape® and begin working on version 2 pretty soon—next week if I can, but I have to go to Washington Wed–Sat for my brother marriage, so I won't have much time, so I doubt V2 will be done by Halloween. EDIT: Forgot the following (big) source of inspiration - [url=]Padawan's Guide[/url]

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