Step 4! The Meter
So far your' Bacharach should be looking pretty good you could stop here and be happy but if you really want to take this from replica to forgery you've got to get the analog meter right.
So here is the problem which meter do you use? The equipment page shows two different types , allow me to explain.
Here is the photo used to sell the actual screen used Bacharach 300 on April 1st 2005 by "Profiles in History
" auction house.
So we can't make out much of the meter but what we can see is that the front half is clear and the back half is black with the black going down around the side of the meter.
Now here is some photos of the Bacharach 300 provided by the Bacharach factory to SabaSka109 :
As you can see from the side photo no black going down the side.
In this photo I noticed something suspicious as well the lower half of the meter appears clear and take a look at the black line next to the meter.
Seemed odd to have black piece under the meter and then I realized when you put a meter of the size shown in the place where the LCD screen was there are 4 holes visible on the out side edge that will need covered because the LCD screen was wider than the analog meter.
Here's a picture of the LCD for reference:
So one of the two was incorrect and I didn't want to pick the wrong one so I went to the source, and found this simple blurred image from Dana's apartment
Ah HA! I know it is hard to make out but the meter appears to have an all white face and a small black circle (screw) at the bottom center just as the SabaSka109 sniffer shows. Confirmed again (if you look really close) in this version of the Commercial http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMmam5i03Vs
So profiles in history ether sold a reproduction, I am misinterpreting the 1 photo I have to go on or at some point in the life span of the prop the meter part was replaced or altered. We can see they have the incorrect aspirator bulb (presumably because the original rotted away) so we know that at some point someone altered or "repaired" the piece...or it's a fake.
So now that we know what we're making first lets remove the LCD screen, split the case if you haven't already, use a precision Phillips head screw driver to remove the 4 screws holding the screen in place. The protective clear piece covering the screen will be glued on but buy now the glue should be really weak so carefully patiently peel up the screen and remove the excess glue. On my unit the glue was old enough it came off easily wiping with a shop rag but if that does not work try water or denatured alcohol to get rid of the gunk.
Next we need to aquire a meter, Here is the best match I have found: http://www.ebay.com/itm/360458702194?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT
Triplett Analog panel meter 120-G 0-50 D.C. Milliamperes 152-967
Triplett makes a variety of meters with this case style and the case is all we are using. So if you can't get this exact one because it is sold out by the time you read this, don't worry you will likely still be able to find one with a little bit of searching under the name "Triplett Analog Meter". I sorted through thousands of meters before I settled on this one and I am fairly confident that this is almost exactly the same as what would have been in the Bacharach originally, measurements match, appearance is dead on. As an added bonus I did not have to drill a single hole to make the 4 bolts in the back of this and the center housing cylinder fit perfectly in the slot that already exists on the Bacharach case . I knew they reused the case but no better evidence than holes that do not correspond to the LCD correspond exactly to the analog meter.
So now we need to make that black piece to hide the LCD screen holes, for this you can go cheap and just use electrical tape but I wanted this to look nice and last so I used a bit of plastic I cut out of a black plastic party plate from a dollar store it about the thickness of a piece of paper so it doesn't interfere with anything. To get the size just right use the old lcd screen shield as a template and trim off about a half inch from the width when you are done. Next place the piece (shiny side down)over the meter slot on the Bacharach case and mark out the the location of the center circle and the 4 inner most bolt holes (if you meter came with a cut guide like mine you can also just use that. Now with an exacto knife cut out the holes and the inner circle, slide it over your meter so that the shiny side will be against the Bacharach and place the meter in the case to check that the 4 outer holes are covered.
Next we need to alter the meter to "work" because and have a nicer background, but if don't want to go to this trouble you can stop here and things will look great all the same.
Take the meter back out of the unit and remove the clear plastic face-plate. The face-plate just snaps in place and can be popped off easily with a flat head screw driver, just be careful not to loose the textured piece of metal that sets on the lower half of the meter, the black screw does not hold the face-plate down it is for adjustment but once the face-plate is off you'll need to trim down the back of the black screw as much as possible to make room for the electronics we are going to put inside.
Now I know it would be easier to keep the existing electronics and use a step up transformer to power the needle but that would suck a battery dry quickly so what we are going to do is remove all the internals of the meter and swap it out for a simple multi-meter. The internals are held in place with a few nuts in the back of the housing, also go ahead and unscrew the meter back-plate which well will use as a cutting guide later.
I bought a super cheep multimeter frome walmart the
Ge 50952 14-range 6-function Analog Multimeterhttp://www.walmart.com/ip/GE-Analog-Mul ... w/17117738
and carefully ripped the needle mechanisum out
Oh by the way the reason that thing looks like a bear ate it is because I thought that it needed part of the casing to hold the meter electronics together, I did not
, I just had to take out the two screws next to the needle base and slide it out, oops
I cut the wires leading to the needle and extended them about 10 inches using some speaker wire, I turned the dial on the multimeter to 1.5v and tested that everything worked on a loose AA.
Once I was sure everything was working, I cut the back off the meter casing to allow me room to work, and I used a little bit of epoxy putty to secure the needle mechanism inside the meter casing being careful to avoid all the moving parts and making sure the needle placement was far enough forward to avoid hitting the back-plate when it was in place, and everything was even and strait.
Kind of skipping ahead with this image as the back-plate is already on but it gives you an idea where and how the needle mechanism is placed.
Next I soldered/heatshrinked and label a 10 inch length of wire to the leads of a blue flat wide angle LED http://www.amazon.com/uxcell-Square-Hea ... square+led
and secured it in place at the base of the meter again being careful to avoid moving parts. I am not sure I am 100% happy with the blue LED.... I may come back in later and replace it with two smaller leds to more evenly distribute light in the meter but it seems to work ok for now. I am using the blue Led as a sort of meter light and power light so you know the unit is on. I picked blue because one it looks cool and two it would still show up under bright convention lighting but a white or yellow would be hard to see and could result in leaving the unit on by accident.
Next I soldered/heatshrinked and label a 10 inch length of wire to the leads of a red blinking led http://smile.amazon.com/Standard-LEDs-T ... inking+led
this will be the "ghost detected" light that will go off when a spook specter or ghost has been in the vicinity.
Showing the placement of the blue light and the eventual placement of the red LED in the backplate.
So as you might have guessed the next step is to make the back-plate, this part is difficult to get right so pay attention. First you pick up your phone, sort through your friend list, second find your friend Jacob who actually is who this whole Bacharach project is for, and who happens to work as a graphics designer the ask him super NICELY
to help you design the meter back-plate. he should come up with a few designs such as:
One close to the original in color scheme and word placement as far as we can tell by the illegible photo
then drawing inspiration from the old ghost nabber toy stickers
to make this variet
Hope that helps to explain the involved process, he really did his research reading everything he could on the internet and read through comics in his personal collection to determine the use of the sniffer and what the meter should display in the gb universe, as well as made reference to the toy in color shift on the meter and came so close to putting Kenner on this somewhere but settled on this design
Sexy right? but not distracting or too obvious but fun.
Oh by the way "102LT
" ="One of our little toys"
So now the meter is in place we need to make this needle wiggle and blink on command in way that onlookers can not tell exactly how it is being triggered.
Before any tricks are installed I double check that everything works, put a battery in the multimeter and made sure the dial was turned to 1.5v and touched the leads to a 2x AAA battery pack and the needle stopped half way, found that it was hitting my blue LED moved it a bit and it red lined like I wanted it to. Next I checked both LEDs. Once I was sure everything could work together in picked a place by the bottom where it would be easy to change the batteries I use epoxy putty to secure a 2x AAA battery pack. If you want to go longer without changing batteries use D's but I wanted this all to be as light as possible because anything you carry at a con gets to feeling heavy so the lighter you can make it the better, also the AAA's should last through a day of regular use with little issue as this doesn't pull much power. Next I secured the multimeter, anything I was concerned about breaking loosed if dropped like the batteries or the multimeter I put a strip of gorilla tape over it, less to keep it from breaking more so to keep a loose battery from flying around inside damaging harder to replace parts.
Next I soldered and heat shrink the negative lead from the battery pack to the negative leads of the needle mechanism red LED and blue LED. Then the Positive Lead from the battery pack to one of the terminals on the trigger, then from the other trigger terminal to the blue light. When you pull the trigger the blue light should come on now. There is no need for resistors for the LED's at this voltage as this voltage amperage level shouldn't cause any issue with the LED's.
Now that that is all set we solder a second wire to the trigger (same side that goes to the blue led) and the other end to one lead of a mercury switch, the the other lead goes to the red LED and the Needle mechanism, make sure you are heatshrinking or at the very least insulating one of the leads.http://smile.amazon.com/Mercury-Tilt-Sw ... ilt+switch
at this point things should look about like this:
and you should look like this:
I know it's messy but it's all secure and solid and will be hidden inside so I am not that worried about it, I can always tidy this up later once I am satisfied with everything.
Secure the mercury switch some where inside the case (like under the handle) make it as level as you can I recommend turning the unit on while apart to get a sense of the best orientation of the switch, whether you want it to turn on when you tip it slightly to the front or slightly to the side depends on if you mount it facing forward or to the side, don't mount it vertically what ever you do or you're have to flip it over just to get a reading. If you want to be really clever install it in the bulb or in the hose leading to the bulb (details on how to do this in step 4.5)
so I little tip and the meter goes wild.Fully reassemble the case and probe
So here is the trick gather people around turn on the meter and investigate an area, Pull the trigger and lock it on by pressing in the black peg, squeeze the bulb every few seconds, probe and look around disappointed and bored for a while then point at some one or something with conviction and roll you shoulder back (or tilt the bulb) to trip the mercury switch and BAM! meter red lines a light starts to flash and you scream gagagaaGHOoooST!! It only takes the subtlest of movement to trip the mercury switch if you mount it right, you can find a sweet spot in the middle where the needle will jump back and forth and no one will really know what's happening cause you're not hitting any buttons you can make up all sorts of excuses as to what's causing it. Even hand them the Sniffer sling it on their shoulder just so
to prove you were not doing it .
Step 4 Complete!!!
I may take a bit to complete step 5 as I have to wait on the labels and figure out a good place to get them printed on foil. Hopefully this week I can put up a video of this in action and perhaps discuss different things one may need to remove from the different models to make it better match the 300.