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  1. Member Since
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    Jan 30, 2009, 10:43 AM - sliders timer prop #1

    hey guys, just moved in not to long ago and i am a big fan of sliders so if anyone of you can help me i need some. i am tryin to create the circuits for the original timer prop from the show, and i need the schematics and the layout of the circuit board for it i got a program that allows me to order custom circuit boards so i need the schematics to make it and order it. if you want the link it is www.expresspcb.com, well thanks for lookin.
  2. Member Since
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    Jan 30, 2009, 3:36 PM - Re: sliders timer prop #2

    I'm also quite interested. The Sliders scene seems to be a bit small though. There are a few people selling, but no one talking.

    I've spent some time thinking about how to do it with the help of a few great resources. I think the biggest problem is that one needs to know how to program. I'm thinking of grabbing and Arduino (a popular chip programmer) and trying my hand at it. Bells and whistles aside, the electronics are actually quite simple (counter, some lights, and on off switch).

    I'd been trying to form a group to work on building timers, but it didn't take off. Now that Reg opened for RPF (the greatest site around may I add), the propsects might be more likely.

    With that, would you like to compare notes with me? Get the ball rolling and all.
  3. Member Since
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    Jan 31, 2009, 7:42 AM - Re: sliders timer prop #3

    yeah, that would be great i really dont have the proper schematics for the circuit boards, i have been diggin on the net to try and find them though.what is this group though i would like to join.
    ScooterinAB said: View Post
    I'm also quite interested. The Sliders scene seems to be a bit small though. There are a few people selling, but no one talking.

    I've spent some time thinking about how to do it with the help of a few great resources. I think the biggest problem is that one needs to know how to program. I'm thinking of grabbing and Arduino (a popular chip programmer) and trying my hand at it. Bells and whistles aside, the electronics are actually quite simple (counter, some lights, and on off switch).

    I'd been trying to form a group to work on building timers, but it didn't take off. Now that Reg opened for RPF (the greatest site around may I add), the propsects might be more likely.

    With that, would you like to compare notes with me? Get the ball rolling and all.
    Last edited by sliderguy67; Jan 31, 2009 at 8:17 AM.
  4. Member Since
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    Feb 1, 2009, 12:16 PM - Re: sliders timer prop #4

    I'm inspired by some old stories over on GBFans about the community getting together to establish a lot of fan resources for other builders. In fact, the reason I started with a GB costume was because it was so well documented. Star Wars is also well documented, but I don't have a sewing machine.

    Basically, I just want to get a bunch of people who are interested in putting together some timers. I'm a big fan of "open source", so I think such a group should openly present what it's doing.

    I'm thinking that if we get a couple of people involved we can hit the ground running. A few things I've identified that need to be done are these:
    -Someone who can program an IC
    -Someone who can put together a circuit diagram (possible the same person)
    -Someone who can work on large pieces (like the front plate of the Egyptian, and the display and emitter block for the Original). Basically, someone with a small shop, tools, etc.
    -Someone who can work on small parts (perhaps resin casting what is hard to get) like the Original dial, emitters, buttons, etc.

    I'd wouldn't mind taking a crack at the smaller parts (I have some leads already, and some basic sculpting skils). I'm also curious about chip programming, although my knowledge is at zero right now. I'm doing this all out of my apartment right now, so large parts are generally out of the question.

    What do you think? You in? Should we make a post looking for circuit people? any other ideas for who can help?
  5. silverskyes402's Avatar
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    Feb 1, 2009, 12:33 PM - Re: sliders timer prop #5

    Ive built a custom electronics board for my original timer I got from Thermal/Mike, it was pretty basic though cause I know nothing about programing and as much as I try to learn it just doesent work with me, exoray is or was working on the boards for thermals timer, i'm not sure how far he got but his work is excellent, he is a master of everything electronic, maybe he'll chime in and help!
  6. Member Since
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    Feb 1, 2009, 12:54 PM - Re: sliders timer prop #6

    heck yeah i am interested in that. shoot i was thumbin through the old posts and found a link to a site that has a crystal triangle shaped magnifyer that could work as the emmitter for the original timer and i have recently purchased on ebay a couple of items that yall might like. the egyptian timer, thought the scarab isn't like the original one though and i also bought a replica of the rickman timer that was incomplete and i am hoping to get to work on those as soon as i get back state side here in a couple of days

    here are some pics of the rickman timer. the rickman timer is not to scale, but i am hoping to create the proper size circuits for it and all to get the bargrahs and the flashing leds installed on it. i currrently dont have any pics of my egyptian timer though, i will try and get som posted soon. it is pretty much the same as the one that you had up for sale silver only mine is static and i need the circuits for it
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  7. Member Since
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    Feb 1, 2009, 1:06 PM - Re: sliders timer prop #7

    I wouldn't mind seeing what you've got Silver. Anything is a step forward.

    As for the actual electronic part (for a finished product), it's to be decided if we should go programmed (which would be ideal), or shoot a little lower (more attainable).
  8. silverskyes402's Avatar
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    Feb 1, 2009, 1:19 PM - Re: sliders timer prop #8

    I was checking out that rickmen timer on eBay also, almost bought it, seemed like a cool little project!!! I don't have pics I can upload right now cause I'm working off my iPhone, but if you use the search on the board and search sliders timer my piece will pop up with some cool pics, I actually had to sell it awhile ago for financial matters, still kicking myself, it's one of my holy Grail props!!!
  9. Member Since
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    Feb 1, 2009, 1:25 PM - Re: sliders timer prop #9

    yeah, i noticed that it had a pretty good replica of the scarab on the bottom of it. this guy that i bought it from is a great guy, he was also the on that i purchased my static egyptian timer from. here is the link for the crystal for the original timer emmitter

    http://www.independentliving.com/pro...?number=104012
    Last edited by sliderguy67; Feb 1, 2009 at 1:42 PM.
  10. exoray's Avatar
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    Feb 1, 2009, 2:33 PM - Re: sliders timer prop #10

    silverskyes402 said: View Post
    exoray is or was working on the boards for thermals timer, i'm not sure how far he got but his work is excellent, he is a master of everything electronic, maybe he'll chime in and help!
    Mine will happen it's just a matter of time... I have a lot on my bench and my New Years resolution was to get the damn bench empty of started products, and so far it's actually working some projects have already been wrapped up and others are coming together as I type...

    The Sliders time electronics are on that list and God willing will be done this year, hopefully sooner then later...
  11. Member Since
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    Feb 2, 2009, 12:12 PM - Re: sliders timer prop #11

    well exoray that would be cool, can you post up some of the pics of the housing and all that you are using as a base to scale the size of the circuit boards off of, that would be so awsome. well i got a little while to go until i am back home from iraq and i can't wait to get started on my timers that i got started on some time ago. well gotta go for now


    see ya in another dimension
  12. Harbinger's Avatar
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    Feb 2, 2009, 6:55 PM - Re: sliders timer prop #12

    ScooterinAB said: View Post
    I'm also quite interested. The Sliders scene seems to be a bit small though. There are a few people selling, but no one talking.

    I've spent some time thinking about how to do it with the help of a few great resources. I think the biggest problem is that one needs to know how to program. I'm thinking of grabbing and Arduino (a popular chip programmer) and trying my hand at it. Bells and whistles aside, the electronics are actually quite simple (counter, some lights, and on off switch).

    I'd been trying to form a group to work on building timers, but it didn't take off. Now that Reg opened for RPF (the greatest site around may I add), the propsects might be more likely.

    With that, would you like to compare notes with me? Get the ball rolling and all.
    It would be great if someone with electronics knowledge could make a board or kit so that we could make our own. It would even nicer if whoever did that would make them available fairly inexpensively. It seems as if most people who do these end up selling completed units only, and for (what I consider as) astronomical prices. There's no way I could ever spend, or justify spending, $7-800 on one! Not that I'm against capitalism, mind you...
  13. exoray's Avatar
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    Feb 2, 2009, 8:13 PM - Re: sliders timer prop #13

    sliderguy67 said: View Post
    well exoray that would be cool, can you post up some of the pics of the housing and all that you are using as a base to scale the size of the circuit boards off of
    It's one of Thermal's shells, it's a casting off the real phone so dimensions will be equal to that of the real deal...
  14. Member Since
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    Feb 4, 2009, 5:27 AM - Re: sliders timer prop #14

    hey exoray that is cool, how much did you have to pay for the housing. i bought a couple of the old motorola microtac cell phones on ebay not to long ago so i hope that i can get me a working one running when i get home. well i gotta go
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    Feb 5, 2009, 11:38 AM - Re: sliders timer prop #15

    Harbinger said: View Post
    It would be great if someone with electronics knowledge could make a board or kit so that we could make our own. It would even nicer if whoever did that would make them available fairly inexpensively. It seems as if most people who do these end up selling completed units only, and for (what I consider as) astronomical prices. There's no way I could ever spend, or justify spending, $7-800 on one! Not that I'm against capitalism, mind you...
    That's my whole outlook on prop building as well. Although these electronics kits are well made, and I realize the folks need to make a profit, I don't see how a fairly simple kit can run several hundred dollars.

    Again, the key here is a programmed chip. I understand that the actual electronic part is fairly simply. But it's the programming that I think is stopping people.
  16. exoray's Avatar
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    Feb 5, 2009, 12:34 PM - Re: sliders timer prop #16

    ScooterinAB said: View Post
    I don't see how a fairly simple kit can run several hundred dollars.
    Because it's not "fairly simple" there is much involved that you don't see or take into consideration on the surface... Mostly because you probably don't have any first hand knowledge of what is involved in creating the design from scratch, and taking it to production...

    In short time is money, and when you are looking at low volume runs you have to pass that time onto a small number of people... A project like this will consume 100s of hours before it's done... And there are tooling and setup cost that also have to be passed onto the small number of people...

    The problem is as a world we are spoiled by cheap mass produced electronics, I am to... There is simply no way a hobbiest like me can even come close to mass produced prices, it can't be done... And like you it frustrates me, but there isn't anything I can do about it...
  17. RPF Premium Member
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    Feb 5, 2009, 12:42 PM - Re: sliders timer prop #17

    If it were fairly simple more people would have one. Electronics is challenging and my hats off to people who can program their own.
  18. Member Since
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    Feb 5, 2009, 9:50 PM - Re: sliders timer prop #18

    I don't understand how the electronics could be easy and the programming be the hard part? I'm just a little curious, how could you have experience with LED drivers and not have experience loading data onto them? I'm assuming everyone is talking about connecting a microcontroller to a register-latch-driver and then to the LED displays. If not, is there some other way you were planning on setting up the electronics?

    I haven't seen an episode of sliders in almost a decade, but looking at the videos it doesn't look like it would require much programming. There may be some complexity depending on if the LEDs are multiplexed and what kind of microcontroller is used. It just depends on what kind of trade-offs you're willing to live with.


    Edit: Rereading my post it kind of sounds like I'm a know it all jerk. Without knowing much about what everyone's experience level is it kind of sounds like the coding complexity may be overestimated and the electronics simplicity underestimated.
    Last edited by jgage; Feb 5, 2009 at 10:03 PM. Reason: I'm a know it all jerk who kicks kittens for fun.
  19. exoray's Avatar
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    Feb 6, 2009, 12:39 AM - Re: sliders timer prop #19

    jgage said: View Post
    I don't understand how the electronics could be easy and the programming be the hard part? I'm just a little curious, how could you have experience with LED drivers and not have experience loading data onto them? I'm assuming everyone is talking about connecting a microcontroller to a register-latch-driver and then to the LED displays. If not, is there some other way you were planning on setting up the electronics?
    And if you know how to cut wood and nail you can build a house right?

    I'm not saying it overly complicated, but it's not as easy as it might appear on the surface...

    The coding is the coding, if you know what you are doing, sure it's straight forward... Same with the electronics... But, neither are a drop in the bucket and easy, they both provide a pretty sizable challenge in this case... And don't forget the most important issue, it all needs to fit in a few square inches of space...
  20. Member Since
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    Feb 6, 2009, 12:51 AM - Re: sliders timer prop #20

    exoray said: View Post
    And if you know how to cut wood and nail you can build a house right?

    I'm not saying it overly complicated, but it's not as easy as it might appear on the surface...
    I'm just saying that everyone that I know that knows enough about digital circuits to be able to build this also know how to write embedded code.

    I have experience driving LED displays from a tight space so I know the amount of work involved. That's why I think it's strange that it sounds like the electronics are being trivialized in this discussion, but the code side is being made out to be some impossible task. From my perspective they are both roughly equal amounts of effort.
  21. silverskyes402's Avatar
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    Feb 6, 2009, 12:55 AM - Re: sliders timer prop #21

    And trust me, he's not kidding about the few square inches of space, the inside of thermals timer is small small small
  22. exoray's Avatar
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    Feb 6, 2009, 1:12 AM - Re: sliders timer prop #22

    jgage said: View Post
    From my perspective they are both roughly equal amounts of effort.
    Yes, they are...

    There are 9 seven segment displays, that is 63 channels right there to control... And there is another 20+ LEDs left to control, and a few buttons...

    In the end you have to design a circuit and code that has independent control of almost 100 channels to do this right...

    And trust me, he's not kidding about the few square inches of space, the inside of thermals timer is small small small
    Even smaller once you place the obligatory 9 seven segment displays in there, and a power source...
  23. Member Since
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    Feb 6, 2009, 8:41 AM - Re: sliders timer prop #23

    exoray said: View Post
    Yes, they are...

    There are 9 seven segment displays, that is 63 channels right there to control... And there is another 20+ LEDs left to control, and a few buttons...

    In the end you have to design a circuit and code that has independent control of almost 100 channels to do this right...

    Even smaller once you place the obligatory 9 seven segment displays in there, and a power source...
    That really depends on the trade offs that you're willing to live with. If you're willing to mux the outputs at 14x8, that's assuming you tie two segments together, then you're really only talking about 22 channels. That would require the least amount of work if you're willing to live with a slight flicker. The flicker can be minimized with a high enough refresh rate.
  24. exoray's Avatar
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    Feb 6, 2009, 12:28 PM - Re: sliders timer prop #24

    jgage said: View Post
    then you're really only talking about 22 channels.
    No, you are then using 22 outputs and PoV to control the 100+ channels, you still need to control the same number of channels you just reduced the number of output lines used to accomplish the control...
  25. Member Since
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    Feb 6, 2009, 12:54 PM - Re: sliders timer prop #25

    exoray said: View Post
    No, you are then using 22 outputs and PoV to control the 100+ channels, you still need to control the same number of channels you just reduced the number of output lines used to accomplish the control...
    I think that's just arguing semantics. To me channel does not mean LED segment.

    I seriously think it shouldn't be too hard to fit a pair of A6276 surface mount drivers and a small uC into the prop. I could design a simple circuit and write the code just to have something out there as a starting point.

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