AA/Diamond $20 Star Trek Communicator: modified with metal parts

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phase pistol

Master Member
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Edit: added video
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2AlS7-oQm0



OK. First impressions. NICE.

Except for the obvious painted plastic parts, very similar to the Star Trek Experience (Vegas) communicator. Lighter in weight.

The flipgrid IS metal. Painted a dark gold/bronze. The gridwheels and wires are narrower than on the MR and Vegas.

The moire IS motorized. Very dark though, hard to see. A little darker than the Vegas. Taking the comm apart reveals that the 2-part moire is printed very poorly, and the thin lines disappear entirely towards the center. This is why the pattern appears so vague.

The motor is louder than the Vegas, and "grinds".

The motor and lights go off after three minutes of having the comm open, to save battery power. The comm will "wake up" if you press either of the buttons.

All three comms share the same overall size, though the AA/DST gives the impression of being narrower in the face-on view. There is no separate midplate part; the midplate is molded into the front shell and painted silver.

There is NO call button on the back! Instead there is a "hailing function". You press the left control button, and the center red light starts flashing rapidly. If you flip the comm closed while in this mode, it will make the "boop boop!" hailing sound, and when you flip it open, Spock's voice says "Captain, should I beam down an armed party?" :D

If you press the left button a second time to turn off hailing function, the red light goes out and there will be no further effects after the comm is closed.

The right button randomly plays one of the other voice phrases (the box says "20 in all from Kirk, Spock, McCoy, Scotty and Uhura", but I don't hear any McCoy clips, and there aren't anywhere near 20 sounds in this thing... more research is needed.).

Press and hold the button to get all the phrases one after another.

The leftside yellow light blinks occasionally but I think this is just random. The blue light on the right stays lit constantly while the comm is open. It flashes when voice clips are played.

One gotcha with the lights, is that the entire light, including the "jewel" and the "bezel", is made from one piece of colored plastic. So when it lights up, the entire thing including bezel lights up in the color (shining thru the silver paint on the bezel).

The flipgrid as I say is metal, but the radius of the corners is too wide, giving the grid an overall too rounded look. The profile shape is not correct either, the angles are wrong. The gridwheels have a funky little "step" in them, to limit their travel when the lid is flipped back.

There is (amusingly) a large "do not throw in trash" icon stamped into the back shell. I suppose the comm is recyclable! :lol







 
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CessnaDriver

Master Member
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Re: AA/Diamond $20 Star Trek Communicator: photos, review, impressions

How does she sound?


I wonder how different the guts are from the STTE comm?
Thinking if swapping stuff to get the best of both might be possible.
 

d_jedi1

Sr Member
Re: AA/Diamond $20 Star Trek Communicator: photos, review, impressions

(slips into geek mode)


Ok, you KNOW that I'm going to buy at LEAST one!
It may not be perfect but it's not at all bad either :D


Once I have the Comm, all I need is a proper tricorder. Right now all I have is my old Playmates one.

Well, that and the one that came with the Playmates 1/6th scale Captain Pike I bought. (It's been modified since then)
http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o176/d_jedi1/6th scale/TrekGear001.jpg
It opens and closes now :D
http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o176/d_jedi1/6th scale/TrekGear002.jpg
http://i120.photobucket.com/albums/o176/d_jedi1/6th scale/TrekGear003.jpg
 

phase pistol

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: AA/Diamond $20 Star Trek Communicator: photos, review, impressions

The sound is a LOT better than the Vegas. That one sounded like it was recorded over a cell phone. :lol

The new AA is LOUD and a little harsh sounding. There doesn't seem to be
a "static/tuning" sound effect, only the various voices on the rightmost button. Pressing the button plays a voice randomly. Pressing and holding the button plays ALL the clips.

The left button is the "hailing" button. Pressing it will make the red light flash. If you close the comm with the haling function active, it will (after 5 seconds) sound the alert beep, and when you flip it open, Spock will say "Captain shall I beam down an armed party?" :D

The instructions say that the moire motor will spin continuously for three minutes and then go to sleep. Pressing either button will wake the comm up (which explains why the comm on display at the Toy Fair had a static moire... even if it were spinning, the motion is hard to see).

- k
 

wamser_e

Well-Known Member
Re: AA/Diamond $20 Star Trek Communicator: photos, review, impressions

Just pre-ordered one. Newforce says they should be getting their first shipment this week. Can't wait to get one of these babies.
 

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phase pistol

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: AA/Diamond $20 Star Trek Communicator: photos, review, impressions

Yeah the Playmates tricorder is a little... let's see, how to put this delicately... :confused

"Stupid". :lol



BUT, the good news is that later this year Art Asylum Diamond Select is due to come out with a Tricorder to accompany the Phaser and communicator... and THAT one (we can only hope) will be close to the correct size). And will retail for $30! :D

- k
 

phase pistol

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: AA/Diamond $20 Star Trek Communicator: photos, review, impressions

So right now as it stands, for $60 retail, you can score a phaser and communicator combo that are not only a blast to play with, but would look great as-is with any costume. To do any better you'd have to spend hundreds more!



Best. Toys. Ever. :D
 

TOSPHASER

Sr Member
Re: AA/Diamond $20 Star Trek Communicator: photos, review, impressions

Wow! great review!!!.............
works for me, better than I thought :love $20.00 is good too.....and way better than the old playmates! time to smooth out the shell, grind off the buttons and glue on t-jets, add real t-jets for bezels and jewels! a tweek here and a grind there!.........one to keep, one to mod, and one to gut!!! :lol :thumbsup
 

phase pistol

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: AA/Diamond $20 Star Trek Communicator: photos, review, impressions

As to the interchangeability of parts, I'd say "probably, with caveats".

Here I've taken the backs off. The STTE Vegas back actually does fit onto the AA comm! The screw heads are flat and wide on the Vegas, and domed and smaller on the AA, but the threading seems to be the same.

However the AA back does not have a callback button. So when you put the STTE back on the AA, there's the big open "delta insignia" shaped hole where the call button would be.

The AA back didn't easily screw down onto the Vegas, and one obvious reason would be the call button. But I didn't want to force it and break anything, so I wasn't realaly trying.

The plastic shells of the two comms seem nearly identical, with the same thinkness and texture. The AA is not as godawful shiny as the Vegas though.




 

Vaderman

Sr Member
Re: AA/Diamond $20 Star Trek Communicator: photos, review, impressions

Okay, where to buy for $20?
I think someone had posted a pre-order link before that I can't find....
:D
 

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Howard

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: AA/Diamond $20 Star Trek Communicator: photos, review, impressions

I've got two on order - one's going to have its shell sanded smooth.

Thanks for the A1 (as always) review Karl. :thumbsup
 

Funky

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: AA/Diamond $20 Star Trek Communicator: photos, review, impressions

I second that mans post! Fantastic review! (y)thumbsup:thumbsup
 

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MGC

Well-Known Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: AA/Diamond $20 Star Trek Communicator: photos, review, impressions

What's with the cut-out/hole on the right side of the case?

Great review, thanks!
 

Coz

Sr Member
Re: AA/Diamond $20 Star Trek Communicator: photos, review, impressions

Thanks for the rundown, Phase Pistol!

Frinky- I think the hole is for a battery saver tab, so people can play with the buttons of the comm without the moire spinning?
The AA Phaser 1 has a similar slot for the play-in-packaging feature.

Note to fellow UK propsters-
Play.com has these babies on preorder for £14.99! Freepost too. ;)

And for those weaponless away teams, the Phaser is £12.99.

C.
 
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Treadwell

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: AA/Diamond $20 Star Trek Communicator: photos, review, impressions

The slot in the side is for one of those tabs that are put in place for packaging in a "try me" mode. They always seem to put them in a rather conspicuous place. :(
 

phez

Sr Member
Re: AA/Diamond $20 Star Trek Communicator: photos, review, impressions

Great review, thanks. I just ordered a few. Can you tell if the antenna is made of brass under the paint or if it is some kind of pot metal. Also, I could not tell from the post, does it cherp when the grid is opened?

There is (amusingly) a large "do not throw in trash" icon stamped into the back shell. I suppose the comm is recyclable! :lol

:lol:lol:lol
I guess you could put velcro over it.
 

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