Ghostbusters Ghost Trap & Pedal


Active Member
Preface: As this is a copy & paste from another forum, I have referred directly to some Ghostbusters community members who won't be so well known here. I can elaborate on these citations if the need requires.

Part 1

Following Max Power and Filanderous posting a pair of excellent Trap Pedal builds, I finally felt the need to get my act together and get production started on my own. I'd had most of the neccesary parts gathered for the better part of a year, I finally took the plunge into putting the whole thing together, kicking off production on the 31st of last month, and placing orders for the few remaining pieces I needed. This build is intended to be pretty close to a Ghostbusters Ghost Trap Pedal, rather than the more well-documented Ghostbusters II pedal. I opted for the first movie design as the Trap I will eventually build will also be styled off of the one in the first movie, and I prefer most of the subtle elements the first pedal design featured.

Working from the base up, I set to work preparing the larger of the two project boxes so it would be attached to the main pedal plate. For this build I'd be using one of the aluminium plates from the short run AJ had sold through the store.

Measuring the box against the plate to ensure the bottom edges of both matched up, I then plotted a central line which I'd use to drill the holes for the mounting bolts.


It was here that I would be treated to a sneak preview of how difficult and unforgiving the aluminium would be to work with. 3-6mm isn't that much of a problem, but at over a centimeter thick, it made some of the more simple actions extremely difficult.


As shown in the first photo, I'd wanted to mount the project box useing three bolts, however, drilling into the side of the aluminium plate had proved to be tougher than expected, and so after quite a bit of drilling, and a multitude of metal slivers later, I had enough material removed to allow me to fit two cap-head screws in position, giving the box a tight fit, although at a slight angle which I'd end up having to solve at some point later.


With the larger plastic project box fitted, I turned my attention to the smaller metal one. Repeating my previous steps, I compared the bottom edges of the base plate and the project box, and then marked where to drill the second project box.


Similar to the previous project box, this one was also mounted to the baseplate with two fixings, however in this case they were a pair of bolts, rather than a pair of cap-head screws:


The fitting for the metal project box went somewhat easier, now that I had a bit of an idea of what I was going to be fighting with. Once I was satisfied with the fitting, I proceeded to drill the box so I could attach the Nycoil banjo and SMC Straight for the hoses (I would've preferred to have had a genuine Legris straight and banjo, but unfortunately due to their growing rarity, I had to opt for the most available alternative. Replacing the items for more era-accurate parts leaves things open for future improvements).


The fitting of the additional elements continued, with the installation of the light cover on the plastic project box:


As the Foster Quick Connect, 26 pin header and D-sub box hadn't yet arrived, there were no futher non-structural components to fit, so I returned to the structural side of things. Having been supplied with a pair of screws to mount the hing to the baseplate, I set to work drilling the baseplate. The drilling went smoothly, however test fitting the screws didn't go so well. Fitting one into position, I managed to shear the head clean off.


After a failed attempt to first try unscrew the broken section, and then drill it out, the only option I appeared to have was to move the mounging point slightly and drill the hole again. Having filed the broken screw down so it would no longer affect the hinge, I adjusted the placement of hinge to compensate... fortunately I'd only drilled one of the holes.

Once corrected, I then fitted the hinge with a pair of bolts, which resulted in a much more successful fitting:


Once finished, and satisfied with the result, I moved on to the genuine Vector Plate. Although I had resin ones, I opted to use the metal one because of the concern over the resin potentially breaking. Having measured the distance between the holes pre-drilled into the hinge, I plotted the position of where I'd be drilling in relation to the grooves on the upper side of the plate, and how far along it's length I'd need to drill it and have the components fit correctly.

I first drilled the holes large enough so that the machine screws would thread through the Vector Plate. Once satisfied with the fit, I counter-sunk the plates so the machine screws would fit near-flush with the ridges on the plate. Once the counter-sinking was finished, I assempled the hinge with the Vector Plate for fitting and hinge adjustment:






The final act of the last day of July would be to fit the SMC Straight into position on the metal project box.



The 31st had presented massive progress with the pedal build, and as I had August 1st off of work, I dedicated it to furthering the pedal assembly, especially as luck would have it, the D-Sub housing would arrive later that day.

Although the Nycoil Banjo had been fitted onto the project box, it was my plan to engineer it to avoid the problem of it rotating out of position, something I'd noticed occurring with some other pedal builds located in the fan build galleries.

The method to avoid this issue, or at least reduce it, would be to drill into the banjo and then screw a very small bolt into the underside (which would fit through a corresponding hole drilled into the box). It had been my intent to leave the head on the bolt, but unfortunately the restrictive interior of the project box made this impossible.


I eventually put this little detail aside to allow for a trip to B&Q, so I could install another detail that's visually interesting, but serves no purpose: the cap nut.

Although I'd purchased two sizes of cap nut (and bolts to fit them on), I found that the M6 sized pieces were more suitable for the pedal.

The pedal was drilled so that the M6 bolt could be fitted into place one it'd been cut to size and the head removed. Screwing the cap nut onto the end, I proceeded to saw off the extra material from the bolt, which the cap nut was removed from and then threaded onto the cut end. Once fitted in place, I used the cap nut to help me screw the rest of the bolt into the base of the pedal, helped along with a wrench.




Still concentrating on this end of the pedal, I proceeded to adjust the hinge with a pair of washers to try improve the clearance between the hinge and the baseplate.


With the work finished on the hinge (for the moment), I turned my attention to one half of a two-part problem: attaching the bellows.

Were the baseplate made from wood/MDF, I would've opted for a hole saw, but given the problems I'd already encountered with the aluminium, I didn't want to risk flying metal by trying to cut a channel into the baseplate for the bellows, so I opted for a different approach. Whilst at B&Q looking for some rubber feet for the pedal I'd seen a set of plastic caster cups that're used to prevent furniture with casters skidding across rooms with bare floorboards, and I'd purchased two sets of different-sized cups thinking they could be used to help mount the bellows to the baseplate, and maybe even the Vector Plate.

I proceeded to drill a hole through the centre of the caster cup, and then began working on drilling the hole to mount the caster cup in place.


It was around this time that the post had arrived, and I now had the D-Sub box, which I proceeded to start equipping to the metal project box. The method for mounting was directly inspired by Max's build, placing three machine screws through the plastic box into the metal project box, with at least one of the screws being used to eventually hold the ribbon cable in place.


With the box now mountable, I return to working on the caster cup. A sawn bolt was threaded through the caster cup, and then screwed into place.



Once fitted, the bellows was test fitted with the caster cup. Sadly it was a tad too large for the bellows to slip over (meaning that a smaller one should do the trick if you want to hide it inside the bellows), but despite it not being quite as screen accurate, the bellows did slip over a section of the caster cup, which appeared to be enough to hold it in place beneath the Vector Plate.



As the day wound down, there was enough time left to assemble the main components I had thus far, as well as close up the D-sub box.






My next day off from work, and I'd had another pleasent arrival in the post: the Octal Socket and accurate relay for the plastic project box. Having seen Max's method for fitting the octal socket, but not keen on drilling a large hole into the top of the box, I instead settled on removing most of the contacts from the socket, and drilling a set of small holes for the few I kept.

Starting with a single hole drilled into the top of the box, I then screwed the socket into position so I could plot the second hold I'd need to hold it securely.



Once the holes had been drilled, I removed the socket and proceeded to twist and remove all bar four of the contacts from the socket (for reference, once untwisted, push the contacts so they'll pop out through the top of the socket, DON'T pull them out through the bottom).


A set of corresponding holes were drilled into the box, and once I was happy with the placing, the socket was bolted into place and the socket fitted into position:




It'd only become apparant later that I'd mounted the octal socket the wrong way around.
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Part 2


Picking up where I left off in the last part, with the relay now mounted, I was free to start finishing off some of the other elements that give the Trap Pedal it's appearance.

Continuing to work on the Nycoil banjo, I finally managed to drill far enough to fit the bolt inside, however, unfortunately the hole that the bolt would be fitted through had drifted a little during the drilling process, so I had to take my miniature files to the metal project box:




The start of the weekend brought with it yet another arrival by post, a Multimediamayhem trap cable with Foster Quick Connects and Couplers. Now that I had the last remaining part I'd needed for the metal project box, it was promptly drilled and the coupler installed:


The weekend also allowed me to correct the orientation of the relay, now facing the correct way in order to recreate the look of a Ghostbusters Trap pedal.


It's here I'm reminded of the Mattel prop replica, it's the plastic sheen of the unpainted project box that reminds me of the inside walls of their cartridge and casing.

The next fix covered the hinge. I wasn't satisfied with how the hinge was shifting with the two washers, so taking a plate you'd commonly use to brace a split piece of wood, cut to size and with an extra hole drilled into it, I now had a rectangular spacer that should remove some of the flex in the joint:


A final bit of cosmetic work was to add a small washer to the light cap on the plastic project box, giving it more of the appearance of a linrose light (another potential update for the future, unless I decide to righ up some electronics to make the pedal light flash - I've had some thoughts on being able to add some lighting to the relay, but that's a theory for another time). With this final detail added for the day (and as things would work out, the weekend) I brought the pedal in and hooked up the cable colin had sent:






Thursday of last week marked the start of the final push with the arrival of tje recently-discovered 26 pin header as being the accurate choice for the pedal in the first movie. Repeating the process I'd used for the octal socket, I drilled one hole, fitted the header with one of the tiny bolts I'd been supplied with one of the 20 pin headers (so not completely useless now they've been discredited), and used the adjacent hole for the other bolt to sight my drill.


With the to-do list quickly narrowing down, I approached one of the build elements that I dreaded a little bit. Using a hole saw I'd cut out a section of MDF with the intent to mount it to the underside of the Vector Plate so that then the bellows could be slipped over it, and stay in place. The most obvious option to affix it, without requiring screws would've been to glue it on, however since the Proton Gun incident at the New Year's Day parade two years back, I want to try mount as many components with mechanical fixings as I can, within reason. Aside from anything else, I like the challenge of it.

Consulting my experience, there were three immediate options: Rivet the MDF on, bolt it on or screw it on.

Riveting was ruled out pretty quickly, as there don't appear to be rivets small enough to fit betwee the ridges of a Vector Plate, at least, none I came across. Bolts would've been the option, but I couldn't find any that seemed small enough to do the job.

This left screws, but I had no idea where to get ones small enough. That is, until I visited a dedicated DIY store that wasn't part of a major chain, and whilst locating a replacement 3mm drill, I found some rediculously small screws that, if lucky, would serve my needs in a pack that had been marked down in price by 50%. Subsequently I've found that the same screws can be found in mounting hooks for mirrors.


Marking the rough position for where the MDF plug would go, I proceeded to repeat the drilling method for the relay and header. I transposed the markings onto the top side of the Vector Plate so I knew roughly where to drill. I selected my second smallest drill piece to create the pilot hole, which I then widened by drilling up through the underside so it was wide enough to fit the tiny screw, but not to mangle the ridges on the top of the plate. I then drilled into the MDF, and then screwed the two elements together. Once satisfied with the position, I repeated the steps so that the second screw was installed.

The end effect even seems to mimic the Vector Plate on the Ghostbusters II Trap Pedal, which is probably how they held the bellows in place on the real prop.


Winding down for yet another night, I closed up the Vector Plate assembly to see how well the bellows fit over the MDF plug.



Finally, after waiting ages to finally break out the paints, I was able to get the ball rolling on readying the parts for the final assembly, starting with a course of primer, a layer of Audi Silver spraypaint, and then my old favourite from the Proton Pack build: Halfords Matte Black.




As the paint dried, I dug out the last few components for the build which'd help to add colour the pedal, the hoses. Originally I'd planned to drill two slanted shafts into the base, but after the experiences I'd had drilling into the aluminium base, I did not wish to undertake the effort, especially if the holes ended up being too visable, so I started to wonder about alternative methods for hiding the ends of the hoses... a number of days before the final push I'd thought of an idea, and now I finally put it into practice. Drilling two holes into the caster cup, I was presented with something that not only tidied away the hoses from view... but in extension of that, presented something that looked like it was a part of the mechanical workings of the trap... the end result you'll see in a few photo's time.


Keeping the creativity going, my attention turned to the D-sub connector box. In the same topic that discussed some of the finer differences between the two pedal props (and was where the correct 26 pin header was deduced), the posted shot of the pedal appeared to reveal that there was no card edge connector fitted to the D-sub box, unlike on the Ghostbusters II pedal. I'd seen a couple of builds where they left off the edge connector, but I wasn't happy with leaving the space exposed and seemingly unfinished. I can't say for certain this is what was used on the real prop, but it looked like there was a small bit of plastic closing the gap in the D-sub connector, so I opted to create something similar to how I'd interpretted this element of the prop.

Taking one of the potting boxes I'd bought from Maplin Electronic for the Error Box on my Belt Gizmo build, one of the smallest boxes Maplin sells, I cut a scaled piece from the box (which happaned to be the right thickness to fit between the clips on the two halves of the D-sub connector) and proceeded to drill it 6 times, once to fit one of the D-sub fitting screws so that the plastic would be held in place, and the other five to eventually create a channel through with the ribbon cable would be fed.

Here's the end result:



The effect is simple, but tidies the visible end of the ribbon cable up nicely. The fully assembled D-sub, with the new plastic facing will crop up after a couple of photos.

As promised, however, is the hose/caster cup setup, fitted onto the newly painted pices:


During the painting process, I'd masked off a section of the underside of the base in order to apply the rubber laptop feet that I'd been directed to by Mark Lloyd, fitting them in a configuration suggested by Stefan's unfinished Ghost Trap and pedal plans (a shame they'll go uncompleted, and don't have an underside view).


With the ribbon wire fed through the cut piece of plastic, and bolted in position within the D-sub connector, similar to the method Max Power used, the final assembly began:

In making the 26 pin header more accurate, I stipped out some of the brass contacts and folded down some of the others from the "rear" of the header in order to conceal them from view:


The assembled D-sub connector with scratch made cover:





Despite a slight bit of realisation that I might not have had any zip ties to finish the ribbon cable, I managed to locate a couple of an appropriate size amongst my stock of DIY odds and ends:


As has now become accustomed, the day ended with some more beauty shots of the pedal, including the applications of the side sticker on the plastic project box, and the circuit diagram on the metal one:





The final touch, which I'd forgotten about until reviewing the pedal discussion topic this morning, was the label that was applied to the top of the relay:


And finally, a parting shot with the original display model Trap nick-a-tron build when he advertised his original resin kit:


This was without a great prop to work on, and is one of the creations I'm most proud of. I'm definitely glad I bought the aluminium Trap Pedal base when I did, but it was definitely a son of a ***** to work with. Without a doubt the wooden bases that are available in the shop these days will be easier to work with... and as I bought one in case things didn't work out with the wooden one, I may just end up building another Trap Pedal in the future.

I'm also glad I was able to get a real metal Vector Plate... but it's a shame they're so scarce these days as I don't feel the resin ones will be able to survive prolongued use with the force normally applied to "activate" the pedal.

The sources for the parts are as follows, items that are no longer carried by their respective sellers will be marked as such:

Aluminium Trap Pedal base - Sold out.
Metal Project Box
Plastic Project Box
Octal Socket
Light cover
D-Sub connector
26 pin header
26 pin connector
Ribbon cable

SMC Straight
Trap cable with Foster Couplers and Quick Connects
Red and yellow hosing

The Nycoil Banjos were from gb_dan. Unfortunately as it's been so long, I cannot recall where I got the stickers and Vector Plate from. If I'm not mistaken, I got the decal transfers from PeteVenkman_Jedi.

That concludes the Trap Pedal build. There's room for future modification if the urge strikes me, but I'm still very happy with the existing result.
Part 1

Although I'm only just now posting the first updates on my first Ghost Trap build, the parts and process have been active for about two weeks now... I just felt that unlike a number of my build logs of late, you'd much prefer not to see yet another stage of cutting out the various panels from MDF, and so I skipped to the point where I had some elements assembled. The plan for this build, like the pedal, is to closely emulate the Ghost Traps from Ghostbusters.

This is going to be a small first update, but here's where things stand:

I currently have the two pieces that comprise the base roughly cut out, they need a little bit of fine-tuning with a file/sandpaper, but otherwise they're about right. For this build I'm primarily working from Sean Bishop's plans, but I've tried to fill some of the missing measurements with the other plans that are currently available.


The Trap casing is largely assembled, the left side as we can see it has been fitted with the side plate for testing, and the right side will eventually be given the same treatement. Thankfully the gouges that are visible will be sorted out with body filler.


The doors have been cut out, and are simply waiting to be drilled so they can be hinged. Because they're based on Sean's plans, they only have the extruded section for the hinge mechanism at one end.


At the start of work today I had the beginnings of the Trap Cartridge gathered, the prime focuse for today's efforts would be to cut and assemble the main body of the Cartridge.


I'd also had the base and top of the battery compartment cut out. It's my intent to try wrap a sheet of aluminium around the two so that it'll form the outside wall of the battery. Failing this, I'll substitute the aluminium for acrylic.


Once the second side wall for the Cartridge had been cut out I marked the locations of both walls on the front and rear pieces of the cartidge in order to site the spots that I'd drill them and the side walls for the screws. The Cartridge definitely looks a little rough here, but once the top panel has been attached, and with some bondo, it should clean up nicely.


With the four walls of the Cartridge assembled, I took the opportunity to slide the Cartridge in place in the casing.


Which I then took the opportunity to "build it up" a little so that I could put the doors roughly in place.


In addition to this MDF build, I'm also planning on attemping a Trap build in acrylic.
Part 2

Having assembled the main structure of the Trap Cartridge, I'd planned to fashion the ears for the doors out of a separate piece which I'd then fit between the side and rear wall of the existing assembly, but it would appear that I'd managed to muck up my sums when cutting the side walls, so I ditched the old rear wall, replacing it with a new one, complete with ears:


It was during this period that I also took the opportunity to install the base of the Cartridge:


With the base installed, I set up another test assemble of the cartridge and the various components of it that I'd finished.




The assembly revealed that due to the height of the walls in relation to the top panel of the Trap, the doors now sat higher that they aught to, and ran the risk of not fitting on the ears correctly.



I hadn't been terribly happy about a number of elements concerning how the cartridge went together, so I tore it apart and started over, only retaining the front and rear walls. The end result of the second build has, in my mind come off a lot neater. Additionally I resized the side walls to include the top panel so that it'd sit more flush with the front and rear walls.



I also redid the base, allowing it to sit more flush with the bottom edges of the side walls.


Thanks to the rebuild, the doors now sit in a more accurate location in relation to the "ears".




After mulling it over, I eventually decided to correct the doors so they'd be screen accurate:


With the doors finished, I set to work cutting the Indicator Blocks. Although not shown here, they will be filed down at one end to match the incline of the back section of the Front Indicator:


With the Indicator Blocks finished, I set to work crafting the Front Indicator. For this build I decided to do a bit of experimentation, building a solid Indicator, as well as building a hollow one.


With three layers of 1cm thick MDF glued together and slowly drying, I crafted two side blocks for the indicator, modifying the measurements to account for the thickness of the material I'd be attaching to them:



As the glue continued to dry, I took the opportunity to drill the front ends of the doors so I could fit the 2mm diameter brass rod that would allow them to pivot. Drilling the doors for the brass, and the eventual socket head screws was bad enough, I'm probably going to be sweating bullets when it comes to drilling the Indicator Blocks so that the doors sit straight.


It's funny how with the introduction of a few pieces, it's suddenly incredibly easy to see what the whole jumble of pieces is recreating:


By the end of Monday night, this was the current status of the Trap (with front indicator plate included to ensure there was enough space for it to fit).





After getting home from work on Tuesday, my attention turned to one of the elements I'd been putting off working on, the metal track that would allow the Cartridge to slide in and out of the casing. With a selection of extruded aluminium with differing widths (1cm, 2cm, 2.5cm, 3cm, 4cm) that I'd gotten from B&Q and Isaac Lord, I assembled the components into a close approximation of the track present in the hero Trap from Ghostbusters:


The combined pieces were then assembled in a rough rectangle and taped together in an attempt to cut them in as uniform a length as possible, rather than cut them individually. The experiement was somewhat successful, but was incredibly tiring:



The cut pieces, all layed out:


With the pieces cut, they were slotted together and placed inside the casing to test the placement, and to see how they affected the height of the Cartridge:



Once I was satisfied with the result, all of the pieces were taped together in preparation for the drilling stage.


Using the pattern of the screws seen on the real prop, I plotted the positions for the 11 separate drilling points:



Unfortunately, drilling the combined plates did not work out as well as I'd hoped, leading to scrapping the entire track and starting over, with decidedly better results:


Rather than drilling all the pieces at once, the track was broken into it's three main components, the two side rails and central section. The components for the side rails were drilled together so that when assembled, the holes would be level on each side of the track.



With the holes drilled, the aluminium was then separated from itself and rearranged into the order in which it would be stacked when fully installed. Missing from the arrangement were the base pieces for the side rails, which had come about due to cutting the pieces too short, and not having enough aluminium left to remake them.




The main aim of today was to gather additional supplies including the missing aluminium. With the material acquired, I reinstated the missing sections of the track:



The result still isn't as neat as I'd like, but it's worked out better than the first attempt.

Tomorrow's planned work will probably cover assembling the hollow Front Indicator, as well as starting to prep the casing and Cartridge of the trap for installation of the track.

In addition to that, I'll be remaking the top and bottom pieces of the Battery, and they're too short for the Ghostbusters style Trap.
Sadly this will be the last update before Halloween. With the Ghostbusters re-release on the horizon, I need to devote some time to performing a few fixes to my Proton Pack and Proton Gun.

Part 3

The first section of work ended up being something quite different to the previously-billed developments of the front indicator and battery.

Selecting an appropriately-sized piece of MDF, the raised portion of the Trap Cartridge was cut to size and positioned as best as I could.


Which was promptly glued...


And drilled, to remove the excess material:



Having reached a good break point with the top of the Catridge the day before, I used the brief amount of time I had on Tuesday to perform a bit of work on the front indicator:



Moving on but still concentrating on the front end of the cartridge, I crafted the two blocks which would bookend the front indicator:





Due to a change in shift pattern at work, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays have become less productive, as I often get home at 9:40. Thankfully, Thursday prooved to be quite productive, as I turned my mind to one of the many parts involved in allowing the Cartridge to slide into the Casing, the D-sub connector.


After a bit of adjustment on the height of the hole, I managed to get the connector to slide in snugly without the MDF crushing it (and this is probably the only circumstance where I'll get to say "the MDF crushed" anything).




With the D-sub sorted, I returned (briefly) to the track for the Casing/rail for the Catridge.


Before getting a bit obsessed with the cosmetic plating:




Keeping my mind on the front plate, thanks to the arrival of some parts through the post, I decided to get some progress reached with the front plate and it's knobs:




I know these may be a bit inaccurate, but in the absense of any decent into on the round ones, and limited intel on the rectangular ones, I opted for knobs that best fit what I could see of the screen-used ones.

And the backing MDF panel:


I couldn't resist the temptation to install it on the Cartridge so I could do another "pimp shot".



Having already produced one set of Indicator Blocks, I wound up making a second set after realising that I'd cut them too short for the Ghostbusters indicator. (I would go on to produce a third set from plywood after the MDF blocks disintegrated when I drilled them for the socket-head screws):




Once finished, they were promptly installed on the indicator:





Frustrated at my own procrastination with the track and rail, I finally took some time to make some significant headway. Over the course of the afternoon and evening of the 24th, I widened the holes that'd been drilled into the extruded aluminium, and countersunk them so that the machine screws would sit as flush as possible.


The countersinking still needs a bit of tweaking, but the bulk of the job was now done.

I sorely wished someone had offered a laser-cut set of these.



Due to it being a work day on the 27th, I was only able to get a little bit of work done, but now I could mount the track to the casing, and with luck, position the cartridge so I could site the D-sub connector without it veering too far off-centre:



With the track now installed, it was time to install the rail on the underside of the cartridge:





And that concludes Part 3. Hopefully in early November I'll be resuming this project... I'm also hopeful that my work hours will be changed back to a more accomodating arrangement... meaning that I can make better use of the evenings as a prop-building period.
Wow, stumbled upon this thread by doing a search on "Mattel Ghost Trap". Incredible work! I'll certainly follow this thread to follow the progress.
I'm hoping to kick this back into production early next year, I would've resumed in November but other projects screamed for priority and I had to put it on the back burner.
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