Honey I Shrunk The Kids SHRINK RAY

protonpack

New Member
May I present the Spectra-Physics 106-1 20mW Helium Neon Laser:

BDOVgyN.jpg


I believe I've found the laser. It took a while of searching through "vintage laser" on eBay until I found a Spectra-Physics one, and saved the search. A broken one popped up last summer, but sold before I could make a decision (it was like $400 and I would get two other broken and inaccurate lasers along with it). But, I now had the model number! I had found a different website selling them, but they will only sell to businesses, schools, organizations, and government agencies. And I'm not any of those. So I sat. And waited. And then a working one popped up in the search I had saved for the model number! This one I jumped on immediately. When it arrived from Europe, I discovered that not only was the plug the wrong type (type J instead of type B), but it needed 230VAC to power the power supply! So I had to order a step-up transformer. And when that arrived and I could finally test it, nothing. It didn't turn on. Turns out it was just a blown fuse in the power supply, so $2.25 later it now works! All the stickers match the one in the film, and the main info sticker is a spot on match to what I can see. And it matches the matte section on the rear of the laser.

gqUNH60.png

2RaV68W.jpg



Next, I should try to find the bezel that's attached to the aperture in the film:

vuO5ESm.png
 

RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
Another quick update!

May I present the Laser That Is Totally Not a PVC pipe:
20210419_133336.jpg

OK, part of that statement may be inaccurate, but at least I can run it off of 5v dc!

Secondly, I got the nozzles lights hooked up and programmed, seen here interfacing with a 10k pot to influence the chase speed:


Next update : fun with friction, or: how I burned off my fingertips with hot aluminum this weekend.
 
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RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
Latest and greatest from the weekend!

The nozzle assembly is now fully put together, and many of the various nurnies and whatnot are actually attached - it's still not permanently affixed to the machine, and won't be until I drill holes for all 9 million capacitors and mount them. Whomever follows my path and embarks upon this quest will have to pass through the valley of torment which shall heretofore be called The Painting of the Capacitors, which took an entire Saturday and approximately an entire season of Cowboy Bebop to achieve.

The next challenges involve electronics implementation in such a way as to not burn down the house.

Here, have some pictures. I swear I actually possess a tape measure, and, believe it or not, I have occasionally used it:

20210503_131431.jpg

20210503_131439.jpg


Some items of interest:
- made a bracket for the plastic "box" piece so it wouldn't bulge outward. I did this by hacking away at a piece of aluminum stock, and then managed to torch my fingertips by forgetting the laws of thermodynamics and handling said aluminum while it was still approximately 5000 degrees.

- I found a great fan in my junk bin that will run off of 12v dc - I wired it to my bench supply to test it; it fired right up; the vibrations it made shook it off the counter, onto the floor, where it broke into about 9,420 pieces.

- the "pvc laser" is now finally attached to the machine in a way that won't fall to pieces with a sideways glance:
20210503_131417.jpg



- the heat sink I 3d printed - which is only half the overall heat sink - took a whopping 48 hours to finish. 2 subsequent attempts to print the other half have ended in catastrophe (re: the print attempts and along with them my monthly electrical bill).

20210428_132329.jpg


I'm eager to get the electronics together, so our kitchen table can be used for less conventional things, like meals.
 

lipo1117

New Member
RagnarokandRoll, the machine looks amazing! I can't wait to see how the finished product would look like.

On another note, does anyone know where the shrinking sound effect is from? I've heard it before in a scene from Tron so it must not be unique to HISTK.
 

RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
RagnarokandRoll, the machine looks amazing! I can't wait to see how the finished product would look like.

On another note, does anyone know where the shrinking sound effect is from? I've heard it before in a scene from Tron so it must not be unique to HISTK.
Thanks!! It's getting close!

I'm a sound designer by trade so I could look into this. Typically sounds of this nature are constructed via many different layers, and I recall from memory the shrinking machine's "zap" featuring a few different elements, so it might not be as simple as finding a 1:1 usage somewhere else. It's more likely that one or more of the elements used in HISK were also used in Tron since some of their elements might be from the same library (both of them being Disney films).

Speaking of sound I always thought it was funny and a bit strange that the machine sort of "honks" like a truck as it's winding down after shrinking something / detonating fruit. It's an interesting, idiosyncratic sound and I've always wondered what the internal logic was that motivated the choice..
 
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JediMichael

Master Member
So many awesome projects here on the RPF, I always miss these crazy awesome ones like this til either too late and they are years old, or pretty late in the game.
That shrink ray is so well made I think I would be afraid to stand in front of it.
About 2 weeks ago I was just editing scenes from HISTK for a project. The movie still holds up so well for today even if some of the effects are a bit older looking compared to todays.
Love it!
 

RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
So many awesome projects here on the RPF, I always miss these crazy awesome ones like this til either too late and they are years old, or pretty late in the game.
That shrink ray is so well made I think I would be afraid to stand in front of it.
About 2 weeks ago I was just editing scenes from HISTK for a project. The movie still holds up so well for today even if some of the effects are a bit older looking compared to todays.
Love it!

Cool can't wait to see it, this is really coming together, well done.

Thanks you guys!!
 

RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
Another update!

The last stages of this project are moving at a glacial pace. However, I was able to get a few more things accomplished, some successfully, others not.

Here's a couple of pics:
20210525_213618.jpg

- I started final assembly of the electronics, which I only vaguely understand. You cant see it in the images, but the other side of the machine is a veritable rat's nest of wires that surely won't result in a major conflagration.

- the rear tank is still wip - its purpose will be to house a 12v water proof fan that I acquired, which will force fog from a small fog machine through the clear tubes l, hopefully allowing one to see the side laser. I'm using a rigid plexiglass tube that I bought for the sake of proton pack construction (wrong size for that project) to help route the fog and also add support to the metal L bracket thing to which the wires ascend.

- my first attempt in making my own fog juice ended in a messy, sputtering, catastrophic failure. It was only after part of the flex tube melted that I learned one must use distilled water for this.

20210525_213547.jpg

- that's all for now. Stay tuned!
 

RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
Hello!! I'm back with another (minor) update -

The big hangup in completing this project is (and will always be) money, but I finally decided to stop hemming and hawing and finish.

For a paltry $80 I was able to finally procure two items that are super important to balancing the forward profile of the machine; the screen and camera combination. Of course, being that (1) I already own the screen-accurate pieces (which I'm saving for a screen-accurate sequel project!), and (2) the weight of them combined would probably turn the "stink" machine into a crater, I had to go with a "stink machine" solution:

20210914_223837.jpg
20210914_224201.jpg


While it would be fun to stand there and hold these in place, the intention is to mount them to the aluminum bracket I made; I'd 3D printed clamps to help achieve this, but they were about as sturdy as ritz crackers due to some printing errors, so I'm exploring alternative ideas.

In other news, I came within 1 soldered connection of actually finishing up wiring the on board LEDs. Then, something happened. Maybe I miswired something, perhaps a moth farted dust into a connection somewhere, who knows, but instead of acting normally and being, you know, controllable, the LEDs will now only do this. I wish I could say this behavior is intentional as it's kind of cool objectively, but at the moment it's basically a visual representation of my rage.



Other minor updates:

All side laser components have been printed and permanently (haphazardly) affixed:
_frontReflector.jpg


...the "heat stink" has been fully printed, painted, assembled, and attached (it only took 5 attempts for the print to not go wrong hilariously):
_heatStink.jpg


And lastly, I printed a new back piece for the side laser better capable of accepting leftover split loom:

_laserEnd.jpg


That's all for now. Stay tuned!
 
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RagnarokandRoll

Active Member
A minor, pictureless update!

Why pictureless you ask? Barely anything of note to take pictures of, but:

- After much trial and error, swearing, and more than a few questionable beverages, I determined the insane behavior of the electronics was likely because I fried the arduino I was using as the "brain". Swapping it out with a spare (smaller) arduino I had earmarked for another project solved the problem, and since it has enough IO I'm probably just going to use the uno as opposed to the mega. So now it's a clear shot to rewiring everything and writing the actual V1 of the program that will drive the interactivity.

- I have more or less fabricated the metal bracket that will hold the screen and camera in place. There is a 50% chance my dwelling is currently on fire due to the sparks that flew today. Just have to knock roughly 4000 holes in it for mounting, paint it, and bolt the whole shebang together.

- Elsewhere in this thread, I've snarked and jeered at Wayne Szalinski for his machine-destroying tantrum in HISK...now, at this stage of the process, I can easily see where he was coming from. It's sort of miraculous this thing hasn't wound up going over my balcony.
 

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