How can you tell real calc bubbles?

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by Banquo Fett, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. Banquo Fett

    Banquo Fett Well-Known Member

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    Is there any way to tell the diff?
     
  2. laszlo

    laszlo Sr Member

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    They sparkle and should have a raised edge on the underside of both lengths where it attached to the board.
     
  3. franz bolo

    franz bolo Sr Member

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    They are thicker than most repros.
     
  4. jedivigneri

    jedivigneri Well-Known Member

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    I think the MR sabers have replicated this part perfectly...right?
     
  5. PHArchivist

    PHArchivist Master Member

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    No stupid questions, but if you can't tell, then what's the difference...?

    This is semi-rhetorical -- I KNOW we have purists out there. ;)
     
  6. JHVanOphem

    JHVanOphem Well-Known Member

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    Well I can see how its good to know; if you are planning to buy what someone claims is the real thing.
     
  7. Banquo Fett

    Banquo Fett Well-Known Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(PHArchivist @ Jun 21 2006, 02:57 AM) [snapback]1264870[/snapback]</div>

    I bought what was claimed to be real calc bubbles... and now I know that the raised edges and increased thickness (that do not appear on the Blastech version) prove that they really are real. Thanks everybody. :)
     
  8. seven

    seven Sr Member

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    I think the harder thing is to know between a real graflex and a replica.
     
  9. cyrax037

    cyrax037 New Member

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    well mine I know for a fact the it is real cuz I bought the whole calculetor. It got it for .50 at a yard sale. I've takein it apart now and got the bubble display out waiting for me to make a saber. I've acturaly going to copy it so I can have however many I want. I din't see any differance between haveing the real thing or a copy. Copies are cheaper in some cases and easier to come by and they look just as good.
     
  10. Darth Lars

    Darth Lars Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    <div class='quotetop'>(franz bolo @ Jun 20 2006, 11:33 PM) [snapback]1264690[/snapback]</div>
    Any other size difference? Do they fit better in a Graflex clamp than Blast-Tech's reproduction?
    Are they wider?
    I wonder also if the plastic is different. Blast-Tech's scratches easily.
     
  11. Sporak

    Sporak Sr Member Gone but not forgotten.

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    Copies and repros have their place...but I don't agree with the aguement that they're just as good.
    The magnification properties are fantastic in a real set of bubbles...you just don't get that sparkle from a repro.
    If you in fact have a real set next to a copy you can tell the difference without question.



    <div class='quotetop'>(cyrax037 @ Jun 21 2006, 06:06 AM) [snapback]1265012[/snapback]</div>

    No, in fact the copies fit better than the real thing...
    I've sort of clamped the bubbles between the jaws, instead of sliding them under.
    They're much thicker than the replicas made for a saber clamp.
    They take a little work and minor modification but they're well worth it.


    <div class='quotetop'>(Darth Lars @ Jun 21 2006, 06:54 AM) [snapback]1265020[/snapback]</div>
     
  12. seven

    seven Sr Member

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    I have a real one and it is longer than the replicas I have seen. Most if not all replicas are cast to fit the length of the graflex clamp. A real one will have to be trimmed to fit perfectly. Mine also has little posts on the bottom where it was attached to the circut board as well as the already mentioned slight ridge on the underside.

    Real ones will be a flawless casting, while some repos I have seen have some minor imperfections in casting.
     
  13. lesternessman

    lesternessman Well-Known Member

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    anyone care to post pics of both?
     
  14. tripoli

    tripoli Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The real ones have the small wire Light Emitting Diodes wiring in them. Thats a dead give away more than anything else.
     
  15. propcicle

    propcicle Well-Known Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(tripoli @ Jun 22 2006, 01:07 PM) [snapback]1265936[/snapback]</div>
    ?? Not sure what your talking about here - the LED wiring is spider webbed over the PCB, not attached to the bubble strip.

    In fact, I tried to replace the bubble strip in a calculator with a replica and smashed all the spiderwebs together - now the lights don't work too good. :cry The wiring is very fine behind the strip, be careful if you plan to use the calculator again at a later date.

    -Propcicle
     
  16. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    The one thing I never like about these types of threads, (real vs. repro anything) is that every time we point out all the differences and nuances, there's a chance there's someone out there making a note of them and using the info to make a better fake to pass off as the real deal.

    For instance, we've gone over the graflex with a fine tooth comb in the past. If a bootlegger was smart to collect all the information we've put out there, they could easily could produce a dead-balls accurate repro that could easily pass for real.

    The need for super accuracy can be a dangerous double eged sword.

    Sorry for the rant.

    -Fred
     
  17. Darth Lars

    Darth Lars Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I seem to recall that the Exactra 20 calculator also appears under another brand, but I don't remember which brand and model it was. Does anyone else do?
     
  18. Romans Empire

    Romans Empire Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Real bubbles are CRYSTAL clear. I've never seen any replica even come close to the clarity of real ones. If I can capture the clarity between mine and replicas WITHOUT removing the tape from under them, I'll post pictures.

    <div class='quotetop'>(tripoli @ Jun 22 2006, 05:07 PM) [snapback]1265936[/snapback]</div>
    What do you mean, tripoli?
     
  19. franz bolo

    franz bolo Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(Darth Lars @ Jul 9 2006, 09:00 PM) [snapback]1277594[/snapback]</div>
    It was a european version I think.

    FB
     
  20. franz bolo

    franz bolo Sr Member

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    It was the Italian TI-2000

    FB
     
  21. seven

    seven Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(Gigatron @ Jun 22 2006, 11:25 AM) [snapback]1266011[/snapback]</div>
    I understand this concern, but even with larbel, Parks, Graflex Reborn, MR, etc. all of whom have/do make replicas, even when they have an original in hand, I have not heard of a 100% perfect reproduction.
     
  22. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(seven @ Jul 11 2006, 01:43 AM) [snapback]1278330[/snapback]</div>
    I understand this concern, but even with larbel, Parks, Graflex Reborn, MR, etc. all of whom have/do make replicas, even when they have an original in hand, I have not heard of a 100% perfect reproduction.
    [/b][/quote]


    I have a feeling it's only a matter of time. Most of these are guys are not after passing off fakes as genuine, so they go for the "close enough", either purposefully or otherwise.

    MR went for an idealized version, so they'll never be mistaken for the real deal.

    I've never seen Parks' graflex, but his MPP is * near perfect. I believe there have been some members who purchased a Parks on ebay under the pretenses that it was original.

    The real point though is, with this info out there, it won't take much for a malicious jackass to start feeding on the non-experts out there.

    As for the other calculator, it was indeed the Texas Instruments TI-2000. It's a direct copy of the TI-19/20 made only available to the european market. It's the one I have in my collection (and snagged for a pretty low price :D ).

    -Fred
     
  23. Romans Empire

    Romans Empire Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Here are a couple pics.
    You can see how much more clarity the real ones have (although the difference is greater in person).

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  24. gokarosama

    gokarosama Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about others but I had to file down the Exactra calculator bubbles on both ends and a bit on the bottom just to get it to fit properly into the Graflex clamp.

    Reproductions fit much better--and the fact that the "real" bubble strips need to be modified to fit suggests there would be no point to replicating them exactly.
     
  25. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    This may be a hair off topic, but thinking about the TI-2000 has made me wonder about which model they actually used.

    The sabers were probably made in england along with the other props, correct? So wouldn't it make more sense that they used the TI-2000 for the bubble strip? I know everyone chases down the TI-19/20's because those were probably the first to be identified with the correct strip. But I think it would make more sense that the prop houses over in england had the TI-2000 (either whole or in parts) and that's what was used.

    Of course, if the sabers were made stateside, then nevermind ;)

    -Fred
     
  26. Darth Lars

    Darth Lars Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I have never seen any calculator or bubbles in person, but I think I see variations in the calculators. The one on Parts of Star Wars has a blue circuit board and a short bubble strip, compared to the green circuit board and longer bubble strip in ATL Kenobi's thread. Both are claimed to be from Exactra 20.
    It is difficult to see any border around the bubbles in the pic on Parts of Star Wars. Has that bubble strip been converted and then placed back onto the circuit board for the picture?

    However, I have also seen close-up pics of supposedly real Exactra 20 bubble strips with a border rectangle that stretches only around the area of the bubbles.
    The one in Roman's pic look different still.
     
  27. franz bolo

    franz bolo Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(Gigatron @ Jun 22 2006, 01:25 PM) [snapback]1266011[/snapback]</div>
    If only that was the case..

    We see people already making parts that aren't accurate even though there is a wealth of information on them.

    I doubt very much that any bootlegger would waste their time. We all pretty much know who sells what so who would this fictitious person be?

    I assume most people who get real bubble strips get them from the calculator itself.

    For a bootlegger, to make a 100% accurate Graflex Clamp, I would think it would be almost impossible to make a profit. Ask any of the repro manufacturers why they don't make dead on versions.

    The Chen grenade is really close, but it can never pass off as a real one.

    Anyway, I wish someone would go through the trouble to make a flawless repro. I just don't think it can be done.

    FB

    <div class='quotetop'>(Darth Lars @ Jul 12 2006, 09:32 PM) [snapback]1279788[/snapback]</div>
    Here are some good links to read:

    http://www.datamath.org/BASIC/Exactra/Exactra19.htm

    http://www.datamath.org/BASIC/Exactra/Exactra20.htm

    http://www.datamath.org/BASIC/Exactra/TI-2000.htm
     
  28. Gigatron

    Gigatron Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(franz bolo @ Jul 13 2006, 03:12 AM) [snapback]1279802[/snapback]</div>
    If only that was the case..

    We see people already making parts that aren't accurate even though there is a wealth of information on them.

    I doubt very much that any bootlegger would waste their time. We all pretty much know who sells what so who would this fictitious person be?

    I assume most people who get real bubble strips get them from the calculator itself.

    For a bootlegger, to make a 100% accurate Graflex Clamp, I would think it would be almost impossible to make a profit. Ask any of the repro manufacturers why they don't make dead on versions.

    The Chen grenade is really close, but it can never pass off as a real one.

    Anyway, I wish someone would go through the trouble to make a flawless repro. I just don't think it can be done.

    FB

    [/b][/quote]

    Franz, I realize you weren't on these boards (RPF in general, not invisionzone RPF) during the heyday of the $500 graflex. Thankfully, the number of good repros has brought the price of the originals down significantly. But things like this tend to be cyclical. With next year being the 30th anniversarry of ANH, I wouldn't be surprised to see an increase in interest in original graflex sabers.

    The Parks only needs a few minor tweaks to be dead accurate. Mostly, it's a change in the patent info on the bottom. He made that change as one of his "tells" so we would know it was his. Someone only needs to change that and the other small fixes here and there and next thing you know, people are paying $500 for a $125 Parks saber.

    And a 100% accurate fake clamp? I guarantee you, the first person that makes one will be rolling in dough. It will definitely be cost effective. The same with a grenade. Get Serafino started on it and it will be accurate down to the last mm and angle. Just look at what he's doing with the booster (whatever happened with that, anyway?)

    And once these uber accurate pieces are out there, all you need is someone who's willing to take a little time to dirty them up a bit and BAM, a whole new era of scammers are upon us.

    I think it's to our benefit that most of these parts are slightly off or have visible tells built in to them.

    And if you think I'm lying, check with the art community. The museum of modern art bought a painting for $5 million that was just proved to be a reproduction - and they're experts.

    -Fred
     
  29. franz bolo

    franz bolo Sr Member

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    You have a valid point. I got here not long ago and luckily never had to see a Graflex go for $500..

    After a while you can spot scammers by the questions you ask, photos and by covering yourself with a valid purchase on eBay or Paypal and getting insurance and tracking etc.

    Luckily I can tell a real Graflex, clamp, booster, sink knob etc. from any repro so my odds of getting ripped are slim.

    I can see how someone new to the hobby could get tricked, but that's why the RPF is such a great place to get knowledge.

    The worse part of it is that the scammers are usually collectors or former members..

    FB
     
  30. JunkSabers1138

    JunkSabers1138 Sr Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(Romans Empire @ Jul 10 2006, 11:36 PM) [snapback]1278423[/snapback]</div>
    It seems to me that real bubbles have more defined circles and the replicas have them squshed together. Is it just me?
     
  31. SithLord

    SithLord Sr Member

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    cool thread....ya it seems like there's a bit less overlap in the hemispheres on the original...
     
  32. Probe Droid

    Probe Droid Master Member

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    Here's a 9-strip if anyone cares:
    [IMAGE]http://img281.imageshack.us/img281/2014/ninebubbles9st.jpg[/IMAGE]
     
  33. lesternessman

    lesternessman Well-Known Member

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    Great thread. I was not even aware that there was a nine bubble strip to be seen. Thanks for the calculator links Franz.
     
  34. Darth Lars

    Darth Lars Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    <div class='quotetop'>(JunkSabers1138 @ Jul 13 2006, 05:42 PM) [snapback]1280011[/snapback]</div>
    No. It looks to me also like the real bubbles are slightly smaller, which would explain the effect you see.
    Whose replica bubbles are these anyway? Blast-Tech, MR or EDC? I recall someone who ran a business called JediShack also made bubbles, colored even.
    I think it could be interesting to see which ones are the most accurate ...

    <div class='quotetop'>(franz bolo @ Jul 13 2006, 05:12 AM) [snapback]1279802[/snapback]</div> Thanks.

    Judging by that site, ATL Kenobi's bubbles are actually from an Exactra 19.
    The bubbles in Roman's pics still look different from any bubbles on that site, but it is hard to see.
     
  35. franz bolo

    franz bolo Sr Member

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    I believe ATL Kenobi's Bubble strip came from an Exactra 20. I think it was my old one.

    He had one and I had one. His worked perfect and mine didn't.

    He was very cool and traded me his for mine. I don't plan on taking it apart because my son loves to play with it, so I got a really clean working version.

    Thanks again ATL Kenobi... :D

    FB
     
  36. kurtyboy

    kurtyboy Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Other than trim a bit of the ends, I didn't modify the calculator lens at all for my Luke ANH hero saber.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    It does mean that I can't close the clamp completely but looks like they couldn't close it on the screen used saber either.

    Top: original, bottom: mine.
    [​IMG]
     
  37. DarthCalibar

    DarthCalibar Well-Known Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(Probe Droid @ Jul 13 2006, 08:39 AM) [snapback]1280044[/snapback]</div>
    Thats really cool. Ive never seen one in a clamp before, just on that calculator website. Ive always wanted to do a custom saber with a 9 bubble strip just because they are so easy to get, there are always a lot on ebay.
     
  38. Vaderman

    Vaderman Sr Member

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    <newbiealert.>

    Where are the 9 bubbles on eBay? Whenever I look up calcualtors I never see any with 9 digit displays...

    Sorry if this is a huge Noob question. I am the merest padawan when it comes to lightsaber lore.

    </newbiealert.>
     
  39. Probe Droid

    Probe Droid Master Member

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    The 9s are the only ones I've ever found. Always thrilled to find a calc w/bubbles, but also kick myself for never finding the right one. That's propping.
     
  40. ATL Kenobi

    ATL Kenobi Well-Known Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(Probe Droid @ Jul 15 2006, 06:28 AM) [snapback]1281269[/snapback]</div>
    EDITED:The 9s were on scientific calculators such as the TI-58 or TI-59. :angel Actually TI-58 and 59 have 12 bubbles and after they're cut to fit, there's 9 left. I trashed an old TI-59 just to remove the bubble strip to put on my Roman's ANH. I like it just fine. (Sorry Howard, I tossed the display board :( ).

    FB - As a matter of fact, the Exactra in the tutorial and on my "real" ANH is the one I got from you. Thanks very much. :D

    kurtyboy - You present a very valid point concerning the long edges of the bubble strips. As I was sanding on mine, I was wondering if the original prop builders would have gone to that much trouble. I do wonder though, if the edge are left on, would the Graflex be able to close down tight enough on the No3 and the booster?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  41. Probe Droid

    Probe Droid Master Member

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    Two calcs with 9s, a TI and a Rockwell
    [IMAGE]http://img162.imageshack.us/img162/5123/twocalcseb5.jpg[/IMAGE]
    [IMAGE]http://img162.imageshack.us/img162/5563/calcbubblesrockwellcr1.jpg[/IMAGE]
    [IMAGE]http://img85.imageshack.us/img85/9398/calcbubblestiyt6.jpg[/IMAGE]

    What's the going rate on these things now? I bought the TI at a junk store and the Rockwell at a flea market, so get 'em real cheap.
     
  42. DarthCalibar

    DarthCalibar Well-Known Member

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    <div class='quotetop'>(Vaderman @ Jul 15 2006, 12:28 AM) [snapback]1281258[/snapback]</div>
    http://cgi.ebay.com/Vintage-Collector-Texa...1QQcmdZViewItem



    I just searched along the lines of vintage calculator. Technically im not supposed to tell you what to search for so keep it *hush hush* :love :D
     
  43. Darth Lars

    Darth Lars Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Is there any 9-bubble strip that have bubbles the same size as on the 7-bubble strips?

    I'm thinking, that if there are, then that strip might be suitable for the Vader ANH saber.
     

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