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Starbase101

Sr Member
Red Alert....

RedAlert1.JPG


Okay, it was only a drill...or rather, a drywall saw. Anyway, now it's time to build a light box. The lights are 120VAC, so if anybody can help with an adjustable flasher circuit for them it would be great. DC is easy, but I've never done an AC flasher before.
 

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Starbase101

Sr Member
You’re getting there my friend. Have enjoyed following your progress immensely.
Thanks. I think I'll be returning the AC LED lights. I'm thinking they might be too bright, and for the price of one I can get a 3-pack of other lights and still run them off house power through an AC/DC adaptor. Then I'll be able to use a regular 555 timer chip for the flasher circuit. I've started planning out the light box, and I think the glass is too large for the frame thickness. I had originally planned for 1/2" slots but that's going to be too deep for the beveled frame. Hopefully I can get the glass size reduced by 1/2" at a local glass shop. Also, I'll be returning the beveled cedar siding - after taking measurements from it I can make my own for a lot less money and have a much smoother surface.
RedAlert2.JPG
 
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Starbase101

Sr Member
The last silver stripe is on! After removing the melamine from the big shelf there of course was raw particle board left behind. I thought it would be okay so just went ahead and painted it. But every time I look at it I see raw painted particle board and it bugs me, so I finally relented and have putty applied to smooth it out. Tomorrow it will be sanded and painted while I've got the paint out for doing the screw heads. This shelf's top brackets will remain white because I don't want to risk any paint coming off onto my books and magazines, and they won't be seen anyway....because of all the books and magazines.

TheBigShelf.JPG


The shelving does look better gray than the earlier lazy plan of leaving it white. I picked up some gray pipe and colored electrical tape (for striping on it) that I hope to do something clever with under the desk:
Conduit2.JPG


Progress has slowed while I wait for the remaining alert glass candidates to arrive, the next furniture delivery to arrive, the closet doors to arrive, and the weather to warm up for painting rocker switches. I also get to design my own wall intercom electronics (tied to the red alert light) because the kit I got for the panel has really poor sound and its flasher circuit is not properly synchronized with the sound. However, a big package did show up today:
Saturn.JPG
 
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Starbase101

Sr Member
Would anybody here having experience with Adafruit products be willing to help out with the wall intercom electronics? The sound part of it seems simple enough - I bought one of their Audio FX Mini Sound Board, 3.7W Class D Audio Amplifier, and 8-ohm 1W 3" Speaker (don't need stereo sound for this) and the audio file uploading and triggering is pretty basic:
Adafruit-2342.jpg

Adafruit-987.jpg

Adafruit-1313.jpg


I was wondering if maybe their ItsyBitsy might be useful for controlling the two LED circuits and triggering the sounds, but I wouldn't know how to use it:
Adafruit-3677.jpg


Assistance would be appreciated!

I've got a wall panel piece from Trek Props & Stuff, but its size is too small - it doesn't match up with dimensions extracted from a screenshot sized to match the Honeywell red button which is a known size (because I've got one):
WallIntercom1.JPG


Also, I don't think I'm going to be using the red acrylic sheet I bought. It's very heavy compared to the prop panel, which feels like a painted MDF board, and its color is too dark compared to the red button. The button is lighter than the acrylic sheet, but the panel should be more an orange-red with the button clearly darker:
RedAcrylic2.JPG


So since this will need to be painted anyway, I think it might be better to cut the panel from lightweight wood. Which do you think paint would adhere better to, the acrylic or primed and sanded MDF? I think MDF would be easier overall to work with.

Now I have another red paint to shop for, because none of the colors I've got look good with the red button.
 
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Starbase101

Sr Member
Well, much seems to be on hold at the moment. Don't have the painted closet doors back yet, don't have the next furniture delivery, and don't have any volunteers to help with the wall electronics, but I do finally have all 3 pieces of glass (been waiting since November) so it's now time for an analysis and hopefully some feedback.

I've got 3 different glass types:
A = Concave 7/8" Clear Reed (which is what's professed to be the "correct" reed spacing by Trek "experts")
B = Concave 1" Clear Reed (which in reality is not quite 1")
C = Convex 1" Krystal Textured Flutex (which is the only reeded glass having a texture)
Glass1.JPG


Each piece is oversized by 1" (in hindsight it should have been only 1/2"), and I think the 7/8" reed can be eliminated because it simply has too many "bars" on the glass (space between the reeds). There are 17 bars on the glass (resulting in 16 inside the frame), but screenshots clearly show 12~14 bars with 12 being the most prevalent:
CharlieX2a.jpg

ManTrap3a.jpg

AlternativeFactor3a.jpg


Having selected 6"x12" for my panel's inside dimensions and being there are 12 visible bars on the glass, it makes sense that this would be 1" reeded glass. I've searched and searched, and the largest reed pattern available is 1" but not many places stock it, and even fewer offer shipping or retail sales. Glass B is 1" reed but the spacing is not 1", more like 13/16" resulting in 15 bars (which would yield 14 inside the frame):
Glass5a.JPG


Glass C has 13 bars, being the closest to the target 1" spacing since there would be 12 bars inside the frame:
Glass5b.JPG


With A eliminated, comparing B and C they each have pros and cons. B is a thinner glass (5/16") and thus weighs significantly less than the much thicker C (3/8" and heavy!), but visually C looks more like what I'm seeing in many screenshots like the ones above.
Glass2.JPG

Glass4.JPG

Glass3.JPG


Next I did a "phaser test" to see which of the two glasses looks more like "The Conscience of the King" scene:
ConscienceKing1.jpg

Glass6.JPG

Glass7.JPG


In this experiment B clearly (no pun) wins, confirming the reeds should be concave and not convex. Keep in mind, a red gel filter isn't behind the glass yet which will diffuse it.

Thus, comparing the overall look (and weight, which is important considering how it's to be hung on the wall) B has characteristics in its favor, and in some regards C looks better (despite it weighing like a brick). I'm favoring glass B. Opinions?
 
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Don B

Active Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Definately glass B. C 'ripples' too much, where B has a clean refraction 'cut' in the phaser image just like the original photo.
 

Starbase101

Sr Member
Thanks guys - I'm going to check on one more glass today which is advertised as 1" Reed for seeing if I can get closer to 12 bars on the panel.
 

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Starbase101

Sr Member
Nope, their "1-inch Reed" glass is actually 3/4" spacing, not 1". Where I got my 1" reed from (which is actually a 13/16" spacing) they told me nobody makes true 1" reed anymore, so this will be the closest I'm going to get. Thus, glass B is the one I'll be using, and although it will yield slightly more than 12 bars on the panel, there are some screenshots where I've counted 14 bars so it's all good. Nobody's going to be counting the reeds on my glass anyway and it will have a correct look on the wall.
 
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Starbase101

Sr Member
Since I'm a bit stuck at the moment I spent this evening drafting up a plan for the wall intercom:
Wall Intercom.png

Black is the MDF baseplate, magenta is the add-on components. Most of the dimensions were taken from tosgraphics.com, with some adjustments for matching screenshots. The switch dimensions are corrected per the parts I've got, and the beacon had to be adjusted for the Trek Props & Stuff resin block being an incorrect size (slightly too small) but close enough that I'm not going to try making my own.

There are variations of this panel on the original sets. One version has the intercom light and switch vertically-centered with the grille opening:
CharlieX1.jpg

ConscienceKing2.jpg

(Note the different grille mesh screen orientation - vertical slots in the "Charlie X" pic, horizontal slots in the "Conscience of the King" pic.)

Another version has the intercom light offset downwards:
SpaceSeed1.jpg

NakedTime2.jpg


I opted for the symmetry of having the intercom light and button aligned with the grille opening.

Although it would deviate further from the tosgraphics.com dimensions (which aren't necessarily "gospel" anyway), it seems to me the red alert button should also be vertically centered with the beacon and horizontally centered with the intercom button. That's how the ThinkGeek toy is arranged, and I can kind've see this in the prop photos too.
ThinkGeek-Star-Trek-Enterprise-Electronic-Door-Chime-Motion.jpg


I'm considering revising my drawing to align the red alert button with the beacon and intercom button. Opinions?
 
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kickman88

Well-Known Member
Yeah, with different looks of the show prop just pick the one that looks best to your eye since you will see it every day!!! Unless someone comes over to count the number of reeds/flutes/bars on your glass-then they will see it too! The props do have some quite noticeable differences like the intercom button being centered with the light in the first image but closer to the top of the light in the other images, and the silver "bezel" around the red alert button being wider in the first image than the second. Also, the "bezel" around the intercom is black on the show and silver on the toy-so go with black there I guess...decisions, decisions
 

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Starbase101

Sr Member
It's not the intercom button that's raised on some versions, it's the light that's lowered. In the "stock image" for panel close-up shots the button is still centered with the intercom but you can see a larger margin above the light than below it:
NakedTime2.jpg


Aesthetically it looks better to me with all 3 elements centered (looks less like a mistake that way). The toy can be discarded as legitimate reference material - it's wrong in so many ways besides just the intercom button bezel. The only reason I brought it into the discussion is its red alert button (which is instead a light on the toy) is centered with the beacon and intercom button, and the panel layout looks more "proper" this way. I've made this change on my drawing and I think it looks better (more balanced):
Wall Intercom 2.png


The reason for some "weird" numbers (64th's of an inch) is due to the screwy size of the alert beacon resin block (2-29/32" instead of 3").
 
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Starbase101

Sr Member
Did you use a satin, flat or eggshell?
I didn't use the Sherwin-Williams color for my walls, and I later changed the color for a custom match to my furniture since the posting you referenced. But all the paint finishes I'm using are satin because it's slightly more durable than flat or eggshell, and my furniture also has a satin-like sheen to it.
 
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Starbase101

Sr Member
A quick-and-dirty light test just for fun:
RedAlert4.JPG


I decided to stay with AC lights because they're way brighter than battery lights (even if replacing the batteries with an AC/DC adapter). These lights are https://www.lowes.com/pd/Enbrighten-3-Pack-2-75-in-Plug-In-Puck-Light/1001312690 which put out 150 lumens per puck (battery lights are typically around 20 lumens per puck) and these are compatible with a variety of add-on components that can be connected to the line, such as a dimmer switch, motion-control switch, and a Wi-Fi switch (which I got - so in theory if I name these "red alert" then I ought to be able to say to the desk intercom or from anywhere in the house within earshot of a Google mic, "Hey Google, turn on red alert" and annoy the family, and cats, yet again). There is a power line attached to a stud near the panel which I'll splice into for powering:
RedAlert5.JPG


I've yet to connect everything up because I'm waiting on the arrival of an AC flasher board I found - AC alternating flasher with adjustable speed (saves me the trouble of scratch-building one):
ACFlasher1.jpg

ACFlasher2.jpg


I chose the alternating flasher because it has adjustable timing and hopefully can be synchronized to the sound (their single-output AC flasher is fixed at 60 flashes per minute and I need ~30 fpm). Only one of the two outputs will be used, and I'm still thinking through the rest of the electronics circuit.
 
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