The Lost World: Jurassic Park - Marksmann GPS

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Rymo

Sr Member
This is great. I don't know if you already talked about the white text at the bottom of the device? It's there in the BTS video images above.
The Tektronix WFM-90 device that the prop was based on went through some subtle logo/badging changes in the 90's. While the devices themselves were functionally and physically identical, an earlier version was released with the "Tektronix" branding on the lower right face of the device as well as a slightly different logo above the screen. That's the version that was used in the film. Mine is a slightly later release that does not have the branding on the lower face of the device.

The film only shows the upper portion of the prop, probably because they didn't want to show the "Tektronix" branding at the bottom. I chose to go with the version that lacks the lower branding simply because I wanted my entire prop to be displayed and I didn't want the "Tektronix" branding showing.

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So, while my replica is technically "screen-accurate", it's not necessarily 100% accurate when compared with behind-the-scenes shots of the original prop. But, I'm okay with that.
 
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Rymo

Sr Member
A QUICK NOTE ON RASPBERRY PI ZERO microSD CARDS

As a way to try to improve the boot time of the Raspbery Pi Zero inside my replica, I have tried out several different microSD card brands and speeds. Here's what I found.

When I originally configured the Raspbery Pi Zero I was using an inexpensive Class 10 microSD card. I replaced it with a PNY brand UHS (Ultra High Speed) Class 1 card to see if that would speed things up any. I saw a slight improvement in boot time, but it was nothing drastic. The latest microSD card I've tried is a SanDisk UHS Class 3 card, which theoretically has the capability of being 3x faster than the previous card I was using.

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Even with this faster microSD card, I didn't really see any improvement in boot up speed. I did a little research and found that the Raspberry Pi Zero microSD card bus speed is likely the bottleneck. Apparently, the Raspberry Pi Zero does not recognize the increased speeds of UHS Class cards. Those types of cards can be used in the Raspberry Pi Zero, but their full potential is not utilized.

Having said that, I still recommend using a UHS Class 3 or faster microSD card if you can. The faster speed DEFINITELY makes a difference when I'm transferring data between my computer and the microSD card, and backing up and restoring the software on the microSD card is much faster.
 

Rymo

Sr Member
FINAL ASSEMBLY!

Today I finished up a part of my replica that I've been meaning to do for a while now. It's that weird metal greeblie on the bottom of the prop that I've mentioned earlier in this thread. Here's an image of the part as seen in a behind-the-scenes video that Todd Marks shot during the filming of The Lost World in 1996. This is the only angle I've seen that shows this part from the front.

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I know the part is a PCMCIA card of some kind, but I'm not 100% sure exactly what type it is. I decided to use an old IBM token ring PCMCIA card because it's the most similar looking card I've found.
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I began by disassembling my replica and cutting a slot in the bottom of it's plastic shell to accommodate the card. The screen-used prop has this same slot cut into the bottom of it. The slot is 2-5/16" x 1/4" (50.8mm x 6.35mm).
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Then I used a Dremel to cut the PCMCIA card down to size. When the prop is fully assembled, there isn't enough room left inside the device for the full-size card to fit, so it had to be trimmed to size. I left some extra metal on each side of the card that I bent at 90-degree angles to act as tabs to attach it with.
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I adhered the card in place using 2-part epoxy adhesive on the metal tabs. I also painted a black stripe on the edge of the card so that it more closely matches the part shown on the original prop.
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Here's what the part looks like with the device re-assembled. I think it turned out looking pretty clean.
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And finally, here is the original screen-used prop compared with my replica. At this point, I'm calling mine pretty much DONE! It's as accurate as I'm able to make it at this time. I have a few tweaks to make to the software on mine, but all of the physical aspects of it are basically finished. I'm extremely happy with how this build has turned out.

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Rymo

Sr Member
POWER SOURCE MODIFICATIONS

My Marksmann GPS replica can be powered via two different methods: From 6 C-cell batteries or from an A/C power adapter.

Because the unit depletes batteries fairly quickly, I generally opt to power it using the power adapter. One drawback to this this method is that it's kind of unsightly. The power cord plugs into the the side of the device which makes the cord very noticeable.

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I decided to add a hidden power pigtail that can be tucked away inside the battery compartment. Plugging the power adapter into this pigtail instead of the stock exterior power port will allow me to power the device using the same A/C power adapter, but the cord will be a little more discrete.

The installation was pretty straightforward. I simply soldered the pigtail leads onto the circuit board solder points where the stock power jack pins are connected. I also left the stock power jack in place on the side of the device so it can still be used if needed.

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Here's a look at the rear of the device, with the battery cover removed.

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The A/C power cord plugs directly into the pigtail.

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Here it is with the battery cover back in place. I added a small notch to the corner of the battery cover which allows the power cord to exit through the rear of the device.

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I eventually plan to build a small stand to display the device on, so this power cord placement will allow me to run the power cable down through the bottom of the stand, keeping it pretty much hidden from view while the unit is on display.
 
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ImagesOnScreen

New Member
Outstanding work! I'm very impressed how close you were able to replicate the original prop that I built. Your version is significantly better as it is a completely stand alone device. Things have certainly gotten easier for building props like this!

As reference for those that want it, here's the housings for original prop, and the backup unit, side by side. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to keep the working internal components, as those were loaned to us by Tektronix.

The antenna, and external BNC connecters may still be around... in a tub, or drawer. I think that I probably reused some components for other projects.

Keep on building!
 

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Rymo

Sr Member
Outstanding work! I'm very impressed how close you were able to replicate the original prop that I built. Your version is significantly better as it is a completely stand alone device. Things have certainly gotten easier for building props like this!

As reference for those that want it, here's the housings for original prop, and the backup unit, side by side. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to keep the working internal components, as those were loaned to us by Tektronix.

The antenna, and external BNC connecters may still be around... in a tub, or drawer. I think that I probably reused some components for other projects.

Keep on building!
Thanks! I honestly wouldn't have been able to finish this properly without your help! The behind-the-scenes information and measurements you provided made all the difference!
 

Rymo

Sr Member
CUSTOM BOOT SCREEN

The Raspberry Pi Zero that I'm using in my replica has a default boot screen that is displayed while it is starting up. During boot up, terminal output is displayed on the screen showing the status of the different OS services as they are started up. This information was useful during the build process, but now that my replica is complete I no longer need (or want) this information displayed each time I turn the device on.

I modified the boot settings on the Raspberry Pi Zero and added my own custom boot screen graphic that is displayed in lieu of the default terminal output. It adds a little extra bit of realism to my prop.

Here's a video comparing the original Raspberry Pi boot sequence with my new custom boot screen. The custom boot sequence has also been optimized to load a little faster than the default boot sequence.

 
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Rymo

Sr Member
CARRYING CASE

I was at my local Harbor Freight store today and I came across a relatively inexpensive waterproof hard case with Pick N Pluck foam inside. It looked like it would make a nice carrying case for my Marksmann GPS replica, so I picked one up. It was about $25. For comparison, a similarly sized Pelican case runs around $95.

Here's what it looks like after adding some custom labels. I think it's just the right look for this type of prop replica.

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blaframboise

New Member
LCD HOOD UPDATE:

Ok, I was able to find a few photos of the JVC GR-SV7 camcorder, and the sun hood on it looks pretty much exactly like the hood on the Marksmann GPS prop! It only took 2 years, but I think I've finally identified the proper sun hood! (NOTE: The photo of the camcorder below has been flipped horizontally for comparison)
View attachment 978895

Now, I just need to find one of these camcorders for sale in the US. This specific camcorder seems to be very hard to find. The photos I found were from a French online auction site.

Or, perhaps there is a French RPF member who might be able to help me figure out how to purchase the camcorder on that auction site?
I have the JVC GR-SV7(U), with the hood, and can send along any pictures you like. The hood is detachable, and I don't have any particular attachment to it, so if you want it, it's yours.
 

Rymo

Sr Member
SUN HOOD ATTACHMENT MODIFICATION

The sun hood had originally been attached to the unit using a few dabs of 2-part epoxy. But over time some of those globs of adhesive have started to become un-stuck. I don't think I cleaned the surfaces well enough when I originally applied the epoxy, so I think that's why the sun hood is coming loose now.

Instead of just re-applying more epoxy, I decided to attach the sun hood using a more secure method, one that will allow me to remove the sun hood in the future if need be. I decided to attach it using 4 small screws in each corner of the sun hood. I chose some screws with very shallow heads so that I can mount them under the sun hoods "flaps" where they'll be hidden and where they won't interfere with the functionality of the folding flaps. I also had some small brass knurled nuts on hand that ended up being the perfect size.

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To begin, I removed the top and bottom flaps from the sun hood so that I could gain access to the corners of the sun hood frame. The corners are where I'm going to feed the screws through. The top and bottom flaps are attached by some small plastic nubs. the nubs are what create the hinges on which they fold. I simply unsnapped them from the frame at those points.
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I used a pin vice to drill some small screw holes in the corners of the frame. Then I aligned the frame on the device and marked and drilled those holes as well.
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Next I fed the screws through each corner and attached the nut from behind. Once the screws were snugged up, I added a spot of superglue to each nut to hold them in place.
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With the sun hood flaps re-installed, the screws are completely hidden.
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Rymo

Sr Member
The Tektronix device that this prop is based on seems to have been kind of popular in some big-budget moves of the mid-to-late 90's. In addition to seeing it in some background shots in Independence Day (see post #94), I also noticed it in the movie Armageddon (1998).
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Rymo

Sr Member
MARKSMANN GPS BUILD v2.0

I've acquired all of the major parts needed to begin building a second Marksmann GPS replica. There are a few things I'm going to do a little differently this time around, but most of the build should basically be the same. I won't cover each step of the build this time around, but I'll post updates when I encounter a step that I've modified from my original build.

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Rymo

Sr Member
The Tektronix device I bought for this second build was listed as "for parts or repair" on the eBay listing, so I was able to snag it for only $19. It came without an A/C adapter, which is why I think it was listed for parts. The seller simply wasn't able to test it to see if it worked. I already have an A/C adapter for it, and luckily I found the device to be in perfect working order when I tested it out.

I did notice that there was something rattling around inside the device, though. On further inspection I discovered it was just a broken plastic spacer. I glued it back on with some super glue, and it's as good as new.

EDIT: If you're wondering why the inside of the device is painted a silver color, I believe it's for EMF shielding. The paint is metallic and is electrically conductive. Because the device was originally designed to be a piece of electronic testing equipment, my guess is that it was coated with the metallic paint to keep stray EMF signals from interfering with the internal electronic components, which could possibly affect the testing results.
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Rymo

Sr Member
v2.0 AUXILIARY POWER JACK

On my v1.0 replica, I had added a hidden auxiliary power pigtail inside the battery compartment so that I can keep the A/C power cord plugged in but still mostly hidden while the prop is on display.
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For v2.0, I wanted to make the aux power jack a little more streamlined. So, I decided to install a surface mount power jack this time around.
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I installed the jack on v2.0 in essentially the same location. This is pretty much the only free location in the unit that the jack can be mounted while still being easily accessible. The installation was pretty straightforward. Basically I just drilled the appropriately sized hole and threaded the jack through.
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raiden58237

New Member
Hey Rymo,
Awesome work you've put into this! I recently acquired my own Tektronix handheld hoping to make the same prop from TLW. I was glad to see I wasn't the only one interested in this item. Currently in the process of sourcing parts. Some coming from China, USA and some from UK. Being in the UK makes it a tad more fun for me to hunt for parts but I'm sure I'll be able to get them all. Just gotta convince a few U.S sellers to ship over to UK which is always fun :confused: Just wanted to say thanks for all the updates you've made over the past few years on this. I was trying to figure out how to do the display until you mentioned rasperry pi and then I was like "Hello common sense" lol. Anyway, thanks dude :)
 

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