Working ST PADDs

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gmprops

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hi Everyone.

I have always been interested in Trek props from both the old series and the new series. I have been building Trek props since the 80's and was never satisfied with just making them static replicas. I would build the props and then stuff them with electronics just to bring them a little bit closer to reality. Lately I have been experimenting with PADDs, those thin-bodied PDA-style devices that seem to be everywhere on a starship. A lot of people have built replicas of these props, but because of their size they never contained anything but solid plastic or resin.

About 10 years ago I built a DS9 style PADD and customized it with a bit of working electronics. It did not do much except blink some lights in the viewscreen. I set it up to simulate a Warp core reaction chamber; it gave the PADD display an almost animated feel.



I loved the body style because it was easy to make from styrene sheet. The graphics for the viewscreen could be reverse printed on a transparency and gave the entire PADD a crisp finished look. But the PADD electronics were run by a single Type-J battery that forced me to make the body slightly thicker. It also meant using panel screws to remove the back when replacing the battery. A concealed switch along the indented edge controlled the main power. And I managed to make a couple of the buttons beep with a simple circuit and piezo speaker. I loved this PADD but the limitations of the electronics forced me to abandon the design. I had built another DS9 PADD with a shuttlecraft display, but it was not as impressive as the Warp design.

Over the years I dabbled in electronic circuit design and programmed chips. I used some of these concepts in other props I made and always thought about taking another shot at the PADDs. When cell phone batteries got a lot smaller and readily available with good chargers I knew I had to try again. So I built another PADD, but this time I based it on the Voyager design. I also used programmed chips created by a friend of mine to light the displays and generate the sounds. The functionality was far superior to the original designs I had done back in the 90's on the DS9 version.



This PADD had 14 authentic sounds and 15 lights, single touch activation, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. It was quite an impressive display.

I then returned to the original DS9 PADD from the 90's and decided to put the same features (plus a couple extras) into this body design. I was able to keep the body shell to the same thickness as the show props (as it was intended) and make it do more than the version I had built 10 years ago.




It is amazing how technology has advanced to the point that we can now breath life into our props like we have never been able to do before. Just think what we will be doing in 10 years from now.

What a wonderful hobby we all share.

Gerry
 

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LeMarchand

Sr Member
Dude, you do realise that in some countries it is illegal to have that much talent, don't you? :lol

beautiful work, would love to see a MPG of it.

Cheers,

Marc
 

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gmprops

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Originally posted by blufive@Mar 6 2006, 11:07 AM
Wow.  Those are beautiful.  Will you be offering instructions and/or kits?

:)
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I don't have any kits, but if you want to see what I can offer visit the link here: Working DS9 PADD.

The Medical DS9 PADDs are Limited Edition; only 12 will be made.

If anyone wants to see the MPG video just drop me a note in my email at gmros@cogeco.ca

Thanks.

Gerry
 

Jedi Lawja

Well-Known Member
That's unbelievable. Mad Skillz, my friend.

How about bridging the gap between PADDS and Tricorders and come up with a nice Nemesis Tricorder kit? ;)

Jay
 

gmprops

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Originally posted by Jedi Lawja@Mar 6 2006, 12:11 PM
That's unbelievable.  Mad Skillz, my friend.

    How about bridging the gap between PADDS and Tricorders and come up with a nice Nemesis Tricorder kit?  ;)

Jay
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I have thought about that. The Nemesis tricorder is really just a cross between a tricorder and a PADD, isn't it? Let me think further on this and I will get back to you.

Thanks.

Gerry
 

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EchoOne

New Member
Hi,

this looks very good. I my self try to install a refulgence plastic sheet to illuminate the LCARS display.
Until now I didn´t find a battery which is slim enough for the padd. :(
How you solve the problem?
 

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