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  1. jcgardea's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2016
    Messages
    133
    Jan 31, 2018, 12:08 PM - Homemade DartVader beltboxes #1

    Well, belt boxes are not cheap, and I can understand why, circuit making is delicate and time consuming. So I thought I could put together my own, but after looking for all the components, I only found them online all around the world, and with shipping and taxes, itís basically all the same as if I bought them.

    So I decided to make them as accurate as possible but at a 10th of the cost. This means I will have to put in 10x as much effort, but as a maker, 10x as fun.

    My halloween boxes I made out of cardboard and resin, but they were quite rough looking , fragile and not accurate. So the new ones i will make out of wood.

    Theyíre almost done. I still have to bondo and sand the corners so they get that nice round filleted look of the hammondís.

    I also found out a real cheap easy way to get the buckle done with a couple of blind outlet covers. So I will show you once i get to it.

    Cheers!



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    Last edited by jcgardea; Feb 1, 2018 at 4:05 PM.
  2. Winged Freak's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jul 2012
    From
    Gotham City
    Messages
    31
    Jan 31, 2018, 6:00 PM - Re: Homemade DartVader beltboxes #2

    Awesome!
  3. Nitheris's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2018
    Messages
    5
    Feb 1, 2018, 3:28 PM - Re: Homemade DartVader beltboxes #3

    It looks realy great are you actualy going to make them functional I mean with lights and able to click ?
  4. jcgardea's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2016
    Messages
    133
    Feb 1, 2018, 4:03 PM - Re: Homemade DartVader beltboxes #4

    Lights yes, but no clicking on the green lights at least. I may use one of the knobs as a switch but right now Iím thinking about reusing the rocker switches.
    I will also see if I can fit a wireless speaker with an sd card for the breathing sound...


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  5. jcgardea's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2016
    Messages
    133
    Feb 2, 2018, 8:35 AM - Homemade DartVader beltboxes #5

    Here they are with ďbondoedĒ corners and a first coat of primer. So far, so good.
  6. vader45's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2010
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    702
    Feb 2, 2018, 11:05 AM - Re: Homemade DartVader beltboxes #6

    Those are looking good!
  7. WhillB's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2012
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    174
    Feb 2, 2018, 12:24 PM - Re: Homemade DartVader beltboxes #7

    Very cool project.
  8. Member Since
    Jan 2018
    Messages
    34
    Feb 5, 2018, 9:08 PM - Re: Homemade DartVader beltboxes #8

    very cool, thats a great idea for the wireless speakers "following"
  9. jcgardea's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2016
    Messages
    133
    Feb 12, 2018, 10:28 PM - Homemade DartVader beltboxes #9

    So, I tried to vacuform the button covers with no luck at all. I need a better heat source that is more evenly...

    So in the meantime, Iíll do the knobs, but not sure if I should go with the wide ones or the thinner ones. I probably go with the thinner ones since they are easier to assemble. Feedback?
  10. jcgardea's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2016
    Messages
    133
    Feb 16, 2018, 8:07 PM - Re: Homemade DartVader beltboxes #10

    So Knobs time. So the knobs are commonly made out of an aluminum bar, but I could not find a supplier that sells just a few inches, and getting the whole 3 meter bar is not cost effective. So ended up using a pair of tire pressure gauges for $3 dlls, that had just the right diameter (9.5mm)and and sliced them up into 11mm long tubes.
    For the top I used 1Ē chicago screws, but because they are a lot thinner than the gauge tubes I had to find something to center the screw. I found a hard vinyl hose I had lying around and cut the centering sleeves and a back spacers.
    I had to polish the top of the screw to erase the brand off. Then I assembled the tube with the sleeve and the screw and glued them with locktite to avoid any wobling. I widened the holes to fit the chicago screw through, then slipped on the vinyl sleeves, and thatís it!. I think they turned out quite OK.



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  11. jcgardea's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2016
    Messages
    133
    Feb 24, 2018, 4:23 PM - Homemade DartVader beltboxes #11

    Well I still cannot seem to have a working affordable solution for the led covers. So I tackled the breathing sound. Yup, my belt will do the breathing for me.

    So I hacked a $12 Bluetooth speaker to fit it inside of the right belt box. This speaker has a micro SD card reader, which I loaded with the breathing sound. So just as I turn it on, it kicks in.
    It may not be as loud as an Acker, but quite loud enough to hear it clearly next to a running food processor (they were cooking hummus, lol)

    Hereís a little demo:https://youtu.be/VPBxejtH_mU
  12. jcgardea's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2016
    Messages
    133
    Feb 28, 2018, 5:57 PM - Re: Homemade DartVader beltboxes #12

    Update. So happy how these are coming along.
    Time for paint and weathering. Iím going for the Bespin duel look, but I will dial it down a bit, because quite frankly after the duel they look like they mopped the floor with them!.And a little goes a long way. I used some tooth paste and toothpick to put mask small areas that would be weathered. Definitely the 4 corners and tried to do half about half the weathering.
    Then applied 2 coats of black matte paint, then 1 coat of black gloss. Waited 15 minutes for them to dry enough to handle and removed the toothpaste with my fingernail and a damp cloth. The last touches were some very slightly dry brush weathering with chrome (silver) paint to get a little bit of fading and very tiny speckles and thatís it.
    I put on the knobs and hose, electronics, and Iím just missing the light covers and Im done! Im so pumped!



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  13. RPF Premium Member eethan's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 2017
    From
    France
    Messages
    793
    Mar 1, 2018, 12:26 PM - Re: Homemade DartVader beltboxes #13

    looking great! hard to believe this started from thin wood planks
  14. jcgardea's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2016
    Messages
    133
    Mar 15, 2018, 7:33 PM - Re: Homemade DartVader beltboxes #14

    Well many have liked the bezels on these boxes, so I decided to make a little template about them.
    It does affect the lights spacing because the bezel walls are a little thicker, so you may want to revise that.
    I also made a 3D file if anyone wants to try and 3D print them. (It is provided as is).

    Download PDF
    Download 3d .STL file
    Cheers!


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  15. jcgardea's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2016
    Messages
    133
    Mar 18, 2018, 3:01 PM - Re: Homemade DartVader beltboxes #15

    Update. Looks like I finally found away to do the light covers in the cheapest way possible: with CD jewel cases. I used the clear acrylic from them, traced my pieces, sanded the interior of the parts for the green push buttons, glued them with super glue, painted the red with some transparent red paint. And painted the green with oil designer markers (Iíve much rather used Tamiya paint but I got too desperate, so I used what I had), a coat of clear acrylic and Im just waiting for it to dry to glue them on. Cost $1 for the red paint, the rest already had.

    *
    Put in some acetate for diffusion, and these babies are DONE!!!

    *
    Darth Gardea OVDs in Tapatalk
  16. vader45's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 2010
    Messages
    702
    Mar 19, 2018, 1:34 PM - Re: Homemade DartVader beltboxes #16

    Those turned out fantastic

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