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  1. Clutch's Avatar
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    May 6, 2009, 5:20 PM - Lightsaber calc bubbles #1

    Finally decided to crack open the calculator and get the bubble strip out. There is no comparison between the real deal and a repro. The bubbles are crystal clear and not as squashed together.

    First, I unscrewed the back over and removed the main assembly from the case. The clear strip is held in place by plastic pins that are melted into the circuit board. I took a small needle file and popped it off by sticking the tip between the plastic and board.


    Here you can see the pins and how the bubbles are in a recessed area.


    I masked off the bubble area and cut the pins off with an exacto knife.


    Compared to an already finished one, you can see that the recessed area is the exact length the strip needs to be.


    I put the strip in a mitre box and carefully sawed the ends off.


    Now it is personal preference. Leave the strip tall or sand it down. I wanted mine to fit in the clamp better, so I sanded the bottom down. To do this, I started with 100 grit sandpaper wrapped around a block of wood. I then slid the strip back and forth to sand it down. I made sure to flip it every now and then to get an even sanding. I then worked my way up to finer and finer grains of sandpaper. Once sanding was finished, I completed it with some Novus scratch remover and polish.
    Last edited by Clutch; Jan 9, 2012 at 12:19 PM.
  2. Grey's Avatar
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    May 6, 2009, 5:49 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #2

    Ok, I dont build Lightsabers, but how the hell did someone ever figure out this is what the 'bubble strip' was from
  3. Cast From Original RPF Premium Member sskunky's Avatar
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    May 6, 2009, 5:52 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #3

    Nice 1 Clutch!

    I'm still looking for the correct calculator, I keep missing them on the bay

    Any sources? where I can get 1
    Mark.........
  4. Chingon is offline Chingon
    May 6, 2009, 6:39 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #4

    sskunky said: View Post
    Any sources? where I can get 1
    Mark.........
    The three I got all came from eBay. I'd say thats the best source unless you really get out there and pound the pavement for one.
  5. Clutch's Avatar
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    May 6, 2009, 6:49 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #5

    I found a case of mint ones in my grandfather's attic.














    Not! lol! I got mine from fleabay as well.
  6. Serafino's Avatar
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    May 6, 2009, 8:55 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #6

    Spike said: View Post
    Ok, I dont build Lightsabers, but how the hell did someone ever figure out this is what the 'bubble strip' was from
    That would be a fun story to hear. Not hard to believe that someone who was into props had once taken apart a calculator and knew how the old LED style was set up and just looked for one with the right number of lenses.

    IMO the most amazing discovery was the balance pipe. The obscure nature of the drawings that had to exist on the net in order to be searched, and the tiny little part in an exploded drawing which was the first clue. The false starts, wrong variants, uncertainty, and the many people involved--that was an amazing investigation.
  7. RPF Premium Member TazVader's Avatar
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    Burnie, Tasmania, Australia
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    May 6, 2009, 10:17 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #7

    I looked around too. Everyone who sells them apart 1 sells them too long. Maybe someone her should start an accurate run for all the lightsabers that Russ has made lol Mmm....there's and idea

    Regards
    TAZ
  8. Clutch's Avatar
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    May 6, 2009, 11:49 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #8

    it is unfortunate that the one guy I know who could do it is no longer casting
  9. this space left blank RPF Premium Member James Kenobi 1138's Avatar
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    May 6, 2009, 11:54 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #9

    The ones from Blast-tech are fine but I've wished for years that someone would either make a pressure cast of an un-modified real bubble strip in a high density crystal-clear resin or have them milled and machined out of clear acrylic or lexan.

    I've never seen a replica bubble strip that even comes close to the correct shape and profile of a real one.
  10. RPF Premium Member TazVader's Avatar
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    May 7, 2009, 1:18 AM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #10

    Yeah....agreed.

    Taz
  11. Chingon is offline Chingon
    May 7, 2009, 1:51 AM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #11

    James Kenobi 1138 said: View Post
    I've never seen a replica bubble strip that even comes close to the correct shape and profile of a real one.
    I thought the ones GR did back in the day were pretty damn good. But, it was GR, so who knows if anyone actually got them.
  12. Cast From Original RPF Premium Member sskunky's Avatar
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    May 7, 2009, 4:21 AM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #12

    I'll keep searching ebay!
  13. RPF Premium Member TheRealMcFly's Avatar
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    May 7, 2009, 10:48 AM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #13

    James Kenobi 1138 said: View Post
    The ones from Blast-tech are fine but I've wished for years that someone would either make a pressure cast of an un-modified real bubble strip in a high density crystal-clear resin or have them milled and machined out of clear acrylic or lexan.

    I've never seen a replica bubble strip that even comes close to the correct shape and profile of a real one.
    You've nailed it. It's a shame because the Parks incorrect strip is probably the best in this respect. IIRC it has all of the correct elements on the back.
  14. SnDMaN's Avatar
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    May 7, 2009, 12:08 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #14

    What's wrong with Blast-Tech's? They seem okay to me...
  15. scarf man's Avatar
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    May 7, 2009, 12:10 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #15

    That's just it, they are OK, not great replicas.
  16. Chingon is offline Chingon
    May 7, 2009, 12:17 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #16

    scarf man said: View Post
    That's just it, they are OK, not great replicas.
    But thats probably the best they are ever going to get. I dont think this is one of those items that really merits an all out "deluxe" version. I doubt enough people would want to pay more than what they already do for a replica calc bubble set. After all, its not like these are really that hard to find and when you do find them, they dont go for outrageous prices, either. Heck, I was even able to recoup a good portion of the money I spent on the vintage calcs by reselling them on eBay. The guy who runs that vintage TI calc website bought them. And yes, I fully disclosed how I had "modified" them.
  17. Darklighter's Avatar
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    May 7, 2009, 1:41 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #17

    I still don't have the heart to take my exactra apart.
  18. Probe Droid's Avatar
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    May 7, 2009, 2:01 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #18

    I was even able to recoup a good portion of the money I spent on the vintage calcs by reselling them on eBay. The guy who runs that vintage TI calc website bought them. And yes, I fully disclosed how I had "modified" them.
    Really? People are willing to buy them with the strips removed? Good to know.
  19. Chingon is offline Chingon
    May 7, 2009, 2:33 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #19

    Probe Droid said: View Post
    Really? People are willing to buy them with the strips removed? Good to know.
    From what I've been told, the replica calc bubbles we normally use for our sabers will also work in the calcs. Assuming you didnt damage any of the electronics when removing the strip and that it worked in the first place, I guess it can be made to work again with a replica set.
  20. Ripcode's Avatar
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    Muskegon, MI
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    May 7, 2009, 2:38 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #20

    Chingon said: View Post
    From what I've been told, the replica calc bubbles we normally use for our sabers will also work in the calcs. Assuming you didnt damage any of the electronics when removing the strip and that it worked in the first place, I guess it can be made to work again with a replica set.
    SWEET!
  21. lonepigeon's Avatar
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    Michigan
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    May 7, 2009, 4:43 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #21

    Of course at least the ESB/ROTJ Vader saber uses the circuit board under the bubble strip as well - so that calculator would be scrap.
  22. Justin WFCOMICS's Avatar
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    San Francisco, CA
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    May 8, 2009, 8:05 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #22

    Spike said: View Post
    Ok, I dont build Lightsabers, but how the hell did someone ever figure out this is what the 'bubble strip' was from
    Boy, this brings back memories .

    There might be others who came to this prior and/or independently, but I was the one that "outed" the Exactra on the RPF years ago. This and proposing that the Luke ESB saber did not have a beer tab are two of my small and humble contributions to figuring out the OT Graflex based sabers.

    At the time, my post sparked a passionate debate since there was still varying opinions over what we were actually seeing in the available reference.

    I don't know who first theorized they might be or were LED magnifiying lenses, but I just followed that assumption (while personally believing that I should be looking for 7 bubbles) and began investigating 70s era electronics. At first I thought they might have been longer lense strips, such as those from a Speak & Spell, cut down but nothing I found came out to be the right size after it was cut. Finally, I came across the short-lived Exactra 19 and 20 models.

    If you examine enough of these, you'll discover there were actually two types of bubble strips in them. One is completely clear while the other is frosted with only the lense area being clear.

    Justin =)
  23. Clutch's Avatar
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    May 8, 2009, 10:38 PM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #23

    Very cool! I wish I hadn't of gotten in on the a##-end of all these discoveries.
  24. franz bolo's Avatar
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    May 20, 2009, 10:48 AM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #24

    Weird, post 21, 22 and 23 are all double posts on the 3rd page.

    FB
  25. Sym-Cha's Avatar
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    Groningen, Netherlands
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    Jun 19, 2009, 7:01 AM - Re: Lightsaber calc bubbles #25

    Hi everyone,

    I took the liberty of using the pics in this thread as an example and added a 50% redline. Are the bubbles NOT completely round. See pictures attached. See what I mean?

    And when I opened all my TI Exactra 19's and TI 2000's all those bubbles were not full circle either

    So here's my question : Are all the authentic vintage calculator bubbles like that and thus are all the replica's mistaken? (The Parks has a perfect round finish.)

    Any of you with real calculator bubbles ... could you please enlighten me.

    Thanks for you attention.

    Chaim
    Last edited by Sym-Cha; Jun 19, 2009 at 9:34 AM.

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