Affordable working range finder.

  1. #1
    I helped at SDCC '08 NovallTalon's Avatar
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    Affordable working range finder.

    Ok guys and gals...not sure how many of you are going to use this. I've been able to build a working SMALL range finder for just a touch under $100.

    Now, when I say small I mean that this RF unit is pretty much the same size as a regular boba/jango RF. The screen inside of it is around 3/4 of an inch, which when I first found this little gem...I was not convinced it would work as good as it does. It is a black and white module, but it's also backlit which means you can see it when it's dark. Couple a night vision camera to it and you have a nice Night Vision RF =)

    I'm currently writing up the WIP on this and will have it included in the Mercs tutorial library. I'll have a link up no later then this weekend with pictures. There is one slight modification you have to make to the vid controller board, basically removing a resistor and bridging the gap it leaves.

    So, everyone who's ever thought about having a working RF...prepare yourselves =D

  2. #2
    tc-2917's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    Curiosity is peeked!

  3. #3
    SaxeCoburg's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    I don’t believe it, there’s nothing affordable in this hobby!

  4. #4
    I helped at SDCC '08 NovallTalon's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    Trust me, this is =D

    The most expensive part of this is the hollow RF stalk.

  5. #5
    Alcfalath's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    Im looking forward to this with great interest...

  6. #6
    I helped at SDCC '08 NovallTalon's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    http://mercs.firespray.net/forum/index.php?topic=2240.0

    There's the start of the tutorial. So far it's working great, just need to get the hollow RF stalk and finish working on the RF cap with the high-output LED's and blinker.

    This won't be a suitable RF for canon costumes, but for customs...this thing is a real champ.

  7. #7

    Member Since
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    wow, thats simply amazing!

  8. #8
    Mercke Lutso's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    This is too cool. Thanks NT.

  9. #9

    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    It might be cool to hook up an iPod video and have SW movie loops going through the display.

    Also, some of the pics in your tutorial look familiar. Maybe give attribution in your article to the source if it's not you?

    http://jakeofalltrades.wordpress.com...unted-display/

  10. #10
    I helped at SDCC '08 NovallTalon's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    NP guys. I will probably have more time to work on it this week as I'm waiting for my tilt switches to get her for it. I've still gotta get that hollow RF from Bobamaker also.

    One thing about this project. It is possiable to put this in a slightly oversized boba/jango RF casing. The only problem is with eye focus. In the casing that comes with it, you have some adjustability with the magnifier on the optics that enlarges the picture. Another thing also is that the IR and blinking LEDs on the IR plate will have their own power source. I don't want the RF having a tremendous power drain.

  11. #11
    I helped at SDCC '08 NovallTalon's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    Thanks for pointing that out CD. I've sent out a ton of PM's regarding this place but overlooked it in the tutorial. Partially due to excitement, and the major rush I'm in currently. I've fixed the tutorial to make sure they have credit for what was used from that site =)

  12. #12
    I helped at SDCC '08 NovallTalon's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    I've also discovered that you can flip the board and optics inside of this, so if your going for a left side RF (Like my new helmet) you don't have to mod the display case with a new wire hole.

  13. #13

    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    I can't tell from the pics, is the display attached to the board? I wonder if you could move some of the electronics inside the helmet, wired through a hollow RF stalk?

  14. #14
    I helped at SDCC '08 NovallTalon's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    The display has has a small ribbon cable (about 1.5-2 inches long) that connects it to the board. It's possiable, but you would need to get a ribbon cable long enough to stretch from the controller board to the optics piece. I'm thinking about getting another of these to see if I can take the optics housing off (I don't want to ruin the one I'm working on now.) so it can be put into an actual hollow RF head. I believe Terminal Fettler makes a RF head slightly larger then BM...and it may fit in that size with some slight modifications. I don't think trying to run the board to the helmet is going to be viable because of the ribbon cable. It's possible, but probably not practical.

    Here are 2 pics that show the size difference between 2 common RF's and the display RF.

    Solid cast resin RF, Bobamaker hollow RF, Display RF.




  15. #15
    Rokeim's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    any chances of you getting all the stuff together and selling the setup as a kit ?

  16. #16
    I helped at SDCC '08 NovallTalon's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    I probably could in small quantities. I've got to do some testing with the BM hollow RF stalk to see if I can get a couple more wires through so the IR and blinking LED can be powered separately from the unit (saves battery life).

  17. #17
    Rokeim's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    you should beable to fit some 5 or 6 strand through that hollow stalk.. with the loads being pulled you dont need any sort of heavy duty wiring.

  18. #18
    I helped at SDCC '08 NovallTalon's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    Thats what I'm thinking aswell. The RF module wire will fit through already without any problems, just need to make sure theres enough room for more.

    The only problem with making these in quantity is individual eye focus. Since this is only viewable to 1 eye, you have to figure out where that focus range is for that eye since the optics use a circular magnifier. It wouldn't be an issue if the screen was being projected onto the very front of the piece. The LCD itself is super tiny and is at the back of the optics housing, being magnified by the magnifier so you can see it. I had to tweek the screws that held the optics in so that I could turn the optics into focus for my left eye.

    Thats really the only worry I have about producing these for people. I don't want someone to get one thats been set to the normal position and they not be able to see anything...and think it's ****.

  19. #19
    Myles's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    Kandosii!

  20. #20
    Myles's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    How much do you think a pre-made setup will cost? I wonder if there a way we could figure out our individual focus setings so all u half to do is set it?

  21. #21
    Rokeim's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    how difficult would it be to simply fit it onto the stalk, and affix a small tube on the side of the viewfinder to let the screen move up and down the stalk as needed, then have tightning screws set in the tube to tighten it to the stalk ? only real worry then would be the wire bunching up..

  22. #22

    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    Wow ! Neat gadget bro ! I wanted to do this way back in the day. I don't think we had technology that small that was affordable I wouldn't have been able to figure it out even if we did

    Great ideas! Great Job !



    FP

  23. #23
    I helped at SDCC '08 NovallTalon's Avatar
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    Re: Affordable working range finder.

    It's not really a question of focus to distance, but focus to line of sight. Because the RF is only viewable with one eye, you want to have the light of sight in focus for that eye so you don't have to move your eyes much to see it. Otherwise your gonna get a hell of a lot of eye-strain and headaches while trooping...thats not fun.

    Anyone can adjust it, you just need some patience and a small screwdriver. So the distance down the stalk isn't the problem...it's the angle of the optics inside the RF module.

    Thanks for the words of encouragement FP!

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