Sign up Calendar Latest Topics
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
Cap Naes

Registered:
Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #1 
A while ago I posted my initial design attempt for a helm console:

https://artemis.forumchitchat.com/post/first-custom-console-attempt-8405825?pid=1294812356

While it is fun and functional, it was largely an attempt to see what I could do. I've been thoroughly enjoying looking at the rest of your builds, and am continuing to experiment by testing stuff out and of course ripping off the best ideas from this group.

I give credit to Angel of Rust for his great build that inspired much of my v2 attempt. I particularly like how he was able to incorporate an acrylic console top, and integrated easy storage and portability into the design (something my first one definitely lacks).

I've started with something small as a proof of concept (and test of my ability to work with acrylic). This is something I've dubbed the "Viewscreen Control." It is essentially a stand alone console that incorporates the viewscreen controls available to weapons or helm. I haven't incorporated those controls directly on any other console and have designed this one to plug into the computer running either helm or weapons. The console itself can be placed to be accessible to either officer, or perhaps the Captain or executive officer as game play demands.

IMG_4821.JPG 

IMG_4822.JPG 
IMG_4824.JPG 
The underside (button interface wires are not yet attached- just LED power):

IMG_4818 (800x600).jpg 

The frame is custom cut wood. Console layers themselves all stack together, and had holes pre-drilled through each to match. From bottom up layers are:

Layer 1- wooden "picture frame" backing (happened to be the same size as the acrylic layers I bought) to which I have attached the controls and wiring on the underside. 

Layer 2- White cardstock to provide a bright background to the lighting layer.

Layer 3- LED acrylic layer. I dremmeled insets in a few places to fit in shaved down white LEDs to provide the backlighting LEDs, directed into the sheet in a similar manner as in Angel of Rust's panels. Inspired by the principle in which acrylic transmitts light and then releases it where that acrylic is etched, I "shaved into" the acrylic in the places where I wanted most of my backlighting to come through. I would have loved to use that principle to make something like this: https://i.ytimg.com/vi/NvNR07VdCLg/maxresdefault.jpg
but, since I don't have laser etching capability, I just disrupted the acrylic surface enough to increase the amount of light released. Lesson learned- if you overdo this and the sanding is not entirely uniform, you will see the irregular patterns in the lower layer coming through. Hence layer 4... Note, I used reflective foil tape around the edges of this layer and LEDs to maximize the amount of light within the layer.

Layer 4- wax paper diffusion layer. Easy and cheap, but does the trick to diffuse the light from the lower layer. I believe I used 2 layers of wax paper.

Layer 5- Design layer. I used a color inkjet printer with inkjet transparencies. Printed with a black background, the colored ink was very effective in bringing the desired colors through. Due to incomplete light blocking of a single page, I used 2 identical transparency layers taped together

Layer 6- Acrylic topper. Another acrylic pain with only the button holes drilled into it.

The whole business is held together nicely just by the buttons (they attach with a lip on top and a screw on base underneath). I'm not a great woodworker, but I was still able to fashion a passable painted wood frame for the console to sit in, and to cover the edges of the layered assembly.

Buttons are self lit 3v LEDs. The brains are (or will be as I haven't yet fully attached it) a UHID-nano keyboard emulator. I'm programming it to emulate the appropriate keystrokes for each button, and it will plug into the desired console (helm or weapons) by a USB port. The UHID board also provides a 5V output connection which could be used to power the LEDs. Instead, I am connecting it to the 5V power supply that I use for the DMX lights on other consoles and immersion elements. Resistors attached to each LED to step down to 3V to prevent the lights from being too blinding or burning out. All lights wired in parallel.

I haven't used it yet, but wanted to show how it looks all lit up. I love the backlit acryclic console effect- really gives that sci fi flavor and feel. I'm using it with the tangible push buttons, but it occurs to me one might be able to use something like this with a USB touch screen emulator sensor bar to make an actual TNG like touch panel...


Angel of Rust

Registered:
Posts: 234
Reply with quote  #2 
I don't know how I missed this post initially. I love the look of what you have done here. Tactile buttons are more my thing than touch -- but, clearly I am going for more 2270s than 2370s. Best of luck!
Cap Naes

Registered:
Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #3 
Thanks, I was wondering if anybody saw it. Working on the bigger full station ones now. Still sticking with the push buttons- it is a much funner way to play. Going for unique look of my own creation that mixes the push buttons with DMX indicator lights, and a vaguely LCARS inspired style backlit console design. I think it'll look good when they're all put together. We'll see if I get any better at the wood work as I go along.
Cap Naes

Registered:
Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #4 
Been away from bridge building for a while (no heated shop in winter- boo hoo), but slowly making progress on the weapons console for my acrylic topper project. I've refined a few things here and there, but generally using the same process as described in the little viewscreen console I started this thread with. Ditched the wax paper layer, and instead got some window frosting spray point to use selectively on some of the acrylic layers for better light diffusion. Just wanted to throw a few pics out. Still need to finalize the wiring, place the smart LED bulbs (I'm going for back-lit indicators this time instead of overly bright "in your face bulbs), and then build some sort of external casing and frame it up (to cover the tape and split lines, etc). I'm quite happy with how it's coming together. Once it's functional, I'm hoping to plow through the other stations a bit more quickly.

IMG_6492.jpg IMG_6473.jpg

Attached Images
jpeg IMG_6479.jpg (640.34 KB, 6 views)
jpeg IMG_6477.jpg (647.85 KB, 7 views)
jpeg IMG_6472.jpg (420.95 KB, 7 views)

Mike Substelny

Avatar / Picture

Administrator
Registered:
Posts: 2,195
Reply with quote  #5 
This looks amazing! Great work!
__________________
"The Admiralty had demanded six ships; the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight."
- Winston Churchill
Angel of Rust

Registered:
Posts: 234
Reply with quote  #6 
Looking good! Can't wait to see it all lit up.

The big panel-mount buttons are cool. I am sure the individual acrylic panes for the indicator lights are a pain to work through, but I'm certain it will be worth the effort in the final appearance.

Keep it up and share more photos!
kidkissinger

Registered:
Posts: 40
Reply with quote  #7 

Nice work. Is there any engraving on the acrylic or is it all just printed sheets?

 

Love the fighter launch/return switch btw. My solution has been to give the comms officer and wing leader headsets so they can communicated over "radio"

Newcommerin

Avatar / Picture

Registered:
Posts: 158
Reply with quote  #8 
That looks awesome!

But, am I not up to date or is the Beam Frequenzy "E" missing?

__________________
Sorry, English is not my native language, I am German.
(* I wish I would live in America, I wish I would... *)
Any mistakes you can find, you can keep and with the spelling mistakes you can cook you an alphabet soup.

My Artemis Homepage: https://star-ship-academy.jimdo.com/
Cap Naes

Registered:
Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #9 
Thanks for the comments. I've been figuring it out as I go- yes the tiny diffusion acrylics are a bit of a pain but I'm hoping for a nice effect. I've used sharpie on the edges of some, and foil tape on the edges of others to see how different the light containment works. I've found bare bulbs to be too bright an in your face, so this seemed like a good way to go.

I'm planning to wire the "fighter command" switch to a large sign that signals fighter pilots when they may launch and when to return. Don't have that set up yet, so it's a bit of a place holder project. I considered a smaller switch, but that big toggle just felt so right.

Graphic design is all printed underlay - no etching. I'd love to incorporate some (works great with illuminated acrylic), but I don't have the skills or tools to make it look professional.

As for beam frequencies, that may have been an oversight- thanks for the pickup. I think I was so worried about modifying the panel to fit the new non-weapon torps (the original torp select button holes were drilled before they were added) that I must not have carefully reviewed my plan there. Won't be hard to fix though. There are no indicator lights planned to be affixed to those labels (as I don't think there is a DMX cue for beam frequency), so it was just a guide for what the cycle is. I suppose it should be an accurate one at least! Just need to reprint that section.

As for the overall theme, I obviously am not trying to emulate any specific sci-fi genre. I love the smooth, glowing look of LCARS, but tactile push buttons are what everyone wants to play with on a space ship, and since they light up how could I do anything else? So I've designed my own unique look that pays homage, but lets me experiment with what something cool.
Cap Naes

Registered:
Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #10 
Alright, it's not coming fast, but it is looking nice, and hey, learning as I go. The final stages of the weapon's console:

Underside of each half of the panel, showing (nearly all) the wiring. Still haven't connected the final cable connecting each button to the U-HID keyboard emulator controller.
IMG_6822 (2).jpg


A few closeups of each:

IMG_6823(2).jpg    

IMG_6824(2).jpg 

Front sides:

IMG_6826.jpg 

IMG_6825.jpg 

The custom built housing it's all going in:

IMG_6830.jpg 

Reverse side of housing: Designed to plug in DMX input on one side, and output on the other, and 5v DC additional powersupply for all the LEDs (both in and out to next panel).

IMG_6827.jpg 

IMG_6828.jpg 

Note the cutout in the back of the frame (upside down in this shot) which will allow me to slide a laptop underneath so the panel covers the keyboard. I have some gently slopped feet I think I will velcro to the bottom of the console to raise it up a few degrees in the back if desired.
IMG_6829(2).jpg 

And altogether:

IMG_6831.jpg 

With trackpad in place:

IMG_6832.jpg 

Coming up very soon - finished product with overlay frame in place (to cover edges, hold panels in place, etc), still need to add my fighter toggle button (too fragile to keep in at this stage), and some shots with the whole thing lit up like a Christmas tree!

Hope you enjoy.

Mike Substelny

Avatar / Picture

Administrator
Registered:
Posts: 2,195
Reply with quote  #11 
This looks very attractive! I would love to see it in action.
__________________
"The Admiralty had demanded six ships; the economists offered four; and we finally compromised on eight."
- Winston Churchill
Angel of Rust

Registered:
Posts: 234
Reply with quote  #12 
Looking good! Gotta love all the hardware photos!

Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.