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 Post subject: Vidcom in Ripley's apartment
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 12:45 pm 
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Thanks to Skype, what in 1985 was science fiction today is a staple of modern communication. But who wants to look at their boring old PC or laptop, when they could have a Vidcom 30 775!

Attachment:
vidcom1.jpg
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As we pan up the machine am I correct that there's a Pentax lens on the Vidcom, just like on the USCM helmets??

Attachment:
vidcom2.jpg
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Finally, here is a closeup of the slot where Ripley inserts Burke's card (which we now know is a front loading logic card):

Attachment:
vidcom3.jpg
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Does anyone have more information on this prop, or clearer pictures? These were obviously taken of my TV screen. My plan is to make a shell that will fit over a laptop and allow for actual video chatting.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:12 pm 
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Cool but just so you dont call me and wake me up cause i hate that im letting you know now im going out there to destroy them, im not studying or bringing back OK

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Last edited by nocternus on Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:21 pm 
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Ha!

Thanks man, that made my morning.

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 Post subject: Re: Vidcom in Ripley's apartment
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 1:36 pm 
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Like other similar props in the film (e.g. the vidcom next to Ripley's bed at Gateway), I think the main body of the unit is the case of a portable TV, laying screen side down.

The panel on the 'front' could be covering the channel/colour/horizontal hold tuning controls:

vidcom1.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Vidcom in Ripley's apartment
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:01 pm 
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retrogarde wrote:

Attachment:
vidcom1.jpg


As we pan up the machine am I correct that there's a Pentax lens on the Vidcom, just like on the USCM helmets??



I'm going to go on a limb and say it is a pantex lens, but not the 18mm used on the helmets. Id wager a guess that its the 50mm option (1 size up).

If you are able to nail that down at any point, let me know. I have a 50mm just sitting around that you can have.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:19 pm 
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PVB: great insight! I'd actually forgotten about the Vidcom in the hospital room. That should provide a bit more detail. I agree about it possibly being a TV facing down, that makes a lot of sense given the shape!

Bigbisont: PM inbound.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:23 pm 
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The two silver cylinders to the left are handheld-microphone recorder tips, they used them in Ghostbusters 2 also:

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:32 pm 
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That's awsome Simon! Hmm, if they are used in Ghostbusters does that make them harder to come by, or easier because someone is mass-producing a replica?

I did a quick check on Mike Rush's Sulaco Airlock build (viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4573&hilit=airlock), and this is not the same portable television as his. Oh well, I'm betting I'll be scratch building this thing.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 2:38 pm 
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The exact same model of the tips is kinda rare but they are out there.
The good thing is there is ALLOT of similar looking and cheaper ones available, plus I can't tell if the ones on the vidcom are the same as the GB2 ones anyway. :)

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 5:15 pm 
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So it looks like this is what they built, they simply painted it white for the hospital scene. It's a lot smaller than I'd imagined, and sort of looks to me like a computer monitor screen-down with the new video screen placed where the stand would have been.

As luck would have it, I have an old computer monitor in my garage. Tonight I'll have a look and see how it compares.

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 Post subject: Re: Vidcom in Ripley's apartment
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 7:10 pm 
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Jut thinking loud:
For size reference you could use the Phone Card from Carte Burke that Ripley inserts into the Vidcom.
At that time Commodore and others build PC Monitor case that look like the vidcom, perhaps you find a good reference there.

Let us know when you have it with a PC working as Skype Terminal. :D

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:16 pm 
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Here's a Commadore PET, and damn if it doesn't look like a match! Is it possible they just dressed the front and used the top of this computer as-is? But they couldn't run the video through it (right?) so they must have gutted it and put a video terminal in for playback.

I'm not going to waste a vintage computer just for it's shell, especially where the shape could so easily be recreated in wood or plastic. Anywya, i'm still going to check and see if my old PC monitor could be used.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:34 pm 
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I wouldn't say it's a match at all mate, I'd go with the TV case with a camera monitor in it.
The commadore is too big and the angles are wrong.

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 8:41 pm 
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Wonder what the rear end looks like on that commador lower section though.

Especially the hospital monitor looks like the base is a wedge with the high end up front.

If you/they flipped the lower/keyboard around backwards (so keys were in back), then cut it so the incline of the keyboard ridge section continued up through the body at the same angle, it would give the wedge shape.

I say it can't hurt to locate one and check out the ass-end just in case.

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 Post subject: Re: Vidcom in Ripley's apartment
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 9:54 pm 
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Looks like it might be the Pet, but maybe with outer panels added to make the sides straight/regular?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:08 pm 
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It's definetly the TV case as the commodore has a recess under the screen giving the look of a seperate monitor.

It would be allot cheaper for the prop guys to whack a little tv in the case of a bigger one than fart around making real computer show a full colour moving image. 1986 remember...

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 Post subject: Re: Vidcom in Ripley's apartment
PostPosted: Tue Jan 29, 2013 10:44 pm 
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I wasn't suggesting they somehow made the green screen Pet into a full colour video screen, just that the angled shape and size looks very close. :wink:

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 2:08 am 
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I'm sorry, I meant the top part was a match, not the bottom. Bigbisont: I think your suggestion is interesting though. Here's photos of the PET from all sides:

http://www.classiccmp.org/dunfield/pet/index.htm

PVB: since there's definitely greebles applied to the front I think the idea that they added panels to the sides is a possibility too.

So maybe it is a PET "top" on a dummy wedge shaped bottom (or a cut down bottom), but I'm not ruling out the portable TV option either. Destroying a personal computer in 1986 seems pretty crazy.

Does anyone recognize any other components, or know where I could get the microphone bits Simon so excellently identified?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 3:42 pm 
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So here is my monitor shell. The speakers on the sides come off with just a couple of screws, and then it is sort of the right shape, but honestly with the amount of work it would need I might as well just build the thing from scratch.

I'll probably make the base out of reinforced foamcore as it is easy to work with and light weight. From there I can build it up with plastic sheet and the various greebles. So the first thing to do is figure out the dimensions!

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 7:11 pm 
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I decided to make a quick mockup out of cardstock. Without meaning to I'm pretty sure I made it 1/6th scale! If only I had the Hot Toys Ripley... 8)

Now I need to figure out the scale. Luckily we have three points of reference: Burke's business card, the camera lens, and the microphone tips. I agree with Bigbisont that it's a 50mm lens so I can measure that, and I've got a lead on the microphone tips so I can measure them as well, but does anyone know the dimensions of Burke's card? And does she insert it tapered side in out tapered side out?

EDIT: looks to me like the tapered end is out which makes sense since the WY logo etc. are at the other end. Two different online sources give the width of the card as 43mm (1.69"). From this it appears the width of the Vidcom should be just a tick over 10". Does this seem right? Anyone else want to take a stab at measuring this thing?

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2013 11:37 pm 
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Progress! I'm going to use the front latch of an old VHS tape rewinder for the "logic card loader" (my piece of cardboard is standing in for the logic card). The card pushes the latch back to create the opening, which allows for a satisfying snap when you pull it back out in the middle of a conversation with a corporate slimeball.

In the background you can see the black ribbed plastic I'll be putting on either side of the screen. I also found something to use for the two long strips just below the screen. By and large I'm trying to match Ripley's Vidcom and not the hospital's, but hers are white and theirs are black and I think the black looks better. We'll see when it's assembled as I can always paint them white then.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:46 am 
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This is all well and good but where are you installing those bannanas? Are they screen accurate? ;)

Your churning props out like a mad-man, I love it!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:19 pm 
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I suppose if I wait until the bananas turn black I could use them as the heads on some fruit xenos!

Finding bits for the front panel is going to be challenging. Does anyone with the film on BluRay want to try to get clearer grabs of the front of this thing? There's a couple of labels on the front that I'm dying to decipher.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 12:25 pm 
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I'll have ago for you bud :)

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 Post subject: Re: Vidcom in Ripley's apartment
PostPosted: Thu Jan 31, 2013 2:34 pm 
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Excuse the glare...

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