The discussion of the Alien series of films and the props used in them is the aim, but if it's got Big Bugs and Big Guns, then they are welcome too!





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 Post subject: Re-creating fantasy: the Gridcase
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 12:58 am 

Country: United States
OK, the old laptop in the movie was on of the first military laptops.

The modern equivalent is the Panasonic Toughbook:
http://toughbook-search.aiprx.us.panaso ... ok-31.html

OK, now how do we go completely retro:
Make a pi-top:
https://www.amazon.com/s/?ie=UTF8&keywo ... l5t9sq84_e

How do we make it real, make a:
Gri-pi-top:
10 screen: https://www.ebay.com/i/162414898493?chn=ps&dispItem=1

serial port: http://www.robotshop.com/en/rs232-seria ... 74QAvD_BwE
LPT ( Printer Parallel IEEE1284): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DxypO--Ti48
Scsi port: https://hackaday.com/2017/05/01/the-ras ... si-device/

In all honesty the serial ports could just be decorative.

89 key, keyboard with mouse:
https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... lsrc=aw.ds

A battery:
https://www.adafruit.com/product/1566

A power switch assembly:
https://www.pi-supply.com/product/pi-su ... er-switch/
(I have been issues getting GPIO to function with a proper MOM switch)

an AC to DC adapter:
https://power.sager.com/rs-25-5-2614691 ... ifications

For the initial mockup I would use wood. The screen would be hinged with a door hinge for an industrial type look.

About 150 in parts should do the trick.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-creating fantasy: the Gridcase
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:03 pm 
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Location: Hamburg
Service Number: A03/TQ3.0.12136E1
Country: Germany
Great idea.
Like myself some do have a grid laptop case, but no working system.
Having a PI or a system that could run the flash animation of the sentry gun or something comparable would be awesome.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-creating fantasy: the Gridcase
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 8:53 pm 

Country: United States
I was mulling through that. You can definately change the BASH CLI colors to match that of the gun terminal.

I am still figuring out the best way to have a windowed interface like in the movie.

Regardless with the face recognition tracking, you could instead display the gun camera display.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-creating fantasy: the Gridcase
PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 9:41 pm 

Country: United States
This site has a good picture of the grid case:

https://www.yourprops.com/Sentry-Gun-Re ... 61846.html

I am not sure if a JAVA or HTML based menu would work or not.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-creating fantasy: the Gridcase
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:01 am 
Galaxy-hopping garbage man

Country: United Kingdom
knoxvilles_joker wrote:
The modern equivalent is the Panasonic Toughbook:

Beg to differ...
The modern equivalent would be the present day GRiD laptops:
https://www.griduk.com/products/?category=1.+Laptops


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 Post subject: Re: Re-creating fantasy: the Gridcase
PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 1:38 pm 

Country: United States
Ttaskmaster wrote:
knoxvilles_joker wrote:
The modern equivalent is the Panasonic Toughbook:

Beg to differ...
The modern equivalent would be the present day GRiD laptops:
https://www.griduk.com/products/?category=1.+Laptops


Good to know. That I was not aware of. Was not even aware of the existence of that company and it still being in business. Regardless trying to get ancient 30 year old parts is impossible, doable and expensive, so for the sake of simplistic argument, impossible.

I have contacted them to get a price on one of their small netbook models.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-creating fantasy: the Gridcase
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 4:22 pm 

Country: United States
I contacted grid case and the base cost is about 8k for a one off and they dont sell to consumers. I was not able to even get the option of getting one of their keyboards.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:12 pm 
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Location: Wasteland Minnesota, USA
We have an entire reference thread devoted to the Grid Laptops in the archives:

http://forum.alienslegacy.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=5410

Russ

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 Post subject: Re: Re-creating fantasy: the Gridcase
PostPosted: Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:16 pm 

Country: United States
Pretty much what I surmised. The price level has stayed the same though. I am still trying to figure out options for coding the interactive menu as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-creating fantasy: the Gridcase
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:26 pm 

Country: United States
Found the keyboard I will use:

https://www.newegg.com/Product/Product. ... lsrc=aw.ds


Best fit and price point I could find.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 2:23 pm 
Mad Cat
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Location: Active duty: USS Catalpa
Service Number: AO3/TQ6.0.79749E8
Country: United States
I have a gridcase, but not the EXACT version as what was on screen. I had planned on getting a tablet and inserting that into the screen area, and download an interactive Sentry gun program someone created and posted here years ago, and just "do it up" that way. I was able to download the program using a third-party app onto my son's tablet to test it out, and it worked.

But even the cheapest tablet is still too expensive just to have it end up a glorified screen saver, so I've shelved the idea for now. Maybe if I could find one second-hand/dirt cheap, I'd move on it.

My only other cost effective idea was to make some sort of back-lit sentry gun screen and then have a small mp3 player with the "low ammo" alert hidden somewhere playing it on loop. But then I'm like, "man, that would get real annoying after about one minute", so what's the point.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:04 pm 

Country: United States
Dropshipbob wrote:
I have a gridcase, but not the EXACT version as what was on screen. I had planned on getting a tablet and inserting that into the screen area, and download an interactive Sentry gun program someone created and posted here years ago, and just "do it up" that way. I was able to download the program using a third-party app onto my son's tablet to test it out, and it worked.

But even the cheapest tablet is still too expensive just to have it end up a glorified screen saver, so I've shelved the idea for now. Maybe if I could find one second-hand/dirt cheap, I'd move on it.

My only other cost effective idea was to make some sort of back-lit sentry gun screen and then have a small mp3 player with the "low ammo" alert hidden somewhere playing it on loop. But then I'm like, "man, that would get real annoying after about one minute", so what's the point.


Actually the way I am doing it, the case will be all wood and I will be using a cheapy 40 dollar 10.1 inch screen with a 50 dollar keyboard,

With the mean well I can run without a battery, or just use barrell connectors and use and external ac-dc converter with external batteries.

If you have the program can you share?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 9:51 pm 
Mad Cat
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Location: Active duty: USS Catalpa
Service Number: AO3/TQ6.0.79749E8
Country: United States
I'd have to look for it, but it is hosted here on the board...somewhere.

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 11:12 pm 

Country: United States
Dropshipbob wrote:
I'd have to look for it, but it is hosted here on the board...somewhere.


viewtopic.php?f=3&t=3019
http://www.paul-kitching.uk/thecolony/index.htm



Firing screen (the business end). Press F to fire! Temperature goes up, ammo counter goes down. If you get bored of that, press Z to put it in 'auto' mode. This will just fire at random intervals until the ammo runs out, at which point it will start again. A single pixel in the lower right corner confirms that you're in auto mode.

Pressing R will restart the simulation.

Pressing A, B, C or D will change the letter in the upper corners for a different gun. Purely cosmetic.

spacebar sets a selection.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-creating fantasy: the Gridcase
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 1:25 am 

Country: United States
OK, great success this weekend. I FINALLY got the dos software for the gun terminal. I will probably have to run it as dosbox has better support than the flash viewer version.

Gnash would play it but there are documented issues on the net so mileage may vary.

I should be able to make it work either way.

As far as the smart gun and tie ins, I think stand alone is better.

I am thinking just placing a higher powered speaker and amp (20 amps maybe will research options for low power versus high output and quality) in the housing and set an fx sound board mini to play different sounds based on the pressing of 10 different buttons and each button can play up to 10 sounds. That way we can vary things playing with it and not get a boring presentation occupiers of the table would get bored with.

I am finding eBay listings for prc-10 that I can gut and use to store a battery array for off grid shore power needs in case we are at a location with zero power. For longer term needs I would have to factor in every possibility including durability and ease of repairs on the props. This is why I am going into nauseating detail in my build outs.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-creating fantasy: the Gridcase
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 5:21 pm 

Country: United States
Got my 10.1" screen in. It came with no driver board. It uses a 50-pin TTL ribbon cable. I would have to step it through an adafruit 50 pin to 40 pin resistive touchscreen assembly and then through a 40 pin ttl driver board.

ordered another screen that should have the driver board. At least I have a backup screen now.

Apparently there is not a whole lot of standardization on screen components as of yet. That appears to be changing with 3-d printing and modders increasing in commonality and popularity, however.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 2:57 pm 
Mad Cat
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Location: Active duty: USS Catalpa
Service Number: AO3/TQ6.0.79749E8
Country: United States
Yeah, that looks like the program I tried out. It sounds like you have a good idea on what to do to make this work, wish I could help but computers and I don't really get along. :lol:

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 Post subject: Re:
PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 6:11 pm 

Country: United States
Dropshipbob wrote:
Yeah, that looks like the program I tried out. It sounds like you have a good idea on what to do to make this work, wish I could help but computers and I don't really get along. :lol:


I have studied for the LPIC and Linux+ off and on for the past few years. If it is Linux or Unix I can generally make it do whatever I want. Scripting is one of my weaknesses until I learn the language and syntax inside and out.

I have been looking over L-com.com's ballast and water tight connectors to see what I want to put on the back of the grid case.

I could do 2 20 pin serial cable assemblies and 4 USB connectors. The serials would be pin outs for the GPIO on the pi.

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 Post subject: Re: Re-creating fantasy: the Gridcase
PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2017 2:25 am 

Country: United States
OK I am slowly progressing on the keyboard and screen housings.

I am having to think it up on the fly, and figure out how I can make things watertight to boot.

I am trying to make sure it is not jury rigged in appearance and actually looks finished/ professional in the end.

With wood heating season in swing, I am having to split time to split and stack firewood. Hopefully after this season I will have the yard culled completely of dead and half dead trees.

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