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: The Motion Tracker (Aliens)
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2003 10:23 am 
Admin note: Please realise that this discussion took place right at the inception of the board. The assumption that the correct drill was the the Hilti was not found out to be wrong untill much later.

Birdie15 said on 5/22/00 :

Here's a little one...I was watching the Aliens DVD last night and noticed for the first time that the green and red leds on the bottom of the scanner (from the thyristor flash) flash on and off with the pulse of the scanner. Guess they must have hooked up a circuit in the Hama to control the light effects.




Harry Harris said on 5/24/00 :


Hi There.

Sorry to have to correct you but that image is of an original!

It appeared in 'Sci Fi & Fantasy Models International' magazine, issue 21 which carried a feature on prop maestro Terry Reed.


In response to your posting about the LED's on the Tracker screen box ("...the green and red leds flash on and off with the pulse of the scanner.") there's a much simpler explanation I'm afraid!

The 'LED's' on the flashgun panel are in fact coloured plastic lenses behind which are small bulbs. When this panel is removed from the flashgun and placed on the slide viewer the lenses line up with the slot into which slides would be placed.

What you're seeing in the movie is simply light from the flashing bulb inside the viewer leaking through that slot and giving the impression of flashing LED's. If you notice in the shots where the tracker screen display is shown; those using a small TV screen in place of the slide viewer, the 'LED's' don't appear to flash.

Lastly it would appear that some of the original Trackers had the green and red lenses on that panel (my screen box is original and does have them) whereas in the "no, no you're just reading me" scene the light appears to be white, indicating that the lenses are not present.


Harry Harris.


Grand Milk Carton said on 5/25/00 :

Anyone have the info on the model Drill casing that was used?

sjanish said on 5/26/00 :

Hey GMC(and everyone else for that matter), how long have you been looking for the drill case?

I have been watching ebay for ~3 years now. The closest I have seen is probably the Hilti TE-12. I have pawn shoped and flea marketed 3-4 times with no luck...I did stumble across a Hilti TE-1, which I took as a good omen as it was in the first shop I tried that day but I came up totally empty.

I agree with Birdie, it has to exist, but with so many of us searching I am really amazed that none of us has had any real luck.

Nobody really knows which Hilti model to look for, or even if the real thing is a Hilti. If there is old stock there I would spend some time studying any pictures of the tracker and then go look at what the guy has.

Here is what I know/have heard:

- heard it is a TE-11, have never seen one in 3 years of looking, suspect it doesn't exist or only saw VERY breif production time

- the TE-12 looks close, but is not the one; same with the TE-14, TE-22, and TE-24

Let us know if you find anything.



aliensarchive said on 6/2/00 :

Nathan's replica made by the original propmaker was red underneath which is a good clue as any to it being a Hilti.

There are some big ass photos of a tracker in issue 45, unfortunately they are black and white and I also think it is Harry's replica which you've already seen on his web site.

Paul Francis once gave me a list of all the Aliens props that Bob Burns has, the list included a MT. Does anyone know if Bob Burns really has an original tracker?



Harry Harris said on 6/3/00 :


I know what you mean about the red plastic casing but I think some models of Kango drill were red too.

The photos in Science fiction & Fantasy Models issue 45 are indeed of my replica tracker.

I know Bob has a motion tracker from Alien, it's on the '5th disc' of the DVD set, perhaps that's the one that Paul was referring to.


Harry Harris


aliensarchive said on 6/5/00 :

Bob Burn's cameo appearance (2 minutes? Didn't he desrve more?) on the 5th disc does indead show the Alien tracker. However P. Francis's list did include the Aliens version, along with several other props from Aliens that have never been photographed for magazines and would only have been seen by visitors to his basement.

Not that any original tracker would have the brand and model of the drill visible as it doesn't show up on the castings.



StevieRad said on 6/18/00 :

I spoke with Hilti last week.......they siad they never made a Hilti TE 11. At least to this perosn's knowledge, adn the fact that it was not in thier data base. he said they stopped working/making Torna in the 70's. I also faxed him a pic of the casing we are looking for. I am awaitng a response.



Cerney1 6/20/00 :

Bob has the ORIGINAL tracker from ALIEN....

Frank Cerney


Harry Harris said on 6/21/00 :

Just a small update for you all;

I was chatting to Aliens prop maker Terry Reed at Pinewood Studios earlier today and produced a photograph of the Motion Tracker featured in the Aliens Technical Manual. (This is the tracker that was commissioned by Lawrence Nathan of ‘Fiction & Fantasy Models’ back in the 1990’s. Casts of it were sold at that time and one of these formed the basis for the replica tracker that’s on my site.)

Terry took one look at the photo and said ‘No, I didn’t make that’. It turns out that although all the correct dressing parts were used (aside from the screen box) it was in fact made by Dick Hewitt, who was video effects supervisor on Aliens and who also designed and installed the ‘Soundfire™’ system into Alien War London.

While I was with Terry I asked him if he could remember anything specific about the construction of the tracker but unfortunately he couldn’t. As with many props they were assembled quickly from bits & pieces that were lying around or from whatever was in stock in local shops. Sadly he couldn’t remember what the power tool casing was either so for the time being, the search continues!


Harry Harris.


USCM Pusher 6/30/00 :

For the new members on the board, I'll go ahead and restate that the main body, as alluded to on Harry's site, is that of a power drill casing, probably a hammer drill or the like. If you flip back to the first page of postings - you'll see some popular hunches on what type/model it could be - although no one has been able to ID it AS OF YET.

Another tidbit that some may find useful is the part marked "f. Shutter release timer unit" at Harry's "Components of the motion tracker" section. It is actually more commonly known as a "Self-Timer."

They are plentiful on eBay (Do a search for "Self timer") and may vary somewhat in design, but the basic unit looks as follows (Gee, I WISH we could post pics Dan...HINT, HINT):

Paint it flat black, dull cote it a couple of times so the paint doesn't come off and your ready to atttach it alone or over a cut out back plate - and your ready to rock.


aliensarchive said on 7/19/00 :

So there is a possibility that Dick Hewitt could ID the drill casing.

I may have a source for "Fiction and Fantasy" tracker casts in the UK, I just have to see if the mold is still good.


Edited by: [url=>Willie Goldman[/url] at: 4/11/04 10:36 pm

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 Post subject: Hama viewer/ MT screen
PostPosted: Thu Sep 04, 2003 3:57 pm 
Pulseriflefan wrote on 2/28/03:

Hama slide viewer # 3642 (called B101)

Hama Remote release # 39402


There Are Some Places In The Universe You Don`t Go Alone

When you are out of Pulse Rifles, you are out of Weapons!

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 Post subject: How to build a Motion Tracker
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2003 6:45 am 
This link provided by willie Goldman on 09/04/03

Build an MT!

Cheers Willie!

When you are out of Pulse Rifles, you are out of Weapons!

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 Post subject: The Motion Tracker - prices for parts?
PostPosted: Fri Sep 05, 2003 8:41 am 
XenoFreak17 wrote on 04/09/03 :

Can someone give me a list of the needed parts to build a motion tracker as well as give me the prices and where to locate the items? IF you could email this to me that would be great.


Goffcorp wrote on 04/9/03 :

To start with, you'll need some of the following photographic equipment...

Hama 2.5X slide viewer
Vivitar 2500 zoom thyristor flash
long meter (calculator panel) from an olympus flash. Not sure which model.
Hama remote release
Hama self timer
Jobo minilight (darkroom light)
Self timer case (from either UN or Korpil. Mine's a UN)

All this gets strapped on to the drill casing along with some other smaller bits of dressing, the keypad and pump, etc.

Some of these items are still produced, like the hama slide viewer, and can be purchased from camera stores. Some of the other items (vivitar flash) can be easily acquired from ebay. It took a significant amount of tracking down on my part to get everything, but that's part of the reward when you're done.

Hope that helps



Vyprman wrote on 04/9/03 :

Well, I got mine in a mix of places both UK & US , but heres what I got.

Kango 426 Hammer Drill - eBay, expect to pay aboput $50-$80
Hama B101 Slide Viewer - £13 (bought from Amazon)
Jobo Minilight(or minilux) - £9.99
Vivitar Zoom Thyristor 2500 - eBay, expect to pay between $10 -$25
Hama Self Timer - Only source I've seen is from the U.S and they price em at about $40


sjanish wrote on 4/9/03 :

The correct self timers pop up on ebay fairly regular. Last time I was in search of one it was normal to see them sell for $5-$10. Hold out and get one that comes with the clear plastic box that you need for the front left side of the tracker.

The Hama remote release is not hard to find, but normally sells in the $30-$40 range.

As for the Jobo concentrate on the minilite. The minilux has an extra
diode inside and is more expensive. They are both physically the same on the outside.


Pulseriflefan wrote on 4/10/03 :

just look on, there are 5 or 6 Tiffen self timers in clear box NIB for 15 Euro (about 16 $) buy-it-now option.

The self timer is correct, Hama didn`t produce it by themself, one of these nice "Made in Germany" items which are basically made in Japan


LeMarchand wrote on 04/10/03:

This is what i have paid so foar for all my parts. I have everything i need minus some small bits like wire, electronics and the big washer ring.

1 x Hama slide viewer $15
1 x Hama remote release $29
1 x Hama self timer $19
1 x Olympus panel (long meter) $19
1 x JoBo darkroom lamp $16,75
1 x Kango 426 Drill (ebay uk) $90
1 x vivitar thyristor 2500 $9,50
1 x resin pumpwidget and transformerbox casting $10
1 x selftimer plastic box $2 (resold the timer that came with it)

that makes $210.25 so far, which i consider a steal since it is mostly all real parts. I wouldn't have been able to get most of these parts this cheap if it weren't for the kindness of 2 memebrs here



When you are out of Pulse Rifles, you are out of Weapons!

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