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Thousand Dollar Supercar

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About Thousand Dollar Supercar

  • Birthday 16/10/1979

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    Music - metal (relatively traditional and melodic, no growly vocals), rock, blues, bit of oldies and random stuff. Amateur pianist.
    Sometimes known to do a bit of photography, cartoon something or dabble in electronics.


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  1. @GMH63 That would be great if you've got an eye trim with a hood/eyelid that you'd be prepared to part with.. My first choice would be brass, bronze or similar, but brown Bakelite/plastic would also match existing trim on my radiogram. Re the collectors, the cheapest broken 'project' radios with magic eyes seem to fetch ~$50+ for small ones and ~$100+ for tombstones, plus there's the challenge of getting a whole radio to Auckland. They seem to be worth a few hundred once done up (everyone in Napier and every trendy hipster needs one). I wasn't gonna pay that just to scavenge one piece of trim, and in the process, ruin a proper antique to adorn my abomination. But if you've got a trim piece on a radio that's already missing parts, let me know.. I'd also be interested in a couple of logo / nameplates and large valves (not working) for decoration. Will pay monies plus shipping. Pic for thread:
  2. More parts arrived. There's pre-assembled kits to drive analogue VU meters and another magic eye. I've wanted this circular kind of magic eye since I first saw them, cos they're daft and creepy. My radiogram never had one, so I'm adding it, even if it's from slightly the wrong era. The hardest piece to obtain was the eye's trim surround, because the few that come up for sale are attached to 90YO radios that collectors keep outbidding me for. I would have preferred brass or a similar metal: The eye is going to sit on the front face of my radiogram above the display window, and I'll experiment with giving it a direct audio input from the guitar amp or using its mic input to pick up the speaker cavity sound mix. The VU meters will just be installed somewhere inside the display area, trying to look retro despite their LED backlighting. As they're another item that reacts to the music, they'll hopefully help distract from the fact that you're basically looking at a static collection of lights. I've got all the key parts for this project now, so nothing is holding up anything else. I'm hoping to make some progress over summer. =)
  3. Really? Hopefully they're making it into a cheesy bogan turbo edition, with a panther stripe.
  4. It's a knockoff no-brand "Neon Cross". Surplustronics used to sell them but they don't seem to be listed any more. Hindu "Om" lamps are still available but unfortunately those can't be inverted for Satan worship. The left channel of my magic eye kit has stopped working. The tube now just indicates the minimum level. I need to fix this before I can go any further. =( Edit: I traced the problem to an open-circuit resistor. Of course I don't have a replacement one of the right value, but I'm pretty sure that Ohm's law is temporarily suspended during lockdown...
  5. I'll be in town for the week but probably won't have a car. Is this meet gonna be on the Thursday night?
  6. That's 'Run of the Mill' by Judas Priest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZuXoalKim9c I picked it because of that quiet section which shows off the fact that the kit works in stereo. With most busy and full-sounding music tracks, the tube displays just sit near their maximum most of the time.
  7. My magic eye VU meter parts arrived! Magic eye tubes were used as signal strength indicators on old valve radios, to help show you when you'd tuned the station accurately. Fast forward 90 years and this kitset just makes the tube displays dance to the music. I went for a pricier kit, but made up for it by getting the tubes on TradeMe and supplying my own case. Here's the kit assembled: I set about installing it in the project box and started to freak out that it would look like a monster face - the box for the head, tubes for eyes and a grille for a mouth. I added a Tesla nameplate below the grille to try to minimise that, but from some angles.... Anyway. Here's a video. Behold the pointlessness!
  8. Making slow progress on this whenever I can be bothered. The control panel is covered in leather jacket, and we have volts! I bought a kitset of a motorised chain similar to a tank track, and used it to create a motorised curtain. The curtain grinds its way noisily open and closed, which adds to the cheese factor. It's lit by some Christmas lights: Hopefully the lights in front are sufficient to stop lights behind from being visible through the thin fabric. I discovered that my plasma globe causes my neon bulbs to glow dimly, which is kinda cool. I hope I don't have to ditch the plasma globe because it scrambles electronics in its vicinity. Next up on this project is puzzling out what the rest of the controls should do, and deciding how much effort to put in. I'd quite like a magic eye VU meter.
  9. They have nixie watches now: https://www.fesaaides.com/products/nixie-watch The battery lasts 3~4 weeks because of tube power consumption - nixie life.
  10. Fast forward half a decade, and not much had changed. I put microswitches into the cupboards so that the lights actually turn off when you shut the doors, and I continued puzzling about what I should put in the radio hole and how I should control it. I decided I wanted a retro-style control panel, so I tried to make one out of a piece of wood covered in the vinyl wrap from the guitar amp case. I got to this point and decided it was rubbish and unable to be saved: One of the problems (besides using wood, the wood being too thick, me not having a drill press to line up the holes etc etc) was trying to sit that modern-style voltmeter behind the panel to hide its age. So I went to Kumeu and bought a voltage gauge from an old car, and started on version 2 of my control panel. The panel was always going to sit in the top of the cabinet somewhere, but I thought it would also be cool if it rose up automatically when you opened the lid, for no good reason. So I bought my first linear actuator, in giant overkill size, without thinking it all through too much. Here is the mock-up of control panel v2 in its raised position. All of the stuff is just sitting in place and is not wired up. I'm gonna cover the panel, most likely in leather, then I'll start deciding what all the switches do and wiring them up. I'm basically an electronics magpie, and over the last few years I've been buying any shiny things for this project that catch my eye. I can't be bothered acquiring the knowledge to create anything too clever with them; I'm just aiming to create a simple retro/steampunk-inspired display that's hopefully not entirely lame. After all, it would be nice if this project actually got finished within a decade of being started....
  11. I had a cheap guitar practice amp kicking around, plus various old speakers and a hand-me-down micro system. I chopped them all up and made a new speaker panel, like so: I got some new fabric (the old stuff was rotten) and covered it up... Then I put the guts of the guitar amp in behind, and put the controls where the knobs of the old valve radio were. This meant I had to use rotary switches for on/off and for the overdrive button. I cut holes in the cabinet for the guitar input and headphones sockets. So in this photo, the original knobs are now controlling the guitar amp: I've also got a few vintage bulbs, a plasma globe and random junk in the hole where the radio dial used to be. This is just 'proof of concept' decorative electronics and I'll be developing this aspect further. =) I sat the micro system in one of the side cupboards, so that (in theory) I could play my music and jam along. The cabinet actually produces almost excessive bass for some reason, but anyway..... I put some lights in the back of the cupboards, and that's about where the project got to in 2014. Here are some staged photos:
  12. Oldschool home entertainment circa 1940s(?): I didn't choose this project - my brother just turned up with it on my birthday in 2012 (a frabulous, grabulous, zip-zoop-zabulous present). It contained the expected Bakelite record player and reel-to-reel tape machine housed in the top, and a built-in valve radio. I set the needle to 88mph to see if I would be transported back to 1945: Nothing happened except a loud 50Hz hum. None of the other gizmos was fully operational either. I pulled the radio and speakers out: My plans were to use the cabinet for storing booze, and to put some electronics back into it which were more functional and decorative than the original stuff. Basically keep it as a man cave accessory / conversation piece.
  13. I've had enough time to grieve the loss of my Alfa now, and to grow sick of jump-starting it to move it out of the way. Yowser made me feel guilty for hanging onto it for ever and ever and ever, so it's finally listed for sale. https://www.trademe.co.nz/a/motors/cars/alfa-romeo/listing/2865335316
  14. I promise I wouldn't know an AE101 brake kit if it had a label on. You must have tagged the wrong person?
  15. I'll be in Wellington unfortunately, on the wrong week for the Wellington meet. =(
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