Monday, September 5, 2011

Accurate light and the Australian Costumers Guild Ball

In an earlier post I mentioned I ran out of time and money to locate, and obtain a more accurate lantern for the top. Suffice to say, before the TARDIS's next public outing I wanted to rectify this. After trawling Ebay for weeks I finally found a suitable lantern. It's made of acrylic, and is a modern copy of the correct fresnelled marine lens (the originals were made of glass). Cost a pretty penny, but alas I wanted accuracy dammit! Especially now there was a spiffy light that actually worked.

So an afternoon of work and fitting, it was in. The uprights are the same dowels as before and the 'hat' or dome is actually a cheap plastic exterior light I came across at Stratco which just happened to be a perfect fit. Fresh coat of paint and we're done!

Thus the TARDIS is complete. However as the National Australian Costumers Guild Ball was approaching I was beginning to wonder about how to transport it. The last saga with getting it to Armageddon, I really did not wish to repeat, there had to be an easier way!

And there was... The roof and the sign boxes were already removable, I modified the sign boxes for the side slightly to make them 'slide' into place rather than screw in. With that modification, the side walls could be unscrewed at the corners and slid out. The front and back were unscrewed from the anchor points as single slabs (doors, sign boxes and all). These two are pretty heavy, but manageable. Then the base can be moved, so ultimately it came apart in 8 pieces and could be transported in the family trailer. No more hiring a trailer!

So here it is, complete and in place at the Australian Costumers Guild Ball, where it was a feature for our costume parade skit.

There was several doctors at this year's ball. Thanks again to Eman and to Catherine & David for the pics.

Additional Updates

After sitting under my pergola for some months following the TARDIS' debut at Armageddon Adelaide, I felt the time was nigh to add lighting to the interior and also to create an electronic sound board.

I'd been researching the soundboard idea on the net for some time, looking at a basic wiring video provided on YouTube by a guy in the USA (he's fond of 'soddering' whatever that is...)

Anyway this is his video:

So I was able to identify some of the parts and then order them online myself from The remaining parts I got from the local JayCar electronics here in Adelaide. 

Not quite as neat as this fellow's layout, but I incorporated my own into a black box that is mounted on the back wall of the TARDIS. It has a little more flexibility as there is a permanent line in jack, so I can either use the pre-saved TARDIS sound on the soundboard, or with a standard audio cable I can plug in a laptop, MP3 player, phone or whatever and play sound files through the TARDIS. There's also a permanent mounted powerboard inside to which the interior light is plugged in. So ultimately there are two lights, the lamp on top that lights up with the sound, and the standard interior light, which lights up the windows and the sign boxes. Very effective in low light!

I made a video like the one above of my own soundboard.

So at left is the TARDIS with the interior light on (with flash and without flash) sitting under my modified pergola. My wife was very understanding when I told her we had to add an extra peak to our pergola to accommodate the TARDIS. You may remember earlier posts that mentioned it wouldn't fit with the roof on. The shade cloth on the peak is covered with transparent plastic to keep the rain off. Only when it rains really heavily does the TARDIS get wet and even then only the bottom foot or so gets damp. The bottom has a very thick coating of paint, and realistically it rains that heavy only maybe 10 times a year so it should be okay for some time.