Jul 31, 2021, 01:16 pm


New, New TardisBuilders!

Paul G's NST in Norway

Started by pgordon, Apr 05, 2021, 01:14 pm

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Easy to give it a go.... I found this one: https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:2806563 seems a reasonably close match, and in standard settings only a half-hour print.

Here's the first attempt, printed in white PLA for no other reason than that's what was loaded in the machine.


yet to be painted, which I may get to do today. I'm thinking some grey primer, then some silver hammerite to male them look like metal.

I must say they do seem robust enough, I tried bending them, and although I think I could have snapped them with enough effort, it felt like it would take quite a lot of effort, so I think that once each end is screwed down they should be quite strong enough to stand up to use.

Rain's stopped, and the next 2-4 days are forecast warm, dry and sunny, so after some coffee, I'm getting back out there very soon.



Looking good.

Yes, the wonderful weather has scuppered my plans too, hopefully next few days will be nice & we can all get back to work!!




Jul 19, 2021, 10:25 am #47 Last Edit: Jul 26, 2021, 12:26 pm by pgordon
Golly gosh, nearly a whole month since my last update...

I haven't spent the entirety of that time TARDIS building, more's the pity, but real life crept in and earning a living (to pay for TARDIS materials) has demanded much of my time.

I have managed to make some progress in a couple of areas though.

First up, I decided I didn't like the back wall arrangement. I knew that I was going to want to mount things on the back wall, and I really couldn't do that anywhere other than where the stiles were, since the skin is just 3mm ply. So I bit the bullet & bought a full sheet of 10mm ply & mounted it over the inside of the back wall. It still leaves the ventilation gap at the top.


That enables me to safely mount stuff anywhere I need to, so I made a start on the electricity panel:


I've put a 10A breaker on the incoming supply (there's a Earth fault breaker further back in the circuit), then a Clipsal CBUS 4-channel relay module to run the lights. This module is a networked device, you can see the pink CAT5 cable which connects back to the rest of the CBUS network in my house (NB: Clipsals "special" pink CAT5 cable IS certified for installation within a mains enclosure)

With electricity now available I couldn't wait to do a lighting test, but I had to be patient since it doesn't get dark here until very late at night (after midnight in late June when I did this). This is how the top sign looks with just a jury-rigged LED strip placed roughly behind it:


That's pretty pleasing!

To make it even beter though, I have made up some reflector mounts to posiion the LED strips properly behind the words and stop most of the light leakage, & thus I expect to make the sign illumination even better...


I haven't tested with these yet though.

I've been working on the other top signs, and I hope to get those mounted in the next couple of days. Meanwhile, I also did some work on the PTO door and the phone box:


The actual sign is inkjet printed on A3 glossy photo paper and it's sandwiched between 2 layers of perspex, the clips are holding the sandwich nice & tight while some glue sets up.  I made up the box with some ply offcuts & mounted it in the hole in the door, with some additional support under the bottom:


The back of the box where the phone is actually mounted is removable - I made it kinda like a shoebox, it slides on snugly, and is secured with a few screws:


I've been collecting old phones at fleamarkets etc. for a couple of years now and this is my preferred one so far... It's pretty unusual - note the dial goes up to 12!


I'm going to be gutting the internals & putting some modern electronics inside, - I have one of these tiny audio boards: Audio FX Sound Board on which I'll load up as many appropriate audio clips from the show as I can find. I plan to wire up the hookflash buttons on the phone to the RANDOM trigger input so that each time the handset is lifted a random audio clip will play in the earpiece (I guess I'll need to record a few seconds of silence at the start of each clip)

Obviously I've more painting to do on the outside of the box, and I also need to figure out how to keep it closed (current thinking is a couple of rare earth magnets)

Actually mounting the door on the hinges was something of a trial... - because I'd bevelled all round the reveal - When I made all the walls & doors, I put the bevels on the long timbers on the table saw before assembling anything, it didn't even occur to me back then that this would make installing hinges nigh on impossible... I had to make some small wedges to glue to the side to bring it back to 90-degrees where the hinges mount. Even though I used hardwood (oak) and pre-drilled the holes, they still split when I screwed the hinges on... I think I'll 3D print some instead & replace them, although they do seem to be working for now.

Ive made the sign to be somewhat translucent, so I also intend to mount an LED strip inside the box for PTO sign illumination as well. Hopefully that'll get done this week too.

Right, best get back to it!




Gotta' have one audio clip with the creepy, "Are you my mummy?"


Love that phone.

I keep meaning to upgrade mine to a proper Bakerlite one, but they tend to be quite pricey.

Your TARDIS looks great- keep up the good work!



Quote from: redfern on Jul 19, 2021, 01:51 pmGotta' have one audio clip with the creepy, "Are you my mummy?"

That was of course the very first one I thought of... :-)


Even better than Spinal Tap..  Its Two Louder!

Quote from: pgordon on Jul 19, 2021, 10:25 amI've been collecting old phones at fleamarkets etc. for a couple of years now and this is my preferred one so far... It's pretty unusual - note the dial goes up to 12!


Angelus Lupus

I'm not sure I understand how you'd use a dial like that. Say I wanted to dial 111, would I dial three 1's, 11 then 1, or 1 then 11?
A mixed-up non-conformist, trying to fit in.


They use a base 12 number scheme on Gallifrey. ;)
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.


Quote from: Angelus Lupus on Jul 20, 2021, 10:18 pmI'm not sure I understand how you'd use a dial like that. Say I wanted to dial 111, would I dial three 1's, 11 then 1, or 1 then 11?



Quote from: Angelus Lupus on Jul 20, 2021, 10:18 pmI'm not sure I understand how you'd use a dial like that. Say I wanted to dial 111, would I dial three 1's, 11 then 1, or 1 then 11?

Maybe each number used to be separated by a dash when phone numbers were shorter over there?   A friend in a neighbouring village had a three digit local phone number until the 90's!


Couple more updates with the PTO box:

I painted up the remaining unpainted edges of the phone box and fitted a pair of neodymium magnets top & bottom. These have a 7KG holding force (each) and work a treat to secure the door (perhaps a little too well!). I also fitted a single LED strip across the top:


Waited all evening for it to get dark enough to see the effect, and was left underwhelmed - the light is too concentrated at the top of the sign, and also the gaffer tape I put around the inside edge of the door was blocking light from part of the wording:


So the next day I replaced the LED strip with a four-part one around the entire box:


And I cut back the gaffer tape top & bottom. This gives a much better effect, although still a bit shaded in the centre where the phone blocks some light (it's deliberately quite a tight fit, as I didn't want the box protruding too much inside). I'll probably move the strips forward a bit to mitigate that.


That's the phone box more or less done, later today I may hunt down my soldering iron & try to get started on the phone electronics. More updates to come very shortly on the interior..



Updates to the interior...

I fitted the reflector strips I made earlier for the top sign lights:


I can't honestly say that this had made a vast difference to the sign illumination, but hey-ho.

I've fitted the electrical panel in place, with a double socket outlet next to it. The socket isn't remotely controlled by the CBUS relays. I'm beginning to sort out installing  CAT5 outlet as well for the LAN connection


I've fitted an old PC monitor on an articulated arm mount, so it can be moved around just like the real thing!


The "London Bobby" pub sign also seemed appropriate.

The screen is fed by a small-form-factor PC which I'd been saving for several years for this very purpose...


The wiring for the PC is all a bit messy yet, I'll tidy that up later - probably fit the base unit & speakers underneath the bench & make a small hole for the wires to feed up to the screen.

The PC is showing a Dr Who 3D screensaver that I found online ages ago.


Nicely done. 

re: the POLICE BOX reflectors, I enjoy reading builds, where someone has a really neat idea and then the result is underwhelming, because I've been there so many times.  It's almost as fun to read about as when someone (accidentally or intentionally) figures out something really brilliant. 

If I ever get around to making the walls in my A-Team van more screen accurate, I will need that "coin" pattern floor material from your TARDIS. 
"My dear Litefoot, I've got a lantern and a pair of waders, and possibly the most fearsome piece of hand artillery in all England. What could possibly go wrong?"
-The Doctor.


Jul 26, 2021, 11:56 am #59 Last Edit: Jul 26, 2021, 12:05 pm by pgordon
So, we had an absolutely glorious weekend weather-wise here, so I was determined to get the TARDIS "done"... If there ever can be such a thing...

I made a St John's Ambulance sign, - inkjet printed onto heavy glossy photo paper, I cut out the image, then hot-laminated it, cut that out again (leaving a border of the laminate so it stays waterproof), then hot-laminated that again, before finally cutting it out by hand with that aforementioned border. The border is noticable, but I daren't not have it less the edges then let in water, but I knocked out a 3D printed bezel to place over it to hide the edge. I've used blue PLA, but it's not the right shade, so I will paint it to match the rest of the TARDIS, and the paint will further serve to seal the edges.


I've finally completed and fitted the 3rd (& last) top sign on the side that really won't get seen very much as it faces the side of the garage, but nevertheless rain would certainly enter via the big empty hole...


The entire thing will get another all-over "beauty" coat of paint in the coming days, so there's still some masking tape that I'll leave on until that's done.

The last thing that I really needed to get done is the rain cap over the top lamp. Since we're forecast a lot of rain this coming week, it was important to get 'something' in place to protect it. I don't think this one will be the final finished article - it's nothing more than a disc of ply with a rounded over top-edge, but no 'dome' on top yet. I've said before I'm not happy with this top lamp at all, it's a placeholder until I can find something more authentic, so I'm sure I'll be revisiting this part in the future.


With that, I can say that - until I start doing improvements - all the major structural building elements are complete! there's nothing more to be nailed, glued or screwed onto the TARDIS.  :-) I still have some stuff to complete inside... I made another shelf to go beneath the bench, where I plan to move all the stuff cluttering the bench surface, so the PC, speakers, and all their associated wiring gubbins will move down and be squared away with cable ties, and perhaps even a modesty strip fixed along the front edge to make most of it invisible.


I've made a hole through the bench and 3D printed an insert to line it and cover the cut edge with a lip at the top. I've decided I'm not happy with this articulated monitor mount - being able to move the monitor around isn't nearly as much use as I thought it might be, and it makes for a lot more depth taken up, so I'm going to replace it with a fixed mount that will allow the screen to lie much flatter against the back wall, and make cable management to it a simpler affair.

Lastly, I've fitted a Clipsal CBUS DLT switch to control the lighting locally. These are fully programmable switches (this is the old style DLT, I have a few of the newer ones too, they're quite a bit nicer), but since I have a few of these in my spares bin, this is what I'll use...


It's just wedged in place for now, I've 3D printed a pattress box to mount it in, which I'll hopefully get around to doing soon. And, because CBUS is a fully networked system, I've also programmed a couple of other CBUS switches to control the TARDIS lights from outside - one on the deck near the back door, and another in the dining room. With a little more programming, I can also get them voice controlled via Alexa. Actually that reminds me, I have a spare Echo dot waiting for me in England, when I can finally get to travel again, I'll pick that up and install that in the TARDIS too...

Still to be done:

The whole outside needs a final (did I really just say that!) coat of paint to double check every join is well sealed & watertight.
change the screen mount
Sort out the electronics inside the vintage phone
Fit the RJ45 outlet & cable up the LAN connection
Fit a PIR motion detector and/or magnetic door sensor & wire it up to the house alarm system for use in further automations
Install various other shelves & storage spaces for bottles, tins, glasses etc (This is going to serve as an outdoor bar)

Lessons learned, & things I'd do differently

Don't start off with an indoor/portable box & convert to outdoor!
My rails & stiles are far too narrow after I took off the 22.5 degree bevel. I didnt consider the bevel when I bought the timber.
Use better quality materials - specifically some of the timber I used was stuff I already had lying around from another project which didn't happen. I figured it would "do" but it has been prone to warping, especially the 4 corner posts.
Plan a lot better next time. A lot of this build was make-it-up-as-I-go.

There will probably be one or two more updates in the near future as I tick off the still outstanding items, but  after that I think this diary will go quite quiet - at least until I start rebuilding bits to make improvements... SWMBO has plenty of other things she wants me to get to before the summer is over, and I'd just like to enjoy the TARDIS for a while now...

Oh, and then there's my half-built DALEK to complete....

Cheers for all the support, encouragement and ideas along the way. I probably couldn't or wouldn't have done this without it.