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TARDIS console simulator build

Started by chaz, Oct 16, 2018, 11:36 am

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Hello everyone and welcome to my first ever post so bare with me.
I have been building my console for a few years now, but just have never got round to it.
Either way I'm here now so here go's.

In terms of constructing the wooden structure of the console itself it was built from some random scraps at a dump
which I picked up for around £10. They were in very good nick so I was pleased with the buy.
Below you can see the basic structure of the console under construction.


The structure was not based off of anything as it is going to be rather small in comparison to the
real thing, so it was kind of, it was a make it up as you go kind of situation.


Here we can see it's beginning to take shape, each of the 6 panels are held in place with wooden
chucks which are screwed into the panel itself. Not the most elegant solution but it works.

Below you can see an image of the screen mount which was constructed by my close friend Sam.O.
This screen mount however is rather special, the mounting plate can be removed from the arm so you can walk around the console room with
the screen a lot like Peter.C did in his console room.


Now the tardis has at it's current point, alot of controls on it, a central column, software and firmware running and its been painted
but is no way finished. Obviously i'll keep you all updated, the only thing stopping me right now is the fact the room its
being stored in is being redecorated (i don't like it), so I am unable take some pictures for you guys, however, heres a quick mock up
of the panels in power point for you to look at:






Also I have been posting YouTube videos about the console and soon moving the videos over to a dedicated channel rather
than my generic one so they are easy to follow, please find them below.

ep1 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuRBisESObQ&index=2&list=PLoRZsP3Ffm8f07TetkACIYWPiLpya-GfE
ep2 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ojBvuWIntc&list=PLoRZsP3Ffm8f07TetkACIYWPiLpya-GfE&index=3
ep3 - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJiZv_iN7vA&index=4&list=PLoRZsP3Ffm8f07TetkACIYWPiLpya-GfE
Coming soon video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aB33ga9HTKM&index=1&list=PLoRZsP3Ffm8f07TetkACIYWPiLpya-GfE

Looking forward to more posts in the future, see you then.


Hi Everyone,
Small update for you all.
I am a massive fan of the 60s console and 80s console time rotor, for this reason, mine will be a combination of both.
Today I went looking for something to act as the mesh basket type shape at the bottom of the 60s rotor as seen below.

I popped into my local 'Flying Tiger' shop and purchased a small siv.
This was perfect as it was 8cm in diameter and the maximum it could be for my central column in order to allow clearance
for moment is 9.5cm.
This you can see below:


I will be using this scrap plastic material I found in the skip at work for the transparent shapes seen in the 80s rotor.
See below:


If your unsure was I mean by this please see this picture below:



Oct 16, 2018, 05:58 pm #2 Last Edit: Oct 16, 2018, 05:58 pm by chaz
Hi Again,
So as I said I don't have any pictures of  the console as it stands at the moment but please check put the videos on my first post.
So something on the side.
The access panels, yes access panels.
This TARDIS flight simulator is going to have interactive access panels and I have started on one of the doors for one of two access panels on the stand/ pedestal of the console and I'm near finished the first door, here you can see the inside half of that door.

Furthermore as I've said, the console is a flight simulator, and as such it has a PC running software running media, and firmware running on a ATmega1280 micro-controller in the form of an Arduino mega.

This does however mean that each of the six panels need at least 12 individual digital data lines for the controls and outputs.
Some need twice that amount!
Here you can see the one of the looms that took me a day to make because its so slow and boring.

Each of the Inputs and outputs are connected to the panels through spade connectors via chock blocks. This is because, for the moment at least,
the ATmega1280 sits in the pedestal.
Also I've bought some of these for obvious reasons.

Many thanks,



Yes ladies and gentlemen I have made some new discoveries that are relevant to the console build.
Due to the place  work, a lot of strange looking electronic gizmo's are thrown away, including a lot of useful stuff too, like remote relay units.

Today they were disposing of a couple of items the caught my eye.
The first is this box.


This is a custom made 2 channel fog machine controller, and as soon as I saw the wedge design and the toggle switches, I was sold.
Furthermore, the inside is soldered up exactly the way I would have wanted it thus no need for me to change anything. PERFECT!

Also I picked up this loom if wires with micro-switches on the end, perfect for all the levers on the console.

Also its labled!

Next up, got news about the Central column/Time rotor.


My order arrived!
Three chicken head knobs used from the 60s console.
Take a look:



Just a quick update nothing much I know.

Here it is on the console:




Oct 19, 2018, 11:28 am #5 Last Edit: Oct 23, 2018, 11:21 am by chaz
It's Time Rotor Time.

So I've started designing the Time Rotor which will sit inside the Central Column.
Here's a design of the bottom section, the top wouldn't fit on the page  ::) :).
The top will hold a large crystal.



So I started to design and assemble the mid section, in the style of the 80s console.


Jul 06, 2019, 12:26 pm #6 Last Edit: Jul 06, 2019, 12:26 pm by chaz
Hello All, Been a while since I posted an update, before I get into the nitty gritty of it all, here are some photographs of the TARDIS looking very nice with some blue light thrown on it.







While I'm doing a bit of programming and
changing a few things here's an image of the Arduino mega out of its
case that holds the custom interface card.


While I'm on this subject of programming, let's talk about how the simulator part of the console works.
As you are aware there is an Arduino Mega sitting in the pedestal, this is connected to all the inputs and some outputs on the panels.
This also handles four relays controlling power.
However, there is a different Arduino (UNO), that will be communicating with the MEGA via the IO pins. This UNO will control lighting in the room, specifically Roundels which are fitted with 5 surface mount LEDs and a radio receiver. The transmitter PCB is glued to the UNO.
The UNO simply tricks the PCB into thinking buttons are being pressed on the controller. It also will control some RGB LED strip around the room.
The UNO firmware will hold the sequences and these will be triggered by a custom protocol from the MEGA.


Now for the main event,  (Obviously this is not finished)!










A little update on the diognostics panel

I've started on the diagnostics panel and added various controls and a diagnostic bay which is inset into the console.
I've also added a new keypad and small VF display.
Pictures will be coming soon as soon as more of the wiring is done and there is
something more interesting to look at.



It's looking great! You've got a load of really cool controls on there  :)
No, not the mind probe!


I love it!

Great imagination & use of everyday items.


Angelus Lupus

I was trying to think what the steep slopes on this build reminded me of, then I realised: I'd seen a picture of a 60's commercial featuring Daleks, and a pretend Troughton!
Let me search the forum.. aha! "Sky Ray" iced lollies!:
Although, with an actual central column (instead of a weird aerial) I think yours will look better!
A mixed-up non-conformist, trying to fit in.


Hello all,
Been a while, but here is a little update on the console build. there have been a few new additions and mods. This includes a new homemade CAT2 interface loom which creates. In short, the loom holds 24 CAT2 cables giving me 48 wires which is great for my Arduino based IO interface. The loom was destined to go to the bin from work. I also rescued a broken ethernet switch from the bin. I stripped it for the ports to fit to the underside of the console, allowing the loom from the stand to connect to the console. 
I didn't take a photo of this as it probably wouldn't be that interesting.
I do however have some pretty cool news concerning the communications panel (station 6).
See Photo below and my description of the functional aspects in relation to the flight simulation and other IRL functions:-

So from the top-
1. Top left we have 3 LEDs blue/green/blue as a small nod to the smith 2, Capaldi console, as the communications panel (6). If you don't know what I mean then take a look, with a combination of mall toggle switches and indication LEDs. They will be fitted with a boarder (metal) and small handles either side reflecting rack-mount electronics. The LEDs will be controlled by the Arduino directly via 3v. The switches are sending input signals to a media player to play tunes heard in the console room, such as songs from 'the doctor dances' and 'in a dream' from the TV movie. The other switch will simply change led sequences.
2. Top right, you can see a 3-pin xlr port as seen on the smith 1 console.
I will also be adding a 4-pin xlr at some point which can also be seen on the smith 1 console communications panel ( I think they are next to the phone), there is also an xlr on the smith 1 mechanical panel for a microphone, possibly 2, can't really remember. I will patch it to a cheap radio just as a cool addition. Meaning if you have a walkie-talkie or radio, I can talk to the outside world. I'll also fit a relay to cut the radio off when in the vortex ( as you can tell, I love functionality ).
3. Top left below the LEDs and switches you can see a dark pannel. This is just a little detail of mine as I love detailed parts. This transparent piece covers a circuit (cosmetic) which I built to look "timelord". The PCB has tiny Gallifreyan text detailing. There are also small flashing LEDs which change depending on what controls are operated.
4. Mid-top you'll see a black device sticking out of the console. It does sit flush, but as it's on the workbench it gets pushed out. This device is a transponder from an aircraft. I've removed the top to add a few small static and flashing LEDs giving more replayability. I'm currently trying to design a way of communicating with it.
5. Middle you can see to dials similar to that of the 60s consoles. The left will reflect what the simulator puts you in the universe based on a variable I'll decide later. The right will likely be a little random with subtle movements.
6. Mid bottom left you can see a small black button. This is a PTT button which I modified to flash when pressed down or by clicking the switch to the right holds the PTT.   
7. Mid bottom right are two industrial buttons (taken from a german newspaper printer of all things). These are supposed to be backlit, however, they use 220v AC lamps. I spent way too long getting them to take LEDs to allow mico-controller to control them. These buttons will interface with the Arduino directly controlling information on the dials.
8. Bottom, you can see a re-designed 60s switch with the classic ping-pong ball light. The three switches are scanners, sensors, coms which change the behaviour of specific controls or media on the scanner screens.
Hope you enjoyed reading, let me know what you think.


Looking great!
Love all the different controls & levers etc...

I'd have hours of fun playing around with that little lot..  ;D




I remember watching your video of your console a while back when I was researching for mine. So cool. I can't wait to get to making my own control panels eventually although trying to figure out the electronic aspects does worry me