View Single Post
Old 06-29-2015, 02:09 AM   #9
Waiting Room Visitor
Scotophor's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: La Puente, CA U.S.A.
Posts: 44

Originally Posted by feldon30 View Post
Thanks for this very interesting thread, Scotophor. I know the forum has very little activity these days (it's been 25 years and there seems zero chance that we'll have a reunion film or continued series due to Dean's age, Scott committed to NCIS:NO, and Bellisario being too busy counting his money).

As for the handlink, I've been trying to confirm the battery type from all the visual evidence available to us. Now that Quantum Leap episodes are out there in High Definition, I took two screenshots of the handlink at what I believe to be the highest resolution we'll ever have access to:

The battery does seem to have a different shape than a 9V, and it's hard to tell, but the lower right corner does seem to have a 45 cut which would confirm the 6V battery. However I've been unable to find a photo of the exact Radio Shack Alkaline Enercell 6V that would have been pictured.
Thanks for those screenshots! I have similar ones already but these new ones might be a little higher resolution, and the LED lights certainly appear enhanced compared to the older screenshots, as I remember them. One thing I see now in your Liberation screenshot, that I somehow missed before, is that there's a chunk of clear acrylic missing, wrapping from the top edge of the battery around and partway down the left edge of the prop toward the switch. One broken edge is clearly visible below the lower right corner of the six-chip red LED light bar.

Regarding the batteries, I've managed to find both exact versions included with Zenith TV remote controls sold on eBay. See my thread at The Replica Prop Forum for photos. I believe it's usually one of the upper corners that has the 45 angle. In different reference images it's on different sides, though. IMO this indicates one of two possibilities: A) Different versions of the prop had different orientations of battery contacts, or B) the batteries were hard-wired by soldering every time they had to be changed (what a pain in the butt that would be!), so the prop person could just drop them in any which way; it really didn't matter as long as the correct wire was soldered to each terminal.

Originally Posted by feldon30 View Post
Thanks again for doing all this research. It looks like you have been digging for quite a while, as after about 20 minutes of searching, I found your thread here:
I have a lot of threads out in internet land on this subject.

Originally Posted by feldon30 View Post
Also, I'm happy to glue the acrylic myself, but I haven't been able to source the correct colors and thickness of acrylic, and the aforementioned clouding problem. But if you have the solutions to both problems, I'd be interested!
The colors are easy: Light Blue Transparent #2069, Dark Blue Trans. #2424, "Amber" (orange) Trans. #2422, "Red" (Pink) Fluorescent #2085, "Green" (Chartreuse) Fluorescent #2154, Yellow #2037 (not present in all GB HL versions), Orange #2119 (not present in all GB HL versions), Orange Fluorescent #2086 (not present in all GB HL versions). Most of these you need in 1/8" nominal thickness, but the fluorescent pink is needed in both 1/8" and 1/4" nominal thicknesses. And of course, clear for the main body (1/2" nom.) and the left side & over the top part of the battery (1/16" nom.) The pink on the back is all 1/8" and on the front is all 1/4". The only place that appears to be 1/4" dark blue is the switch slider cap on the lower left angle (contrary to what you may have read on a certain erroneous reverse-engineered "blueprint"), but I now see in the new Liberation screenshot that this was faked by laminating two pieces of 1/8" dark blue together before carving the switch cap to shape. About half of what appears yellow onscreen is really the "green" fluorescent. These are all easily found on eBay in small quantities; in fact, that's where I got my supply.

As I mentioned in the first post above, a company called Weld-On makes many different glues suitable for acrylic. Beware, though, that using any solvent glue on acrylic that has been laser-cut may cause cracking if the plastic is not annealed first. Acrylic should be annealed (softened or stress-relieved) after laser cutting by a specific time/temperature profile process before gluing. I haven't checked yet whether an ordinary kitchen oven or toaster oven can hold temperature closely enough to be used for this purpose. However, there are instructions online to mod a toaster oven for finer temperature control for use in surface-mount "reflow" soldering. Such a modified oven should work fine for annealing small acrylic parts.

Originally Posted by feldon30 View Post
So all this time, I thought those were clear acrylic blocks with LEDs mounted inside them. Now it looks like the surface is made up of different packages of LEDs molded into two and three LED blocks?
The LED "light bars" used to make the props were manufactured in many sizes and styles, from single-chip 5 mm x 5 mm squares up to six-chip 16 mm x 10 mm rectangular blocks. On the props there are clusters of as many as five of the same style and color of these light bars, such as five large 2-chip green ones in a row at the lower left, and five 3-chip green ones at the top center. There's even one cluster of three, 2-chip 10 mm x 5 mm light bars that are not all the same color; the middle one is orange and the outer two are red. Places where there aren't any LEDs are generally covered with the colored transparent acrylic tiles. All the LEDs visible as lights from the back of the prop are glued on the inside rather than the outside, though. There's also a sneaky green LED on the inside of the front, at about the middle and just inboard from the right edge. All the rest of the front LEDs/blocks are these "light bars" of various styles attached on the outside of the prop.

Last edited by Scotophor; 07-01-2015 at 01:06 AM.
Scotophor is offline   Reply With Quote