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Discussion Starter #1
I just started building the John Long TOS communicator.
This is a licensed kit molded from one of the 10 original
communicators built for the show by prop artist Wah Chang.


The quality of the kit is excellent. All parts are as exact as can be after 40 years. The shells are Kydex plastic. I'm told the haircell pattern on modern kydex is slightly different from the Kydex from the '60s. The original Swarovski rhinestone jewels had 8 facets, Swarovski only makes 7 and 11 facet stones now. The kit comes with non Swarovski 8 facet stones that are not of less quality.

I forgot to take a photo of the antenna before I soldered on the frame.

The instructions say to attach the wire frame to the brass grid with safety wire to hold it in place while soldering with silver solder.

Next I have to solder the hinge discs to the assembled antenna grid.
 

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Silver solder isn't a basic supply in the average model tool chest. Did it say on the box there would be high-temp soldering involved?

You would think by now, some cell phone manufacturer would have put one out.
 

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I have that kit and will begin some day. My one complaint with the kit is the poor quality of the printed moire patterns. Fortunately I picked up a hi-res set on acetate to replace them.

Interested in seeing your progress. Are you attempting to add lights & sound or a spinning moire to yours?
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yah, I did a lot of research on the kit before I bought it. I did know about the soldering. After this bit of soldering the construction gets conventional.
I was worried about the soldering, but so far it has not been bad at all.

The story of the kit can be found here:

http://www.saucersoverhollywood.com/communicator/replicating_a_scifi_icon/index.html

I'm building it as a "dummy", so no lights or spinning moire.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks. Hero Comm is an amazing web site! I've been going there for a while. The information they have accumulated is incredible.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
A bit more work done.

The antenna assembly is basically done. I think I can put away my soldering stuff.

Next step is to mark and cut the shells.
 

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You would think by now, some cell phone manufacturer would have put one out.
That's what I've been saying for years.
Of all the updates, remakes, redesigns and whatevers -- nothing does it for me like the original. I had lust for one since I watched TOS first run as a wee lad.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
You would think by now, some cell phone manufacturer would have put one out.
I think back in 2007 a company had one, but had to drop it at the last minute due to some kind of legality.

I think it was sonus or something like that. Too bad I would have bought one.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
A bit more done.

I read this tip from another forum, I stuck low tac tape over the end of the shell. This allowed me to mark where to cut the slots for the hinges. I placed the completed antenna over the well and marked where the hinges go.
 

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Looking good!:thumbsup:

I would like to have one that is an AM/FM radio.
The two knobs could control volume, and tuning.
The tiny grid on the left could be band indicator.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
I cut out the slots on the top shell with my dremel tool and a cut off wheel.

I cut into the shell about 90% of what I thought I needed and then cleaned it up with a file. This was not that bad, but it took a bit of time. File-test fit-file, repeat. Not to bad so far. The antenna sits nice!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks,
It's starting to look like something!
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
A bit more progress.

I cut out the hinge slots on the bottom shell this morning. I was very careful not to cut in too far, but I ended going in a few MM to far! DOH! It looks good, but I wanted a tighter fit.

I had to grind the end of the mid plate to fit the hinge discs in nice.
Got to love Dremel tools!

Here is a dry fit so far.

Next on to the inside!
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Jheilman,

Where did you get your Moire replacements?

Glad to see you and KUROK have the kit also.
 

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I purchased mine from RPF member deck5 about a year ago. If you're not a member of the Replica Prop Forum, I can send him a PM and ask if they are still available. If I recall, each set was enough for 2 comms and contained only the spider moire.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Portland182,

That looks cool but it's not the one I was thinking of. The one I was talking about was a full blown cell phone.

jheilman, thanks I'm not a member of RPF. I might take you up on your offer. Can I ask the cost?

Thanks

Mark
 
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