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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Was just watching Spock dock up with the Enterprise in ST:TMP so that I could get a good feel for the blink rates of the strobing lights near the bridge, under the secondary hull, and on the ends of the warp nacelles. As the shuttle approaches the ship the blink rate is quick--definitely a strobe. But then, when they change angles, these same lights are blinking much more slowly--like the navigation lights. Then, in the next angle, the lights on the nacelles aren't blinking at all!

I'm going to go with the distance shots as they seem to match better with other shots in the movie.
 

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Check out http://www.virtualight.com/
Click on 'Reference' and then Refit lighting.
This link was provided to me when I asked about the location and number of running lights & strobes on the Refit, it may or may not indicate the correct rate of flashing though, but either way it's very helpful.

Cheers,

Bruce
 

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Ah - I just read all of the first post - that second shot you see (5:08-5:18) from the side is a matte painting, not the model - so the blinking light you see when the shuttle does it's flip-around is not "accurate" in that it is inconsistent with the rest of the studio model shots.
 

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If it's any help, when Paul Newitt designed his electronics board for the AMT Refit, he used 1/4 second on/ 3/4 second off for the strobes. He claimed that was the actual rate but allowed that since the human eye will slightly vary the perception, he built in potentiometers into his circuit. Although that was probably for the nav lights instead.

A one-time friend recreated that section of the circuit using the old Radio Shack 3909 timer chip for me over 20 years ago and I always thought it compared favourably to the movie. It was very difficult to sync the circuit to the onscreen lights, though so it's hard to say.
 

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The "official" values for the Refit are:

strobe - 1 flash per second (the length of the flash depends on what looks good to you).
flasher - 1.25 sec. on, 1.25 sec. off.
 

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If it helps, this is every clip of the ol' girl from remastered TMP.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Interesting stuff all. I have finished my secondary hull and warp engines and am now tackling the saucer section. Built my Federation Flasher over the weekend and am starting to play with that.
 

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I went through this as well recently. I think the rate changed based on the model. The large filming model seems to have a different rate than the smaller one.

I even steped through on the DVD and counted frames at 24 fps.

I finally just put a pot on my 555 circuit then looped the
DVD adjusting the pot until it was in sync with the
final scene in TMP.


Here is a cool little simulator to get you in the ball park. Be sure to hit the "on" button....

http://delabs-circuits.com/cirdir/theory/gates/doc00019.html
 

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Yes, and at least in my case I found the real chip behaved
slightly differently than the simulator. Thus the pot for adjustment.

Also, be sure to use the C1 and C2 caps. Some people skip those but noise can be a problem, especially if you are using two 555's on the same supply.
 

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That is a nice program. Thanks for linking. It vastly helps to see how things change w/ live tweaking. That would take hours to go thru the permutations in the real world and require care not to burn anything.
 

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Like I said it gets you close but in the real world you will need a trim pot. You may want to check out the 500 piece resistor pack from Radio Shack...I mean "The Shack", but I digress.....for $12.95.
 
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