The prop

I should be working right now; there’s plenty to do. I have a prop to build, which includes a special effect. Yesterday required three trips to Radio Shack as the design evolved (on top of several visits on previous days), along with trips to a hobby store for rocket igniters, to the thrift store for a spare digital clock, and to K-Mart for an automotive cup holder. Today I will be going back to Radio Shack for spade connectors and a crimping tool, and to the grocery store for larger potatoes.

The design of the best rocket igniters has changed since the first batch I bought, complicating the wiring inside the potato. Now I want extra igniters to make sure the system will fire reliably when the potato probes are applied. Gotta make sure the rest of the pyrotechnics are activated.

Tearing apart the clock-radio went well; I felt like I was defusing a bomb as I cut wires I didn’t think were important, watching the display with each cut as I severed the radio from the clock. I only electrocuted myself once, so that’s all good.

Today is as much about mechanical engineering as electrical, as I attach all the parts into one complicated whole.

Gotta sign off now; I need to design the label for the 8-track cartridge.

11 thoughts on “The prop

  1. Ooh, I forgot to add something to my signature last week … How’s anybody going to find my new blog if I don’t have a link to it?

  2. Delia, you’ll have to watch the movie, but I did spend a lot of time at the store today, comparing stunt potatoes.

  3. No, it’s not a spud gun; it’s something better. Something that helps the Pirates of the White Sands in regard to potential encounters with an immensely powerful adversary…. Jerry explained it after I saw some of the remains of his “props lab” experiments. But, of course, you’ll just have to see the movie.

  4. You will all be happy to know that, after much worry on my part, the potato fired successfully on all four takes. Early word from the editors is that the pyrotechnics came out fabulously, but the digital readout was washed out by the sun. All that work to use LEDs instead of LCDs, and apparently LCD would have been better. Live and learn.

  5. Beware the assualt of the Vegans when they accuse you of mistreating potatoes during the filming. I recommend forging liability release forms in advance.

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