***UPDATE 5/4/10: If you make your own ghostbusters proton pack, post some pictures in the comments below, and I'll send you a patch!***
***UPDATE 9/22/11: Check out the October 2011 issue of Popular Science (which is out right now) to see a brief blurb about me and my proton pack!***
Step 1: Make a Ghostbusters costume
There are many resources for building a proton pack out there. I've got my slideshow from last year, as well as a more detailed instructable on how to make a kid sized Proton Pack, which could easily be scaled up to full size. I also recommend this instructable, as well as gbfans.com
I picked up the flight suit from ebay member direct-pb. This company really came through for me. The suit was good quality and very inexpensive.
Step 2: Wire the pack for Arduino control
I built a simple Arduino shield that lives in the wand (see pictures). All of the LEDs had a common negative ground, and each positive lead went to either to a digital pin (if it was going to flash) or to the +5v pin if it was going to be on at all times.
I also built an on/off switch into the wand and installed a 9v battery clip to power the Arduino.
Step 3: Program the Arduino
The basic concept behind the code is that it runs a loop 6.4 seconds long, broken into 64 100 millisecond "ticks." At each tick, I can have a light turn on, turn off, dim, brighten, etc. After it's gone through it all once, it goes right back to the beginning and repeats until the battery runs out.
Step 4: Install the lasers!
I got these lasers from a couple of broken pen-style laser pointers. They stopped working, I took them apart, and then I found out there was just a loose battery connection in both. I was never able to get everything crammed back in the housings though, so I harvested the electronics for my costume.
I originally wanted to power everything through the Arduino, but I found that the two lasers running along with everything else drained the battery VERY quickly, so I installed them on a separate power source (2 AA batteries) shoved into the handle of the wand.
Step 5: Make more junk you'll have to lug around with you!
The trap has a 1/4" plywood base and a 1/4" plywood mounting plate on the belt. They connect with a wedged shape hunk of sheet metal I cut out with my dremel tool. The handle of the trap is also wood, but nearly everything else is just cardboard.
The ecto goggles are made out of a small cardboard box with one side cut out in the shape of my forehead. The straps were harvested from a broken headlamp. Everything on them was simply junk from my stuff drawers or screws from my screw jar.
Step 6: Marvel at your own awesomeness!
Step 7: Final thoughts
Please take the time to vote for me in the Arduino contest! Also, please leave me a rating or some feedback. It's pretty late right now, and I know I wasn't too descriptive in the technical details this time, so if you need some clarification, don't be afraid to ask.
Also, if you post some pictures of your own home made proton pack, post 'em in the comments below. I'll send you a DIY patch!