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What to do with this 'mystery machine' to turn it into an sci-fi monitor/screen/prop that's alive? Ideally, stand-alone? Answered

You're looking at a photo of what I came to call the 'mystery machine', as I've no idea what it's real purpose is exactly. I suspect it's an old, big multi- or voltmeter.

As I say in the question, I'm looking to turn it into an sci-fi monitor/screen/prop that's 'alive' somehow; continually generating interesting content. What I'm thinking of is replacing the big, central meter with a monitor/screen of somesort. But, what kind? Ideally, this'll be easy to make, stand-alone and cheap.

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RavensCraftBest Answer (author)2012-07-10

Take the meter out.
Frost the glass bezel by sanding it with emery paper.
Make a metal or cardboard disk about the same diameter of the glass bezel.
Cut a slot ,maybe 1/8 inch wide and almost ,but not quite the radius of the disk.
Fix the disk on a motor.
Place the motor/disk assembly behind the frosted bezel.
Place a lamp behind the motor disk assembly.
When the thing is lit and spinning, it will look like some kind of RADAR.
I'm thinking use a slow moving motor like from a microwave dish spinner.

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Hellwolve (author)RavensCraft2012-07-11

Oh, I very much like this idea! Personally, I like it best so far ;-)

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Re-design (author)2012-07-10

Sell it on Ebay and pick up an oscilloscope. One of the larger Tectronics units look great. Feed it a sine wave of even better the output of a radio. or maybe hook it up to a small amp with a mic. The moving trace on the screen is captivating.

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Hellwolve (author)Re-design2012-07-10

Thanks for the idea, but I doubt this would generate enough money for me to buy one of the larger Tecronics units ;-)

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Re-design (author)Hellwolve2012-07-10

Feed audio from a radio to the terminals on the back of the meter thru a diode. Start with very little volume then increase.

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Hellwolve (author)Re-design2012-07-11

Hmmm, yeah, that'd get her nice and random :-)

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Kiteman (author)2012-07-10

Check the inputs - I would make something that will generate a signal to make the needle twitch randomly.

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Hellwolve (author)Kiteman2012-07-10

Please see what I replied to steveastrouk; the inputs do have me think that it's something to do with audio. I suppose that having it twitch randomly will ultimately end up with Ardino? ;-)

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Kiteman (author)Hellwolve2012-07-10

Oh, if it's audio, you could just play in a music track.

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Hellwolve (author)Kiteman2012-07-10

I'd gladly do so, where it not that I've no idea what to put where how ;-)

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Kiteman (author)Hellwolve2012-07-10

I'd be inclined to prod about in the input sockets with a pair of leads connected to a watch battery until something twitches.

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Hellwolve (author)Kiteman2012-07-10

That sounds like a solid idea :-)

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steveastrouk (author)2012-07-10

What connectors does it have on the other sides ? It looks almost like a mixer

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Hellwolve (author)steveastrouk2012-07-10

I've attached a few photos of the backside to this reply; what do you think?

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