Google HAL

Introduction: Google HAL

About: I'm an actor/tech/IT/graphics/editor/writer kind of guy. I do a fair share of voice over work and have the full time gig at Bard College at Simon's Rock. While waiting for machines to do things, I hit the wo…

First off, I need to credit AP 333 on the real prop forum for all the heavy lifting to create a screen accurate version of the HAL 9000 panel.

I used his dimensions to create mine. I suggest you start there as well.

For tools I used:

Table saw

Hole saw



Hot Glue gun

E-6000 silicone adhesive

That's about it. I was not going for a 100% screen accurate build, as sourcing a Nikkor lens was too crazy for me and I like to reuse what I have laying around.

I had an old camera lens, a wide angle lens from an old VHS camera, and a couple lenses from inside an old theater lighting instrument. Not quite the full dome lens of the screen version, but I think it will look pretty cool.

Step 1: Step 1: the Box

using the dimensions from AP 333, I created a box out of scrap luan. Just ran the strips through the table saw and used a particle board piece as well. For the front face, I'm using a nicer piece of luan with a decent wood grain.

Glue it together.

For the grill. I know that HAL had speaker holes that were not staggered. BUT I had this metal filter from an old Honda air cleaner. I cut it up and will use E6000 to glue it in place once the paint dries.

Step 2: Step 2: Some Paint

A couple coats of primer, then a couple coats of satin black.

I 3D printed the trim ring, then painted it silver. I've included the file here.

Ok yes, the 3D print is low resolution and it could be cleaner. I know. I wasn't going to worry about it, but the more I look at it, the more I need to fix it. So I'm going to bust out some Bondo®

Step 3: Step 3: the Lens

I work in a couple theaters. So I had access to an old lighting instrument that had some lenses about the right size. I also scored from my junk bin, an old camera lens and the wide angle lens from an old video camera.

Yes you're right. I don't throw stuff away. Especially if I think it looks cool.

Now here's the lucky part. That wide angle lens, fit EXACTLY in the barrel of the lens separator from the theater light.

Using E-6000 I glued things together.

PRO TIP! clean the lenses first. Real clean. You can take things apart later, but wipe off that finger print now.

Step 4: Step 4: the Badge

Again, credit where credit is due. The Real Prop Forum rocks.

I printed out the logo on a color laser, mounted it to a thin piece of cardboard painted silver, then coated the whole thing with a clear satin finish.

Step 5: Step 5: the Trim

While I was painting the lens trim ring silver, I painted up some strips of 1/8" wood silver as well.

I cut the strips to length, sneaking up on the final dimension with a pair of wire cutters. The wood is pretty soft.

Then glued them down with E-6000. The cool thing about a silicone adhesive, is that as it dries, it's easy to rub away any excess.

Step 6: Step 6: Mounting the Google Mini

So the heart and soul of this build. The Google mini. There is thought to add some things to my office that it can control, but for now I just want it to talk and have some answers.

Google knows that someone is going to ask it to open the pod doors. It will respond.

I had thought about taking the mini apart, but keeping it together, just in case I hate the whole project, seemed more reasonable. So the LED's on the front have to line up with the lens, and it has to have its power plugged in.

time for some more glue!

Then wait for it to dry.... wait. wait. wait.

Step 7: Finished!

It sits on the shelf, and the box enclosure actually makes the Google Mini sound better IMHO!

I like it, I like it a lot.

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