Mandalorian Tracking Fob

Introduction: Mandalorian Tracking Fob

After I saw the first few episodes of the Mandalorian I was eager to try to build the tracking fob. Many other people had the same idea and had posted lots of reference material that I could work off of when designing the tracking fob in Fusion 360. I decided to make my own because almost all of the other designs were completely assembled without instructions. This improved design has an inductive charger that powers a blinking led and it has instructions so you can make your own. The measurements for the tracking fob were created by comparing the size in the film to the size of my dad's hand. I made multiple iterations to get the shape right and to make sure all the electronics can fit inside. My design uses an inductive charger set to power the tracking fob so I can put the power supply in side of the glove instead of the tracking fob were there would be no space.

Supplies

  • Black PLA filament (I use filament from Inland.)
  • Gray PLA filament (I use filament from Inland.)
  • Black Testors paint
  • Brown Testors paint
  • Small paint brush
  • Pair of gloves (It does not matter what they look like they just cant be too thick. I use some electrical gloves that looked like they would match the tracking fob. I wanted my gloves to be unique and different from the Mandalorian's gloves.)
  • Black shoe polish ( For weathering the glove.)
  • Wet coffee grounds (for weathering the glove)
  • 9 volt battery with 9 volt battery clip
  • Inductive Charging set
  • 100 farad capacitor
  • 0.1 farad capacitor
  • Red LED
  • 1000 ohm resistor
  • 6800 ohm resistor
  • 470 ohm resistor
  • PCB board
  • Wire
  • Solder
  • Stainless steal cable
  • Gorilla glue
  • Neodymium Magnets
  • Thread
  • Needle

Step 1: Tools Required

For this project you will need a 3D printer, I used a Prusa MK3s with the MMU2s upgrade. You will also need a cutting tool to cut the metal wire to length. I used a Dremel with an EZ Lock Rotary Tool Cut-Off Wheel. Lastly, you will need a soldering iron to create the PCB that we will use to make the LED blink.

Step 2: 3D Printing the Model

This design has been split in Meshmixer for multi color printing. If your printer does not have the ability to print in multiple colors then you can print it in one color and paint the details by hand. The second part of this design was the inductive coil transmitter case. This protects the inductive charger coil wires and circuit board that are in the glove.

Step 3: Post Processing of 3D Print

After printing there may be some support material you have to remove. After that is cleaned up, if your model is a single color you can paint it with acrylic paints to get the desired result. Then you can mix up some black and brown testers paint and weather the the main body and tip of the tracking fob in areas that would get dirty with a small paint brush. Try to have a blended look. You do not want to have very high contrasting areas. If you want the tracking fob to have a rust effect, you can mix ground cinnamon and brown acrylic paint and apply to areas where rust might occur. Cinnamon gives the rust affect a good texture and a realistic look.

Step 4: Metal Cord Cutting, Weathering, and Inserting

In the film there is a rusted metal wire connecting the base to the tip of the tracking fob. At the local hardware store, I was able to cut custom lengths of 3/32" garage door cable. You can also buy 1 foot of this stainless steal cable off amazon which will also work for this project. With a Dremel, I cut two 4 3/4 inch pieces of the metal cable. Make sure you are using safety glasses and gloves for protection, and you cut away from your body. Sparks will fly during the cutting process so ensure there is nothing flammable close by.

I tried multiple ways to weather the cable. I tried to rust the cable but I was not getting enough rust and it was not the right color, so I moved to acrylic paints. I used the black and brown Testors that I used on the main body and mixed them to get a dark brown. I did a first coat with the dark brown and had some patches that were a little lighter. Then about two minutes later I added another dark coat with some cinnamon mixed in for the rust texture. When doing the painting I suggest you look at reference pictures from the film to get the right color.

After the paint dries, use Gorilla Glue, or something similar, to adhere the cap onto the top ends of the two cables. If your cable has a slight curve, make sure it is curving outward because the curve will straighten out when you attach the main body. Next, glue a 5/16 inch neodymium magnet into the slot in the main body...you will see this toward the end of the main body that has the holes for inserting the cables.

After the glue has cured [be patient as this may take some time] insert the two free ends of the cable into the the holes located on one end of the main body of the tracking fob. Now you can adjust the distance you want the tip to be away from the main body by adjusting how much of the cable is inserted. When you have the desired distance, glue in place. I glued mine with about 3 and 3/4 inches between the main body and tip.

Step 5: Soldering Circuitry

Cut your PCB board to fit in the main body of the tracking fob. Prior to soldering, place all of the electronic elements onto the custom cut PCB board. Ensure the LED is correctly aligned so it will fit into the designed hole in the tracking fob, and the capacitors are aligned so the back of the tracking fob can fit over them. Also make sure the back still snaps on because the capacitors can get in the way. Once you are sure that everything is correctly aligned, solder the 555 timer bit blinking led circuit onto the custom cut PCB board (electronics kit). After you solder the blinking led circuit, solder the inductive charging receiver wires to the correct place (5v and GND) on the PCB board.

Step 6: Installing Electronics and Magnet

When you have completed the circuitry, glue the inductive coil into the hole below the magnet you previously glued in place. Make sure the wires go through the cut out slot on the left side. Fold the wire a few times so that it can comfortably fit in. Remember to use a clamp, so the magnet and coil is glued flush against the inset. Then glue in the receiver circuit board, that is attached to the inductive coil, on the interior bottom of the tracking fob. To get it into place you will have to put it at an angle and lower the right side into place first.

Next, get the small circuit board you soldered in the last step and push the led into place on the inside of the tracking fob. If it does not fit then try to change the orientation or placement of some of the pieces, so everything fits inside the tracking fob.

Step 7: Glove Weathering and Electronics

For the Tracking fob to work we need to be able to inductively charge it from a glove when it is in your hand. I found a pair of work gloves at a hardware store. When choosing a glove for this projects make sure is is fairly thin so the inductive coil can still charge the tracking fob through the glove.

The gloves need to be broken in to achieve the desired "weathered" look. You can hit the glove on the ground, cover it in dirt and wash it off, rub coffee grounds into the gloves, and/or use black shoe polish to weather the glove to make it look like in has been used for a few years. Keep working on the gloves until you achieve the weathered look you want.

Once the weathering is complete, add the inductive transmitter. Inset the inductive transmitter coil into the printable case included in the design. You will have to fold the wire for it to fit. Also insert another neodymium magnet for alignment in the slot above the coil. Once you have inserted the coil and magnet use some thread and sew the top onto the case using the small holes in the design. If your gloves are thin enough you can sew the case onto the gloves. if not use an adhesive. I used hot glue, but other adhesives can work just as well.

Find the desired placement of the case within the glove by moving it around inside the glove and checking how it aligns with the tracking fob. The goal is to have the LED light up when holding the tracking fob in the palm of your gloved hand. Then temporarily power the inductive transmitter with a nine volt batter to see if you have a good position which results in the LED blinking. Remember the tracking fob only works when the inductive receiver coil and transmitter coil are very closely aligned and close together.

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