Intro: Ratchet and Clank Groovy Gun. (How to Make a Insane Ipod Amplifier)
Ever more tired from all those standard mp3 players that look like all the same?
Ipod in the center, speakers around it and few options you never use?
I am not the first that builds its own Ipod amplifier system except this one is something
that looks a lot cooler. I"ve got the idea from the well known "Ratchet and clank" games
(being a big fan of it) and decided that a little functionality should be applied on it.
In this case a "Lombax weapon or gadget" with a ipod functionality.
If you have to save the universe you need your music with you, any Lombax would agree...
Yet again this is a example of what you can make in any other shape or form.
Feel free to make any other "weapon" or design one your comfortable with using these steps.
Step 1: Get Your Stuff...
In your fantasy nothing is impossible, in the real world it is, so take your time collecting material and stuff.
It happened all the time that I finished a project and found something that looked really nice but could not be integrated anymore this far into the project. Drawing works in this case the best when you have your materials ready, draw a design that you like the most and figure out the technical difficulties on it. (specially the electronics) Tip: Build outside all the electronics you need and then test it before building it into your "gun" or thing...
In the next picture you see the collected materials I got: a pvc pipe, a very large ink cartridge and a few Laserjet cartridges.
Preparation work first: Take everything that is dirty or filthy outside and clean it there, I can guaranty that you will regret doing this sort of thing inside. I emptied the cartridge ink in a plastic bag and cleaned the rest with water and soap. (dispose both the water and filthy residue in a proper way, I am living 2 km from a garbage disposal center. I hope you know what I mean?
Step 2: Start Building It...
Alright, lets build the thing, you should know by now where everything goes. Yet again are paper and pencil powerful tools. Draw a circle and use the compasses to figure out the tree sides where the cartridges comes. Then cut out the hole and put the paper around the pipe and draw the markings on the pipe. Measure next if everything is on the right hide and drill the holes. I did this on two separate places on the pipe so the cartridges are secured into place.
Next I fitted some wood into the ink cartridge to make it a lot stronger and to close it all up again with just a few screws. And now it CAN be fitted on the pipe as well, from the outside.
I also made a hole fore the firing switch using a drill and a saw to make a scare hole.
Step 3: More Building on It...
Here I test fitted the hole thing, looks nice..
Next I determent the leght on the pipe (just by feeling) and sawed the access off.
Of course it wouldn't end there, I drew a triangle kind of design on the end and sawed it out.
Unfortunately your limited by what a saw can do, otherwise I could do much better then that.
This hole step has bin done again with paper, pencil and a bendable protractor, I love those things.
Tip: Keep measuring everything, ones cut the damage is irreversible.
Step 4: Building the Back and Elektronics.
Still a long way to go..
Next you will see the almost finished back off the gun made out of wood. (sorry that I didn't made pictures in the early state of it) You an see the speaker in the center (a special "sub woofer" speaker that produces high bass sounds for its size.) Before that will come a wire mesh that prevents the speaker from damaging or sharp objects.
Underneath there is a switch visible that regulates the power supply. (on, off, charging battery)
I fitted the switch and leds into place with some aluminum that I cut to size and shape. Next picture shows how it would look like inside the pipe. A big battery is placed on top of the speaker for the power supply, secured with a bracket. The pipe will hold the battery into place, but the bracket prevents it from bouncing forward and backwards. On top of that is a flasher that will be activated when the firing switch is tricked. All this have to fit it into the small pipe...
Step 5: Add-ons...
Next we are going to put some extras on the pipe, this old motor can function as a extra grip on the gun.
When the rotor of the motor is removed there is a beautiful hole left where a bolt fits trough. Mounting it directly on the pipe. Extra bolts on the side (not visible) prevents it from turning around its axle.
Two grips on the other side (purchased by a DIY store) should take care of that side.
On top of it is the Ipod case, fitted with to screws in the center of it. (this is very imported!!!)
Sooner or later there will be another Ipod coming, by just removing the two screws you can fit any other Ipod casing on it without seeing the ugly holes. These screws are putted into the plastic so Ipod will still fit in there.
Last thing: remember the cartridges? There are now fitted with leds and the necessary wiring...
Step 6: Tape and Painting...
Now we are going to see results: after sanding, its time to paint.
Basic colors for Ratchet: YELLOW, and red and grey...
The wooden back was easily taken care of with a paint roller.
After two cotes I spray painted the back with silver paint, now it looks like a aluminum back side.
The pipe was more difficult, after suspending the pipe in mid air (again outside) I painted the pipe in a few cotes. While doing this I hit the pipe by accident, again sanding the pipe and repainting it proofed the solution. I also painted some add ons for obvious reasons. I do recommend taking your time with taping absolutely everything off!!
Next I taped the front of the pipe of and painted it again with yellow paint, so the end of it looked smooth and dangerous.
While watching paint drying, I made this gun holder/thing. It holds the gun up when not in use.
The holders on top are made from the left over pvc pipe and some black fabric clued on it.
Step 7: Putting It Together (finaly)
That gun holder thing proofed itself during the final stage of constructing.
Here you can see the back and battery that "should" slide into the pipe. (we will keep this for later)
With two screws I could fit the first "auxiliary" guns as I call them. After 15 minutes they where all in place. A normal screwdriver could not be used in this process so I used a part of ratchet to put it together.
The led fittings where clued into place, and holding together by tape. I let it dry over night, a "clue it all" contact clue was justed to do this. And since leds don't worm up like light bulbs do, the clue doesn't let go after a few months...
Really visible is the second screw that stops the grip from spinning around its axle. With a few simple bolds and rings this was fitted very easily. No problems there....
Same thing for the grips on the other side and the Ipod case on top. Anyone who can turn a screwdriver can do this....
Step 8: Putting It Together, Part Two...
Electronics, love it or hate it...
After sliding in a part of the battery system, I soldered the wires and extend them so the back can be pulled out again for maintenance. All the wires where pulled out of the hole in the middle of the gun where the last "cartridge" was going to be.
Into this "cartridge" (I refer now to it as a; double semi power on-the-rock mega plasma distributer) is a little amplifier that you can buy at any electronic store for a few euro's of dollars and can assemble yourself. The volume is regulated by the Ipod so all we have to do is connect the speakers, power, input and the firing switch.
The fome will keep the amplifier into place without having to drill more holes for the screws witch makes it ugly. Next step is closing it all up, I must note that inside there, another speaker is placed witch will push the sound out of the front of the gun. Next is closing it all up, simple push the hole battery and speaker system in there...
A little problem was all the wires, it prevented the flasher and battery from pushing forwards.
This was solved by pushing one wire away at the time.
After purchasing a few A4 size blank stickers, I "created" these stickers using Photo shop and a screen shot taken from the game. The last photo shows the stages trough Photo shop making it ready to print on the sticker-paper.
Step 9: Finished (almost)
See what I mean? A little boring to see it like this...
After applying the stickers it looked much better, now its really a Lombax gadget...
Next the beautiful pictures of the "groovy gun" as I named it, enjoy those.
The sound quality is very good, but you can hear some kind of void. Same thing like screaming trough a pipe, your voice will sound different. But it isn't hardly noticeable, and its only at the front. It produces very loud music for those little speakers inside. The battery was maybe a little bit overkill for this project, it still isn't depleted yet... (1 month later)
Now we are ready to fight those who pose a threat against our galaxy, if we can handle this weapon that is... or better said: "Yet another weapon not mend for this world."