Yokes, Seats and Panel Lights

Hi Gang,

TEDx Nashville was a success and the congratulatory handshakes are done… time to get back to work! ; )

As I had mentioned, the seats were a little too high and the console a little too low.  People were banging their knees on the lower instrument panel.  So… we’ve address both of these issues in preparation for the actual cockpit platform.

Mike and I then attacked the mounting plate for the ESB yokes.  Mike designed a quick image and laser cut the shapes that were adhered together.  The PVC yoke base slips into place and will be held together by various greeblies – more on that later

I then had a wild idea but I wasn’t sure exactly how or if it would even turn out.  As many of you know we’ve been desperately searching for the original panel lights used throughout the SW films.  Nobody has seen anything!  And then the idea hit me… what if I cut thin clear acrylic donuts and adhere them to backside on the panel light I fabricated?  HMMMM…  Would it work?

Finally… we have GREAT news!!!  Rob Adams from Mind Gear Labs was kind enough to loan us floor space in his lab for the entire cockpit to sit.  We couldn’t be more thrilled and we’re REALLY excited!  We start to move this weekend!

Stay Tuned!  More to Come!

TEDx Nashville Recap, Part II

Hi Gang,

As Chris mentioned, TEDx Nashville was a COMPLETE success!  Everything up until the morning of the show ran like clock work!  All that was left was a simple drive north…  Sounds easy, right?

I think things happen for a reason.  We know the Where, we know the How and we certainly understand the When… But it is the “Why” it happened that is so confusing…  UGH…

Chris stated it was probably best that we didn’t set up before the show… I guess things happen for a reason.  We arrived with only 15 minutes to spare before lunch break.  At noon 1200 people decended upon us…  It was AWESOME!

There are LOTS more pics and Vids coming in the next few days!  Jake was a madman with the camera and we’re going through all the images and finding the best ones to post.  Also, we’re having a professional photographer snap some pics of the console.  More on that later,

Finally… A HUGE THANKS goes out to the entire Huntsville team: Jake, Daniel, Mike, Jessie, Doug, Morgan, Scott and Tony (who was nice enough to stop by during those final hours). You all are absolutely amazing and I thank you ALL for your time, efforts, enthusiasm and your dedication to this project…  You have my respect and gratitude and I thank you all so very much.

Also, thanks to Chris and Leah for bringing the stand alone platform!  Sure is a lot easier than the cockpit!  ; )

TEDx Nashville Recap, Part 1

I think I’ve finally recovered from the excitement and madness that was TEDx Nashville 2014. It was a blast, and I am so grateful to the organizers for asking me to present and allowing us to bring the console for all to see and experience. I was physically and mentally exhausted after the event, having been there, on my feet, for over 12 hours.

I arrived at the venue at 7:30am on Saturday to check in as a speaker/presenter and to bring R2 and the touring console base and seats. I got word that Greg and the Huntsville crew were having transportation difficulties (I’ll let him explain in an upcoming post), so we worked around the problem and it all ended up being OK in the end. I actually think it worked out better having the console not be there in the morning and be revealed when the attendees broke for lunch.

The console was a huge hit. We got lots of excited attendees to sit in the seats and check out all the controls, lights and sounds. We may even have picked up a few more project volunteers as well. Greg and Jake will have lots of photos to show in an upcoming post.

My presentation was titled “Robots, Spaceships, and Greeblies: Build Your Dream”.  I talked about how I was able to get into Star Wars costuming and droid building by finding like-minded dreamers and working as a group to realize our shared dreams. We were also able to give back to the community by raising money for charity and teaching others the skills we had learned during our builds. The Falcon Project is the next big step in that process. The video of my talk should be available in a couple weeks. I’ll be sure to post a link when it’s ready.

I also announced our new project called Greeblies, which will be a free online resource for crowdsourcing fabrication projects. We are working with Make Nashville and some coding communities to get this new web-based service running. Sign Up Page

Here are a few photos of the event, most of which are of me and R2 on stage during my presentation, as well as the cool illustrations that were done live, right next to the stage, by Peter Durand of Alphachimp Learning Systems LLC during the talks.

The Day Before…

Hi Gang,

It was a MAD dash to the finish line before TEDx Nashville.  But we got it done!

I finished up the throttle housing and painted the “saw blade” greeblie Jessie designed and laser cut

I was hoping to have the armrest greeblies finished in time…

Jessie and I created and cut these back panels to protect the wiring

And we now have a nav screen… And a final finished console!  Enjoy the pics!

A HUGE THANKS goes out to entire team:  Jake, Daniel, Mike, Jessie, Doug, Morgan, Scott and Tony (who was nice enough to stop by during those final hours).  You all are absolutely amazing and I thank you for your time, efforts, enthusiasm and your dedication to this project…  I thank you all so very much!

And Now… TEDx Nashville

The Home Stretch!

Hi Gang,

We are so close to finishing up the console!  Without getting too wordy!  Enjoy!

Greeblies, Details, Tiles OH MY!

The new back panel is finished!

The new matte box / nav screen put up a fight ALL night… I didn’t get as far as I would have liked

Mike designed and laser cut these speaker covers

We finally adhered the 1″ tiles to MOST of the panels

Final PUSH this evening to get everything done giving us Friday to relax before TEDx

Stay Tuned!  More videos coming!

Throttles, Nav Screen, Lights OH MY!

Hi Gang,
Forward progress… It has been a VERY busy 2 days. We have LOTS of pics and updates… So, let’s get to it!

Throttle Housing / Levers:  Over the past few days Mike and I finally hammered out the the throttle lever / housing!  Although the levers are temporary, they look pretty good!

After a rough start Mike and I nailed down the new Nav Screen

Jake and Doug rocketed through the wiring / LEDs!

The back panel then got some much needed attention

Last night was a HUGE push to get the upper instrument panel all wired up.  I’ll permanently adhere the 1″ tiles to the panel this evening and call this panel DONE!  This is where we are!

More to Follow!


Levers, Greeblies and Some Lights

Hi Gang,

Forward progress…  Since we only had 2 throttle levers Mike and I went ahead and quickly / crudely fabricated 4 temporary levers.  I don’t like them at all but at least we have 4 matching units now sitting in the throttle housing…

Jake and Doug continued marching forward with the electronics!  I switched gears and worked on the console greeblies and Doug’s son, Morgan, shadowed me and was a tremendous help with the throttle housing and greeblie ideas!  By the end of another day this is where we were…

More to Follow!

Mounting the seats to the touring console platform

Here are some photos of the progress today of mounting the cockpit seats to the touring console platform. These seats will eventually be upholstered to resemble the Cobras that were used in the original sets. Had to cut an adapter plate from 1/2″ ply to go between the swivel mount and the seat’s threaded inserts.

Another Great Night

Hi Gang,

Another great night at the lab!  We finally finished the upper panel’s red LEDs and added more sounds to the soundboard.  I immediately got started and wanted to finish the armrest panel so we could quickly move forward.  This meant I had to attach the LED holders and get the pin striping done!

A simple vid with the red LEDs and various new sound files…  Enjoy!

More to Follow so stay tuned!


Hi Gang,

I apologize for the delay in updates.  I’ve been having issues with trying to post and I think we finally figured it out…

We’ve had an amazing week at the lab so far!  We have 3D printed parts, new folks joining the team, sounds, LEDs, Paint, etc…  Enjoy!

And we have LOTS of videos!  Enjoy!

Daniel explaining the first sounds to come from the redesigned console!

Soundboard test

MF cockpit sound on a loop

More to Come this weekend!