Okay, it's not really antimatter, but most people that dare to think for themselves are probably on somebody's watch list, and I don't want to attract attention from any Three-Letter Agencies... And everybody knows there's no such thing as antimatter, right? Right?...
Disclaimer: I am not responsible for your actions. I will not be held liable if you do something stupid with this, including, but not limited to, hurting yourself, taking this model into an airport, Government building, or other public place and causing an incident, being tackled and wrestled to the ground, and/or getting arrested and sent to Gitmo.
This model of a mining/excavating atomic device is based on Nootropic Design's fabulous Defusable Clock, which is:
This gives a whole new meaning to "Atomic Clock!"
Credit where credit is due Dept: Thank you, ewout, for the A-35 Doomsday device. A picture of this got me thinking...
This is a guide only, and should not be followed verbatim, because you will probably not have access to the exact same parts I did, and besides, you want it to be your own artistic creation!
The circuitry described here can be used as-is or modified to taste. You will be able to find parts for the electronics, but probably not the exact same greebles (The things that make it look cooler but don't actually do anything). Some might be hard/impossible to find. Use what you've got in your junk box! I will give sources if I know them for some of the parts.
If you need a cool movie prop, Halloween decoration, or just an alarm(ing?) clock that will command more attention than any other, read on.
Step 1: Press release
July 16, 2035
235 Perro Caliente Ave.
Los Alamos, NM
For Immediate Release:
Nexatomic, Inc. announces the AV-1, the world's first completely clean, safe, adjustable nuclear explosive for mining and heavy earth-moving operations. Mining, dredging, and canal building just moved into the 21st Century!
Project Plowshare, as it was called in development, aims to put the power of the Atom into the hands of industrial excavating operations everywhere. It has been extensively tested at both our Lunar and Terrestrial testing facilities, with zero failures. For the very affordable price of just $1999, every AV-1 has the following features:
Uses of the AV-1 include:
Bulk pricing is available. Buy 10, get the 11th one free!
Step 2: Raid the Junk Box: The bill of materials
As mentioned earlier, I don't expect you to make this exactly as I did, although I will provide patterns and sources if I know them. This project will take some "McGyvering," so be prepared. You will need some basic electronic knowledge and soldering ability to build it as I have. You can, however, do something very similar without any of that knowledge if you buy the pre-assembled clock kit and forgo the mods. I've probably left things out of this list, and if I have I apologize. Hopefully things will be clear.
The heart: The Defusable Clock
The most important thing you need is the Defusable Clock from Nootropic Design. This Arduino based (ATMEGA 328) gadget sells for $32.95 in kit form or $45.95 assembled. It does not include a 9 Volt power adapter or FTDI board for custom programming. If you don't plan to alter the stock firmware, you won't need the FTDI board or any programming knowledge, because it comes pre-programmed. In addition to the clock kit itself, I added these mods:
I removed the DC jack from the board and added a 3-terminal DC jack for AC operation. The wiring is such that on AC it functions as a clock, but on batteries it only shows the countdown.
I replaced all but the "Det" LED with super-Bright white 3MM LEDs, (eBay).
The basic structure
This is what you'll need to make the chassis of the device.
The laser-cut parts are designed in Inkscape, a free vector-editing program. The .svg files can be opened with Inkscape, Adobe illustrator, or any web browser. The file has several alternate parts on it; use what you like.
Step 3: The Junk Box Strikes Back: Parts II, The Sequel
The Neomorphic Implosion Unit
The Control Panel (Monophasic Chronometer)
Step 4: Return of the Junk Box: Parts III
The rest of the electronics
And in a supporting role... (Tools, etc.)
I'm sure I've forgotten something... But I think you've got the idea. This doesn't take a lot of tools.
Step 5: Critical Mass: The Assembly Building
I first assembled the implosion unit. I cut 18 lengths of network cable twisted pairs and placed one in each of the 18 holes in the sphere, holding them in with some brass rivets I had. The rivets are not "set," just glued in. Placing the blue LEDs and the piezo speaker from the Geiger counter simulator inside the gutted shock ball, I closed up the shock ball and sandwiched it between the two acrylic disks, screwing it all together with the 6-32 threaded rods and the aluminum tubing. No dimensions are given for the threaded rods and spacers, you just have to "cut to fit." The tubing spacers are important; Otherwise, you'd probably crack the acrylic by putting too much stress on it as you tighten the nuts. The wires were neatly routed and bundled with zip ties and a clamp.
Next up is the control panel.I cut a section out of the pipe to match the size of the control panel (3 1/4" X 6 1/2"). The best way I've found to do this is measure a "chord" 3.25" wide on one end of the pipe, then use a section of angle aluminum or a door frame to draw straight lines down the length of the pipe. This gives you the position of the long cuts. Measure along the length of the pipe to get the position of the end cuts. The pipe is fairly easy to cut with a hacksaw. The long cuts were done with a Harbor Freight "Oscillating Power Tool" with a roundish blade, but it can also be done by drilling holes in the corners and using a saber saw. The faceplate file has 2 pieces that are half moon shaped to close the ends of the cutout.
I laser cut all the pieces for the faceplate out of black acrylic and cemented them together to make a shallow box. The back plate isn't strictly necessary, but I needed a little more depth for that arcade button, and I wanted a flat back I could glue the rest of the circuitry to. There is also a place to mount the high power LED on the back plate.
I assembled the clock and switches to the front panel, trapping the small acrylic buttons between the panel and clock.
Step 6: Firing circuits: Electronic Assembly
All the lighting circuits are independent of each other, so they are all just wired to the power bus. According to the schematic, when on battery power, the Arm switch must be turned on in order to power the circuit, and since this grounds the "det" pin on the clock, it functions only in countdown mode. When external power is connected, it breaks the normally closed connection on the power jack, and the unit then functions as a clock. It can still be triggered by pressing the red button.
The "Breathing" lights and power jack are placed in the venturi, and a 4-pin Molex cable scrounged from a computer power supply is used to connect the venturi to the main unit.
Step 7: Greeble this: Final Assembly
I mounted the Implosion Unit to the chassis with 6 6-32 screws around the perimeter of the ABS pipe, then mounted the control panel in it's cutout. The two venturi parts are mounted to the end caps with 4-40 hardware.
I screwed the 1/4"-20 acorn nuts to one end of my threaded rods, then placed the end cap with the large venturi part on the rods and added a set of washers and nuts. I test fitted the main assembly with the control panel and sphere onto this, measured, and cut the aluminum tubing to length. I the added another set of nuts and washers. I continued this with the 2 middle parts (The centering rings), then test fitted the end cap with the small venturi, cutting off the excess all-thread.
Important Note: Do not overtighten the nuts holding the acrylic panels. Acrylic cracks easily. Snug is good enough.
The battery holder is mounted underneath the solid end cap (The left as viewed from the front), and the three threaded aluminum knobs make removal easy for battery changes.
The 2 halves of the Molex connector are now connected together, and the various greebles are added, mostly just glued on. Wiring (Most of it fake) is dressed out with black zip ties as needed.
Step 8: Minimum Safe Distance: Finishing Touches
I printed an assortment of labels on clear and silver inkjet label material to add some realism (And a couple of inside jokes). These were also made in Inkscape.
I also tweaked the Arduino code a bit, having it beep only during the last 10 seconds, plus outputting to pin 23 for .05 seconds (For the detonation effect), and another version for demos that recycles the countdown after detonation and a pause. The code is well commented, with "new code" commented where I altered the stock firmware. The only difference between the two is one recycles the countdown after a 60 second pause, and the other does not.
It's done! Now I just have to be very careful where I display it...