Iron Man II Preview

OK, we finally made it. After office hours, I had to wait for two more colleagues to rush home and take their bath before we start out journey. Because it was raining, the evening jam at Kota Damansara was very bad. Not only did I waste one hour there, I lost a lot of petrol too, no thanks to the stop-go action in the jam with the air-con on as well.

Anyway, Richard promised me the free tickets since I modified his toy Arc Reactor and the costume. Still, I would like to put it on record that I would like to remove the white plastic cap in the costume and put in my Modified Arc Reactor to make the costume stand out more.

These two guys were happy as heck.

Because just after the movie, someone cut the credits
to show us the end parts. And then, War Machine and
Iron Man appeared.

Yeah, the crown went nuts!

The Repulsor
After showing this to Richard, (and he did not laugh), he advised me to put it on, something which I did not understand until the end of the movie. By the time the costumers came out, I was a bit embarrassed to show mine but after a while, everyone knew what it was and I was not shy at all. So, for the rest of the night, I showed everyone my working repulsor.

Egged on, I went down there and showed my Repulsor
along with the guys. And we took lots of photos, thanks
to Peter who took mine for me. See the yellow Arc on
the left? I did that but I wished it was brighter & white.

Although you can't see it, but Iron Man's eyes were lit with white EL (I think) while War Machine's was RED. Later on, I had to help War Machine down the stairs with the 'One, Two' buddy step system because they could not see at all in that costume. By the time I took the guys back to their homes and took my shower, it was already half past one in the morning.


I love the De Lorean DMC12. I just love it. Ever since I saw it for the first time in Back to the Future, I just fell in love with it. And now, after so many years (or decades) a decent sized toy came out. I won't say its a Studio Model or even a model because if you're a BTTF fan, you will notice its inaccuracies. And if you're a real anal one, you'd be so disappointed to the point of actually committing hara-kiri.

As I have said, its a toy. A toy big enough to fit all your 3 3/4" figures. A toy big enough for you to 'play' out your fantasies. Anyway, I was tempted to get one until I realised a few problems:

1) The box art says "Back to the Furute II" when in fact the car is from the Back to the Future I movie. The is no Mr. Fusion and the wheels do not lock up for hover mode. This was due to licensing royalties.

2) The front grill is slanting and does not even have the 'DMC' logo.

3) The seat belts are molded and painted onto the chair.

And so, I did not buy it. But my heart still yearns for it because:

1) Spurred on by my Iron Modifications successes, I want to incorporate a Radio Remote system into it.

2) I want to modify the lighting inside the car's cockpit, especially the Flux Capacitor

3) I also want to modify all the lighting in the toy.

But lets just see how much I have after the salary 'deductions' and whether its still there in May.......

This is the De Lorean on sale at The Outpost. And for
no reason, I want one. I could not afford it but I want
one. What scares me is the thought of opening it up
and do obscene things with it.

This is the actual version I wanted since well long
long ago. However, I asked myself, why do I need
it for after i bought it? To modify and then sell it
off or modify as a table-piece? The word modify...

Anyway, after seeing it personally at The Outpost,
I really do want one. Bwaaaaa...........

I should not have pushed the button.
I should not have pushed the button.
I should not have pushed the button.

I should not have pushed the button.
I should .... I want one! Bwaaaa.......

Want one!
Want one!

Want one!

I think I may have some Compulsive Disorder

If not, why do I need to clean everyone's balls?

The Last Minute Repulsor

OK, this is a rush job for me. All the while, I had all the time from Sunday to Wednesday to do this. But in the end, I rushed it through on Wednesday night. For it was because most of the things I have (hoarded), could not be found due to so many boxes. Secondly, the family drill, I found out, broke years ago. By Tuesday, the draft of the armature is ready. It won't be near anywhere like the one you saw in Iron Man I. And so, by Wednesday, I had bought a drill at the nearest DIY shop near the office. And then by Wednesday evening, the drill bit I had out was of the size which meant I had to waste more time and money to get the correct bit.

And so, the real project started at 9PM and by 4 in the afternoon, it was finished. I had to call it a day because the drill bit actually shattered when I accidentally hit it on a table. I was so distraught not only because of the pressure I had unnecessarily subjected myself to but it finall dawned on me the huge amount of work left to make it look reasonably convincing.

Still, at least the thing is working 4 out of 10 times.

The raw materials which I bought. I only ended up using
less than 30% of it. What a waste.

Yeah, it does not look anything remotely like what you
saw in the movie.

Still at least it worked. And the saving grace is that
in the movie, the Arc Reactor lit up exactly like you
saw in the image above.

And so, I have less than 18 hours to go, to see if this monstrosity works in front of a crowd......

The biscuit

'Daddy, I give you this biscuit'
'Thank you. So nice of you'
'No la. I don't like it anymore'

Two days later.......
'Eh, why are you eating the biscuit, girl? I though you don't like it?'
'I hungry, Daddy'

Mother's Day Sunday Lunch

Yep. It Mother's day Lunch again this year. And so, everyone was invited to Shangri-la for the buffet at 1PM. As usual, we were the first to arrive (if we're not early, we're late. Very late. Heh) and so, get to enjoy the atmosphere. Shangri-La has just spent about RM136 Million to refurbish its interiors and I must say, its beautiful, especially where the lounge is.

The girls posing before going into the buffet

The ambience was quite envigorating and I felt
so at home. But then again, when I said we were
early, I meant we were very early.

Food galore and after bringing Kristine
around to choose her food, she was all

Minutes later, she became distraught, and silent.

Yep, this is the reason why. There is a clown roving
on the grounds outside. Incidentally, they and the
activities are for the children whose parents came
for the buffet. They even have an inflatable castle.

As for Kaelynn, well, she did not mind
the clown. She just started on her meal

This was my third plate. Greedy little me took the
sticky white cone which turned out to be very rich
white chocolate. Unfortunately, with everyone now
about, I could not place it back in front of the Chef...

To take her mind off the clown, we let her play
with their younger cousin, Ian.

By the time I took Kaeynn outside,
it was time for them to go as they
were booked until 3PM. So the Clown
gave her a yellow balloon flower

Someone left her a Nikon D40 and she did not
RTFM. So I told her, just shoot and play with
it. But she has to know what the jog dial's for.

All in all, it was a wonderful afternoon where
I enjoyed every moment tremendously. The
only problem was that there were no bed.....

Doing something Repulsive

Actually, this should have been done by Saturday but because Saturday was my only chance (and freedom) to get my Star Trek Navigation & Strobe circuit sorted out, I could not do much about it. But not before I had a good look and took the thing apart.

The toy was really meant for children, which you strap them on their hands and palm. To use the repulsor, they just have to flick their wrist upwards. But because the toy uses missiles that shoots from the bottom of the wrist, I could not help but to think about Spider-Man. Anyway, after taking it apart, I more of less know what I needed from Pasar Road.

And try as I might, I could not convince Richard to let me take the toy apart until next week. And so, I told him, I would buy this toy outright from him instead. Ha ha ha.

OK, so I spent one midnight to do this. Most of
the time was spent to look for a 20 sen coin as
it has the only diameter to fit into a casing.

Iron Man came to our house!

Well not really. He literally came in one piece. Just ONE piece and missing the glove.

As discussed the previous night, at The Outpost shop, since Richard did not have the Iron Man costume for me to examine, it was almost impossible for me to decide how I would approach his costume problem with the toy. Further probing from him more or less confirms that there was no need for any drilling. But still, I was clueless.

Movie War Machine or Mark II?

And so, as promised, he came over to my house with the Iron Man chest segment for me to work with, and I have at least three hours before he returns for them. Which is fine for me as I can now finish this job instead of letting things hang. Previous nights discussions led us from meeting at The Outpost, or SS1 or, some other place but as things progressed, and with Lady Luck beside me, it ended up at our house. I mean, if I were to go to these other places, Friday evening jams are going to shatter all our well laid plans.

And best of all , Peter was there later in the evening bringing a packet of sweet and stuff, much to the delight of the girls. And so, both of us waited and waited for *ahem* someone to show up which he did, eventually, about an hour past the deadline. And so, he got he armour, I got a repulsor toy to 'play' with for one week. But suffice to say, at the end of the night, we 'booked' a lot of good stuff, which I think, might not be heading to the shop but to our homes. Ha ha ha ha ha!

Kaelynn look as menacing as possible
with the chest armour.

As usual, if you really want to know more, go to the fourth and final page on my Website.

The Toy Story 2 visit

When I came back from work, Kristine was excited. No, not because of me but because of something that happened at school. Apparently, there was a visit from someone from Hong Kong who showed them snippets of Toy Story. And they got presents. Kristine told us she got first prize for her drawing efforts.

And so, this lady from Hong Kong
save Kristine a nice bag of stuff

For her, erm, personal interpretation
of Woody from Toy Story...... erm, wow.
Maybe she has my ahem creativity and
imagination........ Well, I hope so, anyway.

GreenTech 2010

I am still not sure where this 'green' thing is heading when it comes to Malaysia. For all you know, its just another 'theme' for making money and nothing to do with conserving the environment or stop the culling of animals, etc. Because, I was expecting a lot of the 'right' people to be there. Just to lower the bar, I was expecting just, well, people to be there.

But it wasn't. And to tell you something, either the Expo organisers were not doing their best or, no one is interested about the environment. Because, people, this show was great! It not only opened my eyes about the participant's efforts in helping various Industries in saving the Environment, it also tells me where we stand as a whole. You have companies which uses bio technology (you) to clean litter, paints that reduce tempratures, technologies which improves air-con efficiency and even alternative lighting. I was so excited, that I literally had to stop myself from taking too much pictures unconsciously as sometimes, you really need to ask their permission first. Anyway, here are some highlights:

There were two companies that were using recycled
waste to turn them into something useful. One of
them was BerjayaPak which turned broken pallet
wood from this.....

..... to this. And what is good
is that they are waterproof!

This is a thin film printable solar cell, which can
be used on curved surfaces and also in everyday
products such as umbrellas, tents, backpacks, etc.
But its efficiency still needs to be improved to
match the actual photovoltaics. Here, a small area
is enough to generate power for some LEDs uisng
only fluorescents.

Sadly, not many shared my enthusiasm

Suffice to say, this was a great show. Maybe I am expecting too much on a Friday afternoon but to be honest, I was actuall hoping to get some samples and/or souvenirs from these amazing technologies but well, brochures for the Boss is enough. Well, heres to GreenTech 2011 or more of these shows this year!

Viper's Deep Space Nine

This model came into my hands today, after viper from SFTPMS delivered it to me in my office. It was on sale months ago and I told him, if it remains unsold by April, I would be very interested. And so, as luck would have it, its mine!

This would be my second DS9 model, as the first one remains missing or in pieces. But this one is special.....

For RM160, the model is still in its wrappings,
which is a very good thing indeed.

And these are the things included inside the
box. At one time, AMT packed these all into
the model, which is a good deal. Some even
came with lights and sound.

And as s bonus, it even has a NCC-1701A poster

Modifying an Iron Man II Arc Reactor toy Part 2

And so, on the next night, I started to put my plan into action for Peter's mod. His request is to have the Arc Reactor's lights come on at will and not needing to press the front cover every few seconds. And so, after the he left last night, the idea came to me while I was in bed.

The thing is, to have that feature, all possible solutions are not feasible except for one, which is to use a micro-switch. And so, by midnight, I got it done, hours after Peter left his toy with me. Its not easy because I was doing this sleepy-eyed. Heh.

Just took a sneak with this machine
at the office. Not too heavy nor light.

And so, with the micro-switch in place, all Peter
has to do is to twist the arc left or right. No need
to fumble with hidden switches nor wires.

You have to go to my Website, to read more in detail

Modifying an Iron Man II Arc Reactor toy Part 1

After picking up the toy from Richard at The Outpost shop, I quickly got bored with it. I mean, I know the toy has yellow lights. But as far as I know, Iron Man/Tony Stark's Arc Reactors are whitish blue. So, I got to thinking, what if I just modify the leds?

Yeah, it was a simple one because of the design. What they did was to have a separate PCB board for the three LEDs. And when I looked at it, it was just a simple resistor and LED network. Then again, this toy uses only two AAA batteries, which means, at 3 volts, there is not much power to play with.

Stage 1 Modification
So, the first modification, which I call it as Stage 1, was to change the yellow LEDs into White LEDs. You can use either 3mm or 5mm versions but beware on the shades of white. Some tend to shift towards yellow, while others go to blue.

The original (left) against the Stage 1 mod (right)
Arc Reactor.

Advanced Stage Modification
I took the idea further because I was not too thrilled with only three white LEDs. I wanted more LEDs and not necessarily more brightness. I want the Arc to look as if it was a continuation from the first movie. This modification took a lot of time because of the methods I used. But the end result was worth it.

The Stage 1 mod (left) versus the Advanced Stage Mod (right)

After talking with Peter, I finally found the solution to where he and Richard (from The Outpost) requested the Arc to have the lights on and off at will and not follow the 'sound'. And the solution (in my opinion) must not have any visible switches. Do you have the solution? If not, wait for a few days as I need to find/buy an electronics component.....

The downside

I am feeling very down today. At the final stage, the circuit developed problems. It was working so well during the prototype stage. And now, I don't know what to do.

I can go to the guys at Pasar Road because they have an Engineer on Saturdays. But for the rest of the week, I am wasting time. The problem started when I was burning-in the circuit for a few more days before I discovered the problem. Seemed like one set of LEDs are very dim and they flash as well as the other set for LEDs. It should not be happening. The problems started once I add in the RED and GREEN leds. The two sets of LEDs robbed the power so much that the White LEDs looked as if they were about to die off. And worse of all, when the other LEDs flash, they followed too. This is a disaster.

And it worked fine during prototype stage.....

With so many boards, it would be a waste. I am in
panic mode now and my savings are gone. Haih.

Trip to Pasar Road

Today is a good day for me, even though I arrive a the shop in the afternoon. By now, they are asking me was I so late since I usually go there early in the morning. Ha ha.

Anyway, business is slow today, and so, we get to talk more about..... stuff. And then I get to see more about their.....stuff. And I am now, really hoping to get some money in. Why? Its simple. Circuit Boards. Normally, when you need to prototype a circuit, you do it on the stripboard. But the next stage after that is, well, the actual circuit board. And this is the problem.

You need to design and make one or a few prototypes before going full production. Really. Because if you did not, and there is a design mistake, you're talking about wasting a lot of good quality boards. Going to Pasar Road to get them do it for you could be very expensive or taking a long time since they could be oursourcing the job. And so, in the end, you have to DIY.

Two things I hate about making my own board is, one, you have to etch it yourself and this means dealing with chemicals which is toxic and permanently stains not only your clothes but the floor and everything around you. Second, you have to drill the holes out and keep replacing drill bits because they get blunt very fast by the fibreglass (since you're too cheap to by thos eultra expensive and brittle tungsten drill bits).

I do have some equipment but stopped after I *ahem* got married. And so, I think, its time to continue again.

This is a RM2,000 over UV exposure unit.

The difference between this and mine is that it
has a timer, the option to switch one or both
UV banks, and best of all....

... it has a vacuum pump to get the board and
the postive film to stick to the glass. Yes, this
one can do a double-sided PCB!

But I am not going to buy that since I already
have a 1998 Rm750.00 version. Anyway, a
quick one here. Once you expose the board
to the UV light, its time to develop the board

So, you add some developer chemical to the
water and shake the tub about until...... yes!

And this is the positive film for the PCB

And I am so in need of this etching tank. More
than 10 years ago, I wanted someone to do it
for me but afraid that the silicon sealant might
react with the etching solution and this will
make the tank leak over time. You do not want
this to happen when you're away. Trust me. So,
this model has the heater, agitator and comes in
a compact form. They're testing this right now
and so far, so good. So they might be bringing
it in a few months later.

But that's not the reason I was there. Just
getting to see it was a stroke of luck. I was
there because of the need to get a spotlight
which is not so hot until it heatrays a plastic
model to oblivion.

And so, a MR16 LED spotlight is just the answer.
Inside this are four 1watt Luxeon type LEDs and
the decorative metal enclosure is actually it very
own heatsink and air-flow vent.

You can use those normal MR16 connectors on
the LED spot but you have to remember, it can
only use 12 volts DC and not 240volts AC.

And I can tell you that it is very bright. Its like
having a brand new Krypton Torchlight.

OK, so now you're going to ask, why the yellowish
colour as this white LEDs are supposed to be pure
white? The answer is, I chose WARM WHITE and
not PURE WHITE. Yes, there are a lot of shades
of white in the LEDs now, from warm to pure to
slightly towards blue or yellow, etc.

After testing it for an hour or so, it does get warm. Not
hot but warm and this is on a ventilated area. I do not
want to test it overnight with no ventilation conditions
as I do not want to wake up with a fire in there. Oh, its
bright and this is the exact brightness you see when I
was in a room with no other lighting but a 6pm dusk
through the windows.

I noticed there is an extra reflector/lens in the
middle of the spot. And I think this is the only
reason why there is a whitish yellow core.