November 10, 1984 - This is an edit of old video I kept while working at KOLD-TV in Tucson. This includes an excerpt from the 10pm news with a story about the Tus-Con XI masquerade, along with some raw footage shot for the story. As far as I know these are the first images of our (mostly) finished packs. We'd worn them a few weeks earlier at a Halloween costume contest at a bar.
We coudln't find tan jumpsuits in Tucson, so we had to go with the standard green Air Force surplus versions. We still hadn't quite finished our packs. I'm missing the N-filter and crank; Bryan's pack is missing that and the bumper, and we're short on stickers.
The raw footage includes another Ghostbuster who obviously didn't have the reference materials we had. His isn't horrible under the circumstances, and he actually won the contest since he did that hilarious skit. We won for Outstanding Craftsmanship-Recreation. Typical for us.
October, 1985 - By the following year we had finished our packs and purchased imitation khaki flightsuits. This video was taken outside of a local Haunted Mansion that Bryan and I worked on.
This is video of the lights I added over the course of a few years, starting with the red Cyclotron lights, then the blue Power Cell lights, then the lights in the gun.
I built the circuits myself with design help from some engineers at the TV stations I worked at and Forrest Mims' electronics books. The lights are powered by 4 "D" cells, 2 "C" cells, 4 "AA" cells and a 9V battery. The oscillating blue light is a compromised version of the real prop effect. I wasn't able to light all ten incandescent bulbs at the peak of its cycle with these kinds of batteries, so I made this oscillating circuit.
Here's bonus video of the PKE Meter I built in 1989 (to coincide with Ghostbusters 2) with electronics I updated in 2011. (Sorry for the sweaty handle; the touch switches require moist skin.)
I based my design on close observation of Ghostbusters recorded and viewed on professional NTSC videotape equipment and monitors, along with a little sketch I made when I had the opportunity to hold the real prop in 1986 (sadly, we didn't have a camera with which to take photos).
I built a positive from balsa wood and then made two-part fiberglass molds of each half. I then laid up fiberglass into those molds to make the final shells.
The arms were originally driven by a modified model tank motor and custom gearing limited by micro switches. Touch switches activated the arms and the LED chasers. It was a very delicate setup, and it eventually broke beyond repair.
In 2011 I gutted those electronics, replacing the electromechanical nightmare with a single servo controlled by a fairly simple servo driver circuit. I modified the LED chaser circuit to make it more accurate and changed the configuration of the touch switches to be more like the real prop.
I'm currently working on a new version based on an Iona shoe polisher and very good reference photos taken at Modern Props by Bryan when he worked as a set decorator.
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