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Saucer Separation Lighting

Posted: Fri Jun 19, 2015 11:36 pm
by karakel
Hi All,

Had an idea a while ago while planning enterprise-d/future enterprise-d for contacts between saucer and engineering sections that would allow to be separated and still fully functional. But seeing as my builds are a while off thought I'd share it in case anyone wanted to try it.

Luckily the concept had already been used for car door contacts so the idea seemed sound, however they're not prevalent in the UK so haven't been able to get my hands one yet to check sizes etc. The one below has a flat side which might fit nicely on a cobra head side.


I was thinking mount the plastic frames from the inside so only the metal contacts were visible, then just holes to drill. The other types I've seen online are like the left image round heads so perhaps could fit them back into the model more so less is visible but will still conform to the shape of the model.

Just need the right number of contacts for the circuits you need, the right strength magnets to hold the saucer securely and a second cobra head to hook up a stand. Theoretically adding an additional circuit on the separated cobra head stand would allow the impulse engines to be lit on one but not when attached to the engineering section.

Hopefully this idea will be of use to my Trek comrades and not a crazy mans ramblings :lol:


Re: Saucer Separation Lighting

Posted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:40 pm
by Moongrim
It's only crazy if it doesn't work. The concept does sound it intriguing.

Re: Saucer Separation Lighting

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 8:51 pm
by Cubey Terra
I've been thinking about this problem too. I have the Ent D kit that's cast in clear plastic with the separating saucer. I haven't come up with a definitely plan yet, but I had a couple of thoughts.

* I think I'd want the fewest number of visible electrical contacts. Maybe even try to use photo etch of existing features as contacts?

* Really strong magnets could hold the saucer on. Can the magnets be incorporated into the circuit? A pair of them that double as power source for the saucer?

* Should the saucer light up independently from the battle section? A second power cable might look a bit ugly. Maybe a 12 V rechargeable battery? How long does the saucer need to stay lit when disconnected?

I like the look of those contacts. Is there a version with just 2 contacts?

Re: Saucer Separation Lighting

Posted: Tue Jun 23, 2015 9:27 pm
by Steam235
This is going to sound crazy and I don't know anything about it but .....

I think this could work ... t/overview

Re: Saucer Separation Lighting

Posted: Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:07 pm
by Moongrim
As I recall- the 1701-D cobra head and saucer connection point is basically a spike, this maintains the necessary amount of surface area and friction to keep things connected.

Just a thought- but you could also incorporate that into the design:
With some care and kitbashing you could work it into the design.

Re: Saucer Separation Lighting

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 6:35 pm
by Cubey Terra
I have to say that you have to be very clever to pull off a separating saucer, karakel. Those contacts look perfect. Now that my Ent D is on my workbench, I've put hours of thought to this without accomplishing much.

I didn't have as much luck at the electronics shop. I picked up a few (pricey) neodymium magnets, but couldn't find anything like what you found. I settled for a PC board jumper cable (male/female socket). After a bunch of experimentation, I've found that the spacing between the cobra head and the saucer is too much for even 0.5cmx1cm magnets to exert any significant pull. It just falls apart. :roll:

I've considered weird arrangements where the magnets stick out of the cobra head, but that would look weird. Add the power socket to it as well, and the cobra head is a mess of sockets and magnets, and looks nothing like the show.

So I've arrived at a solution. I'm going to glue the saucer to the cobra head. PROBLEM SOLVED. 8-)

Re: Saucer Separation Lighting

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:03 pm
by Moongrim
Odd behavior for magnets.

One lesser known trick- you can stack magnets to increase their power.

and magnets will lose strength if heated.

Re: Saucer Separation Lighting

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 8:55 pm
by Cubey Terra
Moongrim wrote:Odd behavior for magnets.
It's not surprising, really. If you add the space between the two hulls to the thickness of the plastic, then the magnets are almost a half inch apart, which is too far to have much effect (inverse square law sucks!). To get the really strong effect, they should be no farther than than 1/8 of an inch or less.
One lesser known trick- you can stack magnets to increase their power.
I've heard of this. I wish I had more room inside. But I hear glue works even better than magnets for sticking things together. :)

Re: Saucer Separation Lighting

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 5:19 am
by curt
What about using Rare Earth Magnets? I have used them in some wood working projects. Would have to do a little research on them though. Also you could make contacts from brass and cut or carve them to macth the docking port clamps on the saucer and the cobra head. I may have to play with this :)

Also I know the gentalman who designed and patented the original contacts for the hot rod industryand there are many uses for them and a lot of people use them in various hobbies. I havent spoken to him for a coupke years but his business is/was called Golden Rodtronics.

Re: Saucer Separation Lighting

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2015 3:32 pm
by Moongrim
One aspect I've tried- was just epoxy the magnet into a recessed hole I've drilled, and then had another similar shaped piece of metal epoxied into a similar spot above/below the magnet. You can paint a magnet or the steel plate.