The Box Completed (sort of)

A project log for The Dune Pain Box

Are you an Animal?

big-joeBig Joe 04/29/2014 at 05:350 Comments

On the last update on the box it was starting to take shape, but was far from complete.  The goal with this box was not to get an exact replica of the movie prop.  Rather, due to time constraints, it was decided to at least get a reasonable approximation of the prop.

The false back can be seen here which will separate the hand part from the electronics guts of the device.  The above photo also shows the cover which includes the top and back of the box.  The idea is to make the cover fairly easy to remove in order to have easy access to the electronics.

In order to keep the cover on the box, I decided to use small rare earth magnets to snap the cover in place.  When I tested out the strength of the magnet to magnet bond, it was too strong.  [Afro Spock] was concerned that removing the cover when the magnets were so strong could rip the box apart.  We found through experimentation that 3 layers of duct tape on each magnet reduced the intensity of the bond just enough, while still retaining quite a bit of strength.  Our method of embedding the magnets involved cutting out a properly sized, round hole in the foam core, pushing the magnet in the foam core, and covering it with duct tape.  Keep in mind the magnetic polarity when embedding the mating magnet.  Test it out before committing with tape or glue!  (Don't ask...)

The cut out for the victim / participant's hand is over sized from the proportions of the prop on purpose.  (My brother [Afro Spock] and I [Big Joe] have big ham hands.)  Once the hand cutout was complete we boxed in the interior of the hand chamber so the ultra-sonic sensor wouldn't get false pings from a lip.  The sides flare out in the back to the inside of the exterior walls and come closer together at the front, where they are flush with the front hand cutout.

This photo shows the hand chamber boxed in with more foam core.  Notice the side walls are narrower in the front and flare out in back.  Also visible are the cutouts for the ultra-sonic range sensor in the back, and the hand rest.  The hand rest will be covered in more depth in a separate log.

I made the hand rest removable using hook and loop strips and a couple of connectors.  It may not be clear from the picture, but there are two headers glued across the opening where the ball used to go in the mouse.  One is for the high voltage electrodes and the other is for the hand sensor connections.  There are two mating connectors on the bottom of the box which bring out the high voltage wires and the hand sensor wires to the back.  These connectors were glued in the cutout on the bottom after the hand rest was seated on them to get the height right.  Again, more details on the "pain mouse" will follow in a separate post.

That's basically it for the box.  I had planned to glue some trim to it and paint it to look more like the prop, but I ran out of time.  As I said earlier, it's a crude, but reasonable approximation of the movie prop.  There isn't really anything too critical about this box and there are plenty of other superior ways to do this.  If anyone recreates this project and improves upon the box design / fabrication, we'd love to see it!  Send us a link in the comments.