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About Suspend

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  • Birthday October 11

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    Just Outside Vancouver, BC, Canada
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    Movies, XBox, Computers and my 6 year old.

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  • 501st Unit

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  1. I had the exact same issue. There seem to be two pages floating around with paint colors and they reference different colors. I had the wrong one at first too, but realized before actually starting any work.
  2. Hi, just out of interest, where on the chest was the tear? Was it also an AP kit? Thanks...
  3. Hey, I think there's a bit of confusion here. I think Wook meant that Mark at AP may sell larger shoulder bells. I'm just using the regular AP bells. Pandatrooper had a nice shot showing different bells. Apparently the AM bells are quite a bit larger. Maybe something to consider if nothing else works out? Mark (Suspend)
  4. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.... You're getting close.....keep chugging.....
  5. Just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents. After I glued on my cover strips and let things set for several days, I did a hot water bath of the forearms to round out the opening at the elbow. This really helped to relax the tightness on my forearm muscle and made it fit my arm shape much better. Mark
  6. Hey all, I just realized that I jumped ahead a bit. I was so excited to post a pic of the armor that I forgot to finish my posts on the helmet. The green lens material that comes with the AP kit is a little "thin" in my opinion. Apparently it's accurate to the movie but I preferred something a little darker so I picked up the darker lens from TrooperBay. I tried fitting the material in as a single strip, but I couldn't get the material to sit flush against the eye sockets, so I option to install the eyes individually. First this was to head to Home Depot and pick up some Tee-Nuts. Leaving the base as (roughly) a circle was going to make them too large so I cut two sides off the base using my dremel. This allowed me to position the T Nuts around the eye socket. I then cut away the plastidip around the eye and used Sugru to surround the bases and attach them to the helmet. Sugru is kinda hard to find in Canada. I finally found some at "Home Hardware" but they only had the mixed box of colors. So I ended up with black, grey and white. Oh well, I'll paint over them. :-) Give the sugru lots of time to dry. I think they said it dries at a depth of 2mm per day. While waiting I did a "rubbing" of the eye sockets and then hand drew a cleaner version with a buffer around each lens to attach each to the T nuts. And cut out the lens material... I resprayed the plastidip around the eyes then I marked the hole locations on the lens material, drilled the mounting holes and screwed down each lens. I picked up some tactical helmet pads from Amazon. It took some experimenting to decide the best locations for the padding. I wanted it to grab onto my head so the helmet wouldn't flop around. It works pretty well, although I think I'd still like a bit more on the sides of my head. Next I started work on the fans and microphone. I picked up an Aker MR1505. I found you can remove the metal head band and just keep the mic and boom. It velcro's nicely to the side of the helmet. Then I picked up an Anker "big lipstick" style USB battery and I got a fan kit from Ukswrath. I got the fan bracket as well but ended up only using pieces of it. The bracket that the fans attach to is really cool. It fits perfectly in the helmet and looks awesome, but the only place I could find to fit my big usb battery was a the back of the helmet. With the battery there, I couldn't make use of the fan bracket. So I took the bracket apart and used velcro to attach the fans inside the helmet. I took the power switches off the bracket and attached them to the lower ear screws. One on each side. So if I'm trooping, I can individually turn the fans on an off while in costume. It works really well but that USB battery might just be a hair too big. I can BARELY squeeze my head in. Once I'm in, it's fine. Mark
  7. Hey Arlo, I would suggest very carefully checking to see you've wired the mic jack properly, both to the audio board and the jack itself. I had tons of trouble with no audio from my mic. I was using a mono audio jack on the TKTalkie. I'm still not sure if it was the way I wired it up but when I switched to a stereo mic jack, suddenly I had audio from my mic. I can only assume that perhaps I wired it to wrong channel and by switching to a stereo audio jack I had both the left and right wired to the TKTalkie so it started working. Not sure about your "weird sound" issue, but I'd concentrate on problem #1 and see if problem #2 goes away once your mic is working. Mark
  8. Hi Nick, I was just wondering what (if anything) you ended up doing with the top of your right thigh? I've got the same "mismatched height" at the top of the right thigh either side of the cover strip. Did you try to round off the height difference or just leave it as it is? Thanks, Mark
  9. I used the decals that came with the AP Kit. :-) I put the decal in place and then hit it with a hairdryer. The hot air softens the decal and let’s its drape over the button without wrinkles.
  10. What happened to me was that the reticule lines were in focus until I installed the little lens at the front of the scope. Then everything went out of focus. Presumably because the length of the hollowed out blaster scope didn't match the length of the monocular. I just left it but I'm not sure if there would have been a way to correct that? Mark
  11. Ok, after several attempts I re-positioned the belt. First it was a bit low. Then it was a bit lop-sided. Then it was a bit too high and covered too much of the blue button on the smaller panel. Then finally I got it not lop-sided and not covering too much of the button. Thoughts? Lighting is not the best because it's night time. Here's the first shot will all the gear on. Exciting!!!! My "to-do" list still includes painting the helmet screws, adding a bit of foam to the left thigh at the knee, and finishing the helmet fans and speaker.....but at this point, unless there are still some glaring mistakes, I could probably take some better photos and submit for pre-approval. Woohoo!!! Mark
  12. Yeah, right now I've got a battery pack in middle/back of the helmet (big lipstick tube type, same as in the video above) to power the fans inside the helmet. I have an Aker 1505 amp which people seem to really like. I'm going to mount that in the chest along with the TK-Talkie and another battery pack. The Aker microphone seems pretty good to me. It comes with a wire (coat hanger) head band but the wire band easily detaches, leaving the boom and mic.....perfect. It even has a little plastic box on the end of the boom. I velcro'ed this to the inside of the helmet and it still allows me to bend the boom to position the mic. I haven't finalized the wiring of the fans yet but you get the idea... I'll get some of that coiled headphone cable so that it will stretch when I take the helmet off and not pull everything apart. I guess I'll just run it down my neck seal and out the undershirt into the TK-Talkie in the chest. Mark
  13. Thanks!! My latest adventure is trying to tweak the position of the bucket fans so that they circulate air without blowing on the microphone. :-) Mark
  14. Hey all, I just wanted to post a little build-thread here so that maybe some people might learn from my mistakes. I was looking at a few of the different voice effects units out there for a TK build. I really wanted the static burst at the end of communication and I didn't really like the idea of having a dedicated phone running under my armor. That kind of narrowed it down to two solutions: the iComm and TK-Talkie. I like the idea of the iComm because it is so well used, but with current technology, it seems kind of LARGE. Plus I saw a few complaints about internal batteries dying after a year. I'm sure it's also a great solution but I ended up trying TK-Talkie. It's a bit smaller, a bit cheaper and pretty much "state of the art'. :-) TK-Talkie runs on an ARM processor based USB board called a Teensy 3.2. It really IS teensy. You add a sound board and a bluetooth module for configuring and you've got yourself a TK voice modulator. There's an app for your phone which connects via bluetooth and allows you to change settings. Those settings are then saved to an SD card on the Teensy so you only need the phone to make changes. I think my parts came in at about $50 US. The guy (who is on this forum as lerxstrulz) has everything on his web site. Parts Lists, tutorials, source code (firmware), sound files and even the case and lid as 3D printable objects. He sells completed units but I chose to build my own. It's fairly easy to assemble providing you have basic soldering skills, that you are somewhat computer literate and you can follow the tutorials on their web site. The first two came reasonably easy for me, the last "not so much." I made a few mistakes during assembly which caused me to take apart (un-solder) the entire unit and re-assemble it correctly to get things working. I figured I'd post my experiences here so that others don't follow in my original footsteps. :-) I'm not going to post a full tutorial. They have that on their website. www.tktalkie.com This is just going to hit a few highlights in the idea of a basic description and a few "what not to do" examples. So here we go.... This is the Teensy 3.2 along with the header pins (legs) in the lower-left. The first thing you are supposed to do is chop up the headers and only solder on the legs that are actually required. I think there are 28 pins but only 15 (or so) are actually used. I thought, "Why chop them up? I'll solder them all. It will just take a minute." While I can't say for certain that this caused any issues, when I completed all the steps, I had very low volume and the bluetooth wouldn't connect. So play it safe and chop up the headers like they say and only solder the required legs. It's the safe thing to do. Next up here is the audio board along with a mono 3.5mm audio jack I purchased. This one DEFINITELY caused me issues. My problem with almost no volume was because the mono jack wasn't sending the signal correctly. I can only imagine the mono jack did not connect left and right together but only sent audio down the right.....which was not what either the TK-Talkie or the Aker amp was expecting. Once I rewired using stereo jacks all my audio problems went away. So again, play it safe and just use stereo jacks to begin with. You solder the Teensy board onto the sound module, then add the leads for the bluetooth module. I started with a nice connector to connect the bluetooth module (shown below) then later removed the nice connector because it was too big and wouldn't fit in the case. And be SUPER careful of the bluetooth wiring. I messed this up as well. All I can say is READ THE TUTORIAL CAREFULLY and look at the photos when wiring the bluetooth module. Watch where the wires go. There's only 4 of them. Transmit on the Teensy goes to Receive on the bluetooth. Similarly Receive on the Teensy goes to transmit on the bluetooth. Make sure you get these right. Sometimes the tutorial shows the bottom of the board and sometimes the top. Pay attention. I shrink wrapped the mic and line-out connectors. This is probably a good time to test everything and make sure it works. You need a Micro-SD memory card to write the basic setup and audio files to. I used my computer for this. Then you plug the memory card into the Teensy Audio module. The Teensy itself uses a micro-usb connector for power and/or programming. You plug the Teensy into a computer via USB and install some Teensy software. It's like a programming kit. Then you download and write the firmware (from the tk-talkie web site) to the Teensy. May as well go for version 4 of the firmware, it's the latest. At this point it should be working with default settings. You can disconnect it from your computer and now just power it off the same USB connector via a USB battery pack. Once my USB wiring problems were fixed I was able to connect to the app on my phone. Here I had to boost the mic level and adjust the sensitivity. Fairly easy but it seemed to be time dependent. I had to make changes and save quickly. If I waited too long it seemed to disconnect and I would have to connect again. Lastly, a fellow TK-Wannabe, Mr_Fahrenheit, was gracious enough to print out the box and lid for me on his 3D printer. Here's the raw box before any cleanup... I cleaned up the sides and holes. Did minimal sanding and painted it black. It's going inside my helmet so it won't be seen. I jammed everything into the box only to find the bluetooth module was a little too big. As mentioned, I removed the connector I was using and cut the legs off the bluetooth module, soldering the wires directly to the bluetooth board. Then I even dremmel'ed away at the lid slightly to give me a millimeter or so of additional room on the inside. Then everything fit. :-) The blue and white thing in the side is the memory card. And here's a quick sample of the audio... I hope this helps. Learn from me, people. :-) Mark
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