#4910309
Hey everyone!
So I've wanted a Proton Pack for ages. I've looked into building a Pack from parts, kits or such, I've looked into just buying a Pack, but at least for now, those all were a bit out of my price range. Then last year, the Spirit Pack appeared.
For whatever reason I didn't pick one up then, but I have one now, and so more research, lol.
I've been watching various videos on YouTube on how people have modded theirs, and I'm getting a lot of good ideas. Right now, I'm hoping to get some questions I have solved so I can move forward.
My goals for this Pack are:
1) To get it painted and mounted on an ALICE frame.
2) To get a power on and cycling light setup for it so it's doing something while I'm just walking around with it on.
3) Hopefully to have space to upgrade it in the future so that once I learn some more, I can add things to it.

I don't currently have any experience with soldering or Arduino, so there's that.
I was wondering first, it looks like there's two different types of ALICE frame, a regular and an LC-2? Is there a difference? I'm going for a GB1 pack if that makes a difference.
It looks like some people leave the motherboard alone, others use Plexiglas and some use MDF(what is this by the way? Foamboard?). Where would I get these and what would the difference be? I'm guessing Home Depot and probably weight, but I could be wrong.
I've seen that Fincher Technologies is a good source for the 80% ribbon cable, but I'm not sure how you contact them to buy one. I found their FB page though.
With paint, it looks like a matte black is the preferred color for repainting it, but I saw one where the paint used gave it a kind of metallic look to the pack, but I'm not sure what paint that would be.
With the cyclotron lights, aside from the light kit (I'm guessing its the one from the shop here or spongeface on ebay) do you have to take the lights out to put the red gels in, or just use red LED lights? Also, with the lights, I've seen various mods where people use plastic, glass or stainless steel shotglasses around the lights. Is that just to give them a bit of depth, or does it make them brighter?
Lastly, I'm looking at doing the clip kit off Etsy for the thrower, it looks like the easiest way to go, unless there's another option?
Sorry for all the questions, but just looking to start off on the right foot. While this is my first foray into fabrication and modding, I'd like to have the pack come out well when I'm done.

Thanks!
#4910312
There's the LC-1 frame, and then the LC-2.

The LC-1 is considered to originate from the Vietnam era (and as such, has become rarer... But not impossible to find).

LC-1 A.L.I.C.E. Packs (as used in Ghostbusters) tend to have a black frame, a thin waist belt and asymmetrical (non-mirrored) shoulder straps, as seen here:

Image

LC-2 A.L.I.C.E. Packs (as used in Ghostbusters II) tend to have a green frame (with a higher crossbar - resulting in more evenly-proportioned spaces on the frame), a thick waist belt with a simpler buckle, symmetrical shoulder straps, as seen here:

Image

For more information on the A.L.I.C.E. Packs and their straps, check out this topic.

If you can make or source them, I'd recommend opting for a wood, metal or MDF motherboard over plexiglass, as the first two materials will be stronger and unlikely to break. MDF is a sort of fibre board, think of it as a bit of a frankenstein's monster wood... It's manufactured rather than grown, but is popular in prop-building circles... My First Pack was largely built from it. :) It's a cheap and easy to cut material, so quite ideal for starter mother boards... Just avoid getting it wet, as it can puff out.

With regards to Fincher Technologies, you can like their page, and then you should be able to send them a PM. I would direct you to the thread they have here, but at the moment it's locked pending a renewal of their supporting membership.

Some light kits come with red LEDs, others only come with white... Most set photos or videos will give you an idea pretty quickly if they're coloured or colourless. If you wish to achieve greater accuracy with the Spirit Pack, then you'll either need to replace the lenses with red ones, or colour them somehow.

The "shot glasses" can sometimes be considered as reflectors, which help bounce the light around, as well as keep it focussed within the circle of the light openings.

Don't apologise for asking questions, asking is how we learn. :)
KesselRunPDX liked this
#4910313
I've gone with a 6mm MDF motherboard for my spirit pack, gives the pack a little more depth as well, and is cheap and easy to cut to shape with a jigsaw.

My pack is matte black, but with truck bed spray first to achieve a textured look (some US folk use Homax orange peel texture spray - you can't get it in the UK), and then drybrushed with silver modelling paint on the high spots for weathering.

Spongefaces's light kit is out of stock until December, but is made specifically for the spirit pack, so I'd recommend that. If you buy his cosmetic upgrade kit too then that has a bunch of bits, including red gels for the lights (super easy to replace, he has a whole step-by-step guide on doing the upgrades).

Not sure what you mean by clip kit, but think you might mean a v-hook? Definitely do something, as the standard peg the thrower attaches to the pack with is rubbish and doesn't hold it on very well at all. There are various folk who sell them scaled for the spirit pack, I got a 3D printed one from Benofkent.

Holler if you have any other questions, happy to advise if I can! :)
KesselRunPDX liked this
#4910353
If you go with MDF be sure to paint it and make sure the edges are sealed when you paint it. This will help prevent it from swelling up due to moisture. When I did my spirit pack I went with a aluminum over the shell motherboard but if I was doing another one I would use MDF or go with the brackets that spongeface sells to let you securely attach an alice frame without having to swap out the motherboard.
KesselRunPDX liked this
#4910383
Thanks for all the suggestions!
I came up with a few other things I wanted to ask about, so here we go.
First, with the lighting setup, I've watched several videos using I'm pretty sure spongebob's light kit. It looks great, but I was trying to figure out how it is turned on? Also, is that kit able to be upgraded with sounds later?
Second, with the ALICE frame and material for the motherboard, depending on what you use or the rig for it, is there a way to make it somewhat easy to access the battery box and the inside of the pack? I wasn't sure about that.
Third, is there a way to loosen up the hose that connects the neutrona wand to the pack? It's really stiff and aside from moving it around a bunch, or a heat gun, I wasn't sure.
Last one for now, but while i know people use matte black paint, either spray paint or air brush, is there one that's better than the other, or a particular brand or shade that's more screen accurate? Seems to be a wide variety of types from looking around.
Thanks again!
#4910389
I've been modding my Spirit Pack and did all of my electronics recently. Like you, I was a total newbie at this. I watched a lot of YouTube and read a lot of posts on this forum.

At present, if you keep the Spirit wand attached to the pack, you're going to get the sounds it has and nothing else. Spongeface's Spirit Lights board notably has a connector marked "SPIRIT WAND," but at present, it doesn't connect to the existing Spirit wand. My understanding is that he is working on a prototype light kit that would go into an 80% sized wand, but don't quote me on that.

If you're going to be getting Spongeface's light kit, he also sells a sound board. If you ask him when purchasing, he will throw in a ribbon cable that connects the two together. However, you'll still need something that will trigger the board (be it an 80% sized wand that you buy or build and wire to it, or a Mattel wand which is admittedly the route I went, and makes the thrower disproportionate to the pack because it's at 100% scale and the Spirit pack is at 80% scale. I didn't really care, given that the Mattel wand provided the easiest way to control the whole pack, and holding the full size wand is just awesome. I was happy to give my back a reprieve from carrying a full size resin pack. :-). Alternately, you can use the GBFans sound board, as that will also talk to his lights, or if you're not using a Matty wand.

If you are just replacing your lights right now, Spongeface's light kit will run off of the existing battery pack, that power the existing wand and lights. That battery pack actually has a little switch on it that I am pretty sure when it's on, your cyclotron lights are on.

If you want to also do sound, you'll need a 12v battery. I ended up buying a 12v CCTV battery that also has USB and 9V out, and then mounting it outside the pack on the alice frame between the pack and the frame with some zipties. Admittedly, my build hasn't gotten to "let's put a motherboard and brackets in," but I will be doing that soon. I wanted to get electronics and paint, etc. done for Halloween.

Spongeface is crazy helpful at answering questions before you buy. I purchased my stuff from him in September on eBay and he answered lots of questions I had so I could make the best purchases from him to fit my needs. His cosmetics upgrade kit is also great.

If you are planning on using his kit, you may want to look at the installation instructions PDF from his website. It will give you a really clear idea of what you are getting into when you crack the pack open.

http://www.ghostlab42.com/img/spirit/Sp ... 20v1p0.pdf

When it comes to paint, this stuff worked great, and was recommended by folks in other threads.

Image

Hope that helps!
KesselRunPDX liked this
#4910448
A lot of good advice given in this thread so far. My best advice would be really think about what you want this pack to be before you start buying parts. Since you've said you want to be able to expand in the future I would recommend buying the GBfans sound board and cyclotron lights. The sound board gives you a lot of opportunity for future expansion and the powercell/cyclotron lights will fit in the spirit pack with minimal modifcation. You have to file the top and bottom of the powercell about a 1/4" to get all of the lights displayed, you could also leave it as is and I don't think you'd even notice the two missing lights. If you look at the thread on my build you can see how I mounted all of that hardware. I also used the above flat black paint on my pack and then some silver mettalic paint I picked up at Michaels to dry brush on creating that weathered look. Also think about what your plans are with the thrower, are you going to keep the stock spirit wand or upgrade to a bigger one? Whatever you choose to do just have fun with it and don't let anything intimdate you. When I started mine I had never attempted anything like it, but after a little while you'll definitely feel more comfortable and challenge yourself to do more!
#4937728
Ok I've got my spirit pack it's been repainted matte black which does look awesome after adding the solver edging for weathering but I am also looking in the market for a "ready built" light kit which I did find but its powered with a 9v battery and my question is this could I swap the 9v power source and just use the 3AA set up I have? If so how??

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