Custom Sliders Timer
A member of The Replica Prop Forum proposed a contest to make an original version of the Timer prop from the 90's sci-fi show Sliders. We had one month and had base it off of something we found at a dollar/thrift store. The only other requirement was to have a display for Hours/Minutes/Seconds. For mine I found an Atari Missile Command handheld game at my local thrift store for $1:
I started by stripping out the electronics and removing the stickers. Next I started designing the displays out of parts I had sitting around. Six 7-segment displays became the time display with 2 extra LED's to provide other indicators/take up space. A spare potentiometer became the intensity knob and a 10 segment display provides additional indicator lights.
I had hoped to make some of the indicator lights blink with the use of a 555 timer but I wound up not having enough time. As it was I found that the 2 AA batteries the body housing accepted were insufficient for powering the entire display. After playing around with some wiring tricks I gave up, soldered a 3v watch battery to power the 10-segment display and used a SPDT on/off switch to turn them both on at once. With the displays done I glued some scrap styrene around them as mounting brackets then hot glued them in place after spray painting the body.
For the display window I cut up a "hard" trading card sleeve, masked parts with electrical tape and then gave it a shot of gloss black spray paint. The "emitter" was made from four plugs I pulled out of old computer cords.
I wound up finishing the night before the contest ended though I needn't have rushed. As usually happens with contests like this enthusiasm died quickly and I wound up being the only one to enter on time with only one other entry coming in a few days later. It was an interesting challenge though and I now have a neat light-up prop to play with.