Padd ][

A DataPadd Prop

Here's that report, Captain.

January 1998

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If you've ever watched one of the more recent Star Trek shows, you may have seen the characters handing around these little computers to show each other data. Recently, you've been able to buy things like the PalmPilot™ that actually are little computers. This one is only a prop, but it was fun to make.

It was mostly an experiment to play around with my new toy at the time, a Dremel™ drill press. I used the press to hold the Dremel tool so I could route out the the spae for the screen. There's also a seam around the edge that you can't see in the above picture. All technology has a seam around the edge.

The circuit board I mounted on the front is an equalizer panel from a dead personal stereo. The wire from it curls over the edge into a hole in the side. The brass screw in the middle of the thing is just for show.


This thing is made out of bits and pieces of scrap I had lying around. The body is a piece of scrap wood from the Pennsic Boxes. The screen is a piece of plexiglas from the PlexiFall fountain. As noted, there's also a scrap circuit board and a screw. The space behind the screen is painted black to make the screen more reflective. The screen isn't glued in, so I can put things back there if I want.

The Process

The only interesting thing about the process was the way I went directly from design to product. Since the design was meant to be smaller than an 8.5"x11" piece of paper, I was able to do the design on a computer, and print out patterns for the pieces onto stickers. Having the stickers directly attached to the material made the pieces a snap to cut out, and everything fit very well when I was finished. I do a lot of stuff this way, and highly recommend it.

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