Devices: Think tank and Hypno-ray

A few weekends ago GenCon came to Brisbane and the Royal Omnitological Society for Electrodyne Adventurers had to make an attendance. Feeling that the Clue-o-meter lacked the punch required for the latest event, I started work on the next Professor device.

It had to be a backpack of some description; while I have a great love for large and bulky devices they do tend to make it tricky spending the day without both hands free. So I headed to Bunnings and picked up a backpack sprayer that was of a decent size. The backpack was nice and big, plus it had two screw-off tops that let me access the inside the device to install 'bits'. The backpack was painted copper as I pondered how to extend it. And to determine exactly what the device was supposed to be, the last one was modular thanks to the window of replacable body parts, this one didn't have a window.

It did have a built in pipe sticking out of the top with a screw-end; it fit some standard copper piping so a regulator valve was attached. Bonus, one of the Girl Genius(tm) test tubes fit in the end - so that was filled with one of my UV reactive cable stores and a UV LED. The other end had a tiny hole that a UV LED's legs would stick through - Baron von Borg helped me attach a lamp bowl filled with more cabling and two tiny brains. So, obviously the device would think. It was a tank. Viva - the Professor von Explaino 'Think tank'. The two external brains are obviously for thinking outside the box.

A long time ago I impulse-bought a light from the Bunnings lighting section that required a 240V transformer; checking the box showed that it could be powered (for a short time) from a simple 9V battery. That, plus a brass antique-style light switch, and I had the power indicator.

The sensor-array from the Clue-o-meter was detached, extended with more cabling, then attached to the top of the device for input acquisition - to make it hands free a hook was added to the side and a leather thong to the sensor array. Voila, the Think tank was made.

On impulse, while digging through my parts box, I pulled out a hypno-disk style top that I got from a Horrible Science pack ages ago. The Baron and I were both struck with the same idea at the same time; an emergency trip to Bunnings and the acquisition of a cheap cordless screwdriver and I had a hypno-ray. Two devices for the con was perfect - Baron von Borg and Professor von Explaino got second place in the Group Cosplay contest on the Saturday. A bit of a vote of approval there.

Imported comments

  1. [Pedro Mondragon, 2011-12-15 01:21:49] Can you give me some directions on how to make a hypno-ray

  2. [Professor von Explaino, 2011-12-16 06:35:01] Certainly.


    1. One cheap cordless drill.
    2. Two or more colours of steampunk-device paint. We used gold and copper and avoided anything that conducted electricity.
    3. One hypno-ray disk you can get from joke/ science shops.
    4. One nut you can jam on the end of one of the cordless drill's bits.


    1. Paint the cordless drill into a steampunk weapon. I was lucky enough to have a talented artist friend do this for me.
    2. Drill a hole in the centre of the disk that you can jam a bit into.
    3. Secure with the nut

    Done! Yes, this was really simple; but the thing is it really works.