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ROBOT B-9 WITH COMPUTER CONSOLE DIORAMA

Updated: October 15, 2023

I recently finished building a scratch-built model of one of the Jupiter-2's flight computers from Lost in Space. It is at 1/6th scale to go with my Moebius B9 robot model. The flight computers used on the show were surplus Burroughs Corporation B205 computer consoles that had their internal parts replaced with lights running on timers that looked suitably futuristic as props. This model computer was also used on many TV shows and movies around that time: Starring the Computer - Burroughs B205.

I had not seen anyone build one at 1/6th scale before so I thought I'd give it a try. The cabinet was 3d printed and the front panel and sub panels were laser cut from a Corel Draw file I made. I used blueprints I found online and modified and scaled down 3d models found here: Burroughs B205 by markz.

I started researching the build online about 5 months ago. I did see, as I was almost done, that someone had created an entire 1/6th scale upper level Jupiter-2 interior a few years ago that looks fantastic, although it is not fully completed: 1:6 scale Jupiter-2 from Lost in Space.

I wanted my model computer to blink its lights in a convincing way, just as the full-size ones on the show did. I looked at different ways of doing this, including fiber optics, a matrix array, etc. I finally settled on using a matrix array of LEDs controlled by an Arduino board and 3 matrix controllers. I ended up using two Arduinos , one for the main lights and one for the lower lights. Getting all the wiring and the electronics to fit into a reasonably small space was one of the main problems. 1/8" and 1/4" plywood was used for the base and 1/32" Lexan sheet was used for the back panel. It runs off two 9 volt batteries.

The 2mm "tower" LEDs I used were flat on top and I wanted the appearance of tiny light bulbs so I used 1/2" long 2mm thick fiber optic sections in front of the LEDs. I rounded the tips of the fiber optics by spinning them in a Dremel tool against some sandpaper and glued them into the front panel. Some of the front panel switches were made in a similar way using nails as a base. The color of the LEDs is a light amber in person but the time exposure photos give some of them a bluish/purple look.

I did not want to make the whole radar panel console that goes in front. This was challenging enough for now. I will add some more photos from the build a little later.


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