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Author Topic: Custom project- need to hire someone! PLEASE HELP!!!  (Read 1814 times)
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Hello,

I am looking to hire someone to help me build a project. As I have no electrical knowledge and have attempted to learn thru many websites-but just can't work out how to make the project I have in mind.

There are a couple of ways we can do this project.
1- someone to build and program all the parts- send to me and we install in our own box

2- same as number 1....but you also build the box and install.

I should note that I only have Mac computers- if that matters

side note: I have contacted Mikal Hart- the original creator of the Reverse Geocache box.
however, he does not have the time to tackle this project.


My concept is to have a large box/case that is a mutil stage puzzle. Instead of having only one challenge to solve- then the box opens. You will have a number of separate challenge/puzzles to solve. Ultimately leading to opening a hidden compartment in the main box- to revel al reverse geocache box- which can be removed from the case (and you proceed as normal)
 
Essentially there is the large main box/case- which contains other items inside. Also hidden inside this box is another small (more portable) reverse geo box. Which all the challenges before lead up to unlocking this compartment- gaining access to the small removable reverse geo box.
 
As I am planning to propose to my girlfriend...and I have already been planning an elaborate recreation of the popular tv show The Amazing Race. Which had geocache hunting as it's challenges.
so I would like to incorporated the box during the "race" and not just one portion. If that makes any sense.
 
Would it be possible to have you build the "inner workings and brains" and we install in our own box?
of course you are welcome to build the box and install everything in it....since I would prefer this.
 

 
Note:  I would like the box to open a series of doors/ secret compartments built into the box...at different locations
 
1)  add a digital photo frame? (most of these play video as well)
when the lid of the case opens- this photo frame beings to play some video (complete with sound)
In addition, after the video text will appear on the screen- which would be some riddles/clues to solve
 
 (there is a limit switch that detects the lid opening- which trigers the photo frame to start)
 
you can see a great example of this concept at the link below:

 
site with a few details for the build of the above movie case:
http://www.genmay.com/showthread.php?t=836668
 
there is a small number keypad- that you enter in the code- and out pops the first secret compartment.(more on this later)
 
 
2) would it be possible to also add a count down timer clock?
this is like what you see in action movies- they open a case- which is a bomb and it triggers a count down clock to start.
 
this count led timer is really a timed delayed lock. Once the timer has runout- it opens a latch to another compartment of the box.
this could be a large display led count down timer. Listing number of days, hours, mins, and seconds.
This time delay lock-  opens the compartment that contains the final puzzle  (self contained reverse geo box-containing the ring).
 
 

 
 
functions of the box:
 
A) built into the box/case is (4) secret hidden drawers that pops out the sides.
(2) drawers would contain a envelope with her next clue/challenge.
(2) contain small keys  see sample video here: (

 
 
my inspiration for these pop out drawers- is the blitz money box puzzle.
 
which you can see here: (at 2:49...trust me jump there the video is boring)

 
I have one and the mechanics are very simple.
It's literally just a spring that when triggered "pops" the drawer out.  You place the money inside the drawer and close the drawer with some pressure (pushing against spring) and a small latch holds the drawer in the "locked" position.
when the 3 balls are lined up- they press against the drawers latch..and the spring pops the drawer out.
sounds complex on paper- but it's really simple system

So I would think all you need is a servo that pulls a small pin/latch to the spring loaded door- and it pops open
a more "fancy" way- would be like a cd/dvd player drawer that slides out (to load the cd/dvd) and then retracts back into the player. So I'm sure you could hack apart a old cd/dvd player and then program these existing parts to work.
 
size of these drawers need to hold an envelope sized aprox: 10.5'' x 6'' (side to side- top to bottom)
 
B) when the lid of the box is open - the bottom section houses a canister tube puzzle.
this canister is much like the tubes used at the drive thru banks. Or, pipe bombs like you see inside a briefcase in the movies.
you can see a sample of the bank tube canister- at the link below:
http://www.banktubesdirect.com/allcarriers.aspx
 
under the canister is what appears to be a solid bottom. This is a removable panel (which could be unlocked at a set GPS location)
the bottom section of the case is dived into (3) separate sections.
Left side is basically a box built into the larger case. All that is seen is a set of key holes for a couple of locks. Throughout the "race" she collects a number of keys. Once all keys are collected she can use them to open the locks- which opens the top of this box. Inside is another clue for her.

 
in addition, there is a secret hidden/compartment door located against right side of the box. This compartment houses the final reverse geo box.
Since this is the last function of the main box...it would be interesting if instead of unlatching a lid- the secret panel slides open- and the small geo box is pushed up out of the larger box.
this video link (at :35 seconds) has a tube that rises out of the box (just to give you a visual)

 
The middle section- would be used to mount  the electronic elements used to make the box function.
 
 
 
 
C) you have a small keypad- that attaches to the back of the box (or built in the bottom of the box- which is hidden by false foot peg)
this is the "backdoor" system. You enter your number code- and the box opens - should you need access to it.
 
you can see a sample of this at the link below: (1:14 minutes into video)

 
 
D) Box will need rechargeable battery system
with quick connect (located on outside of box) so you just plug in the power cable directly to case. This allows you to charge the batteries without having to "open" the box.
 
 
E) The outside of the box will need to have a latch for a padlock. This is the first step in the puzzle- unlocking the lock to open the case
 
 
F) All electronics need to be Velcro into the box/case. So they can easily be removed (while all wires,cables,devices can stay attached)
as this box will need to be air travel friendly. 
I'm thinking that if you had all the components separate- it might be less of a hassle with security.
 
would there be  a way to "pause" the programs of the box? More specifically the main count down timer- if we can pause the current time its on- travel- then continue on where the clock left off.
 
 
Note: I have not really figured out what the canister puzzle is exactly.
 
 
 
I know all of the above is a bit much to digest...and at first glance- this appears too be very complex...when in fact it's not.
 
I have  a "rough" drawing of the case- not sure if that would be of any help. But I should note that by no means am I an artist. And "rough" drawings would be an understatement.
 
While the above is the basic concept- I'm open to any suggestions, ideas, concepts that you may have.

Of course, I will pay for all the parts (retail value)
and then we would need to work out fee for programing.

please I'm begging anyone out there- that can do this- please contact me at:
orion2185@sbcglobal.net

Thanks for your time
Mike
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Would taking her out for a nice dinner at a really classy restaurant and surprising her with the ring work?
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side note: I have contacted Mikal Hart- the original creator of the Reverse Geocache box.
however, he does not have the time to tackle this project.
Does this tell you anything...

I know all of the above is a bit much to digest...and at first glance- this appears too be very complex...when in fact it's not.
The project is bigger than you think!

Yes, it's relatively easy when you separate out the individual components but time to build is gonna kill you let alone cost of compoents etc

Case : $25 (18" x 13" x 6" Aluminum Case)
Arduino : $35 (give or take)
GPS module $60
Display etc $$$
Keyboard $3
Metal Gear RC Servo's (electro-mechanical locks) $15 each (1 per locked compartment minimum)
Box open switch (to turn off motor drive to servos when box open) $5 (1 per locked compartment)
wood / plastic $20 (approx)
general hardware (glue, hinges, wire etc) $30
Rechargable battery (12v) / multiple D cells $$$


I'm sure Ive missed some things but there ya go... no building man hours involved, no programming time and you'er already looking at well into $200+ range

I know batteries can be setup to charge while still being usable by the circuitry, never done that before... cost = possible blown hardware above = more cost

« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 02:21:03 pm by abrookfield » Logged


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Personally this is way too much of a project to get involved with, at normal rates I reckon one should charge about $20 just to read the post, unless you find someone with nothing else to do (student, retired etc) who wants the experience and doesn't charge properly you won't get out of this for < $1000s IMO.

______
Rob
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Best I could economically conceive would be "tweaked" cigar boxes as a master wooden box (some do look incredibly good for the cost).

Based on the you-tube video that Mikal Hart shot... you're still looking at about a base cost of hardware alone of $150 (box + arduino + gps + servo + display + button + batteries) give or take for a "copy" of that box alone... adding in the "inspired suitcase" and you're starting to really add cost implications!

Could it come down in cost... and would it be worth it to go in business manufacturing these things... who knows!

Cool idea, easy enough to implement but probably cost prohibitive

"future royalties" might make it a feasible opportunity but a 1 off is going to be seriously cost prohibitive

« Last Edit: July 13, 2012, 09:59:42 pm by abrookfield » Logged


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WOW - these things aren't cheap, even the cheapest model.
http://sundial.com/shop/index.php?main_page=products_all

It's looking to me like you're going to have to wait for Mr Mikal Hart to build your custom box because I for one am not going to open myself up to a potential lawsuit ( TM / Copyright / Pat Pending.. That's why there's none available for commercial sale apart from on sundial ). 

If I spent the time to develop one for you, I'd be looking at creating the code and hardware interfacing to be generic enough whereby it would become a commercially viable product which would decrease your development cost assuming I could factor my initial costs across potential future sales.

Futher reading at http://blog.makezine.com/2011/04/26/reverse-geocache-puzzlebox-controversy/ for anyone interested...
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The legal stuff does not seem all that bad really. If the original poster wants one just for his own use I don't see any problem at all. As for the hardware and software, I don't see a problem there either. From a technical standpoint I don't see it as a major undertaking. If what we're talking about is a box that just opens in a particular location, and it does not need to be super reliable, well this is not a problem. Maybe the hardest thing to solve is long term battery life. Now if this were a life saving device or a military device, that would be different. But as a hobby thing, any GPS module and a little computer is easy to do.

What I do see as more challenging, at least for me, is the actual box part. I suppose if one were a cabinet maker or a person skilled in word working, that would be the easy part.

So it makes an interesting team, a guy who can make a beautiful box with a little hidden compartment to hide the electronics, and a guy who can do the hardware and software.

 
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The legal stuff does not seem all that bad really. If the original poster wants one just for his own use I don't see any problem at all.

Personally this is way too much of a project to get involved with, at normal rates I reckon one should charge about $20 just to read the post, unless you find someone with nothing else to do (student, retired etc) who wants the experience and doesn't charge properly you won't get out of this for < $1000s IMO.

If I spent the time to develop one for you, I'd be looking at creating the code and hardware interfacing to be generic enough whereby it would become a commercially viable product which would decrease your development cost assuming I could factor my initial costs across potential future sales.

the wooden boxes are cheap enough, all you need to do is create a mortice for a servo arm to swing into for locking purposes, it's the scenario of me effectively saying... geez, this is cool,  would be really nice if I could lower this guys costs (betting that there is serious enough consumer interest in similar products) ... try selling these derivatives, obviously making a profit but probably way less than Mr Hart's products that would get me in trouble.
 
Here's the simple calculation written in ColdFusion I wrote about 10 years ago for a dealer locator application, it's a close approximation of distance but takes radius of Earth as a constant which it really isn't, but it's close enough to find local dealers within (x) radius on a website.  You should be able to follow the flow easily.  

In reality for a true gps application, you should work out the radius of where you are on Earth as well as the Radius at the destination in order to get within a few meters of actual distance.

Code:
<cfset fn1 = #val(90-Current.latitude)#>
<cfset fn2 = val((PI()/180)*#fn1#)>
<cfset fn3 = #val(90-Destination.latitude)#>
<cfset fn4 = val((PI()/180)*#fn3#)>
<cfset fn5 = #val(Current.longitude-Destination.longitude)#>
<cfset fn6 = val((PI()/180)*#fn5#)>
<CFIF (fn6 eq 0)>
<CFSET distance=0>
<CFELSE>
<cfset distance= 3963*ACOS(COS(#fn2#)*COS(#fn4#)+SIN(#fn2#)*SIN(#fn4#)*COS(#fn6#))>
</cfif>
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 06:33:40 pm by abrookfield » Logged


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Hi

this project is now closed

thanks to all of those who sent me messages
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