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Apollo DSKY Display Project

$5,678 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 107 people in 18 months
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My project to recreate a working replica of the original Electroluminescent display that was made for the Apollo DSKY officially began in 2014 with my trip to the Smithsonian to personally disassemble a real Apollo DSKY unit. For those unfamiliar with this, the DSKY was the interface the Apollo astronauts used to enter commands and read data from the Apollo Guidance Computers in the LEM and Command Module. The unique high voltage display that was made for the DSKY has been somewhat emulated for videos and films over the decades using LEDs, light pipes, CGI, and other cinematic tricks, but there has not been a working EL DSKY display anywhere in the world since the Apollo program, and I would like to reproduce this high voltage display once again for museums and Apollo enthusiasts all over the world. I have done a lot of the work to reproduce this display already, which I have featured in several videos, but great expenses lay ahead to make the first working prototypes and final production displays. This GoFundMe campaign is to raise the funds to create the first working prototypes.





FranLab is the workplace of YouTube vlogger Fran Blanche, who has made educational and how-to videos since 2011 about the history of electronics, lost technologies, and mechanical engineering. Fran's YouTube channel is not monetized, and she has strived to keep all of her videos open to everyone and free from advertising. FranLab needs your help to continue making great content!
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The adjustable vacuum hold-down assembly is complete in the new silk screening jig... just waiting on the new pump I ordered and I'll be in business. A lot of work for just one tool I'll need to start turning those glass tiles into EL displays. If you want to keep up to date on my progress follow me on twitter, I'm posting updates there every day!
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It seems that a new company has appropriated my display data to produce a virtual display for a DSKY reproduction that they are selling for $1000 per unit, and they intend to produce a run of 156 units. My math says that is a lot of money. At the start way back in 2014 I wanted my DSKY Display Project to be open source for the purposes of historical preservation, and it took years of painstaking research for me to reproduce the original display artwork. I never thought that it would or could be appropriated by a for-profit tech startup making reproductions. This is most disappointing, especially since I have always answered all the emails I get from people and helped anyone with a related DSKY project, just never thought it would come to something like this. My working EL display is still a long way off with much work and many production issues to solve. I just hope that this project would still be relevant in 2018, even with these other simulators for sale on the market.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/DSKY-with-Integrated-AGC-runs-NASA-MIT-Code/263108795288?hash=item3d42819b98%3Ag%3AIwoAAOSw35lZePeX
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I will be making a quick update in my upcoming video next week. I am still waiting for the silk screens to be completed, as there were some snags for the non-standard mesh sizes needed for the project and mesh had to be special ordered. The water jet cut low iron acid etched glass is just too expensive ( the quotes range in the several thousands) which means that I will have to improvise something else. The new infrared oven is here and I will have to customize that to bake sets of displays. That's it for now, and thanks everyone! ☺
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A company in NJ is having a go at making the silk screens for the prototype, and I am currently waiting for those to be completed. Also new tools for the printing station are on order and awaiting their arrival as well. I will make an update video about the project soon....
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$5,678 of $10,000 goal

Raised by 107 people in 18 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
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$500
Anonymous
11 months ago
AP
$25
Adam Piskorz
11 months ago
$23
Anonymous
11 months ago
$50
Gayln Hall
12 months ago
NC
$80
Nicolas Corsi
12 months ago
JM
$75
James McAvoy
12 months ago
$25
Jeffrey Broido
13 months ago
TG
$24
Tim Good
13 months ago
LS
$50
Lauren Steely
13 months ago
$25
Anonymous
13 months ago
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