Saturday, March 9, 2019

Battling with labeling system for DSKY panel



I dashed over to the CHM where I could print the new special sheets for my decals. I added alignment rectangles the size of the acrylic panels to make it easier to get these installed in the correct location on each panel.

I hauled out all the gear again, warmed up the laminator, and produced the decal layer for the white dots for the EL panel side of the DSKY. On the real electroluminescent panel, these dots are the anodes attached to the top layer, which show as white dots when the panel is closely examined.

I made use of white mylar to convert my black toner images into white dots that will be glued down to the panel. My first attempt ended in disaster. The paper rolled up tight as a cigar again and somehow in the process it broke the static bond between the clear mylar and the white mylar on the paper, such that some of the dots did not come away with the decal.

My second try came out better, but not good enough. I lost dots so that the decal was incomplete. I am going to have to figure out an alternate way to print these and use them, perhaps strips of three dots that I can put down separately, with them printed in the opposite orientation as before.

Missing some of the white dots, but this is what this layer would look like otherwise
Since I need to get to a printer again, that part of the image was put aside for another day. I could, however, work on the text labels for PROG, NOUN and VERB that compete the display. These are black and sit atop LEDs that backlight them whenever the AGC is on and not in standby.

The mylar attached but left some dirty streaks on the paper. I hoped that these wouldn't transfer to the decal and thus not affect the finished product. All that remained was to create the static cling to the clear mylar top sheet, put it through the laminator and then dunk it into the water.

Text with black mylar fused to the toner
The clear sheet that should have been laminated and clinging to the text just came off as I opened the carrier that had been fed through the laminator. At this point, I decided to call it a day. I can try again to make the sandwich with clear film and do the water bath to separate them, but this is becoming frustrating rather than fulfilling.

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