#geektree [5/4/2001] – DarkZone

For a while a few of us had the idea, at this point in time, to build our own DarkZone-style kit – guns, packs, the whole bit. Of course, my grasp of electronics at that point was relatively comical, as was everyone’s, really. So our designs tended to use relays and obscene pseudo-digital logic… really gross stuff. Some of it probably would have worked – I did have some idea what I was doing. But not much.

The logs from this day spew pages and pages of conversation on this topic, which I won’t quote here because they’re long, rambling and largely boring. Not too much of it was useful – a lot of arguing over everything with Ducky. He was trying to convince me that a constant frequency, constant intensity beam could transmit five separate signals, triggered by five different inputs. I tried to convince him that it just wasn’t possible without some form of modulation, but he was quite certain he was correct.

Until of course Data eventually asked him how he expected a TV remote to work, and his answer was “audio”… boink. So anyway… the biggest reason it never happened back then was because none of us had the skill to do it, nor really the motivation beyond “hey, this’d be really cool”. Although Ducky was also a big factor – he wouldn’t let anyone else play any sort of constructive part, but never did anything himself. Pity.

Of course, I still plan on doing it, anyway. Except now I can do it properly, using a microcontroller and custom PCBs and all sorts. I’m hoping to do something like it next year for my project, which if nothing else will let me syphon supplies off to the real DarkZone stuff behind the scenes. ;)

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