AW: anyone use plexiglass faceplates?

Batz Goodfortune batzman at all-electric.com
Mon Nov 22 03:27:36 CET 1999


Y-ellow Y'all.
	I have done this kind of panel on a regular basis. Though I tend to use
acrylic sheet if only that it is more abundant than Plexiglass. Plexi is
also more brittle and harder to work with in that sense.

I don't create the dial markings by engraving. There is no where here that
is precise enough to be able to do it. But I do use rear printed sheets
which wind up looking quite good.

The drawback with this kind of stuff is that it reflects light too much.
Which is not very professional. You will often find yourself in situations
where the light reflects off it at just the wrong angle for you to be able
to read dial positions and the like.

However the best panel I ever saw using this idea was from an old RAAF box
out of an P3 Orion. Some kind of early submarine tracking box I got
surplus. It's panel was made of white translucent acrylic. However it was
painted/printed mat grey. The dial markings were engraved indentations on
the surface. It had pilot lamps embeded in the corners which made the whole
thing glow. Only of course, the dial markings were the only visible parts
so the whole thing lit up like a Christmas tree.

The really cool thing about this though, was that the knobs themselves were
done like this as well. A large circular patch under each knob allowed
light to transfer up into the plastic of the knobs. Of which the pointers
were also visible white plastic through grey. The whole thing looks totally
amazing when it's lit up. I am yet to find a way to emulate this kind of
look but it's just the best damn panel I've ever seen.

Although it could go one better if it was black instead of grey. :)

I guess this was done out of practicality more than cool looks though. You
could see everything clearly even if flying out over the southern oceans at
midnight in pitch blackness. But I was thinking. This would be absolutely
amazing on stage with the lights out.

Be absolutely Icebox.

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