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Hogan’s Heroes Coffee Pot – Prop Replica

Hogan’s Heroes is one of the television shows that dominated my childhood viewing, and I still enjoy it immensely today. Making and repurposing objects figured prominently in the show, and the most iconic prop is the coffee pot.

The coffee pot contained a speaker connected to a microphone in Col. Klink’s office that allowed the prisoners to eavesdrop on the Germans. It’s a simple prop made from a few common items:

  1. A Universal Model D655 coffee pot made by Landers, Frary &Clark
  2. Altec Lansing grill cloth
  3. Dialco 1/2″ pilot light
  4. a length of wire

I found a model E956 coffee pot on Etsy that is indistinguishable from the original prop, and set about my build. I wanted the replica to actually play audio clips from the show, so I added a small bluetooth speaker in the basket. As I cannot find the correct grill cloth, I was pleasantly surprised to see the speaker’s face formed a reasonable approximation.

After drilling the hole for the pilot light, I needed to replace the bulb with a LED but did not have the right materials here. I found a pen in my desk that had a small LED torch in it, and dismantled it to recover the needed parts. The entire torch unit fitted into the pilot light perfectly and is held in place with a little hot glue. The back end of the pilot light was removed to allow access to the LED switch.

This is a great temporary solution but I plan to rewire it so the light comes on when the power cord is connected to the coffee pot. I also need to fix the light into the base with JB Weld to replicate the original look of the prop but I’ll leave that until I complete the rewire.

I waited almost a year to start this build and yet it was relatively simple one to complete. I often find myself intimidated by the thought of cutting into expensive material or rare items crucial to a successful outcome. Once completed they are amongst my favourite items in my collection, and this one will have a place of honour in my Curiosity Cabinet.

Sound check
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Quarterly Maker Box curated by Adam Savage

1:48 Scale Model of Adam Savage's Cave

1:48 Scale Model of Adam Savage’s Cave

I recently received the Quarterly Maker Box 08 curated by Adam Savage (Mythbusters, Tested.com), and spent a couple of hours building this 1:48 scale model of Adam’s Cave¬†adding a few creative touches to enliven the space.

Tested reached out a few days ago for permission to use my photo in the video for the next Quarterly Maker box curated by Adam, and I am very happy to share it with you today. The first box was the best curated box I have ever received, and I am looking forward to the new one arriving next month. Check out the video.

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Leaving Harbour from Steve Madsen on Vimeo.

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Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride 2015 (Newcastle Australia) from Steve Madsen on Vimeo.

Across the world over 37000 motorcyclists dressed in their most dapper threads ventured out on a (hopefully) sunny Sunday morning in September to raise funds for Prostate Cancer Research. The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride founded in Sydney Australia three years ago has grown quickly to raise over US$2000000 worldwide in 2015.

In Newcastle, grey skies and light drizzly rain enveloped us as we gathered at Cafe Inu for our ride along the coastal splendor of Australia’s best kept secret. Undeterred we pressed out into the gloom on some very fine motorcycles, and rain greeted us as we headed towards the harbour. The light rain was no match for my Scottish Tweed jacket, and I arrived damp but warm at our first stop in King Edward Park.

The sun reappeared for the final legs and by the time we returned to Cafe Inu most riders were dry and ready for lunch and a couple of quiet drinks with friends new and old.

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A short time lapse video of the evening rush on Newcastle harbour.