Impersonating a Police Officer

I don’t normally admit to felonies online, it generally is ill advised and troublesome. So of course, I’m still not going to.

Some time ago, I wrote about how I occasionally go for late night walks. Sometimes it is to be healthy, other times it is to run to the store and not drive.

One night, I notice a truck in the bulk trash area. It’s late enough that it is unlikely somebody else would spot it, so I walked home, grabbed my actual truck, and grabbed the trash truck.

Some of you may remember how I posted about making a fort with a solar charging garage, for those who don’t, here you are.

Now there’s only one thing weirder that dudes who walk for health at midnight, and that’s people on the internet. So I’m blurring my kid’s faces here.

There’s the Bronco that has the solar charger, and there’s the truck. The truck was free, so the price was right. The battery was shot, but the guy who tossed it was nice enough to throw in a few chargers. Thankfully, I had one left over from a powerwheels many years ago that I had bought:

This powerwheels was from when my oldest was just 2, and couldn’t figure out the foot pedals. I had modified that one to use a light switch as the accelerator (near the middle of the picture).

But this truck is in ROUGH shape. It has been scratched up, sun faded to the point where the plastic is coming off like a powder. The stickers have been rained on a bunch, and it is covered in Harley Davidson decals.

Now, for any of you that haven’t grown up with a major, 4 lane highway as their backyard: Bikers are tools. They’re either in their 20’s, on coke, doing wheelies and crashing on their crotch rockets, or they’re in their 60’s and drunk, wearing leather with lobster claw flames and skulls on it, and using “safety” as their excuse for their inflammatory fart pipes.

You know what, here’s two pictures I’ve taken recently that are the “car guy” versions of these folks:

When every single evening in the spring, when the windows are open, you hear people winding up from a stop light to 135MPH on a bike, you tend to dislike them.

So, naturally, I’ve started the de-branding of the truck.

I tore the decals off the sides, and started with the typical white & black interceptor look. Here, you can see an emblem under the mirror of F-150 and a Harley logo. I’m not a Ford guy, but I have two Ford ride ons, so maybe I am?

Next, was to make it so it was easier to charge. By default, you have to unplug the battery and put it on charge. That is wayyyy too hard for the modern man.

So, the first step I figured was to use the same charger as the Bronco. These are like $30 chargers and I haven’t found a source for these adapters without the power brick. So, in CAD, I drew one up. Then I saw this:

Patented. Now normally this wouldn’t scare me: Any lawyer worth their salt would say “You have to have something to take to be afraid of a lawsuit”, and frankly, they can have my good looks, but they can’t take my personality. So I opted against it.

I actually started doing some research on using some Elon Musk patents:

This is cool and all, but even if I can 3D print the parts, I’ll still be missing the metal bits, and I only need two conductors, so I went ahead and did my own thing:

Yes, that is a box of Atari games.

So here, I did a few measurements and fired up the spade bit. Then, I busted out CAD (only professionals use TinkerCAD):

I designed my own female port and male connector. Now, there is a critical flaw to this design that is very obvious if you actually pay attention — I didn’t until it printed. But I still gave it a lot of thought — how it would look, fit, how any water intrusion would escape, areas where the power should be ran separate, polarity marking, component keying etc.

Looks like it should work, despite that really shitty looking bridging inside of it.

Now it’s onto paint:

I wish I was that good.

I also started mounting LEDs over the old emblems from earlier.

On the bottom, you can see the SLA battery I alligator clipped it onto. These LEDs are nice as they have three wires — Red and Black for obvious reasons, and then a Yellow. It didn’t come with instructions, but hey, I’m a professional!

Or at least I was — long enough ago that rotary incandescent lightbars were still what people used.

The Yellow wire was used to rotate through the flash patterns. It works quite well actually, and the pods I bought had really great patterns. I landed on a pattern that jumps between red and blue quickly, and then strobes the two even faster.

On police cars in the US, at least those without Vector bars and those with red/blues, the red is generally mounted over the driver (presumably so you see red, white/gray/blue) behind you. The colors of FREEDOM!

FUN FACT! The Whelen light bar above has the normal red/blue housings for the bulbs, as well as two circular “takedown” lamps. But in the middle, you’ll see something really GRATE. That’s the Siren! Light bars stopped being made this way long before they were made smaller — I guess cops don’t like 120+ dB sirens 18″ from their ears — and OSHA agrees!

Next up was the front fascia — the part behind the grille. I wanted to mount lights here, but I also wanted to ensure the grill could be mounted over them, so I’ve cut out two ovals with spade bits, a Dremel, and a razor blade.

As I took the lights out of the package, I made sure they were all on the same flash pattern, then I made sure to rotate them. Red on top, Blue on top, Red on Top (GOTO 10).

This makes a really cool look, but sadly, there is no syncing between pods, and I’m guessing they use capacitors or something for timing, because they go out of sync IF YOU KNOW WHY, LEAVE A COMMENT IN THE BELOW. AND WHILE YOU’RE DOWN THERE, MAKE SURE TO LIKE AND SUBSCRIBE.

This said, I may go crazy and figure out how long each cycle lasts, and then have a microcontroller bounce the positive side — this will start them all from zero, shouldn’t be too obvious, and will keep the effect. I haven’t decided yet.

But, it looks pretty damn cool. I also bought a siren with Yelp, Wail, PA — and my favorite — Air Horn. There’s just something about that fake electronic air horn sound that screams AUTHORITY.

The next step is getting some decals made for this. I’ve snagged a photo of my local cruiser and I’ll see how much harassment I get from a vinyl shop about getting it printed:

Blurred again because you obviously cannot use Google and I’m obviously not in there.

There is for sure more to come here. I’m having some fun building it. Maybe more than the kids will riding it.






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