My Original Dobros Gauge

Discuss items from the film, making replicas, and so on.

My Original Dobros Gauge

Postby Dragonforce » Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:09 pm

Hi all, seeing as I ranted on and on in another post regarding these elusive gauges, I thought I would share my story for anybody interested.
I found my gauge not through George Kritty, or the ex-employee of Dobros (now WIKA), nor is my gauge one of the excellent (but not accurate) reproduction versions available through WIKA. My gauge is 100% Dobros genuine, and in near MINT condition. For the people out there criticising me of trying to affect a free market from my small corner in NZ....I say "Big Black Bell-end" to you! What if I could (not that I can....yet) supply genuine Dobros gauges for between $50 - $100? (NZD Of course) What would all the capitalists out there say to that? What if I could debunk the popular belief that these gauges are not as rare as previously believed, or accepted? I know revelations such as those would offend and upset a few people! That however is not my intention, it would just be a consequence. It is my hope and belief, that I will be able to do just that, based on how easy and inexpensive it was for me to acquire mine. I make no claims that I can and have the means to acquire any more...Yet, if I do turn up any more however I will not ride the money train at someone elses expense if you get what I mean. Please....read on:

The story of my Dobros Gauge and the facts relating to how I found and acquired it

On Mon 8th Feb I was sitting at my computer posting a message on http://www.madmaxmovies.com discussion forum regarding the Dobros gauge. At this point in time I did not have one of my own, I only had ever had a repro faceplate supplied by George Kritty some years back. From reading about these gauges and their alleged scarcity, I was not convinced or content with the notion that these were simply impossible to find, I then decided to look into them a bit more so I did a google search for Dobros gauges in NZ. What came up surprised me a bit, as it showed an expired auction for some form of a Dobros gauge on the local NZ auction site. I promptly clicked on the link and found the expired auction page (the auction had long expired with the item not being sold). There was still the Q&A section on the listing, but sadly no photo’s. In the Q&A some guy asked for more info, and among the reply was a description of what was written on the bottom centre of the gauge face: *other company name*, New Zealand DOBROS. This was a revelation, as now it seemed there was another company who used to supply Dobros made gauges to industry in NZ. I found out through another quick Google search that *other company* are a Christchurch based company who still to this day supply all makes and models of gauge to NZ industry......Except Dobros 

I got in touch through the link on their website, and they advised what I already knew, that they were obsolete.....but they had one for sale, and asked me to make an offer, which I quickly did, for a mutually agreed price, and today as I woke up there it was all packaged and delivered to my door. As I said The Gauge I got from them was the only one they had, and likely the only one they will ever have again, so that avenue is now exhausted.

This clearly illustrates what thinking outside of the square can achieve. By doing a bit of legwork and using my noggin I was able to determine that another company dealt with Dobros back in the day, I got in touch with them (sure it was a long shot but there’s never any harm in asking, as my reward proves) And it paid off...Big time! I was easily able to procure an original Gauge for a very reasonable price all while sitting at my computer for a couple of hours!
The gauge I got from them was the one and only that they had, despite it's age it has remained in almost brand new condition. Although it was the only one they had, I do believe that more are out there elsewhere, and with the minimal effort it took to track down this one, I believe I can find more.

So I do not EVER buy any notion that things like this are impossible to find. I have just proven this wrong.

I have photo’s of the gauge, and for anyone interested a .PDF of the invoice as proof. I can even take pics of me holding the darn thing for the real sceptics!
Last edited by Dragonforce on Wed Feb 10, 2010 12:29 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: My Original Dobros Gauge

Postby Dragonforce » Tue Feb 09, 2010 1:28 pm

Just need to add, that although a genuine 100% Dobros made gauge it is one of the ones with a black body, and not the movie correct grey one. Still I think I did very well, and in this instance beggars certainly cant be choosers.

For anyone interested in a pic of it for validation of my claim, or to simply see what an original gauge in it's untouched form looks like, please PM me with your E-Mail address and I will send pics for you.
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Re: My Original Dobros Gauge

Postby Dragonforce » Wed Feb 10, 2010 1:03 am

Hmmmmmm,

No surprises here!
What amazes me is that when one is laying down ideas, suggestions, debates....all these self proclaimed experts converge on that person and systematically attempt to strip, dissect, shred and debunk everything they say and remove any hope of credibility they may have claim to....oh no they can't have anyone else lest of all a newbie disagreeing with their self imposed godlike status and opinion...how dare they! After all this is all a closed book...why on earth is this newbie opening it again.."please refer to all the earlier posts and discussions".....Case Closed! What a narrow minded lot you can be! When someone is actively questioning and god forbid...challenging the status quo the activity, criticism, rudeness, shrug-offs, arrogance, etc...is swift, harsh, and heavily prevalent....Yet when the same person digs up something relevant that he found somewhere previously unknown (uncharted territory).....something that may even in the slightest force a slight change in dogma, no-one says a thing or shows the slightest bit of interest.
Unbelievable! I have posted a good many posts on these boards, most of them met with disdain and hostility, and granted I admit, a lot of it was warranted as I tend to exude a lot of negativity on things other's find pleasurable....for that I am truly sorry. Sometimes I do go too far, and I can be a vindictive little prick, but all that aside to me pales in comparison to a person making a signifigant find that should in the least spark some interest, only to be met with stone cold silence once he offers evidence of said find. People should know that in the world of Movie memorabilia, replica's etc.... there are no set in stone rules....for one because it is all make believe anyway. And yes I found an original Dobros gauge relatively easily, only not from the sources or known methods accdepted. I did something different, and got extremely lucky for my brazenness. I am not expecting credit, fanfare, or anything like that...It just would be nice if someone showed an interest. Back in the day this post would have been buzzing....at least that's when finding that special something that was authentic was a real trip! Now it's just not the same! When one finds something, and comes down off their cloud nine to share their find on here, they are generally met with a "Ho-Hum" reaction and an almost gestapo like interrogation process to validate their claim that is sometimes not even necessary as the evidence from sometimes just one photo is so glaringly obvious, Once the prop "gods" decide the person is wrong by consensus the person is then subjected to smear campaign that involves being shut-out and generally ignored. I will probably soon just cease to post anymore, as the days go by it gets harder to see any point to it all....'cos I'm sick of butting heads, which seems to be the favourite pastime here of more than a few.
Even if someone asked me, and said wow..good find (like they would have back in the day) do you think you could find another one? I would be definately interested. If someone said that, I would be more than happy to try my luck again for them. I am on 2 weeks holiday, so I am making the most of the time I can be on the computer and phone/fax, etc...
I only wish I could have found this gauge a few years ago....the reaction then would have been worth it.
Last edited by Dragonforce on Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My Original Dobros Gauge

Postby Dragonforce » Wed Feb 10, 2010 2:32 pm

Okay, for what it's worth (I feel as though I'm talking with a fart in a jar) I have now put all the pieces together. Now I know why the movie props dept used a Dobros gauge for Max's fuel warning system....You see the movie prop consisted of three parts: a) non-functional static needle gauge, b) 12v red stop lamp, and c) a 12v warning buzzer, of which the latter two were likely activated together (on the same circuit) by someone in the car at the push of a button. Of course it was not actually part of a real fuel gauge system. The reason they used this gauge is very plain to see when all the components are brought together, and one can see the obvious handicaps and difficulties prevalent in using any other type of gauge. The main advantage being the long U-shaped clamp on the back of the gauge. This clamp has many advantages, and is probably one of the most crucial elements of this gauge vs any other type that could have been but was not used. The clamp offers a mounting for not only the red lamp, but also the warning buzzer. All you need to do is undo both wingnuts and using a standard car stereo installation metal support strip (you know the ones they are about 200mm long 20mm wide and have holes spaced thus: single, oval adjustable, single, etc...) put this onto and on top of the existing u-clamp back, using both wingnut posts for support. You shoud now have about 80-90mm of excess strip out the right hand side of the gauge (looking front on) This excess is where you mount the red lamp, there are enough mounting holes to do so easily, and when done should show no more of the strip. When using a 200mm long strip, it should be exactly right, any longer and you will need to remove any excess. Now onto the buzzer! The one I am using is a readily available (in NZ at least) Narva brand p/no 72550bl Warning Buzzer (operates on both 12/24v systems at 90db). The packaging describes it thus: Ideal for audible indicator signals or as a warning alarm for engine fault, such as low oil pressure. Can be mounted anywhere inside a vehicle such as under the dash. Convenient blade terminals make wiring easy.
This product is ideal in two ways: a) it actually sounds like Max's buzzer, and b) it is small and has a single screw mounting hole in just the right place.
Once your red lamp has been attached to the strip, you will notice that both of the gauges wingnut posts are still useable......as another mount! In my case I used the left one (left when looking at gauge front on, right when looking at the back), you simply undo the wingnut again pace the buzzer onto the post....discard wingnut and use a same size standard nut to lock it down. Looking at the whole assembly front on, the buzzer is completely out of site, but the whole assembly is one magnificent solid piece.

I have taken some wonderful pics of all this, for any one interested in seeing the results. I hope it may be of some help, or just an eye opener. Please PM me and I will e-mail you pics.
How on earth do you put your pics up on here?
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Re: My Original Dobros Gauge

Postby Max Replica » Wed Feb 10, 2010 3:55 pm

Hi,
Let me start off by saying that I haven't read all of your posts and info above. There's a LOT of it in this thread and I'm not really a collector or expert in props related to the vehicles. I'm just a costume guy. You'll notice that someone just posted here about a possible ID on one of Max's shotguns and I responded right away, because the shotgun is part of the costume, therefore I'm very interested.

I know this forum is labeled costumes and PROPS, but posts here tend to be more costume-focused. That doesn't mean prop info/discussion doesn't belong here, it certainly does, it just doesn't always gain as much interest. Have you thought about posting some info/pics in the replica vehicle section of the forum? Folks there might be interested in one of these gauges for their actual replica cars. And not everyone who visits this forum reads each part of it. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the car guys almost never check this part of the forum (in the same way that I never check the games and gaming part of the forum.)

You also need to factor in the most people are basically lazy, so if they see a thread with a LOT of text and no pictures, they skip it or save it for later. Sad but true.
The Replica Warrior
http://wastelandweekend.com/
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Re: My Original Dobros Gauge

Postby Dragonforce » Wed Feb 10, 2010 8:11 pm

Thanks jwrites, I had not thought about the idea that posters on these forums keep to one topic. I think the administrator should make some changes, or make a new zone called vehicle/vehicular props or car parts/props.

I am now 50% complete on a wiring kit for the gauge assembly, the lamp and buzzer will be actuated by a blower switch, run through an indicator flasher unit, and powered via a cigarette lighter adapter plug (12v). It gives a good excuse and for installing a blower switch He he heh!
The cool thing will be that it will buzz and flash intermittently at the rate of an indicator light thanks to the flasher unit, all at the push/pull of a stick mounted blower switch.

Can I send pics to someone who has the means to post them on here for me?

Cheers,

Chris.
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Re: My Original Dobros Gauge

Postby scag66 » Wed Feb 10, 2010 10:21 pm

Brillant idea for a display and a great demo for a replica car builder if you ever plan to sell it.
Hooking it up to the blower switch is very cool, forget pictures,when you get it up and running you
will have to upload a video.
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Re: My Original Dobros Gauge

Postby Dragonforce » Wed Feb 10, 2010 11:10 pm

Thanks, that would be a better way, I'll do a vid when it's all together!
Your display is very impressive by the way! What lamp are you using? was that from the same e-bay source? Yours looks dead on, my one is close but the pattern on the front of the lens is all wrong.
Please allow me to apologise to you also for earlier, for my patronising rudeness. I am genuinely sorry. Until I actually took delivery of my gauge I knew very little about them, it really is the sort of thing one needs to hold and study in the flesh to really see it for what it is.
Still there is no excuse for my rudeness and harsh words.
Sorry.
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Re: My Original Dobros Gauge

Postby Dragonforce » Thu Feb 11, 2010 12:22 pm

Cool! First poster of the day!

Wakey, Wakey.....eggs and Bakey!

I have finished the wiring (loom) for the gauge assembly (I call it a loom, because that's what it is!) It's easily tucked away and concealed, not that it needs to be, as I am one of those people who is very tidy when it comes to wiring things up. I have to report it is a stunning success, it lights up and buzzes almost like the movie. The reason I say almost is because it's not quite there yet....the buzzer well it buzzes at the wrong tempo and the lamp also flashes with it. The indicator flasher unit's tempo is "tick tock tick tock" where as Max's buzzer's tempo was "Beeep Beeep..............Beeep Beeep............Beeep Beeep" If you get what I mean?
This unit of mine lights up and beeps just like Max's but the tempo is all wrong, and the flasher unit cannot be adjusted in any way.
Does anyone have any fixes for this? or ideas? Am I missing something?
It is still excellent in every way, I would just like to see if and how I can get it exact, even though more than likely the one in the movie was being actuated by hand on and off with a button or touching two wires together. It's well known that those blower switch shots, and the gauge lighting up were filmed in a stationery vehicle.
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Re: My Original Dobros Gauge

Postby Dragonforce » Thu Feb 11, 2010 1:42 pm

For anyone interested, I have since discovered that an identical red lamp with the correct lens pattern can be found at Supercheap Auto. I know they operate here in NZ and Australia. The part is a "super force" (you tell me and we'll both know!) Trailer Lamp code no: 01354 plu no: 6850 (red). I got mine for NZD$7.99.
Upon opening it however I discovered that the only useable part is in fact the lens, the rest of it is worthy only of a quick toss into the nearest rubbish bin! The base of the thing was plastic and not the nice (shockproof) rubber like the first narva one I brought. The last thing you want is any more loose rattly noise from an old car that has enough of that to contend with already. So with a bit of ingenuity I simply swapped lenses! and bingo it all fit like it was meant to be...no hassles, everything lined up, and now it looks really accurate! I can't help but wonder though with the ridiculous ease that all this has come together, I am certain the reasons for a Dobros gauge being chosen for the movie are becoming ever more clearer! The whole lot fits together so easily as though it was meant to be! I wonder if I am coincidentally following the same path the props dept trod all those years ago! This is what it's all about for me, just the excitement of putting something together you have marvelled at for most of your adolescent life (my parents wouldnt let me watch the movies until I was 16!) Jesus...kids as young as 8 are playing Grand Theft Auto these days....and worse!
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