Thursday, August 28, 2008

R2 Wears a Skirt?

Well that's what the builders call it.
This is one of Jerry Green's aluminum skirts and I can see
why he was so upset at the machinist. The skirt has many flaws
in it and the bars are too long. So as I build the piece I'll have
to modify and correct the skirt.
Now I'm not 100% sure I have the bars in the correct place, But I made
a template and did the best I could with what I have to work with.
Anyway, Once I get everything bonded I'll do the filling and bondo
work to make it look as best as I can.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Guessing Game

Can you guess what this is and what it will be used for?
Answers in the next post.

Small Door Update

Just a quick pic of the rear door sides painted.
I was'nt trying to hide the magnets, Just clean up the jambs.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Just Thinking

I plan to weather my R2 and I noticed when I sanded the rear door
in the cracks around the panels it got a off white look and the
actual part that the sand paper did hit, It got a brighter white.
So what I'm thinking is to sand the entire body to match the rear door
then do the weathering.
After the weathering is done it should add a nice effect around the panels
and really look more authentic.
I don't plan to go extreme with the weathering, Just enough to give
it some character and the panels will be more noticeable in the sunlight.
R2 in the Empire Strikes Back is the model I'm using and the weathering
was mild in most of the movie.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Door Rework

The signatures are gone ;o(
I sanded the paint on the outside of the door getting it ready for
a new coat.
I also put some Bondo around the magnets for a smoother finish.
Once the rain stops, I'll repaint and put the power coupler in place.
On the inside I plan to cover the frame with Styrene and this will give me
a nice panel for signatures again.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Battery Box Mod

I had to lower the battery box and drop the ankle mount lower in the frame.
I was planning to use 2- 12v. 12Ah batteries as my main power source.
But I found a set of 12v. 20Ah batteries that would almost double my power supply.
The pics show the difference where the box was mounted.
I need to make a mounting block to go down into the center ankle for a solid
mount for the ankle.
After I get past this part, I will finish the skirt and move on to the feet
and battery boxes. Once these items are complete, All I will have left is to
start wiring everything and hopefully be ready for the next MegaCon.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


If you can see it in the pic, I installed the magnets inside the rear skin opening.
They are hide from the outside view and they hold the door in place very well.
All I have to do is bring the door close to the opening and you can feel the magnets pull the door into the correct position.
Once the glue dries that's holding the magnets, I will finish the rear door and skin the inside with styrene for a smooth area for new signatures.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Rear Door Magnets

I started working on the back door again and glue the Magnets in place.
The inner frame I installed on my rear skins also have hidden magnets,
So as the door comes into position the magnets will hold it in place.
My rear door has really gone downhill since I 1st painted it and the signatures
I have on the outside will be lost due to the need of repainting the door.
I hate to loose them, But the door looks terrible.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Periscope Movement

I used a geared motor out of my Wowee Gorila head.
I really did'nt care much about this head and I bought it cheap.
I allways buy stuff like this for parts and it paid off.
The gear motor I added a drive wheel and a line spool for the
nylon string to curl on.
All I have left to do is finish mounting the motor and fine tuning
the lift. I will also find areas to trim down weight from the lift.
This will be controlled by my Vex micro inside the dome, Which gets
the signal from the 12 Ch. Ebay remote to activate the lift.
I will add limit switches at the top/bottom for stops.
So far, It has turned out pretty good and I will be glad to
move on to the next project.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Skin Bracing

I noticed that my skins were starting to get heavy and I noticed a slight sag.
So what I did to stop this from happening while R2 is moving around hitting bumps.
I added some 1 inch Aluminum angle to the spots I'm pointing at on the inside where you can't see them.
The last pic shows the little angle pieces near the center vents.
Although these are not bolted to the frame, I think just being there and placed against the A&A frame ring will be enough.
I plan to search my frame for more weak spots and add braces to make it stronger.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Periscope Drive

I'm going to use a Hitec Servo for the power winch. I've made a small rotation drum that will pull a Nylon string and move the plateform up and down.
I'm using Nylon string because everything else I looked at had to much resistance to curl around the drum.
I also put a small drum pulley at the top of the setup for the string to ride on while pulling the plateform.
Although gravity would be enough to pull the plateform back down, I added a very light weight spring to the side of the slide. This gives very little resistance, But it's just enough to pull the plateform back down. It also seems to have added some stability to the plateform.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Redesign Allready!!!

The post below is a good example of why everyone should check my blog for updates.
The lift was not working as smooth as I wanted, So I started over.
I didn't understand how the bearings worked inside the slide until I slept on it.
The bearing have to float inside the slides for a smooth flow. I had restricted the bearing from floating and it was stiff.
I also had it setup so that only 1 slide provided movement and that was another mistake. Now there are 2 slides in motion, 1 moves 4 inches and the other moves 3 inches. The Periscope itself is 6-1/2 inches tall, So I will clear the dome at the top by 1/2 inch. As I tweak the setup I may get more height out of the Periscope.
More to come.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Periscope Lift

I started working on the lift, I got the idea from Wayne Orr and Chris James.
Just to make sure credit for the idea goes to the right people.
I have changed a few things in my setup and though it's not finished,
I thought I'd show some pics.
The 1st pic shows the cabinet drawer slide and you'll get 2 when you purchase them.
The next pic shows how the slides come apart and you'll need to do this and you will also need to shorten the slides.
Next the little bumper on the end will need to be removed and the tab that holds the bumper bent down. This will allow you to seperate all 3 pieces.
Next, I took the inner ball bearing out of the 2nd slide and added it to the 1st slide. This gives me bearing for the inner piece to glide on the complete travel distance.
Next, You'll need to cut down the inner slide to gain travel. The long piece shows how much I cut it down.
Next, I put the inner slide in and you can see the main travel I will have in the main slide. The other pic shows the lifter together.
I built a small mounting plate for the Periscope to mount to and I also added sides to restrict slop (which there's not much) and this gave me a place to mount my rear rollers.
The rear rollers control drag created by the weight of the Periscope.
Once I order the small motor (the same one I used for the dome motor),
I will complete this setup and fine tune everything.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Dome Motor Mount 2

Here's a few pics of the mount painted and mounted to the A&A frame.
I tried the motor out again to make sure everything was what I expected
and it works GREAT!!!
I also tried again to destroy the motor by jerking it back/forth and it
keeps right on going. Long term use, We will have to wait and see.
I did run into 1 problem, There's 2 screws with lock nuts that hold the
motor frame and the mounting frame together and I super glued the screws in place.
The screws allow the 2 mounts to slide when adjustment is needed. Well the glue
didn't hold, So I'll have to fix this problem. Other than that, It works and
I'm happy with my creation. This keeps the large motor setup out of the belly
of R2. Some have said the motor is too small and too weak, I tend to disagree.
The motor has a small gear box (The ratio of the gear box, I forgot) and this allows
the motor to have allot more torque. I also assume the size of the Drive Wheel
helps out.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Dome Motor Mount

The motor mount is starting to take shape. The idea is to keep the motor up out of the way, Instead of hanging down in the body.
The bottom pic shows the bracket that will be mounted to the A&A frame.
The next pic shows the motor mounted to it's frame which will slide back/fourth
for tension adjustment.
The next 2 pics show how the parts come together. The bolt on the left (which is a screw for now) will provide the tension to the motor slide and will push the drive wheel against the dome bearing.
Once I get it mounted to the frame, I will take more pics to show how it works.
Also, My little motor has not gave me the 1st bit of problem rotating the dome.
I'm very happy with this " Little Engine That Could ".

Friday, August 01, 2008

R2's Brain Installation

As you can see the Vex Micro has lost it's place
and I'm working on getting the Mini Itx Motherboard installed.
I placed the board so all the connectors will have easy access.
There will be a few other items to go on the Plexi board, But not much.
I'm really not sure how each item will fit on the board, So as I buy each
piece I'll arrange them above the Itx or maybe to the side area.
This setup cuts down on having so many different electronics in R2
and saves allot of room. As far as parts I still need will include:
Laptop Hard Drive - 2 Gig Memory - Power Supply and a few more Phidgets.
Once I get the other parts I plan to get R2 finished before the next MegaCon
and have him moving at the show.