Category Archives: Electronics

New parts arrived and on their way


ISo with all the issues I’ve had getting some of the main components for R2 and well.. just wanting him up and running. I had ordered plastic parts.

They arrived in early November (as seen on my R2 facebook page)

Plastic and 3d printed parts

Plastic and 3d printed parts

This includes the following:

  • Legs
  • Skirt
  • Battery Boxes
  • Center Foot
  • Outer Feet
  • Foot Drives

I need to remove them from the sheets, and glue them with an Acrylic Solvent… this is going to be like assembling a giant 3d puzzle!

I’ve also been working on the MarcDuino boards and failing miserably… I can’t seem to reach the ATMega chip when trying to program it. After trying everything I could… I finally gave up and jumped on a run of the version 2 of these boards. They’re pre-soldered and will have room for future improvements. They also can have the Wifly and power boards clip right into them.

Next, I saw that there was some of the Magic Panels available, so I jumped on that.

I also got motors for the feet, chains, cogs, an amp for the sound and finally found the LEDs I’ve been missing for the Data Port.


Ankle Away!

Yay the center ankle was just shipped! Next on the list? Foot drives with motors! R2 will be moving around by the end of September!

And I think I found some… that are affordable.

These units are custom built using heavy 12g steel welded at 12 points.

They’re low profile so it won’t look like R2 is floating.
Nice thick rubber wheel.
Motor mounts are 12″L x 3″W x 4 1/4″H Weight 8Lbs each. And motors come with it!


The last set I was looking at, cost more, and I had to get everything from the wheels, chain to the motors separately.

And here’s what they look like.











Must Get!

So I was surfing Robot Shop a few minutes ago and saw this.











It’s basically an Arduino shield that has screw terms for all the pins. Instead of taping them, or hoping they don’t fall out, I can screw in all the wires.

Not bad for 8$. Wonder if ActiveTech has them?

Dry Fitted Lights

Firefighting… literally

Holy crap… R2 almost burnt the house down!

Well not quite… but he did catch fire.

I was testing the Padawan code to make the dome turn… when as I was reaching for the camera to shoot a vlog… *POOF* Flames our of the control wire.

























As you can see, the shielding completely melted… I hope Ange doesn’t find out… Not sure if she’d be more mad about the fire? The fire on her table cloth? or R2 burning… Oh well… guess I need thinker gauge cable.

You spin me right round

After two days of fighting with the code, of wiring and re-wiring I finally got it working!

So this is how this is setup.

  • I have a 12V battery which goes to the input on the DanS Power Distribution board.
  • This goes out to the B+ and B- on the Syren 10 Speed Controller
  • I then have M1 and M2 go to the Pittman Motor.
  • I then hooked up S1 to pin 5 on the Body’s Arduino Uno and 0V to one of the GND pins

So now when I move the left stick Right or Left, the motor turns in that direction, which causes the Lee Valley lazy suzan to turn, which moves the dome.

Some other cool additions to this latest version of the Padawan code (1.8) is that it will cause R2 to randomly speak and move the front Holoprojector on his own.

This is REALLY awesome.

Next up, I’ll be outlining the holes in the domes to get ready to cut it.

I’ll also need to solder up the slip ring to the DB25. Fun part about that is how tiny the slip ring’s wires are, and I have to solder one side while it’s on the from, or I would be able to get it back on…

I Think I Need A Drink…

Well it was bound to happen… I’d sooner or later have to start actual work on the dome. For those who don’t hear me talking about it all day long… I love my dome. It’s the most recognizable part of R2 so far. It’s well constructed, it cost a lot, it was the first part I ordered, it was the part that took the longest to arrive… It’s SHINY!.

After having cut out all the panels out of the outer dome. After sanding all the burrs and scraps out from the laser cutting I noticed that the outer dome is well taller than the outer dome. This leaves a big gap, that just looks bad. Ok, what do I do?

Well reading up on the forums, some people cut their domes in half horizontally and take a piece out. Well, I don’t really want to do that. I have this “luck” where if I were to do that, I’d take a chunk right where a screw needs to go, or screw up! SOooo I decided I’d measure several (hundred) times. Mark the area at the bottom that’s too much, then measure again and finally cut the 5mm at the bottom off.

How do I do this?  A saw? uhm no, my Dremmel? Hell no! Tin Snips! Aluminum is soft right? right?

Well it is. But not THAT soft. Finally I take the plunge and do the first cut. It’s not so bad… Do the second cut. Ouch.. hand is already hurting. Third cut… I’m done.

I decided I don’t want to do too much and risk ruining it. So I went to bed.

Get up this morning and do a few more cuts and can no longer close my hand.

Go to work…

Get home from date night with Ange and try a bit more. My hand cramps up again.

I’m about half way, I think I may be done by Monday… maybe Tuesday at this rate. Once the cutting is done, I’ll have to sand it smooth.

Cutting DomeI’ve also noticed a 2 – 3mm gap between the domes. Again, some builders cut the dome Vertically to make it fit. What I’ll do if it’s still noticeable after I’m done trimming, is freeze the inner plastic ring in order to shrink it, then wrap it in several laters of tape. Pop it in and let it return to normal temperature. This will cause it to expand, and force the dome to expand, hopefully filling in the few millimetres.







I also got some more mail. Nothing exciting at all. Just the Maxim 7219CNG IC chips I bought off eBay. These are for the Data Port Panel and well anything else I do with blinking LEDs. I was hoping that the Holoprojectors would of arrived, though I’m pretty sure they’ll be here next week.









Lastly, I got word last night that the machined parts for the foot drives are done and that they simply need to order the ‘other’ parts, such as screws, washers, nuts and spacers and that they will then be able to ship these out!


vLog 4

More parts!

More parts arrived today… some of these will hopefully be cause for a new video in the next little bit.














First up are the servos. This is 4 Hitec HS-55 servos for the dome. They’ll be in charge of opening the pie panels. I’m always amazed at how small the servos are. These will attach to the JAG hinges I have, I’m just not sure how yet. Most people either use servo savers or springs.






PS2 ControllerThis is the PS2 controller I’ll be using to make R2 move, and talk. There’s two different ON/OFF switches on it, so I can turn it on, without the rumble feature. This is great, considering the damn thing takes 4 AAA batteries. 😛










This is a standard PS2 Wireless receiver. However, Lynxmotion provides a board that hooks right into it that has pin outs for DAT, CMD, ATT, CLK, 5v, GND. The range on this is pretty good, it’s supposed to be roughly 10 meters indoors and longer outside.







This is the Dome Topper. Basically, the dome has a hole on the top, This part fits in from the inside and then the washer goes on top surrounded by the round pie piece. It seems like such a trivial part, but still excited, non the less.







Parts Order

So with the Profit Sharing, I went ahead and ordered some more parts.

First up, thanks to my buddy Patrick Calnan who donated some cash to the cause. I ordered some resin Holoprojectors.



These will work great with the housing/servos I ordered. The thing I really like is that the nozle is a screw on cap, and there’s the rear cap. Now I need to get the cabochon for them. Dave is really pushing for me to add an actual projector so that R2 can become a TV projector. Who knows… I might eventually.






Next up, were 4 Hitec HS-55 servos. These will be used to open the pie panels on the dome. With this part now ordered. It completes all the parts needed to finish the dome. The only thing missing is the Life Form Scanner and the risers for it and the periscope. However, this is not needed to complete the dome. So I can get this later. Anyways, Jerry is currently scoping out the prices for a run of the lifter.






I also found a PS2 remote that has the cables and breakout board for the receiver.












Lastly, these are the shoulder shims that will go between the legs and the shoulders.









I’ve also contacted Total Battery and will be heading there either today at lunch or tomorrow and get the battery(ies).


On the costume front. I’m finally starting. I have the Helmet and chest box for my X Wing Pilot costume ordered. These should be here in a week or so.