Monthly Archives: October 2012

I have a new favorite store

Active Tech Electronics, I had heard of the store, but had never had a need to visit it… until now!

Wow… it’s like a candy store for electronics junkies. And by electronics I mean resistors, chips, sockets not stuff you find at the Source or Best Buy.

I walked in there on Saturday, not expecting much, but noticed that they had most of the parts I need for R2’s innards.

After buying a bunch of parts this month, I didn’t have that much disposable income so I only picked up a box of heat shrink tubes for the slip ring and a long nylon mesh hose.

Slip Ring


As you can see in this pic, I’ve added the nylon hose in order to protect the flimsy individual wires of the slip ring.







I’ve also received the Syren 10 speed controller for the dome motor, now all I need is the batteries and I can make the rockler bearing spin. I’m guessing that this store can get the right batteries for me, since they had some of the right size but wrong Amp/h.


Styrene droid parts

Data Port

Yes, my droid is an aluminum build droid… there’s some parts that just aren’t available in aluminum/won’t show/cost too much for what they do. So I got some in styrene.

First up, the Data Port. This is inside one of the panels on the right side of R2 and will have all sorts of blinky lights





Charging Bay



Next up is what seems to be my latest obsession, the Charging Bay. So, if you recall, with my Com8b frame, I got an aluminum Charging Bay… it’s already mounted. Then later on, I noticed that one of the guys that tends to make mini runs of electronic components for R2 had the LEDs and an acrylic bezel… so I got that. Then when this A&A run started… I don’t know why… but I ordered an other charging bay. Am I going to build multiple R2s? No, don’t think so…Oh well… this one comes with a breadbox for a panel below… so I may use that.





Holo Projector Servo Mount

Finally, the Holo Projector Servo Mounts. First of all I only ordered one of these, cause I only really wan’t to move one. Now, what are these you ask? Well on R2’s dome, there’s three protrusions that move and light up. One on the front (that alot of people tend to think is his eye), one on his head and one on the back of the dome… it’s the projector with which he projects Leia’s message to Obi Wan.

Like I said… I only bought one of the Servo Mounting kits. (though it looks like I got more than one). These attach inside the dome, behind the holo projectors and then you attach 2 servos and can make the HP move and twitch. I only wanted one, (for now) since who is going to be staring at the top one or back one… you only really care about the front. I may order more in the future, but for now this is good enough for me.





So… As I explained in a previous post… It's a bunch of cables that will pass power and signals from the frame to the dome without getting tangled when the dome turns.

Well, that's what was waiting for me at the post office. I head there this afternoon and pick it up and head back to work… Where I open it and notice some dinky cables… I look closer and it's only a 2amp slipring. I was under the impression I had bought a 10amp one. So I head to the forums and try to figure out what amperage everyone else uses and can't find it. I then post, asking the crew and to the following response.


Most of the earlier runs for these slip rings were of the 2A variety (pretty thin gauge wire!)

I also flipped when I saw those tiny wires, so I bundled 5 of them for power and 5 for ground.

I knew I would not need 24 wires, and felt the sacrifice a worthy one.

Now, with the I2C connection, most of us will need even fewer wires running through, so I would probably go with this one from Adafruit. 6 wire, 2A, (same wimpy gauge) but only $18.



It feels like Christmas!

Resin Parts

So the majority of my R2 is aluminum… but there are some parts that either don’t make sense to get in aluminum either cause they’ll be painted or the aluminum ones are just to expensive. Well I was in luck. A fellow forum member Steele makes resin parts at some points in the year. And as I looked the other day, he was having a run. So I ordered some parts. The Radar eye, the utility arms, the coin slots and coin vents. Well they arrived today… really nice parts.

There was also an other Canada Post packing slip… I’m guessing it’s either the slipring or the speed controller.








Radar Eye


As you can see the radar eye is really big.

Other important but not shiny parts

So there's a ton of other parts that are needed for r2 that aren't as glorious and shiny as say the dome… But without them… R2 will just be a really expensive coat wrack.
  • I picked up an 8 position dual row barrier strip
  • A pack of insulated solderless terminals (thank heavens something I don't need to solder)
  • A roll of black and a red 14awg wire
Still need to find some other gauges of wire, screws, etc.


Spin me round baby

Pittman GM9413-2

Mystery part revealed! It was the motor. Took me no time to attach it 🙂 now if only the slipring and Syren 10 speed controller could arrive… just so I can’t play with it… DARN IT! Always something… How will it spin without a power source? Time to look up batteries.

I know I want 2 12 Volt batteries and they each need to fit in a 3″ by 7″ inclosure… Also I want as high a Amp/H as I can get…


Arduino Uno

First batch of new R2 parts arrived.. the arduino dev kit was in the mailbox as well as a stub saying more tomorrow 🙂

So… What is an arduino you ask? Well it's a small computer that parses arduino code (programming based on C++). Still confused? Well here's how I plan on using them. There's already one programmed for my lighting… It controls the patterns of blinking lights. I'll then have an other set control random movements of the holo projectors… An other to control lights in the charging bay.

Hope that clears it up.

Quiet on the droid front?

Quiet on the droid front? Hell no… just amassing a bunch of parts. Ordered the motor for the dome along with the speed controller for it, the radar eye, some arduino boards to control some functions, the slipring to connect the power source in the frame to the dome so nothing gets tangled, the utility arms and a few other parts.

So hopefully when the dome arrives at the end of the month/early next month… R2 will really start looking like R2.

Now if my buddy Dave could get started on the legs 🙂

Ring around the droid

Lee Valley Tools Lazy Suzan

So in order to make R2's head turn, it needs to be on a bearing of some sort. Majority of the people in the club use the Rockler bearing. It's a great bearing but Lee Valley Tools, also makes an almost identical bearing… and well with Lee Valley Tools' headquarters just a stones throw away from here… why not give them my well earned money.

So Tim and I took a drive down there at lunch today and I got myself the 17-3/8″ Lee Valley Tools bearing. It's big… and heavy… and doesn't turn too well.

A trick some of the guys use is they remove all the bearings from the rings, clean the rings and sand down any imperfections, then add a teflon spray, and either add some but not all of the bearings or replace them with Acetal bearings.

I may have to do this, cause the motor drive everyones been using is no longer available in surplus and I don't want to spend over 200$ on one, so I ordered a slower version of the motor, a Pittman, GM9413-2, 12/24 VDC, 19.7:1 Ratio motor. So any little help is worth it.