Monthly Archives: March 2013

Nice Maple Leaf

Here is the completed dome plate and a pic of it posted on my buddy David’s droid. Can’t wait for it to arrive…. Sooo sexy!




Dry Fitted Lights

My Head is Ringing

Well, I gotta say, I’ve gotten a lot of work done in the last few days.

First off. Mess up #1. I installed the inner plastic ring in the inner dome before being ready. So as posted earlier, I has frozen the ring to get it to fit, but I had also added tape to make it wider. Well… I now can’t remove it… well, not without using a runner mallet. So when I went to drill the holes for the angle ring, it proved to be harder than needed. I did get it on mostly straight.

Then mess up #2, I attached it to the lazy suzan. This doesn’t sound so bad, except the holes for the long machine screws were JUST the right size. If I tried to remove the dome and wasn’t perfectly straight… one screw would get stuck and that’s it, it bends and I’m stuck. Much blood spillage later, I got it off and widened the holes.

Mess up #3, with the dome attached, I put on the ring and outer dome… CRAP! There’s still WAY too much dome showing between the ring and angle ring. Aligne everything, draw a new line, remove everything, pull out the tin snips…

Ok… am I good? Well everything looks aligned. So I outline all (oh wait mess up #4) the panels I’m going to cut out… though I forgot one!

Nice, now I have all the lines. Time for the drill.



So I drilled hole as close to each other within the outline. Once they’re all drilled, I used some metal cutters to cut the tabs between them.






Big Hole


Now I can remove the piece and I have a very jagged hole.







I decided to grab a curved file and started to file the jagged edges. The noise this made was worse than nails on a chalkboard and the vibrations it caused was insane… Later on, I’ll need to finish smoothing it out. But since the file does too much too quickly, I’ll wrap some sandpaper around a wine bottle and use that.









Here’s a dry fit of the HP in that hole. As you can see, there’s still tons of sanding needed as it still doesn’t fit all the way through. Still…. it’s starting to look really cool.








After coming home from dinner, I decided to cut one last hole for the night. This time of of the front lights. So cool to actually see parts being installed.





Alright, all this dome work is cool, but what else is new? Well I soldered on all the wires on one side of the slip ring… this was time consuming, but doing the other side will be probably the most patience testing piece of working on R2. I have 24? small wires to solder in the right place, while the slipring is ON R2… the worst part is testing EACH wire with the multimeter for continuity. Kinda wish I had one that beeped 🙁

I also went to the Fastener store at Dave’s recommendation and got some screws, a tap and die set and some other fiddly bits I needed.

So what’s on the list for tomorrow? Hopefully a few more holes and pick up some of the paints maybe.

I can see you!

Look what arrived today!

HPsThese are the multipart resin Holoprojectors I got from Calvin and Hob… Brenda 🙂

It’s really nice that they’re multipart. This way, I don’t have do mask anything before painting them, and there’s the removable cap in the back so if I ever change the type of lighting for them, I can easily do it. Right now, it’s just an L.E.D. connected to a jumper cable, that in turn connects to they PSI boards. I will have to drill a small hole in the cap, to attach the gorgeous mounting servo system that should hopefully start shipping soon.

After this part having arrived, and the servo mounts already bought the ONLY things that attach to the dome in some way that I’m missing are, the cabochons, that go in these, the magic panel if I get to jump on that awesome run and the life scanner. (Yes Dave, and the dome plate). Other than that I now have EVERYTHING for the dome! Oh! I’m also missing a few sets of Blade Flybar Paddle Control Frame. Unfortunately, when I went to Great Hobbies on Saturday, they only had one set. These will be used for the hinges.


For those interested in what I’m doing for the hinges, here’s a list of parts:

  • BLH1624 – Flybar Paddle Control Frame Set B450
  • DUB137 – Dura Collars – 1/16″ (4)
  • BLH1637 – Ball Link Set (20) B450 B400
  • BLH1638 – Linkage Rod/Pushrod Set B450
  • Hitec HS-55 Servos
  • JAG Hinges

Once I start working on these I’ll post pics and instructions. In the mean time, enjoy this pic of a dry fitting of a Holoprojector in the dome!

HP in Dome

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.







Sexy ankles!

Look what arrived today!




That is all 🙂