Tag Archives: Dome

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!




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.

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!


Family Day

Today is Family day. One of the few things Dalton McGuinty did right… but this isn’t a political blog so let’s get back to the topic at hand. R2!

With the day off, and Ange having to work, I figured I could probably get some good headway on R2.

I started off by cutting all of the dome panels off.

panelsAs you can see I’ve numbered every part in order to know where it goes after I’ve painted them, and done all the work to the inner dome.

After cutting these off, I had to get rid of all the burs from the laser cutting. To do this, I used a chisel and … hey wait a sec. Instead of reading this, why don’t you watch this short video I’ve made?

So as you can see I’ve worked on the Radar Eye, the Lens and cleaned up the dome panels.

Radar Eye Back


This is the cleaned up Radar Eye. As mentioned, I used my Dremel to clean it up and it made a mess even standing over a running Vacuum Cleaner. I’d HIGHLY suggest doing this outdoors (if it isn’t too cold)






This is the Christmas Ornament from Michael’s. It comes in two parts. What I did was stuck it in the Radar Eye, then used a permanent marker to outline where it fit. Then used a Plastic Cutting disk on the Dremel to cut it down to size. I’m not going to permanently attach it to the Radar Eye yet, as it needs to be painted.




Tinted Lens




As mentioned in the video, I tinted the lens, using Future Floor Wax, mixed with a black acrylic paint. A few coats with the airbrush and voila a darker, still see through lens



Radar Eye



Here’s the lens in the Radar Eye… purdy!






Well, that’s alot of work, but it’s not all I did. I also FINALLY finished soldering all the LEDs on the Rear Display. I started that almost a year ago, but now it’s done. I still have some soldering left, but it’s only headers, a few LEDs here and there, nothing that would take as much time as what I’ve done to date.

Next up… Starting to cut into the inner dome… Or work on the sound system.


Update to the last post. I ended up finding out that the Sparkfun MP3 Shield won’t work with the libraries I’m using and would probably conflict with some of the servos. SO I contacted Robotshop and they gladly special ordered the MP3 Trigger that I actually need and RMA’d the shield. This is awesome!

Also, I have a dome topper on the way and a Power Converter board (and I didn’t even have to go to Toshi Station :))
But I think the coolest news is that I’m getting some foot drives. These drives use scooter motors with a chain, which should be awesome. So now, all R2 is missing to start moving around is legs and a centre ankle… well and a battery of course.


The day I’ve been waiting for since April. The dome finally arrived!

The dome, which cost me a little over 500$ to have made and laser cut arrived in Ottawa Tuesday January 8th… however Canada Post held it hostage and demanded I pay a ransom of 74$ to get it.

So yesterday after a very long day at work, I headed to the post office and paid the ransom and brought it home.

Daren really outdid himself both in packaging and in the sheer quality of the dome.

As you can see in the unboxing video, After cutting the tape on the box and folding over the flaps, I see a second box. I open it, only to find a third box, open it and see tons of packing paper, after removing that, there was bubble wrap.

Then… the magnificent shiny dome.








Here I am dry fitting it on the frame


























And here’s a video of the unboxing

The Dome has FINALLY shipped

What a long process.

Back in May when I first stumbled across the Astromech Builders Club, I saw a run open for a 300mm aluminum dome. I figured, what better way to start than with the dome? That way, if at least I finish the dome and quit before getting anything else, at least people will know it’s R2.

The dome was supposed to ship in June.

After countless delays, it’s FINALLY shipped!

Since then I’ve gotten multiple other parts and have what looks like a r2 themed trash can… but now the dome is on it’s way!

I can’t wait to get it… though with the amount of sanding, grinding, polishing I’ll need to do with it… I may not get to work on it till the spring. But at least it’s on it’s way 🙂


Here’s a pick of Daren’s place as he’s packaging up all the domes and getting them ready for shipping


Dome Factory


And for those curious as to how a dome is made. Here’s a little video.


Dome Spinning

The aluminum obsession continues

Aluminum PSI Housing kit


Got home today to an other package. I was so excited. I quickly opened it to find the aluminum PSI housing kit. Ok, I know 99% of you just went Huh?

If you look at this picture








You will notice that there’s a blue rectangle with a grayish circle under the black lens. That is what’s called a PSI (Process State Indicator). Which is essentially, a bunch of lights that change colors. Well in order to hold these in place, one of the club members created this aluminum PSI housing kit. It’s an aluminum housing that holds the project board that has all the LEDs on it, then there’s a rubber defuser, to blend the light, then a honeycomb filter, to give it the texture you can sometimes see in the movies, a rubber gasket and then a rubber cover to hold it all together.

Only problem… I soldered some of the LEDs wrong. I left a gap between the LED and the board, and this was designed to have the LEDs flush against the board… guess I have to get an other PCB made… or try it without the defuser…