Sunday, November 10, 2013

This One Has a Good Motivator!

 ...if a good motivator is a deadline, that is! A convention at the end of the month, which will feature a Central Texas Droids table, is my deadline. I am set on having Dizzy rolling by then! I'm still waiting/hoping for resin feet, but I have everything else so it's time for a push to the finish line (he can run without feet, as those are just shells -- easily added later).

I began by finishing up the support that goes across the base of the dome. This holds some of the electronics and a slip ring. A little drilling and done!

I'd decided to add a door to the frame for access to switches. Here I'm affixing a hinge:

Alas, it did not quite work out. I'll revisit this later, as it's not critical.

Next it was time to actually glue in the utility arm boxes. I just used some scrap styrene to make supports:

...put them into position...

(I apparently decided to take many pictures of this exciting step!)

...and they are done!

 Next it was time to work on attaching his very heavy legs. I needed to widen the holes a touch, and reinforce the bulkheads. Boy the inside of his body has gotten gritty over time, and look how the glue has yellowed. *cue foreshadowing music here*

I decided to start leg attachment with his center leg. It was a real bear to do as one person has to maneuver the frame onto the bolts while the other has to aim the center leg. I roped the Mr. into center leg duty. Here Dizzy is supported in position using some of our art books:

I reinforced the bottom frame with some scrap and then tightened it up. 

Did I say the center leg was a bear to attach? Oh boy were the outer legs an adventure. It took several tries each time and the maneuvering was one of the hard parts. I am quite pleased with how his "replacement-leg-from-another-droid" turned out though! Still need to add more weathering to it.

The second of the outer legs was much easier to attach, of course! Another skill achieved that will never be used again hahaha!

My aluminum arrived during the day and I began marking where to drill to make the motor mounts:

It took two of us, but we moved Dizzy up onto the kitchen table to make affixing the motor mounts easier. In the process we heard much cracking and snapping. :-( It seems I've added far too much weight to the little fella and his styrene body is beginning to fail!! Oh, dear...

I'm also able to see (from this perspective) that his base plate is flexing due to the strain, and this is messing with his leg angles...Oh boy!

What now? *sigh* Well, as a temporary fix I plan to try to reinforce the base plate with some aluminum, but I've had to admit to myself that I've overloaded the styrene frame, and now I'm going to have to switch to a more hefty solution. Looks like a wood frame is in my future! Wheeeeeeee!


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's the Little Things

Over the last few days I've been getting many small tasks done. But mostly? Mostly I've been researching the electronics part of droid-building -- a topic on which I know just about nothing! Happily, I'm bringing myself up to speed bwahaha!

Okay, back to the small tasks: I used a hole saw to create a hole for the slip ring in my styrene dome electronics support board. This is not a club standard part...just something that I hope will work!

Test-fitting the board again, and drilling holes in the dome ring for eventual permanent mounting. The board will actually flex a bit and be attached inside that ring.

Affixing more of the J.E.D.I. components. Double and triple-checking wiring!

Mounting my motorcycle speakers to brackets. I may just secure them to the base of my droid, room permitting.

Removing the bolts that came on my braided hose. That little saw did the trick easily. Unfortunately the outer diameter of the hose was a bit big for the little resin hose receptacles, so I had to order replacement hose. 

Still, I proceed: because I want to pass the hose through these little receptacles, and they were blocked on one end, I trimmed them back to where they were hollow. Again -- easily accomplished with that little hand saw.

More work undoing. :(  I decided I wanted a door for a charging port, switches and displays, so I had to use an exacto knife to cut one into the already-mounted skins. Luckily it came out pretty nice.

Following Teeces' blog and Dave E.'s patterns I glued "chords" to the back of the door to maintain its curvature. My chords look really rough. But they will do the job I think!

Finally, here's a pic of all my electronics "notes" -- print-outs of the plans of others, mods by me, and scratch-sketches of plans specific to my droid. I've had to order a small boatload of additional little electronics components, but I'm waaaaay more confident in my ability to get my little guy up and running by myself now! :-D

Thursday, August 15, 2013

[Insert Witty Blog Post Title Here]

So, four days of working on my droid to cover, and I'm thinking of just letting pictures (mostly) tell the story this time. Let me just say that working on the utility arms installation is a BEAR. :-)


I bought a ton of fasteners, but it turned out that bolts and washers that I had on hand did the trick!

Below are the fasteners I opened but did not use.

Below are the fasteners that I did not open, so get to be returned.

I had to carve out a bit of the LDP so the bolt could be accommodated:


Monday, August 12, 2013

Aren't You a Little Short for a Droid-Builder?

Okay, I'm running out of witty blog-titles! Actually, I think I ran out a while ago...haha!

I worked all weekend on my droid, and was too tired to post, so here's a Monday morning re-cap:

As I prepare to install Dizzy's legs, I'm pausing to work a bit on the last of his main body bits. Once his legs are on, he'll be much lower (right now he's perched on a stool), and the work will involve more back-breakingbending labor.

Saturday (mostly -- sometimes I'll add a few minutes of work from one day to another, blog-wise)

I was pretty thrilled at starting on the main electronics, even though the wires were a bit heavy (12 gauge) and I later undid this and decided to go with 14.

And I've been working on enlarging these bolt-holes for several days. Using a blade bit finally did the trick. Look at all the styrene dust accumulating inside poor Dizzy! This is the area where the legs affix to the body, and even though it has been reinforced several times I'm thinking about adding even more!

I'd decided to follow the method Teeces ( used to install the A&A gear set. It looked really simple, and I figured I'd spend about 20 minutes on it. TWO days later I can testify that the simple jobs are often the ones that'll get ya! It proved frustratingly difficult to get the holes from the hub drilled into the gear, as that plastic is really slippery. Depicted below is evidence of my many attempts. :-(

And it wouldn't align properly on the Z axis:

It took me a while, but I finally figured out why -- there were these little plastic plugs all around the Rockler bearing that I'd never noticed before. Popping them out helped quite a bit.

But several months in that position seemed to have warped the large gear. :-(

Back to the work table for me!

Luckily my gear set came with an extra small gear. Doubling up seemed like the way to deal with this problem. Now that the hub is screwed onto the motor shaft I can't really test it until power is applied, so we shall see!

 All that took maybe 3-4 hours over a couple of days. I also ran to the hardware store, and spent quite some time researching online (again). All in all it was a pretty full day!

 Weekend Day Two! Sunday.

 I have made what I think is my FINAL list of droid to-do tasks:

It doesn't look that long, but I estimate at least a month to complete. Still...wooooooo!

I "designed" the caster mounting system for the center leg. I love fractions! Seriously, I did not need to write out 4.50 minus 3.25 did I? Apparently I did.

Beginning the caster mount.

And, just like magic, it's done!! 

A final check on the clearance of the caster -- 1/2 inch, as planned. Hooooooraaaaaay!

Cementing in the bolts that will hold the leg to the body. Remember when I said I should buy shorter ones? Yeah, me too. That would have been good. These are not splayed out the way they look -- that's the effect of my phone's camera, which seems to have a bit of fish-eye in the lens.

 And when you do things like this, it's time to put down the power tools and back away slowly: