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:


Saturday, August 10, 2013


Perhaps that should be "wee" -- as in: I got a wee bit of droid work done Friday! Very wee. Behold: the single drop of red nail polish dolloped onto the side of motor to indicate where to run the positive wire. Because, when mounted to spin the dome, this motor's terminals will be underneath and difficult to see. Yep! That's all I got done!

(Although I did do a fair amount of reading/researching as I'm beginning to get near the electronics installation and wish to be prepared.)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Dizzy, Grumpy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Bleary, Achey...Oh Wait -- Droids Not Dwarves!

Two days of building will be covered in today's post, PLUS a bonus pic from the Cosplay Symposium here in Austin that the Central Texas Droid Builders members attended. Below see Dizzy and Jamie McShan's awesome R2! This event was actually a couple of weeks ago, but I forgot to post about it I think. :-)

So, a couple of days of building to cover...I'll try to remember everything! I actually started by filing the bolt holes in the body so they'd be a little wider. Forgot to take a picture! Ah well, I'm not done with that yet anyway.

Next I used a template to drill holes for the bolts that will attach my center leg to the body. I may go get shorter bolts as these seem like overkill haha! 

I snipped off the ends of some nylon bolts I'm planning to use to attach all the leg "bits" to the legs. Some parts will be glued on, but some seemed a bit on the heavy side so I wanted the option of reinforcing the join this way.

Test-fitting the placement of the "bits" and deciding how to proceed (that last part is not pictured haha).

Quite a few of the resin pieces needed a bit of trimming:

Inserting the bolts that will attach the legs (via the shoulder hubs) to the body:

And now we're caught up to today! First I painted a couple of pieces that I'd missed. No pics of that!
Then I began screwing bits on. You can also see the little cuts on the bracelets that enabled me to pop them on without removing the ankles. I fixed those cuts but didn't take a pic of that.

Screwing on the horseshoes. 

Test-fitting all the parts that attach to the ankle. I decided not to affix these until I get the feet.

But I went ahead and prepped the heavier parts with a nylon bolt.

I'd never permanently attached the ankles to the legs so I did that now, using screws on the sides. I then Dremeled out a little dimple on the part that will cover each screw. So clever of me! :-)

Gluing those side parts on.

Affixing the cylinders to the center ankle.

 Drilled holes in the battery boxes for the hoses. 

I also did more weathering here and there, whenever I was waiting for glue to set up. 

Yesterday I spent about 3 hours and today about 7 hours (!). The legs are PRETTY MUCH DONE!! I'm pretty excited about that, eh? Wow...Dizzy should be up and running this year as hoped!!