Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Resin Parts

Took a detour today from the work I was doing yesterday.

I ordered these parts a while back, and just kept them off to the side in the event that I didn't get an ALU replacement part. Today I followed the instructions provided on

I started by wiping each piece down with a cotton ball I then used a tooth brush with soapy water to scrub each piece.

This took a bit of time, and then there was the light sanding and cleanup work that needed to be done on each component.
I managed to get the dust coat, and a coat of primer on these parts. I will inspect each one for defects. Using superglue and sandpaper, I should be able to cleanup any pin holes or other issues fairly quickly.

Only other thing I managed today was to get the top panel glued on for the back door.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

First Blues

Taking a few days off work. This first day, I wanted to make a dent in some things that have been dragging on for a while.

Frank's feet strips showed up. Good timing. This was the start of the 7th week from the time that Frank said he was shipping the parts. The must have taken the boat across the Atlantic.

I decided to get started on some Blue stuff. So I grabbed up a few of the body parts that needed to be painted, lightly sanded them, cleaned with Alu-prep, and primed.

Same steps for arms and ldp. Setup an old ladder and used some pieces of a wire coat hanger to hang these pieces.

While I waited for the primer to dry, I assembled my center foot. This will all need to be taken apart again, but I needed to make sure that my bolt/nylon spacer setup was going to function.

I must have missed taking the setup picture for this, but between trips running outside to primer and paint, I taped the back door panels on and glued them in place with silicone.

Pictures of Blue are coming... The paint still needs a few more coats. In the mean time I worked on mount the skins. I was already pretty nervous about my painting skills so it didn't take too much more stress to get the courage to drill holes in the skins.

Finally. For those wondering this is Krider method. Better pictures below.

Arms and LDP came out nice.

So there is this rule that your not supposed to work with freshly painted stuff... um.. yea sure.

I thought I had the arms all worked out, but I had actually never tested the mounting setup. This is the first guess and getting stuff lined up. Both arms are sagging quite a bit here.

Pulled the tape off the panels and the back door is starting to look much better. I will glue on the top panel tomorrow.

This is starting to look better. The bottom arm is still in trouble, but should be easy to fix.

Big day. It is a nice feeling to be able to make a bunch of progress.
(spell checker wasn't working. I'll fix stuff later)

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day weekend

Star Wars is 30 years old. There are tons of specials on TV, and the Celebration IV convention is wrapping up in LA. For me it was the same as previous holiday weekends. I anticipate being able to get tons of work on R2 accomplished... and then not find the extra time to actually get stuff done.

I taped the skins on and started to line everything up only to chicken out... drilling holes in the skin is not easy. I may get the courage tomorrow.

I again wimped out on the back door. I have seen lots of people use JB weld here, but I decided that a 4 hour cleanup process was not in my schedule. I used silicone instead and was able to get this put together in about 30 minutes. I hope it holds and will attempt to glue on the panels tomorrow.

It probably looks fine from the photo, but the clips I used put tiny marks on the surface of the door. Not sure how I am going to fix this... but I will do some research. At worst case sanding down then entire surface and repainting. That will mean that I will loose the ALU in the gaps similar to a process that several other builders have had to go through.

I got the hardware for my center foot all figured out. The stem ball casters installed.

It was only after I had been to the hardware store that I remembered Jerry had a tutorial for this stuff. I was pretty close... I am using 2" screws and nylon spacers instead of what Jerry recommends. Will see how that works out.

Just the parts stacked...Waiting on the foot.

Finished painting the foot tonight. I'll put it together tomorrow.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Back Door, Center Foot, Half moons

Last night I got the back door cut out. Most builders end up doing this step, and I am sure they had the same rush I felt when I got it completed. Very scary cut, with only about 1/8" play room on the line.

Today I started the weekend with my daughter. At one point she got into her toy box.

I got clear coats on most of the stuff I painted the other day. This was just a test fit of all the parts that are ready to be glued together. I hope to get that done tomorrow.

Center foot. This picture is actually the second attempt. I started pretty early with this foot and thought it was ready for auto body grey primer. It didn't take 5 mins after the first coat to see lots of cracks and pits starting to form in the primer. I spent the rest of the day striping and sanding the foot to get it back to this point.

I thought I might be able to finish up the center foot today, so I worked on Tom's half moons. They turned out very nice.

my predictions never come through... but tomorrow I hope to get the inner skin mounting to the frame figured out, complete the painting on the Center foot, and assemble the back door. You can see that I have my pile of clamps ready to go in the picture above.

I also have a copy of the C4 show that G4 broadcast. A link from the group website is available, or send me an email for the link.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Paint, Center Foot, and more!

I have been putting this off for a while, because I am a bit nervous about my rattle-can skills. I dove in head first today. The next few pictures were taken when I took a break to let the last coat of primer dry.

I didn't take too many other pictures while I was painting so I took this one after I had applied several coats of white. I brought the panels inside to let them finish drying. The painting process went well, but not perfect so I didn't put clear coats on anything. I am going to wait a week and make sure that this stuff looks good before I spray on the clear. There is definitely one panel that I will need to redo... it got a bug or something on in while I was painting, and in an attempt to get it off I think I touched the panel. A nice big fish eye marks the spot.

The steel center foot from Jerry Greene arrived today. Absolutely amazing. I messed around with it for a few minutes to mount the half moons that I got from Tom. They are a perfect fit.

While paint was drying, I spent some time considering how to mount the center vents. I decided to use a couple of flat bars. I will put a few holes in each bar and in the wall of each center vent using screws to secure the vents in place.

I also had time to trim the front skin for the power coupler. I plan to use another flat bar to secure this component to the frame (or skin).

lots done today, I also messed around with the arms a bit. I took some notes from Calvin and got most of the mounting components together.

If all goes well, I should be working on painting a few things blue (Krider method) sometime this week. I am also planning on taking some time off next week. I hope to take that time to make some serious progress on the legs.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

speakers -- legs off again

Speakers installed.

Not much else to show for over the past few days. I took the legs off again, and plan to finish mounting the skins and a few other items, and then its on to painting/sanding/painting/sanding/painting/sanding... and so on.

If the above process goes well.. the majority of the body/electrical work except for feet and battery boxes should be done within the next few weeks.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Celebration 4 starts in 4 days

Lots of people are on the road or about to get started. They are traveling from every corner of the world to Los Angeles, California to attend the convention "Celebration IV".

An exclusive Star Wars convention, that will probably have 20k or more people in attendance. The R2 builders club will have an exhibition room where all the R-series droids will be on display for everyone to see.

Watch the news for information coming out of LA about this convention, and keep an eye out for any R-series droids. They are all my friends. I wish them a safe journey.

(I changed the font, because I had a few people notify me about having difficulty reading the small text.)

JB weld and Center vents

On and off this week I have been working on the skins. Yesterday and today I spent some time JB welding the panels together. This picture is the doors on the back.

This pic is a few of the doors on the front.

I also got out Tom's center vent kit and put that together. Spent a bunch of time sanding the surrounds, and filling the inserts to get everything to fit together. This pic shows it just set in place in the skins.

I also pulled out my bag full of robart hinges, and figured out how they work. On the body, I plan to have at least 5 or 6 doors that open.

Been having some back problems, so that is delaying me from taking the legs and feet off again. I will need to do that to properly mount the skins, and allow me to start working on the legs.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bad week

There was a very serious incident at work this week. The event itself I cannot go into detail, but I can say that I am an emotional wreck. There are definitely worse things to go through in life than the situation I am having to live through, but at this moment I am questioning everything I have been working toward for the past 8 years.

My R2 is helping me to pass the moments when my wife and daughter are not around. I have been slowly working on filling down the tabs on the skins. I have a bit more to do, and then I can start sanding. Unfortunately, my lack of attention span has resulted in a few pieces of the skin getting bent. I hope I can smooth the ripples out .

Anyway... thought I would post for those who check this site regularly. My plan at the moment is to get the skins mounted and start some jb welding on panels. I want to figure out how to get all the parts I have mounted to either the frame or the skins before I start painting.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Dome drive, LDP, front skins

I know this is not how the dome drive is supposed to be mounted. I played around with a few other ways to get this on, and this was a short cut that I came up with.
I turned the motor around, cut this piece of plywood and 20 minutes later it was done.

The spring is just attached to the top ring of the A&A frame. There is a bit of sag here, which will be more visible in shots lower in this post. I plan to beef up this entire area anyway because of the ALU arms and LDP.

I got the LDP installed. Just pushed a few holes through the top of the arm carriage and this was done.

I just used 3 screws. This made it easier to center and will leave me room on the sides to handle the arms.

I also spent a few more minutes cutting out some of the front skin doors. Will probably spend a fair amount of time on these tomorrow, filling & sanding.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

dome drive, shoulder shim, and skins

Got the Dome drive the other day, and started to figure out how to attach it to my A&A frame. I reconfigured the mounting plates to see if that would help me figure out where to put it.

I have a ton of stuff in the back of my R2, so its got to go in the front, but I will need to stay away from the arm carriage as much as possible. Looks like I will need to modify my A&A frame a bit to get this thing installed.

After not making progress on the dome drive, I decided to try and get something done, so I counter sunk the holes on my shoulder shim and mounted it to them to the legs.

After that, I decided to start cutting out the panels on the front skins. I cut out the back panels way back, but put the skins down when I was headed to the Southern Builders meeting. After the meeting my focus was diverted from the skins.

If you havn't noticed before... I am a very messy builder. This picture is proof.

Got to pickup some screws to mount the shoulders, booster covers, and a few other parts. I will try to do that tomorrow or saturday.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The new plan

The new plan is to strip out the excess 2-3-2 junk and just start putting all the parts I own together and make some progress. My droid has looked similar to this for the past 3 months, and I am fairly sick of it.

Going to focus on the body for a while, and let some of the other builders work on their 300mm Domes. I can then read their blogs to get the info to put it together.

Want to get the skins mounted by this weekend, and then start attaching all the other greeblies. Also need to finish up the electrical, which should be a snap now that I have truckloads of space inside the body.

I started Monday night. It took maybe 2 hours to rip all of the 2-3-2 parts out of my droid. This picture shows all 3 satellite motors removed.

Tuesday, I spent some time with all the extra A&A parts that I almost threw away a long time ago. These parts are essential for a non-satellite motor setup and helped me determine what bolts, nuts, washers, and bushings were needed to reassemble the shoulders. I didn't get any pictures, but I will try to remember to get some and post how I put my shoulders back together.

Wednesday, I went to the hardware store and picked up the parts I needed. I looked around for a few minutes at galvanized steel pipes. Trying to find a 1" and 3/4" pipes that fit together is a real pain. I have opted to just pass on the pipe stuff until I really run into a situation where I need it.

I brought the parts home, assembled the shoulders... put the legs on... turned the feet around (wheels in the back)...wired him up.. and he is rolling.

watch the video.
here is the direct URL:
Its a large file. About 10 meg, so give it a few minutes to load.
The lighting isn't so good, so I will get some more footage later this week.

OK, now for a question. Um... Did R2 ever pop a wheelie in the movies? Cause mine will if I give him full power from a dead stop. Will need to work on that a bit. He seems a tad fast.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

progress and disappointment

finished most of the wiring. Only connections left are the charging systems.

Which leads me to my conclusions about 2-3-2.

Can it be done? Absolutely.

Will I do 2-3-2 with this droid? Probably not... at least not the way I am attempting to do it now.

My R2 fell over twice today. I broke a few pieces on the back door on the first fall, and then I broke the front arm carriage on the second. These events pretty much put a stop to building today.

I goofed around with some C code for vex thinking that I could just code my way around the problems. As I sat there and typed out a block of code I realized that the design I was using for 2-3-2 would not work.

The single most blatant flaw in my 2-3-2 design is the shoulder satellite motors. Not because the the teeth could break, but because in my design I am attempting to control both motors with a single controller. The legs would sometimes get out of sync with each other during my testing. It had been a minor issue that I didn't realize would be such a big problem.
If I used two controllers and built completely separate sensor packs for each leg to help keep everything in sync.. I still would face my ongoing challenges with my tilt rod setup, and feet.

At this point, I plan to pull most of the 2-3-2 components out of my droid. I am reviewing some of the information that Victor and Mike have available to change my shoulder setup to a static configuration. I am hoping that it will not take very long which will allow me to move on to some fun stuff.

Do not be afraid to try 2-3-2. I have a decent amount of info in this blog describing my attempt, but now I must leave it to those that are more mechanically inclined than myself.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

Dome Ring and new Dome fit together!

Another big box of parts came in today.
In chat last night, I was talking with Daren to see if he knew if Daniels dome base plate would fit into the new Domes. Until now it was unknown.

The plastic ring and the dome base plate both have the holes pre-drilled to match the rockler bearing. I started by just placing the Dome ring on top of the plastic and screwing it all together.

A few quick test fit of the dome ring and periscope lifter quickly ruled out the possibility that the ring could sit on top of the plastic. I turned it over and was about to unscrew everything, and I wondered would the ring fit on the bottom of the plastic? When I set it down.. It only took a fraction of a second to realize that this was going to work!

I flipped over the dome ring and the plastic ring to take a look and see how the dome base plate fit.... its perfect!

Other parts that came in today included Shoulder Hubs, Restraining bolt...

Booster Covers, Shoulders, Shoulder shims, Periscope Lifter

Still rushing on the perfect fit of the dome base plate and dome ring, I had to stick it on the frame and give it a spin! This guy looks familiar.