Sunday, March 28, 2010

Legs and Body are One

Finally. Finally, R6-C9 has his legs on. This is the droid I've been waiting for.
Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

According to the general club blueprints, the shoulders are a half-inch from the body. Since the body is 18", the total pipe length should be 19" (18 + half-inch on each side). To secure the pipes at this length I drilled two 3/8" holes straight through the pipes and placed a 3/8" X 2" hex bolt into each hole.
Photobucket Photobucket

Be careful when doing this. The drill bit and the pipes get very warm to the touch. You may see a little white smoke. If the drill bit gets too hot it will deform and become useless. So take it slow. Use a drill press so the hole is straight.

Gonna take a little break from the shop (not as long as last time hopefully).

I just received some parts for the audio playback for R6. In an earlier post I said I was going to use the CFIII for the audio. Well that'll be over $200. So instead I'm going to use a little device called the VMusic2. This is a device that plays MP3 or WMA audio files, and is read off of a USB flash drive. However, it needs a microcontroller added to work. For this, I've chosen the Adruino. Specifically the Arduino Duemilanove. Click here to read about it at the R2 Builder's forum. Basicly, the Arduino is a brain for controlling just about anything. Of course you have to program it to get it to do anything. This will be quite the learning curve for me. I don't know hardly anything about programming. Should be fun to see how this works out. Others have done this so I should be able to as well. How I'll have it setup is when I push a button on my remote, it'll trigger the Arduino to tell the VMusic2 to play a random sound. That's it. I may setup a 2nd button to select different sound directories on the flash drive, for example one directory will be sad sounds, another happy, another for music, etc..
On the right is the Arduino, left is the VMusic2. Each is the size of a cell phone.
Audio components



Friday, March 26, 2010

Shoulder Transplant

Well I remade the shoulder supports today. But I forgot to bring the skins with me so I couldn't mark them for drilling again. Will do that tomorrow I guess. In the least I was able to finish the PCB tray today.

Program note: Today I'm going to try another way of inserting pictures into the blog. Originally I was using Blogger's image insert but it was time consuming and was hard to edit. Yesterday I just pasted the HTML thumbnail code from Photobucket. Today I'm going to try using the regular HTML image code so the pictures are a little bigger.

Here is one of the new shoulder supports with a 1/4" deep by 1/2" wide pocket for the "shoe."
Slot for "shoe" "Shoe" in slot

After fitting the shoulder supports into the body, I installed the "support shoe" and then slid in the PCB tray.
Shoe installed into body PCB tray in body, rear PCB tray in body, front

Here's a video of how it works.

So tomorrow I'll bring the skins and get the holes drilled for the legs. I think I'll have the correct drill bit size this time, 1-1/2" hole for the 1" pipe and 1-3/4" hole for the 1-1/4" pipe.


Thursday, March 25, 2010

One step forward, two steps back

I've been preoccupied this past month with other concerns so I didn't have any time to continue work, except to brainstorm what I want to do next and how. But today I had nothing but time so here we go.

A programming note: I am trying a different method for inserting my pictures into each post, thus why the images are smaller. I'm going the route of thumbnails instead of a large picture so just click on the picture to see the full size version.

First thing I did was figure out how to mark the holes for the shoulder flange pipes to go through on the body. I came up with a genius idea. First I clamped the skins onto the body exactly how I will mount them (there's another puzzle to solve later). Next I placed the body on it's side and then inserted the shoulder flanges onto the side of the shoulder supports. Now here's where I should get a medal or something. The six holes in the flange (for mounting to the legs), I used those to mark six points on the support, then using a small ruler I drew a line from one mark to the other creating a six point star. The middle of that star is where I center the drill bit. I'm so clever I amaze myself, LOL.
Shoulder Flange marking X marks the spot

Now comes the sad part. I drilled the holes (1-1/4" and 1"), but then I discovered something I had overlooked....the inside diameter of the pipes are 1" and 1-1/4" but they are like 1/8" thick, thus they didn't fit at all. This means I must remake the shoulder supports again. For every part you make, half you shall remake.
Hole for shoulder flange Holes for shoulder flange

Due to banging my head against the wall a few dozen times, I didn't remake them today. Instead, I tackled making the PCB tray.

The PCB tray, as I call it, will be a simple board of MDF I will use to mount most of the electronic components to. This will help with troubleshooting and keeping everything tidy and organized inside the body. But when setting this tray up you will want to make it easily accessible to install/replace/repair/troubleshoot any of the parts. I may have mentioned earlier that I was going to have a door on the back of my droid. While others have done this, I just can't bring myself to cut the skins in a way they weren't already made to be cut. So the way I will do this is by making the tray slide up out of the body. This method is actually quite simple.
The tray will be in the back of the body just in front of the head drive motor. After deciding how wide to make the tray (11-7/8" X 12-3/4" X 1/4" for those taking notes) I marked on the top disc where to cut a 1/4" slot on each side to fit and hold the tray.
PCB tray Marked slot for PCB tray

Next I used one of my extra vertical body ribs to make a "support shoe" so to speak for the tray to sit on when inside the body. It is 1-1/4" X 12-1/8" X 1/2". The grove running down its length is 1/4" wide and 1/4" deep. This piece will be mounted near the bottom of the shoulder supports (once I have remade those).
Mounting base for PCB tray

Using a 1/4" router bit, I cut the groove into the "shoe" and cut the slots into the top body disc.
Slots cut for PCB tray PCB tray in slots PCB tray in mounting base

Once I have the new shoulder support pieces I can test the tray's fit.

So tomorrow I will return to the shop and remake the shoulder supports. I need to figure out how big to make the holes now to fit the pipes through. Something to ponder while at the hardware store in the tools sections.