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.


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