View Full Version : R2server

08-09-2005, 10:08 AM
It's been a year now since Waaack and myself came up with a plan to build a new server, The question was what to build...The answer R2D2. The Idea came to us at lunch last August the research started shortly after that, In September the Build started.

The Goals:
Build a R2D2 clone, Close to screen accurate.
Make it R/C Controlled
Sounds and Wireless connectivity are a must.

This Work log will show what we've done and follow the continuation to completion.

As a side note, I didn't know about TGS R2PC till I meet CrimsonSky and Scarab this year at MML4. Both these mods are different and super sweet. This is not a contest or am I competing with RTS, we just share Similar interests. Hope you like it...For the first few weeks there will be allot of up dates...As it covers the first year of building, once we catch up updates will come as they happen...I can fully sympathize with CrimsonSky on this, I'm trying to finish as fast as I can, but the Real world keeps getting in the way of my Hobby, so be patients please.


08-09-2005, 10:19 AM
Here we have the Frame Laid out (the outside has been Routed to shape with a homemade circle jig for the router) The Inside will be trimmed away with a Saber saw.


Test fitting the Frame Rings to the Aluminum Dome.


The frame Assembled (the vertical bars are solid aluminum round stock).


08-09-2005, 10:38 AM
I filled the low spots from forming with Auto body Glaze (it's like bondo, just for smaller "pin holes", it's down side is that is shrinks way more than bondo!) Then sanded it down. This was done till you couldn't see any of the seams or dents.


Next The Primer, Wet sand and remove any high spots (also filled in some more low spots), then 3 coats of prime (wet sand with 600/1000).

R2's Blue color is tricky, as it's a base of purple mixed with gold fleck and a blue candy top. I don't have the expertise in air painting, so I found a rattle can process that works (this was also based on Mr. Kridders work, with a redneck twist!).

Here is the base (as you can see it's a Metallic fleck deep Purple). 3 Coats of base then wet sanded with 1000 (I didn't want that orange peel look!)


The top is a blue anodized spray. (3 coats wet sanded with 1000)
Then I laid 4 coats of clear (3 wet sanded with 1000, then 1 light to clear up the fog!)


I've not polished or buffed it in these pics.


08-09-2005, 01:28 PM
Awwwww...It's gonna be so little and chubby :lol:

Why couldn't you be different and build an R4 or something?

Cause there’s like 5 people out there that aren't SW Geeks that knows what an R4 is everyone else will ask "What is it?" But R2 everyone knows. And there's many different Types Of R2's Yours Is an R2D2 mine is an R2-SRV. So they are different. :D


08-11-2005, 11:13 AM
The frame took about 3-4 hours to make, the Alum vertical round bars took about 3-4 hours to cut then drill and tap a 1/4" hole in each end.

The Skin of the R2-SRV is 0.04" white Styrene (plastic). I got 2 4x8' sheets of this (The body is 18" around and 24"ish tall, plus the legs). If you looking for this stop in and see your friendly neighborhood sign maker, they can get it for you (it was $20us a sheet) Mine was there the day after I ordered it.

I had cad drawings of R2's body panels that I got printed out on E sized paper. That was lightly spray glued to the plastic. There are 4 sections of skins, the front inner, the front outer, the back inner, the back outer. This was done to give it that raised panel look when I finished cutting out the panels.
To get a feel for how it would look I taped the Rear outer layer onto the frame, Slipped the resin Power coupler in place and set the Aluminum Dome on top of the frame.


This is a look into the frame with the Rear skin on, no Dome, no front skins.

Now I can start cutting out all the panels....This is going to take awhile!

08-16-2005, 01:53 PM
Here's what I'm working on now.

The Drive Train.....
I'm taking the Scooter motor / rear drive wheel assembly and adjusting it to fit into the feet boxes. I'll also be using the Batteries to power the motors.

Here is the donor a $49 Scooter form Big Lots

I've got it disassembled here....not much to it as you can see.

This Scooter will not engage the drive wheel till it's rolling 3mph...That will not do in R2 so I'm going to get rid of the controller here.

With the controller gone the 24V charging circuit is very simple.

I'll be posting more tonight or in the morning, I'm still unpacking R2 from the Midwest R2-builders mini con In Chicago (Bolingbrook) IL this weekend.

Let me know what you think!


08-17-2005, 01:59 PM
Here is the outer foot shell and the scooter motor frame (striped down and Moded). When I make the Center foot shell I'll take more pics. The outers were made spur of the moment, and I didn't have a camera with me.

The foot shells are made from old computer cases, not the cheap ones these things are 1/32" ish thick. I laid out the pattern on the case and added tabs (to be folded in so I had something to spot wield too.) Then they were cutout a sheet metal cutter (I'll get a pic off this next time too) and a air power nibbler made short work of the cutting. Then a vise , sheet metal Piers and some spare steel blocks and the bending was done. All in all it took about 5.5-6.75 hrs to make two of these (first one took 75% of that time).


The frame here is still a work in progress. The support brackets on the top of it need adjusted to fit the foot, I still need to cut a slot in the top of the foot shells and put some u channel in there so I can attach the ankle to the foot. Once the channel is in the brackets will be adjusted and welded in place.


This is how the motor Mount will sit in the foot shell.


And a look at it from the inside (the part of the foot closest to R2's body)


Back to work! ;)

09-01-2005, 04:56 PM
Sorry I've been swamped @ work so the updates are a little slow and Lite on content right now. I plan on fixing this shortly The long weekend will give me time to get something’s finished up like the Skins being mounted or at least started the ankles.

I really would like some feedback here.

I haven't picked out a motherboard or Proc yet anyone got any recommendations?
It will be a stretch to get a full ATX Mobo in the little guy, a baby or Mini would fit ok. I'm even kicking around the Idea of ITX but I've never worked with them so some info would be handy!

Thanks all,

09-02-2005, 04:52 PM
I haven't checked this thread in too long. I happened to grow up in Bolingbrook, thought its changed alot since I moved away.

As I understand it, you're putting the drive wheel in an outer foot. Isn't it going to want to run around in a circle? I'd think putting it in the center foot and putting a servo or actuator on that to turn it would be the easiset way to make him mobile. Maybe I've just read it wrong. Good job with the work so far.

There will be a motor in each outer foot. This will allow you to drive R2 tank style, both motors fwd = R2 fwd, Left motor fwd +Right motor stop = R2 goes Right, Right motor Fwd + Left motor stop = R2 going Left. The third leg will just have a (or more) ball caster in it. This gives him more maneuverability (he should turn on a Dime!)

Thanks for the input, Bolingbrook was nice. It had some very nice homes and there was lots of shops and eateries there.


09-16-2005, 03:40 PM
Here's a little look into what I'm working on this weekend.

This is a picture of R2D2 built by ILM for one of the Starwars movies.

It is a 4x27 matrix of 3mm LEDs. I'm working on creating a printed curcuit board with 108 Ultra bright LEDs on it then randomizing the blinking pattern with a Microcontroller. I've been working on it in cad for a while...I'll get some screen shoots of the drawings up.


09-19-2005, 10:32 AM
The work on the Rear Logic Display went well this weekend.
Here is the Cad Drawings I made to Get all the parts to fit in this little space.

First up was the Creation on the Bezel. This piece is used to Line up all the 3mm Leds so they look neat and are easier to see.
I've tried to make this out of styrene previously and the drill bit ripped the lattice out (but only after I drilled 80-90 holes ...there's 108 total)
So this time I'm using a 2.5mm thick Aluminum plate...The Lattice shouldn't tear as easily.

I printed the Bezel layout 1:1 then coated the back in a thin layer of spray adhesive ( this keeps the print from moving on you when your marking the centers to drill). Once the layout was in place I used a scratch all the mark dead center for each hole, next I center punched each hole. Here's what it looked like when that was finished.

If you look at the bottom of the plate you can see my first set of mistakes. I used a 1/8" drill bit to bore the holes, and it ended up cutting through the lattice. To fix the problem I got a smaller drill bit but will have to file out each hole a bit to let the 3mm LEDs fit in them....Snuggly! (if you look a the center of the mistake area you'll see these test holes...Works great! After allot of hole drilling, and some shaping the bezel looks great.

I also worked on etching the circuit board that the LED's will be hooked to.
As with the bezel I printed the layout out 1:1 on a Laser printer. Then cut it to fit the board. I also added alignment marks (not shown in the Drawing here) so both sides of the PCB (printed Cuircut Board) line up. I drilled 0.004" holes in the center of these marks and put pins in them. Then I Laid the Layouts printed side to copper on the board and heated with my iron for abit (20-30mins total) watching all the time not to burn the paper. Once that was complete I soaked the paper off in water. This is what it looked like after the water bath. (sorry just realized that I have no pics of that Process prior to this...I'll get them up the next time ..as I have many more PCBs to make for R2)

Now the board gets soaked in ferric chloride till all the unwanted copper is gone. Rinse the board with water and your ready to drill.

Here is the PCB and the Aluminum Bezel side by side.

Here a couple of pics showing the way these parts will be used together.
The first is the Rear Logic surround (made from Resin) with the Aluminum bezel underneath. The Second shows the PCB with the Bezel over it underneath the RLS.



Now I have to finish Drilling the 200+ 0.004 holes in the circuit board (got some drilled but broke my bit and it was late so I went to bed) and Solder in 108 Leds (that’s 216 Solder joins just for the LEDS!) I'll post those pics in a few weeks. Ha it takes time to do all that work, plus I've got some other parts that I need to get done quick before I do all the tedious stuff.

Let Me know what you think.


09-19-2005, 03:29 PM
btw, have you considered doing a CPU? :) seriously, this is something special...

Not sure what you mean by this?

Thanks for the props!
Yes it's repeditive, but when you get in the "zone" you don't notice anything else (ask my Wife she hates it!) Now If I could just get the frame made for the utility arms (the Blue arms just under R2's head) I could mount the front skins and put the Util. Arms I made on him.


09-19-2005, 11:11 PM
I Tought it would be cool to snap a pic of my pile of parts. (Note the front skins are just taped in place.)


Let me know what you think.


09-24-2005, 01:27 AM
After working on the Aluminum Bezel I ran into a little snag.


The 3mm LEDs I ordered have this little lip on the bottom that makes them 3.4mm :eek: so the lips on each LED overlap.


Well here is the answer to the question how to get rid of the lip.


After a few quick clips the lips gone.


Now the LEDs fit snuggly with no overlap.


Here's a preview of what the front will look like with the LEDs in place.

Now I've gotta get them soldered into the PCB.



09-24-2005, 10:21 PM
I've got a bit of wiring to do, as well as a bit of fab work to complete.


09-26-2005, 10:31 AM
Thanks guys for all the positive replies!

I got cracking Sunday on Drilling all 340 holes out of the PCB...Wasn't to bad just turned on the drill press and got in the "ZONE". an Hour or so later it was done.


I also finished the Utility Arm Carrier (the utility arms are the 2 Blue arms on the Front of R2 just below the dome). This carrier is important because it gives me somewhere to mount the Util. Arms that I'm making (really thinking about making them servo controlled so they can move in and out), and It pushes the front skin out in the correct shape. Right now with out the carrier the front of R2 has a big dent (flat spot) in it when I pull the front skins tight.


I draw out the shapes that I need on a large sheet of 1/4 PVC plastic.


Next I cut out each shape with a band saw.

Then we move over to the Vise for some clean up with the dremal, a File and the power sander.


I'm gluing the pieces together with Gorilla Glue (http://www.gorillaglue.com/) and some small metal pins (aka Brads, with the hole they go into oversized). It's an odd shape (curved) so I'm just using masking tape to hold it in place till the glue dries.

Once the Glue dries I pull the tape off and it's perfect!


With the carrier glued up and Dry, I just had to sit my Prototype Utility arm in place (and the cutout from the skins so you can see what it's going to look like).


Now I just have to mount this to the frame, and get my front skins glued on.

I know it doesn't look like much but It's the lynch pin I haven't had time to make for the last 3 months....Now that I've got it made the main body is almost ready for paint. The next hurdle is the rear Access panel...So I can get to the Batteries and the PC Parts.

That's all for now!

10-03-2005, 09:51 AM
I didn't make any major progress on this mod this weekend. My wife's little brother graduated from Navy Boot Camp so we drove up to Chicago to see it and spend some time with him.

Hopefully work will be light this week and I'll be able to make some marked progress. I feel as though this mod is on a glacial pace...way to slow but it's getting there. I've Started soldering the LEDs to the PCB, and have had to modify the way things hook up (bad board design...Not sure What I was thinking when I laid it out!). If I get the LEDS hooked up and the front skins mounted this week it will free me up to start glassing the Shoulders and making a mold and plug for the ankles next weekend.

Thanks for check up on this mod.. I'll get more pics up soon!


10-05-2005, 10:17 AM
I've been thinking allot about the Mother board that I'm going to put into this mod. I've been planning that the server side of it would only work when R2 is plugged to a umbilical cord (which would have a 1Gb Net connection and 120VAC to power the PC). Then the Other day a friend of mine sent me an e-mail the this Review of the Voom PC (http://www.mobilemag.com/content/100/313/C4775/) I found more info on the VOOM PC and a Price at Mini-Box (http://www.mini-box.com/s.nl/sc.8/category.101/.f)


With it I could run the game server while R2 is running around the room, Powering the PC on a 12V Battery. I've always planed on having a high-speed Wireless connection to Him, So the umbilical cord would not be needed. :D What do you think? The specs on it show that I should run fine as a BF2 Server (as far as I know that is the game with the highest req's for the Server platform!)

Does anyone know someone that wants to sponsor a Mod? I'd be happy to put the Company's logo and/name on a plaque to be mounted on the inside of the Access panel for R2-SRV... Drop me a PM if interested.


10-10-2005, 12:25 AM
I've been working late every night this week (and not on this mod :mad: ) So Today (Sunday) I took some time to start the Access door On the Back of R2. This is only way that I'll be able to get in to the body of R2. The Access door is large about 3/4 of the back. The Styrene that R2 is skinned with is very Flexible, which is great to make curves (like the body of R2) but it also means that with out a frame to hold it into shape it will distort.
With that in mind making a door in the back of R2 means I need some kind of frame to keep everything in shape. The answer Fiberglass...My first attempt at laying down glass.

The first thing is to make a form for the door. Lucky I already had a Body mockup that I had made for gluing up the skins (I never used but still had it laying around). I skinned a section with some 1/4 plywood (I made it more flexible by cutting slits 1/2 the way through the plywood the length of the plywood. The Slits were about 1" apart...I forgot to take a picture before I taped it up).
Then the frame is covered with duct tape (you can also use clear packing tape) this keeps the Resin from sticking to the frame. Here's the Frame cover in the tape.

Next I mixed up the Resin & hardener per the directions and painted a coat stright onto the tape. Then the first layer of fiberglass cloth down, using the paint brush to smooth out the cloth and make sure it's good and covered. The 2nd and final layer of fiberglass cloth goes on. On this layer I use a squeegee to smooth the glass and make sure the excess resin is removed (ends up on the floor), Don't add resin on this layer.
Here's a picture after It's all laid up.

Now We wait for 24Hrs to see how it turns out...Hey I'm waiting on this on too!

Well, Just to help the wait and to prove that Everyone loves R2....Here's Peanut (one of our cats) enjoying some quite time with R2.


10-13-2005, 09:44 AM
Thanks guys for the Links and leads for Webcams.

I've been looking at the Phidgets boards (http://www.phidgets.com/) lately. There USB controlled Input output Boards that are low cost, and you can controll them through code (java, .net, Visual basic, visual c,and more). They have one that lets you controll upto 4 Servos off one board, for $75ca (about $65us). I'm looking at it to create some random movements of the Holo Eye, or open some panels on the body (like the Recharge ports). Not sure Just checking things out.


Thanks All for the Positive - Helpful Comments, Please Keep the Comments coming (positive or other wise)....As I'm new to the Worklog thing Let me know How I can make the work log better as well as improve the Project!

10-13-2005, 09:52 AM
My Fiber glassing Didn't go as planed. :mad: Currently I have a Very sticky, very flimsily mess in my garage....My first guess I ran out of hardener and was not sure I had put enough in...Guess that thought was Right after all.

Here's the new plan:
buy more hardener
use 1 layer of fiberglass cloth a layer of fiberglass mat (1.5oz short fiber) then cover with another layer of glass cloth. I'm planning on laying this mess up on Friday night (so I'll have time to work on it ...if it dries : Or I'll have time to come up with a new plan that doesn't include fiberglass...maybe some Sheet Aluminum or PVC heated and Bent to shape)

I'll post a pic of the flimsy sticky mess later today!


10-13-2005, 02:06 PM
I'm Already using Cintra (or some PVC board)

Look down in the Log where I made the Utility Arm Carries (Gray Rounded cage thingys). And I tried using it for this....2 hours with a heat gun Only got a slite warp in the sheet (it's 1/4" thick! x 11.5" x 17 1/4") That's why I busted out the fiberglass...I thought it would bw quicker. I'll give the glass one more try (cause it's not it's fault I ran out of hardener. If that doesn't work....The Cintra's going in the Oven (my wife will hate me but...R2 Needs IT!)

Thanks for the Idea .... I should have posted that I had tried it. That Cruve it's gotta hold is whats causeing all my problems!


10-15-2005, 12:53 AM
I've been busy working this evening after returning home from work.

Here is the Not quite Bent enough Piece of Cintra that lead to the Fiberglass Laying. http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/cbb/R2/PVCBend.JPG

Here is my first (Failed!) attempt at laying Fiber glass...The Resin never Dried!


So first thing tonight when I got home was to lay up a new Door.
This time I laid 1 layer of Fiberglass cloth then 1 layer of fiberglass mat then covered with a layer of fiberglass cloth. (the mat is on the left, the cloth is on the right)

Here it is all laid up!

After the door is laid up, I started cleaning up so of the resin detail pieces so I can paint them tomorrow.


The resin seems to be drying correctly this time :) So tomorrow and Sunday could be busy days fitting the door and painting resin ....doing all those things on that Honey do list!!!


10-15-2005, 10:00 PM
Success!!! :D This Try Came out great!
Here's the Access door Roughly trimmed down. The Curve and fit look great.

I want to take a minute here to talk about safety...If your working with Bondo or fiber glass make sure you take all the safety precautions recommended.
That means a good Respirator. (This one was like $20 from Harbor freight)

Not one of those $0.99 cheapies.

Always wear Safety glasses (I've been In the hospital with a steel fragment in my Eye...You never want that!!!) and when working with resins and other chemicals wear Gloves (Read the labels some solvents will eat rubber and latex gloves so wear the right ones!)

Now Back to building!

I also laid up some more fiberglass to use on the front two interface arm doors.


10-17-2005, 08:30 PM
Resin runs about $11 a quart (I used about 1/2 quart for that panel and another half that size) The fiber glass cloth is about $6 for 8 Sq feet and the glass mat is about $6 for 8Sq feet. So for the two panels I have $23 bucks into it, Plus I've got enough resin left to make the Ankles (the next part I'm going to need) But the Ankles will be much thicker (4 to 8 layers) and reinforced with some 1/8" Aluminum, This is because of all the lateral forces that will be applied on the ankles when R2 makes turns (He will weigh about 90 pounds before we add Batts and Extra electronics (PC)) So that's allot of force when he's tooling around.


10-21-2005, 09:39 AM
Got a Little Painting done this week after work in the evenings.

My group of Resin Detail Pieces here are primered Gray then covered with Rustoleum Come finish. After working with the Chrome the best way to use it is a top coat...more like a candy, because if you try to build up layers like with normal paint the shininess of the surface goes away, get bumpy and distorted. The Next group will get primered 2 coats of silver paint, a top coat of chrome, and a couple light coats of clear (to much and the shine goes away).


Here's one of the Leg Hubs up close.


I also Tested an off white paint for R2. The Real R2 is a Cream color (that's because it shows up on film as white, but doesn't blend into the Stark white interiors of the ships :) ) But since My R2 is not going to be filmed I just want him a little off white not Almond. So I picked up a can of Biscuit paint. This foot shell still need some details cut out so I did most of the body work (Bondo the corners and some of the dents, not to many Cause R2 needs to look used not right off the show room floor!) A couple of coats of primer some wet sanding and some color coats (2). This is what you get.


Let me remind you that this foot was made out of an old PC Case, That I hand bent and Spot welded together (I've still gotta make the Center foot So I'll take Pics as it Happens so I can Post them!).....Not bad for a HIllBilly with a hammer!


10-31-2005, 12:55 PM
Well I didn't get the big thing I wanted to done this weekend, R2's legs mounted.

It would seem my wife's been checking out Tribal's thread... She wanted a new workbench in the garage, We've talked about it for 2 months this weekend she decides to start it.... :? Well I don't think she did a bad job on ! :)

Now there's only 2 More to build (they'll have plywood tops for mounting tools).

I did get several smaller thing done on R2 though,

I got the Rear Access Door cut out (both the styrene and Fiberglass)



I also Reinforced the Fiberglass to keep it from distorting when the unit is attached to the hinges.

The frame was prepped for the front skins to be glued on, a few places on the frame had to be ground down or cut out to make room for the resin details.


And one of the Aluminum details was made. It's called a coin return (cause that's what it looks like!) R2 has 3 of them, 2 in the back and a larger one in the front.
I started with some flat Aluminum sheet and bent up the pocket bit of the return.
Then cut out the front plates.
A bit of dremeling, some filing later, and the slightest hint of JB kwik, It's done!

Here's what it looks like in the skins (just set in for now!)

I'm still hoping to get the legs mounted this week...
Only problem is I have to remake the mounting plate, I miss aligned them by 1/2" ....I've got almost 1Gb of drawings, pics, etc. for this mod and I mess up the little things....you know the part that holds all the weight! :mad: Just goes to show you even with planning there's always mistakes!


More Later

11-02-2005, 11:13 AM
I got a little more done on the rear Access door last night.
The styrene skin and the fiberglass stiffener were glued together (with gorilla glue...I love this stuff!) and Clamped.

Then Quick before I left for work I stuck it into place (with some tape)..I've gotta clean up some of the glue that leaked out and adjust it for final fit, but it looks like that is going to be minor adjustments at this point! :D


I also ordered three motor speed controllers
Bi-directional Speed Controller from Electronics123 (http://www.electronics123.com/s.nl;jsessionid=ac112b1e1f435b8f1143034342b98a00cd 4941e32987.qQvJq2PEmlnva30Q-BbQmkLz-ATzr6Lzn6rzqwTxpQOUc30KaNDNo6XKq6zInRmLa3mS8RbCpR0 HoA5Qmh0KbwTNo6XK-kDvrA4Ka3mIqRnvp6iIpAjOp6jynQjM-AbJpgaLax8MaxeQbNiS8Oexo6XHngbynknvrkLOlQzNp65In0_ _?sc=8&category=36&it=A&id=1714http://www.electronics123.com/s.nl;jsessionid=ac112b1e1f435b8f1143034342b98a00cd 4941e32987.qQvJq2PEmlnva30Q-BbQmkLz-ATzr6Lzn6rzqwTxpQOUc30KaNDNo6XKq6zInRmLa3mS8RbCpR0 HoA5Qmh0KbwTNo6XK-kDvrA4Ka3mIqRnvp6iIpAjOp6jynQjM-AbJpgaLax8MaxeQbNiS8Oexo6XHngbynknvrkLOlQzNp65In0_ _?sc=8&category=36&it=A&id=1714)
These will run the Main feet drive, and in the future the dome drive too.

I also ordered 1 Pic flasher to drive all those LEDs in the rear of the dome (why reinvent the wheel)
Pic Flasher from Carl’s Electronics (http://www.electronickits.com/kit/complete/ligh/ck1007.htm)

That's it for now. Thanks for stopping by I'll have more up soon (and some other R2 pics...The Michigan R2 builders are meeting this Saturday In Detroit!)


11-02-2005, 01:06 PM
All the skins are 2 layers of 0.04" styrene....I've been meaning to put up a how it was done segment here (Maybe I should finish it and get it posted) as the skins were done long before I started the Log. The 2 layer method takes more time but I love the look it gives! plus it's easier to flex then a solid 0.08" sheet, but is stronger then a 0.04" sheet. (means when I hit things with him I will not have to patch holes!).


By the Way those little binder clips (little black metal ones from the office stores) Work great as clamps for small pieces...the Jaw force is strong, the can get into tight places that my bigger clamps/clips can't...and they can be disposable because their cheap! :D (free some places) I like to keep some around to be my extra fingers..... Plus I live in the City now :mad: (move here because of my wife's schooling ) and we have one of those Electric Driers… so we have no clothes pins here, or There probably would have been a few on there too! :D

11-02-2005, 02:42 PM
BillyBob, out of curiosity - what do you do for a living?
I'm an "IT Engineer"....That's the title they.. made up for me when I started here.

I Work for a Software company that supplies test software to manufacturing companies. My responsibility is Internal hardware / network (like 4 of us share this job) and I order and build / install Servers (and some client) machines, as well as setup our software on them (Database stuff too!)....In a nut shell I'm an IT Geek (but I have an Electrical/Electronic Engineering degree...Talk about not using what you paid for!).

Is that painful enough for you? or do you want more details?

(as a side note, I grew up on a farm, my wife is in Vet school (animal doc) We plan on owning a farm as soon as we can!...So I truly am a Redneck, I'd rather be in flannel and denim any day! :D and deal with animals rather than city folk :eek: I'm just pretending to be a GEEK! :omg: )


11-02-2005, 03:56 PM
You've got a lot of knowledge for all sorts of mechanical and electrical engineering, and have always been a big help on this site. I know a couple of IT guys who sound a lot like you.

I'll tell you what, this R2 Project has double my knowledge. I've been talking to guys that have designed things for years, Mech and Eleco. To figure some of the things out, Then I still have to sit here and do the old....Now what was he saying about this angle and that angle.....Screw it!, this looks about right! :D

I've always loved working with kids, Even when I was one I tried to help where I could. Now that I'm in the "Big Kid" category I try and help everyone (older, younger, the same) I've been getting allot of help with this project. Most of it is in the form of Ideas, allot has been in learning skills, and very little has been in work. When I started I didn't know how to weld, lay fiberglass, or see the usefulness in really bending sheet metal (not just 90degs or 45 degs) but designing / fabricating sheet metal. Now I can weld with an oxyacetylene torch, fiber glassing can be fun , and I'm making shapes out of sheet alum that I never thought I'd make!
It's been fun, I guess that's what I call a good hobby. For me it's less about how many cases I pounded out and more about the experience gained in the creation of a case. To that end I've tried to pass on what I've learned to all of you!


11-07-2005, 12:54 PM
This weekend was productive for me :D
I was able to get a few detail pieces painted. This blue color takes allot of time, as there is 3 coats of primer, 3 coats of metallic purple base, 3 coats of blue metal fleck candy, and 3-5 coats clear.. These only have 3 clear I have some touchups to do on some so I'll smooth the clear with 1000grit and lay 2-3 more coats soon.
Some of these pics are a little dark (it was night and I was outside)
The Purple Base

The Blue Candy

The Finished Product

I also was able to cut out new Shoulder mounts so hopefully the legs will be mounted on R2 this week! :)

To make the mounts I cut out 2 Rectangles of plywood. Then laid out the start and stop points of my notches. These notches allow me to stand R2 up (2Leg) for transport by removing his front leg. While also allowing me to drive him in 3 leg mode with out him falling over. I used a compass to draw in the center line of the notches.

Then I center punched holes along the center line, I'm using a 1/4 hole so I tried to keep the centers just over 1/4" apart (less filing later)

Next It's just a matter of drilling allot of holes.

After a bit of clean up here's the finished Product.

Saturday Morning I loaded R2 Up, for a Road Trip to Detroit for the MI R2-Builders Meet. There were only 4 R2's at this meet and only one that was complete...Sadly my pics of him Suck so their not here. But here are a couple of pic from the meeting.
http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/cbb/R2/ http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/cbb/R2/ben_lights.JPG
Matt Bush (Star Wars Artist) Stopped by and fun was had by all! :D

While I was out on Saturday The Pic Flasher came in the mail...WOW that was Fast! So I put it together (some idiot forgot to take a pic of the parts not assembled :mad: ) But here it is all wired up.

And here it is all lite up!

These big LEDs are just there to test it, I'm going back to the Drawing board with my big display so it will be a little bit before we see it all up and running.

All in all it was a good weekend, my wife was sick with a fever (her flu shot got her!) but was better by late Sunday, but even with that it was a good weekend!

I'll get another update up soon (I've gotta mount those shoulder blocks!)


11-07-2005, 01:43 PM
If it's the one from Carl's Electronics then it's the same one! (I know that they order it from another company so It's a very good chance they are the same!)

It will drive well over a hundred LEDs If you hook it up per the Directions, but more if you go Series/Parallel!

If you've got any Q's let me know.


11-07-2005, 01:58 PM
I've gotta get a Webcam for R2. Once I get it and the display worked out I'll host some video of it.


11-09-2005, 12:45 AM
The next complicated piece that I need for R2 is the Ankles. They need to be very strong as all the weight of R2 is on them and is multiplied several times in a hard turn (hey if he's R/C I want to play!). My solution to this is Fiberglass Reinforced with a 1/4" alum plate on one side and a 1/8" plate on the other side.
In thinking about this I realized that I've got to make a mold for the fiberglass. So I fired up some CAD software and a few hours later, I've got a vertical Mold. In the pics the mold supports are the Green and the ankle is blue. I only drew in the plywood forms, I'll skin the inside with 0.04" Styrene (I've got some extra around here) this way the fiberglass will be nice and smooth.

Now That I have a Plan I can start building the mold. Then Lay more glass!
Keep checking in I'll post more as it's built.


11-09-2005, 11:53 PM
Oh sure, get all excited now, but don't expect an apology from us when you can't decide if you should spend your money on rent or servos and plexi!

Wait, Your supposed to stop and think about it? :eek: Hands down the answer is servos and Plexi. :D Wait that's a trick Question, I don't pay rent I have a mortgage :)


11-11-2005, 12:14 AM
Damn! You're one high tech redneck! How the hell are you gonna fabricate that stuff??
With a little "Farmer" Engineering, and my trusty band saw.

Look for an update in the morning and you'll see the start! :D


11-11-2005, 10:57 AM
Yesterday I stopped by ASAP Source (http://www.ASAPSource.com) They're located just up the road from my office. I was there for cheap Aluminum plates ASAP calls them randoms, really it's just scrap or mistakes from cutting or machining. I picked up 2 6"x9" 1/4" 6061 Aluminum plates, an a 18"x24" 0.08" 3003 sheet for $17us (that's with taxes). I was happy :D , to top that find off the hobby shop called, I went there looking for retractable landing gear door hinges (http://www.fccmonline.com/lanimages/r2/Robart_Hinges.JPG) ( because their designed to allow the door to close flush with the skin of the plane when the hinge is mounted inside the plane), we had to order some and they had came in. So here's my haul form yesterday.

I also started cutting out the plywood supports for the mold (this is how I'm going to fabricate all those lines in the drawing!). I Printed out all the pieces of the forms on paper (from the drawing) http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/cbb/R2/paperout.jpg

Once it was printed I Sprayed the back of the paper with Spray adhesive.
I left it get tacky (3-5 mins) then stuck it to the 1/4" plywood. A few minutes at the band saw and you have this.
Support ribs for the mold. I need to add some bevels in a few places then all the pieces will be attached to a base board (makes it easy to move around). Once cut and beveled I'll skin the inside of the mold with styrene (it will smooth out allot of the irregularities in my cuts and it bends easier then plywood! I hope to get the mounting and skinning done this weekend but I have an upgrade to do at a plant also this weekend, so I'm not sure how much I'll get done (IE. If the upgrade is smooth I'll get allot done, if it's not ...You will not hear from me till Tuesday or Wednesday! :mad: )
I also started laying out the 1/4" Alum reinforcing plate as well.

That's all I completed yesterday!

11-11-2005, 02:03 PM
Can you show a detail of the hinges? I'm interested to see how they work.

There is a Closer picture of them sitll in the bag nested under retractable landing gear door hinges (http://www.fccmonline.com/lanimages/r2/Robart_Hinges.JPG) in the post (and here). As I have not taken them out of the bag yet, so can't do any better. I was really tempted to open them up last night, but there's some tiny screws and nylon bushings in there, and my one cat runs off with anything not nailed down (for some reason it ends up under couch or dresser? :? ). But I will make sure there are sevral pics of the hinges (with very good detail). As I need sevral more of these for the rest of the doors on R2 I maybe make some of my own too! So you'll be seeing allot more of them don't worry ! :D


11-16-2005, 12:06 PM
Hi All,
As you could guess I made no progress over the weekend, In fact I had little sleep over the weekend. Last night after work I was able to get some work done. I have both the Aluminum Plates cut out for the ankle (I've not worked with this thick of aluminum before with my cheapy band saw...Wow it cut like warm butter, the Cheap band saw cut 1/4" Aluminum better then it does 1/4" plywood! :D ) I still have to drill the hole in the plate, but I've gotta pick up the bronze bushing that goes in there first!

I was also able to put the Bevels on the Plywood mold supports and Dry-fit them on the Mounting board. This will give you a better Idea how I'm going to make the fiberglass molds. I see that I'll need some added cross supports but those will be easily added.
http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/cbb/R2/Mold_DF_TOP.JPG http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/cbb/R2/Mold_DF_SE_ISO.JPG

With the mold form and Aluminum plate laying around I had to show how close they fit together.

Once that was done I took a closer look at the hinges I'm using on R2's Doors (yes several of the doors will open on R2!)
Here is the way they come. The hooked part goes on the door then the nylon busing and bolt hold it to the small mount. To put this in perspective A Grain of minute rice is longer then that lock nut is wide!.

This is how they look put together.

That's it for now, I'll try and get more up later this week!

11-25-2005, 12:20 AM
This case is still alive. I was under the weather last weekend and spent the first part of the week out of town for work. Now that the family has left (turkey day's over here!) I hope to get some more work done on R2 this weekend. :D The Down side is my wife is making me go out into the early bird crap @ the mall before I can start working in the garage! :mad:

Good night and good Luck!

11-30-2005, 12:01 PM
I'm back, With the holidays, and work kicking my butt, updates maybe a little slow for a few weeks (but should be better after the first of the year!).

I want to start by saying the old adage of "measure twice cut once" needs adjusted, to read more like this "When measuring twice before cutting once, make sure your looking at the right drawing!". I've got really good plans for R2, too many! When I made the legs I measured the aluminum core 3 or 4 time before I cut it (because I only had one piece and it's hard to come by!) When I cut it was dead on...:D The problem I was looking at the wrong drawing :eek:, so now there 4" short. To add insult to injury There also covered in styrene held down by contact cement. I also have a 3.391" hole to drill 90% of the way through the leg for a detail piece to sit in.

The Answer is I'm going to make a .25" thick aluminum plate to go under the detail. This will let me move the Aluminum core down the 4" it needs. Easy right .:rolleyes: . I mean the skins only held on by contact cement, I've heard horror stories about it letting thing peel right off. IT took me an Hour to peel one side off the leg. I separated the ply’s of the plywood in the leg, this stuff is tough! (Elmer’s brand rubber contact cement!) . Here is the leg after I sanded off some of the left over rubber cement.
The black circle is the hole that needs to be cut out.
I've gotta pick up some more Aluminum plate from ASAPSOURCE (http://www.ASAPSOURCE.com) before I can go much further with the leg refit.
On the Ankle I was able to cut out the 0.08" thick Aluminum sheet to shape. I don't have a vise big enough to put the bends I need in them (the two black lines about 3/4 of the way down on the shape). But we have a good size vise at work, so I'll bend them there one night after work.

I have about 70% of the mold done (sorry no pics, the glue was drying :mad: )

It's getting there, the legs/ankles are the big hold up now!


12-02-2005, 06:29 PM
I've started fixing my leg issue. I've got the plate cut and the bolt and wire holes laid on it. Also the recess for the plate was cut into the leg. I've have to cut the recess into the Aluminum extrusion (the tube in the middle of the leg) yet. Then there will be allot of tapping this weekend. :D
I'm only making up one of the modified legs, I want to make sure it will work before I ruin both the ones I have done. :rolleyes:

The glue on the mold has dried. So here's a look at it. Just a few more pieces and it will be ready for glass!

That's it for today. I'll try and get some thing up this weekend as well.


12-05-2005, 12:56 PM
I got my leg fixed up. I've got to do a little tweaking (grind down screw ends) but other than about 10 mins of clean up it's done.
It doesn't look like much but there is a lot of work in getting every thing aligned and fitting correctly, The leg beam took allot of modification to allow the bolts to sit correctly (there are very few flats to work with on the inside of the beam, it's mostly at higher angles)

I also Fitted the Detail piece into place.

Now to finish the ankle mold and get an ankle on this leg! (I've gotta have one done before I head back home for Christmas. That way I can weld up the slots in the feet to fit the ankle joint correctly.)

More soon!


12-13-2005, 01:04 AM
Just to give you all an Idea of what I'm working in.
This weekend was the warmest for awhile we hit 24 degrees F. :D

I've been finishing the ankle mold and the reinforcing plates.

Here's the finished mold.

Here's a couple shots of the Reinforcing plates all assembled, but not trimmed up.


Here's a close up of the tip after they were trimmed up.


I also cut out and mounted the ankle "Bracelet" in this shot of the assembled leg.


Now this week I'm planning on laying the glass in the mold to complete the details on this ankle. Assuming I can keep the garage warm enough to lay glass. Over the next few weeks I'll be working on the center foot shell, the outer feet frames, and motor mounts.

Thanks for checking in.

12-14-2005, 04:13 PM
I sent some drawings off last week to have some prototype circuit boards made, they're due in tomorrow. They are for the two small led arrays on the front of R2's dome. The circuit allows me to program in different patterns (this means words) via the serial port on a pc or let them run randomly (like R2 would in the movies). Another guy (Dave) designed it I'm just seeing how this board place does (as we may order several more of these for the r2 builders group.). Once they get in I'll snap a few pics and post them, it will be a week or three before I get them up and running (other parts still are not here yet), once I do you'll see them (think video here :D) This type of flashy stuff is what everyone expects to see here ;) not a bunch of wood and aluminum.

Thanks for sticking around, I promise soon we'll get to the "fun Stuff" the motors and wiring...maybe even the part with a CPU or hard disk! :lol: It's gotta have legs before it can drive around. I've got about 22 weeks (give or take) to MML6 So things are going to start rocking soon (cause I've gotta get practice driving R2 around before MML!)


12-14-2005, 04:24 PM
Nice to see more work getting done .. and can't wait until you get the small video of the LED's working.

Also hopes it warms up so you can do the fiberglass.

12-15-2005, 04:33 PM
Thanks Wingman,

There will be many more update in the next few weeks (though I will be mostly off line the week between Christmas and new years....I'm going to the land of very slow dial up think 28.8 or 33.6 and that's on a good day :eek: :mad: ). But I'll be off and have access to all the metal working tools that I need to finish the feet and motor mounts :D oh, and I'll take my Digital cam with me so I'll have pics to share!!!;)


12-19-2005, 12:27 PM
I spent the weekend with my wife's family, a nice family Christmas gathering.

But I did manage to get some work done on R2.

I mounted the 3/8 x 1/2x1 Bronze flanged bushing in the ankle.

The Slot for the Ankle was cut into the foot shell.

We also figured out what Size channel was needed to mount the ankle to the foot. It's going to take a piece of custom bent angle iron (1.25" x 1.5") and a piece of 1.25" flat to make.. So I've got it on order (father in-law is going to pick it up at a local supplier he works with), that way next week I can cut it and weld it into the foot.

Also on Friday I received the PCB prototypes that I sent out.


The rest of the parts for the display should be here soon. :D

12-21-2005, 10:33 AM
Good Morning R2 fans,
It took me 3 weeks of work to design and build the last Leg. The second leg I got all the parts cut out in a few hours after work last night! :eek: I've gotten an offer to weld all the Aluminum parts together on this one, but I have to have it packed and ready to ship by Thursday morning before I leave for work. Having welded will save me more time as 70% of the time spent on the last one was lining up all the boltholes. It's not as easy as I thought it would because the extruded Aluminum tube isn't perfectly flat, it's really close but not as flat as the machined plate that it has to match up too, so it throws things out of line a little bit. My other hope is that I can also get the ankle for the center leg laid out and cut so It can be welded at the same time, that may not get done!!!:( :redface: But I'm going to try!

Here's the pic of the second outer leg pieces (I'll save you all the bandwidth and just post one pic of the group of parts)



12-24-2005, 05:40 PM
Looking really good CBB! Good luck with getting everything done, I know you'll do a good job no matter what. You seem to have a LOT of past tech./workshop kind of experience, do you have background in that industry?

Great job!

I'm a Computer tech, and Have done a little woodworking for some time, and this is not my first case mod. I learned allot on previous projects, as well as on this project (never be afraid to as someone that knows how to do something for advice, most will help you with no issues!).

Glad you like it!


01-02-2006, 10:46 AM
I got allot done over the Holidays :) I'm still going through all the pics, so this is just the first of several updates that I'll post over the next few days.

One of the first items I attacked was to install the channel into the outer feet. The ankle (and leg) assembly attaches to the foot via this channel, The motor mounts will also attach directly to the channel. This allows all the weight to be transfers srtright down to the wheels, which means the foot shell carries no weight (lets me use lighter weight materials here!).
This is the Channel. It's 1 1/4"(3.175cm) wide and 1 1/4"(3.175cm) deep and runs the length of the top of the foot (about 9"(22.86cm) at the widest point)

The Channel was brazed into the foot shell. (I used an Oxyacetylene torch to do the brazing....Yes I did the Brazing for these!:) ) You can see my lovely handy work here.

To aid in alignment the notch in the top of the shell was cut smaller then needed. Here it is before it was trimmed to the correct size.

I used a 4 1/2" angle Grinder with a cutoff wheel to trim the shell to match the channel. A Carbide bur on a Die grinder and my trusty Dremel helped clean up the corners and edges (I don't want to cut my fingers on any edges!)

With the channel fitting nicely in the side feet, I changed my attention to the outer leg that needed welding. I worked with my father in law to get the leg lined up and clamped in a position that easier to weld.


Then he Tig welded all the pieces together.


I think it came out very nice.

Now I need to get the rest of the pics organized....Stay tuned for more updates.


01-03-2006, 12:30 PM
I've been getting some Questions about the Aluminum welds. I know the pic I posted was a little blurry so I took a few better ones last night for you all.;)

Here is a couple of close up shots of the welds.

The Tip of the Ankle is made up of 4 pieces of .25"(6.35mm) 6061Alum,and 1 piece of 0.08"(2mm) 3003 Alum. The entire tip was welded together. I've still got a little clean up to do on it but not much.

This is what the whole thing looks like together.

I'm going to Split this post into 2 to make it easier to follow. The next part will be on the Motor Mount.


01-03-2006, 01:03 PM
I'm going into Detail on the motor mount because of Questions on it, and Other R2builders maybe using the same budget Scooters or something similar.

The first thing after I cut the motor frame from the scooter frame was to add this piece of angle to the front of the frame section. It will be used to strengthen the frame and a place to bolt the motor mount to the channel.

The next step is to make up a strip about 1.25" (3.175cm) wide and 5.5" (13.97cm) long. This strip will have 2 .25" (6.35mm) holes drilled into it. I brazed nuts on the back of the strip for easier mounting. I also made a Tee brace up out of some .25" (6.35mm) box tube and a strip of metal, The Tee will also have a pair of nuts brazed to it.

The Tee is Welded into one end of the Foot Channel (on the inside of the foot)http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/cbb/R2/Motor_T_Brazed.JPG

The Strip will get welded on to the motor mount but, I had to cut a piece out of the motor mount for it to fit in.

Also at this time the Mount section that was cut is bent down so that there is about .25" (6.35mm) of clearance from the tire,
this lowers the ride height of the foot.

The reason that the nuts were brazed in was to make repairs and inspection of the motors easier. The Motor mount is held in by two bolts that go through the L bracket and into the Tee.

and two Screws that go down through the Foot Channel and into the motor mount strip.
I'm not sure I like the big pan head screw there, I might change that to a different kind...Counter sunk maybe?

The Whole thing looks like this from the bottom.


Next time we'll cover how to make a Center foot shell out of an old computer case. :)


01-05-2006, 01:11 PM
As Promised here’s How to make a center foot shell from a Pc case.
First you go to the PC Junk pile and pick out a nice case. I picked the Gateway 2000 desktop you see under the printer (Red Arrow).

After Removing the Case your left with this.

Here is the case that I used for the Side Feet shell a few months ago...(Ok it was like 10 months but who's counting)

After You have the case Just trace your pattern onto it (I forgot this pic, I really wanted to get this thing made!)
Next We used this neat gadget (it's like $20us from Northern Tool) It's a Sheet metal cutter. You pull on the handle and it spins the blade that cuts and feeds the sheet through it. This thing make long cuts easy (The other option is a hand nibbler, or Sheet metal shears (Tin Snips)).

Once it's all cut out we bend. We don't have a break so HillBilly method! For nice sharp corners you need to use a piece of angle Iron tightly mounted in the vice. Clamp the metal to the Angle and push down. For the smaller pieces we used a solid steel block and a C clamp to bend the section evenly. If there is a edge or corner the isn't sharp enough or is out of shape....Give it a couple of taps with your trusty ballpeen hammer.

The Bending and fine tuning take the most time (and I'm a bit Anal about it!)
I made sure that I left about 1/2" (1.27cm) tabs on one of the pieces that joined to form a corner, This is so we had some thing to spot weld together.
We used Vise C Clamps to keep everything nice and tight till it was welded down (there's none on in the pic cause it's the last weld)

Everything went according to plan. We also learned allot on the side feet because the Center foot is best looking one we've made.

I've still gotta cut the groove for the channel and Braze it into the foot, but there's a weekend coming up soon!

Just for those of you that are thinking "Hay, is this a PC or RC model?" Santy Clause Brought R2 his first PC Part!

We're on our way now.:D

Thanks for dropping by.

And remember, "Keep your stick on the Ice" ---Red Green


01-06-2006, 01:01 PM
This week I've been trying to Update everyday. I've had plenty of material due to the week + I took of for the holidays. But it takes allot of Time to read reply’s and respond as well as post new Material. With that said...Tribal I tip my hat to, to update like you do when your working on Blackout is Crazy!

But Here's another update.

I returned home from the Holidays to find My Speed Controller kits that have been on back order since early October are In (my Mailbox!). I ordered 3 of them, One for each outer foot and, one for the dome (or spare parts).


After I ordered these I found out that other People had tried to use them to Drive these scooter motors and Blow up the FET (Little Black 3 legged power controlling device), or burnt the traces off the PCB. Well The directions that come with this kit tell you that if your going to run 5 or more Amps you need to reinforce the traces by soldering wires to them.
The Adding wire Sounds like a good Idea. But the smoked FETS I don't like that Idea... So after some Research I found that I can put 2 FETS in parallel and this will allow them to handle more current with out smoking ( has to do with the on resistance of the FET, when it's on it looks like a 0.02ohm resistor. So putting 2 0.02ohm resistors in parallel it works like one 0.01ohm resistor so less current is limited.) Well I like more current! But I'll have to make an adapter PCB that will let me use 8 Fets instead of the 4 the Kit comes with. Well here's that adapter board (ReV A).
I'm not happy with the layout, but it's a start. I want to incorporate mounting holes for 4 heat sinks (one for each pair of FETs) and I want to use the Screw Terminals for the Vin Ground and Motor output.

Once I get this figured out I'll attach the speed controllers to my other Christmas Present (MY WIFE IS THE GREATEST!!!!:D )

Yeap, That's 4 Servos and an eight channel PCM Receiver.
Yesterday I had to drop by the hobby shop (RIDERS HOBBY SHOP (http://www.Riders.com)) and get 1200ma 6.0V Battery pack for the Receiver (RX) http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/cbb/R2/RX_Batt.jpg
and order a Crystal for the RX that matches the one in my Transmitter (TX), It should be in next week It was about the only Freq they didn't have in stock. :(

I've also been working on those LED boards that I got a few weeks ago, But you'll have to wait and see that at a later time :eek:

Tune in Next Week For more Exciting R2 Adventures, Same Bat Time Same Bat Channel.


“If the women don’t find you sexy, they’ll at least find you handy” ---Red Green

01-07-2006, 01:40 AM
Thanks Rank! I'm not sure how long I'll be able to do the daily posts with out them getting even more ...Dry, now that I'm back to work I don't get as much time to work on my mod as I'd like.

I'm looking forward to see how your Arcade turns out. Good Luck.


01-09-2006, 12:31 PM
In the little bit I worked on R2 this weekend I had a minor set back. :eek:

I put one of the Speed Controller kit together just to see If I really needed to spend the time Designing a new FET board for it....I DO.
Here Is what happen....Plugs in Motor and Battery...ZZZZ, Snap, Pop, Flames !!!:eek:
The Aftermath...

So I spent a few hours Redesigning the board I posted the other day. I Said I didn't like the design, and when I went back and looked at it the was not enough space between the FETs for the heat sinks, and I had a trace in the wrong place (Dead short from V+ to GND) So It was trashed for this one.
Hopefully I'll get this board etched this week and The Parts ordered to finish it.
This was the last free weekend before my wife starts Spring semester of Vet school (doggy Doc!) So I spent most of the time with her. We did manage to get the second workbench in the garage started. It will be finished soon as well.

It was a Lite R2 Weekend, but a well needed Break! Now I'll get back to work!


01-09-2006, 01:45 PM
Question - how do you get your boards etched? Is it cheap to do? For a mod I want to do in the future, I'd like to use a custom board, but I don't know the first thing about getting them made. I guess I can always use the radio shack ones, if I gotta, but it would be nice to be able to design it myself.

01-09-2006, 02:19 PM
Question - how do you get your boards etched? Is it cheap to do? For a mod I want to do in the future, I'd like to use a custom board, but I don't know the first thing about getting them made. I guess I can always use the radio shack ones, if I gotta, but it would be nice to be able to design it myself.

I make most of them myself @ home, the Logic LED Boards from a few weeks back I sent out to have them made but only because we're looking at doing allot of them. ...I'll Try and do a better job documenting this one and I have a link around here I'll post for you, It's got great step by step instructions on how to etch a board at home on the cheap but with Very high quality and great results.
Here's the link to the Article.
How To make A PCB @ Home (http://www.fullnet.com/u/tomg/gooteepc.htm)

Most of the supplies you can get @ Radio Shack (Ok, you could get them there 6 months ago...But now I'll have to check) OR on line for cheap. I'll post all the links for the sites I use when I put the how too up (It will take me a bit to gather them all up, and I don't have them all here @ work with me today. :( )


01-10-2006, 11:25 AM
Last night I worked on getting the new shoulder blocks adjusted to fit the legs and the frame, as well as drilled the 4 mounting holes in the spacer block for the right leg.

The blocks still need to be mounted onto the frame, but I had to snap a few pics for you to see where I'm at.

Tonight I'll fasten the block to the frame and install the lower stringer (Links the bottom edge of the shoulder block together, and hopefully get the Outer wooden shell on the Right Leg.


EDIT: I'm playing with Thumbnails, Click Pic to enlarge.

01-11-2006, 04:08 PM
The shoulder Blocks are mounted, and the cross member installed.

Also the Leg shell is prepped for installation (still needs a little adjustment for a great fit)

I didn't get the Leg shell installed but I really wanted to get another work in progress pic so I just taped it in place with some masking tape.

Here's R2 Back in September

Now here's R2 Today

Some of the detail pieces were slipped in so you can get an Idea of where they go, and some are just held on with tape....A dry fit.

Thanks for dropping in....More later,

01-13-2006, 11:30 AM
Last couple of days have been crap for me. Wednesday my wife's truck Died, Had a loose Battery connection. Not Hard to fix just took forever to find (Oh, and I missed work fixing it :( ) Thursday Afternoon one of our main Database servers went down at work so need less to say I worked late to get it back up and running. To top it off I found that Some of the most intricate detail pieces that I painted....2-3 months ago still haven't dried.
I painted the whole piece with the Rustolem chrome paint (didn't mask anything off) then I spend 2 hour masking all the little areas off. Then they were scuffed lightly with 220 grit. The purple metallic base was laid , then the blue candy was laid (3-4 coats of each). Now the other parts I painted that day are rock hard now, but they didn't have the chrome on them. These parts are still tacky and you leave finger prints in the paint, and some places are bubbled.


My answer to that problem....


Yeap, Sand it all the way back to primer, Then Re primer and repaint all the details.


That's all I've gotten done since the last update...Sucks I know!

Target Practice is coming up this weekend so I'm not sure how much I'll get done....Maybe allot...Maybe none...We'll see.


01-19-2006, 12:01 PM
Well after a weekend of no progress. My Buddy Target practice was up and we went to the local pub, and had some of the best Irish whiskeys...18yr old Jameson, 21 yr old Bushmills, and some Middleton.8)

This week I made some progress on the leg-Foot joining. I drilled a 3/8" (9.525mm) hole through the channel in the foot. Then ran the 3/8" x 2" (9.525mm X 5.08cm) Grade 8 bolt through one side of the channel, through the ankle bushing, and out the other side of the channel.

The completed leg Assembly still needs some adjustments. I have to pick up and install some 3/8" washers to go in between the channel walls and the ankle, as well as the bolt head, Channel wall and the nut, Channel wall locations. I'll pick those up today and get working on the other leg tonight.


Thanks for Stopping by,

01-19-2006, 01:47 PM
Great work, as always, CBB. Your attention to detail is inspiring.

So, how far along, percentage-wise, do you think this project is? What is left to do once you finish the feet?

01-19-2006, 02:22 PM
Great work, as always, CBB. Your attention to detail is inspiring.

So, how far along, percentage-wise, do you think this project is? What is left to do once you finish the feet?

I'd Say after the side feet are attached I'm 35%-40% done. (but 50% will come Quickly after!)
The short list of things are:
Skin the outer legs.
Primer and paint Outer Legs and feet.
The Center leg, ankle, foot channel.
Mounting the Front Vent Bracket.
Gluing on the front Skins.
Mounting the back door.
Prep and paint skins.
Etch the Dome.
Drill all the holes for the details on the dome.
Paint the dome.
Wire the Drive system.
Wire the power distribution.
Wire the Electronic Effects.
Install the PC components.
Design an build the Dome Rotation Mech.
Make the Fiberglass Details (needs to get warmer)!
Paint all the remaining Detail pieces.
Mount all the Detail pieces.
Design and build fan ducts for the Front vents (to cool PC and Motor controllers)
Design Batt Charging System.
Design and build the Sound System.
Finish Droid Control Software.
....I think I may have miss some things. Some of these will be done together others can not be completed till I get more parts (ordered or made).
Plus there are some "Added Features" that I'd love to get in him, but I've gotta finish the basics first. It's only taken 2 years to get this far, but I'm getting there!


01-20-2006, 01:02 PM
I don't know if you have figured out the design for the dome rotation, but I came across something a while ago that might work for it. I've got it buried in my garage somewhere, but basically it's the bearing track for a lazy susan. You could mount it under the outer edge of the dome, or along a track up inside it if the diameter doesn't fit, along with a tooled gear track along the inner diameter and a motor control to turn it left and right...

I've got it somewhere, I'll have to see if it's still in there. You're a better engineer than I, and you probably have an idea for it already that would work better (I already see problems with wiring getting pulled or twisted in this design if not wired with proper slack, anchor points and a method to prevent it), but if it helps, I can dig it up and shoot a couple pics for ya.

01-20-2006, 01:20 PM
I don't know if you have figured out the design for the dome rotation, but I came across something a while ago that might work for it. I've got it buried in my garage somewhere, but basically it's the bearing track for a lazy susan. You could mount it under the outer edge of the dome, or along a track up inside it if the diameter doesn't fit, along with a tooled gear track along the inner diameter and a motor control to turn it left and right...

I've got it somewhere, I'll have to see if it's still in there. You're a better engineer than I, and you probably have an idea for it already that would work better (I already see problems with wiring getting pulled or twisted in this design if not wired with proper slack, anchor points and a method to prevent it), but if it helps, I can dig it up and shoot a couple pics for ya.

I've got a 12" round lazy susan that has a 6 3/5" hole in the middle. I've gotta make up a plate that will mount inside the dome so I have someting to screw the susan too. That was easy the drive part is harder...As I'm not sure weather I go gear (which I'll have to custom design) or Friction roller...that parts still up in the air. I've gotta get the lazy susan mounted first then I'll figure the drive out! If your lazy suasn has a gear track in it shot me some pics...I may take it off your hands!!! (can't be more then 17 5/8 around though or it will not fit in the dome. I'm still working out the power cord twisty thing.


01-21-2006, 12:51 AM
Are you planning on allowing the head to turn a full 360, or just a limited range, like 90 degrees?

Oh, and if you need gears of any sort, let me know. I've got a good sized stock of gears left over from my days working in the print shops.

01-21-2006, 02:12 PM
I'm looking into making it do a full 360 degree rotation. But I'll have to see how everything fits together, to decide how to make it happen.


01-23-2006, 06:38 PM
I got a little more done this weekend.

Both feet are bolted the legs and R2 is standing on his own now.:)

Now Everyone wants to get into the Action!!

I also realized that I needed to stiffen the open side of the outer feet, I'll also try and give you a better Ides as to how I've done all the sheet metal work so far.

I started out by making a pattern.

The Pattern is transferred to sheet steel (this is 22guage steel), then it is cut out, I used "Tin Snips" (also called Aviation shears) to do this.

Once that is finished we move to the bending. On these pieces there will be a smaller bend about 1/2" up from the bottom then a hard 90degree bend about an inch up from that. There should be an inch or so flat then arch up into 90.
I start with the hard 90, then the slight angle, and finish off with the arch.

Being a home shop I don't have a sheet metal brake, but I do have a nice piece of angle Iron, and some clamps.

Then Apply Pressure and smooth out the high spots with a ball peen hammer.

Once both angles are bent you get something that looks like this.

To add the Arch I used a piece of Iron gas pipe instead of the angle Iron.

Just apply gentle pressure till the metal is in the shape you want. Smooth the high spots (they look a bit like bubbles) with light taps from the ball peen.

I'll be posting pics of the finished pieces tonight, I seem to have forgot to bring them with me this morning. oops:(

Thanks For Stopping in!


01-23-2006, 06:54 PM
great work CBB! i have enjoyed following your work log! keep it coming! :D


01-24-2006, 11:25 AM
great work CBB! i have enjoyed following your work log! keep it coming! :D


Thanks, HX ....I'll be here till he's done.....Then I'll still be here just with a diffrent mod :D


01-24-2006, 02:57 PM
Good Day R2 Fans.....Welcome to another Fun filled update.....

After all that bending and shaping this is what you get.

I've got the piece dry fitted into the foot where it will be. It needs a hole cut out for the end of the scooter motor and a little more adjustment on the gaps but most of that will be taken care of when I clamp it up to weld it all together.


I was also able to get the center ankle cut out. The main part of the ankle is 1/4" (6.35mm). The tip that the bolt will go through is reinforces with a piece of 1/4" and 1/8"(3.175mm) on each side.

The Center foot shell also got the channel path cut out of it.

Now I just need to get the channel cut correctly, and weld it in place.

Moving to the other end of the Droid. I've been asked about how I'm going to get R2's head to spin....
Here's my choice.

It's a 12"(30.4cm) round Lazy Susan (picked up at Lowe’s). I'm still thinking about weather it's going to be driven by a gear or, friction drive type assembly. Both have their pros and cons. One thing for sure I need to have a way to get power up into the dome that still allows 360degree rotation. I've got a few Ideas but they all depend on how I turn it. Let me know if you've got a great Idea (or even a good one...) for these problems....

Thanks for dropping in...I'll be back soon with more from the Backwoods Lab.


01-24-2006, 10:14 PM
Lookin' good, crazybillybob!

01-25-2006, 01:49 AM
You know, the thing I love about this worklog the most is that you really get down into the nitty-gritty of a fabrication job like this. It's not just "I'm polishing the heat sink for my fancy new $600 video card", it's "This is how I bent the metal that supports the cam that turns the gear that spins the doodadd I fashioned out of duct tape, aluminum scrap and hillbilly gumption".

Keep up the great work, CBB.

edit: About your drive mechanism - I'd still recommend a gear drive. You can control the speed and accuracy a lot more, at least the way I've got it figured out in my head. If you can build a right-angle lip inside the dome to run a toothed track - such as a flexible drive belt securely attached to the angle lip - and have an appropriately sized gear (you can get very good precision gears at RC shops, but I'm sure you already know that), then you should be good to go. One thing to consider is properly shielding the motor away from any computer components with some sort of Faraday Cage (spelling?) to prevent the electric motor's electromagnetic pulses from interfering with the operation of the system - I've got a great horror story of a friend of mine using an electric screw gun on the inside of his computer and pretty much destroying the data on one of his hard drives.

I'm still stumped on preventing the wiring from tangling or pulling out, especially after repeated turns back and forth, putting stress on your solders.

I'm sure you've got a lot of this down, though - like I said before, you're one hell of a better engineer than I am.

01-25-2006, 02:59 PM
I've been musing about slip rings lately.


The down side is that with the slip ring in the middle I have to work out a gear set that would run around the out side of the bearing. The larger gear would have to attach to the bottom of the plywood and the whole thing can't be to thick (about 1/2" max (1.27cm)). Anyone have software to design a 16"(40.64cm) gear? and a 2" (5.08cm) matching gear? OR a plug-in for AutoCAD that will do it. As I don't know how to calculate all the things needed for a gear (I'm sure they taught use the basics in collage physics...but I don't remember anymore).

Better yet anyone have a 16" -18" (40-45cm) Gear laying around? (that is light weight less then 5 lbs (2.26Kg))...

More or less Thinking out loud here....If you've got Ideas....Join in..!

Also Started looking into Prices on the PC Parts I need. Between Mini-box.com and newegg.com I should be able to get all the parts I need shipped for about $600US. Now I just need to get my Tax info so I can Get my return and order these pieces!!!


01-25-2006, 04:14 PM
An idea I had would be to run gear tracking around the lower edge of the head. Then you would just need a motor and a single gear to be able to spin the head as you needed to.

01-25-2006, 05:50 PM
That's the basic Idea with the Gear. I was just going to mount it to the plywood as it's easier to find gears smaller then 18" around. Which is what I'd need to mount it to the dome.

Thanks for the Idea...


01-25-2006, 10:25 PM
You know, I've been mulling this thing over all day at work, because I love puzzles like this. I want to work something out on paper when I get some time to actually fiddle with it but one thing I realized is that I'm pretty sure faraday cages don't work for elecrtomagnetic waves, only radio waves and such.

Hmmmm..... how do they do shielding for speakers to prevent damage to CRT screens?

01-27-2006, 11:53 AM
I've came up with this design for the Gear if I use slip rings. If the gear comes out nice I'll use it for any setup. As with most of the rest of R2 I'm trying to save money so I'm going to make these gears myself, at home with my small collection of power tools and hand tools(I think the Router and Jigsaw will be getting a work out this weekend):eek: . Don't worry I'll take pics good or bad just so you all can join in the fun!

I went with the gear close to the outside of the dome for one reason clearance between the Bearing (12" OD) and the Motor Gear (about 2"-2.5"). There was no other setup where they wouldn't hit or rub one another.



I still don't have the motor to drive this, but I'm thinking about it. Most likely it will be a small 12Vdc gear motor running about 300-600RPM max. I'll have to see what some of the surplus stores have cheap.

Let Me know what you think, or if there is something really wrong that I missed Let me know that too!;)


Yes, Chris it looks like your drawing! Just not mounted to the dome...The dome is egg shaped and this flat gear was hard enough for me to draw I don't want to make it a 3D complex curve.

01-30-2006, 11:52 AM
Well I had a weekend full of fun and building....I blew most of Saturday playing BF2 online (first time in 2 months!) so Sunday I worked on the dome disk and the gears....

First thing was to cut out some rough disks they were about 19"(48.26cm) in diameter I just whipped them out with my jigsaw (no where near round!!!)

Now to make them round. I whipped up a jig for my router table. Not much just a piece of 1/4" plywood bolted to the top. then I measured 9 1/16" from the inside of the 1/4" straight cut bit in the router and set a hole (for a screw). I drilled a slightly bigger hole in the center of each disk (made the screw snug but would let the disk still turn).

Once the disk was screwed on I just had to turn the disk and it would be perfectly round. Action Shot!

Making the jig and pushing out two perfect disks took less then an hour...I may get more done then I thought.....:D

Next I moved on to the spur gear, this little guy will be attached to a motor and run against the ring gear (I hope).
Here I've got the gear all laid out and ready to cut (I printed out the drawing 1:1 and sprayed the back with spray adhesive, then stuck it to the plywood. Easier then trying to draw it out on wood free hand)


After the spur gear was cut out I when after the ring gear. It kicked my butt, This shot is after an hour and 2 batteries on the cordless jigsaw. :(

It's going to be a long day!...:eek:

Well after about 3 tedious hours and 4 batteries I got 1 ring gear (I hope it works I really don't want to have to cut it out again!!!).

Looks kinda nice laying there on the work bench...but I wonder how it looks in the dome? :rolleyes:

The Disk looks good!

The Gears....They Look even better !!:D and they seem to work too! now they just need a little clean up with a file to smooth them all out. (later this week.. cause it was late when I shoot these pics!, and my arms still numb from the jigsaw! :redface: )

All in all it was a good day. I'll get the mounting hole for the bearing drilled and the hole for the slip ring cutout this week and go from there.

Thanks for all the positive response lately, it helps keep me going. The Ideas and drawings are always welcome.

On a little side note I know that before I've said that R2 will not have a working holo-emitter (projector)...Well I've changed my mind....Stay tuned over the coming weeks for the projector mod (it will stay right here but I'll mostly be working on it!), I'm just waiting on parts right now.. my goal make the projector work (display @ min of 5' away) for less then $100 us :eek: (not counting the cost of the emitter cause I've already got it!)....Let's see if I can pull this off. 8)

Till next time!


02-02-2006, 04:30 PM
Here is the start of a ....Mini Mod? It's really a sub mod as it's still going into R2 but you get the Idea.

I received the two main components of the Holo projector this week. (the Holo- emitter detail is the white thing in the bottom of the pic).

A Hip Gear Screen Xbox controller (new) and a Holiday Projector (new)..You know one of those things your neighbor has out at Christmas to cast a 15' (4.57M) tall Snowflake on his house. What the heck are you going to do with that crap...They have nothing to do with Computers or Star Wars...:? Stay tuned over the next few days (maybe weeks!) to find out!

First thing is for sure!
They didn't last long in there nicely pack homes.....Or in one piece for that matter :eek:

I striped off all the Xbox controller pieces of the hipGear. To Get down to the LCD display goodness.

For those of you that don't know (which was me till about 2 weeks ago), these little LCD screen's electronics can accept regular Video signal...and run on 12Vdc. I've been looking @ a few other sites and I think that the wiring in this controller is a little different then ones other sites have shown, So I'll show you what I've found out so far.


Here is the connector that brings all the wire into the controller. The numbers are for the 6 solder pads in front of the connector, These are the wires that go to the Video/Audio board (the ones That I'm after!)


Here is the wires that attach to the pads (the numbers match between the top an bottom). From left to right: (1)Yellow is the Video input, (2)Brown Video Ground, (2)Black is Audio Ground, (4)White and (3)Red are your Audio line in, (5)Green is the power supply ground, (6)orange is +12Vdc. You will notice that the video and audio grounds go to the same pad.

I've only got the disassembly done on the Hip gear...next I'll wire up some temp connections so we can test the display out.

Now The Holiday Projector has 2 part that fit into one another that make it work.

The first is the light source and image they are house in this little sub frame here.

The light source in this unit is a 12Vac Halogen bulb...Not going to work on DC so I'm looking into other options (low heat and power....LED maybe?)

The Illumination sub frame slides down into the outer housing. The outer housing holds the optics, these focus and enlarge the image.

Really I just need the optics from this unit, but it's a nice housing, I don't have to mess with measuring focal lengths etc, so if it fits in the dome I'm using it too!

That wraps it up for this update, I'll have more soon so stop back in!


02-06-2006, 04:28 PM
Thanks for detailing it so precisely, CBB, this is one project I'm sure will be useful for many of us. Expect to see elements of this mini-mod copied many times over by quite a few of us once you get this running.

With all the Q's about LCD's for cases lately, and the low cost of the hip gear screens I figured that we would be seeing allot of them. So I figured ?I've got the tools and the training I'll help the guys (and gals) that don't out.... (All of you guys that work plex do the same for me!).

As for the mini-mod I didn't get allot done this weekend....I've got a rebuilt shoulder (in me not the droid :) ) and it's giving me allot of problems this week so I'm trying to let it rest for a bit. But I did get some testing done....The LCD on the AC adapter, and the Projector with an AC light.....= a 4' Image on the wall @ 10'....Better then I thought it would do! Now I just need to get some pics (to share with all of you) and figure out how to mount it all, then find a DC light source.

If you all start in on your Hip gear screens and have Q's let me know I'll give you all the help I can. (I do read my PM's so don't feel you have to post publicly...If I get allot of the same Q's I'll make a quick post/write up to answer them all @ once...if not it will be one on one!)

Back soon with more!


02-06-2006, 07:16 PM
The bearing, not the gears, will support most of the weight of the dome. The gears will only have to be strong enough to make the bearings roll, so they have to be stronger then the friction between the bearings and the raceway (the trace that bearings ride in), the friction can be reduced by applying a thin film of grease to the bearings and raceway. I used Plywood instead of solid wood because it doesn't have a shear face like solid wood does. When you break solid wood you get a nice clean break normally along the growth rings (when the wood is cut in the modern fashion, it's different with quarter sawn ..but they don't do that much any more so we'll skip it). In plywood each layer of wood is placed with the grain perpendicular to the one before it, then they are all glued in place. This is way when you break plywood the edge is uneven and frayed, it doesn't have a common shear point. The only thing that I'm worried about is wear on the faces of the gears where they meet. The plywood my wear faster because it's rubbing together. I'm going to do some testing with CA glue (super glue) applied to the face of plywood and see if this helps cut down on the wear. I hope that in all this I answered your question If not let me know where I lost you (cause I may have lost myself in there somewhere too!).

Thanks for the artist comment! It's scary how Art and Science slam head long into each other allot with me!


02-06-2006, 10:09 PM
After cutting out that gear I'm not in a hurry to cut out a bunch of little bits of aluminum. how would I hold the alum to the face? I'm still not sure wear will be that big of a deal, I mean realy old windmills had wood gears, they wouldn't have used them if they didn't work well!?!
If wear and tear get to bad on the wood gear I can always make a plastic one! I can cut it out myself (a prospect I'm not happy with but would do) or send it to the laser cutters, easier but more expensive in the long run.

Thanks for the Idea not sure how to do it "the right way" though??:? ?? and it's allot of work to do wrong.:eek:


02-07-2006, 12:55 PM
Welcome R2 Fans, Today here in the hillbilly journal, is the Very Rigged Holo-Projector
http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/cbb/R2/HP_Rigged_Project_BIG.JPG Held together with electrical tape, masking tape and luck.

Here is a projected image in a lighted Room...:(
Not very impressive....But ok!

Here It is in a Darkened room (not pitch black but low lighting, much brighter then MML or any LAN I've ever been too!) :eek:

Much better. :D

Yeap, I know the images is backwards, the Lens inverts it when projecting. I flipped it top to bottom to take care of the inversion but never thought of the left to right till I saw this image on the wall….I’ll fix it before the LCD is mounted permanently.

Now mind you this is with an A/C Light, and it seems to give it a yellow cast that isn't show in the pics.

I've ordered one of these 1W Ultrabright LEDs From All Electronics (http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bin/item/LED-110/340500/1_WATT_WHITE_ULTRA-ULTRA_BRIGHT_LED_.html). I'm hoping that it will be bright enough to replace the A/c Bulb. I also ordered some 6"x12" copper clad board (http://www.allelectronics.com/cgi-bin/item/PCB-612/445/6%22#34;_X_12%22#34;_X_0.062%22#34;_SINGLE_SIDE_PC _BOARD_.html) to make the slip ring out of, we'll see how that goes when it gets here.

Now I'll move on to moving the PCB for the LCD inside the Projector case, and making it so the wires pass out the rear of the unit.

Thanks for stopping by, let me know what you think!


02-07-2006, 09:34 PM
the 1w LED is a Lexon....Just the 1W kind...the 5w ones are a little out of my price range right now....If my wife ever finds out I spent $12 on 1 led she'll kill me as it is!

As for the image I have a lensless solution, I'll flip it over, since it's transperant it will not be an issue! (In theroy right now) I'll let you know if I need help with another lens (hopefully it just works without one :)


02-28-2006, 11:28 AM
Well, I got back to working on R2 some this weekend. I Remade an Aluminum side box for the main Radar Eye (The Big Blue Squareish thing on his dome), I had one part way put together from close to a year ago, and was not happy with it. So I made this one up.


It sits right up beside the Eye like so


Now I just need to get some primer on it (to see if I need to fill any low spots), and the weather looks better for this weekend (32degF) so I should be able to get some primer coats on things :)

I also worked on getting the Utility Arms (The two Blue bands on the front of R2, He used them to run the Com device in EP3:ROTS) sanded down to fit.



I'll have to adjust the skin cutout's just a bit, but the Arm is ready for a skim coat of bondo (to hide the wood grain). The other arm....Well I nee to remake the "hand" section as it broke when cutting it down.

I also look At the second motor Bracket ...looks like I may have to cut it back apart and flip every thing over So the motor stick out the inside of the foot, as it doesn't fit quite right in the foot currently....I'll get pics up when I figure out how much needs to change....I'm hoping that I can just adjust a few things and not have to cut it all apart..... Oh well the best laid plans of mice and Men! :) I'm just happy that I'm not feeling like death warmed over now!!! I can get back in to R2 again!!!!

Thanks for sticking with me in my long dry spell.

02-28-2006, 06:25 PM
I have a question: you thought about how you're going to ventilate that thing? With a computer, all the movement circuitry, the HDD's for running the bugger as a server, not to mention the Perojector and lens set up-the frame looks like it might make things a little hot and stuffy in there. Maybe a large fan, like from an old car radiotor put into the body, would help to pull air through and push it out through the bottom? Or are you hoping that passive cooling will cut the mustard in this scenario?

Just remembered where i wanted that mechanism-for my sliding door. Similar idea.


I have some places in the skin that are open (Nicely cover with decritive vents) that will house some 80mm fans (If needed I have a place for some 120mm too) and will be ducted to the PC/HDD and Charging gear. For the Projector I'm trying to design it to run as cool as possible (hence the LED light sources), The dome is all Aluminum, so it should add some cooling in that area, plus some of the dome Pie wedge shapes are going to be able to open, so I can mount a fan in there to help cool that if needed as well.). Hopefully heat will not be an issue (as fans use power...that means the more fans the less run time) but I will not know for sure till I get all the peices installed.
I'm also needing to know how much current this R2 unit will need when charging. My guess is 5-7Amps AC, but I'll have to double check that at a later date.


03-01-2006, 11:29 AM
Sounds complex, but you definately got what it takes to pull it off, looking at what you've done so far. What sort of battery are you going to use in there? I'm assuming that you're chucking the battery that came with the scooter-and a car battery's probably too clunky and heavy, right?


Actualy I'm useing tha Batteries that came with the scooters, just for running the scooter motor. Their already wired for 24V I think there 4.5 or 7AH (don't remeber off hand) and with 200Lbs on a scooter made for 100Lbs they ran for 1H+...Hay I needed to make sure it worked before I tor it all apart!

I'm looking at a 12V 12AH Batt to run the PC, American Science & Surplus has them for $9.95. I was planing on running 2 of them in parrallel that will give me 12V @ 24AH.....That should be some nice long run Time on the PC.
Down side is with 6 Batts that is about 40# of weight added to R2....I'm afraid he maybe a heavy little fella (150#+).

My big issue is the charging system. I need to find away that when I plug R2 in that the PC switches to the AC power unit with out rebooting. As well a way to protect the Drive battery charges, so that the when charging the batteries are disconnected from the load. I think I can do this with a set of DPST switchs...Just haven't put allot of time in figuring it out yet.


03-02-2006, 12:20 PM
For all those Readers at home that are keeping Score, I laid down my first beads in MI last night (welded)....And my garage is still Standing (there was some unfounded concerns about me starting a fire with the torch in my family!). I was able to Weld the channel into the center foot last night.


I weld much better then I braze...(the braze is the brassy gold color in there)


I also ran into some issues while trying to mount the doors. It seems that as the fiberglass has finished curing and aged it has flattened out. So I'm trying plan B. I'm going to make up a plywood Door Frame then mount the styrene to it. (Note separating the Styrene from the Fiberglass was a nightmare...Gorilla Glue does a Very good job keeping it where you put it!)


I'm going to do a little more design work, as the setup pictured allows the door to flex to much and nothing lines up right.

Also I looked deeper into the motor mount issue. As you can see in this pic there is no way that the motor & Motor mount will fit into the foot shell this way.


So I'll be cutting it in these locations and flipping ever thing over (mount the motor on the outside of the plates where it is on the inside now). This should make everything line up just for the left foot instead of the right.


Not bad for 3.5 hours work :) I hope to get the motor mount cut up tonight, and maybe the door frame finished.

Thanks for stopping by, and come back soon,

03-02-2006, 05:38 PM
Here's the Diagram for the AC to DC power switching for the PC.


Let me know if you see some thing amiss.


03-03-2006, 11:53 AM
Last night was a night of mixed emotions......
I went ahead and cut the motor mounting bracket. Here is a comparison pic of the completed (working) motor mount for the right foot and the new setup for the left foot. I just took the outer plates and flipped them over (basically turning it inside out). Looks like it will work great!


So I set to work welding the mount back together, Everything was going well when I got to this point.


As I went to weld the back of the angle I found that I was out of gas, not tired but my Acetylene tank is Dry.....So no more welding till I get it filled! I'm looking into where I can have it filled (or trade it in) here in Lansing, hopefully they will be open on Saturdays, If not I'll have to send my wife next week (she's on spring break from Vet School!).

Why did I say mixed emotions? I was really happy that the fix was going to be that simple (still allot of work but not overly complicated), and to be so close and not have the power to do any thing about it...is frustrating... But finding the silver lining, as it was 11:30pm I figured I should get some sleep and I'll start in on some of the wood and plastic stuff tonight! (that back DOOR!!! I want to get it done, and seeing as my wife told me I was going to finish the dry walling in the garage as well as rip out the old work bench Saturday. So she could finish and install the new ones over spring break, I'm not sure If I'll get time to work on R2 this weekend. Tonight will have to be door night.

Thanks for the kind words, and the support, stop back again.

03-07-2006, 12:28 PM
I did get some R2 work done this weekend, but not much Dry walling (Had to demo the old stuff in the way :D But It will get done this week).

I was able to get the Rear door to fit in place using the plywood Arches I cut before and then running a 2" wide strip of Plywood up each side (I routed out rabbits for each arch). It fit great when I had it taped into place.


I epoxied the frame together then the skin to the frame. After the epoxy dried I pulled the tape and clamps, some of the skin pulled away from the frame (didn't use enough glue!) No big deal I'll fix it later, and I have a couple of body frame rings that will have to be trimmed back for better clearance, but I'm much happier with the fit this time! Here look for your self.


The Door work was on Sunday night. Last night I started work on one of the detail pieces. It's a vent on the side of R2 under his legs...hence it's called a side vent. I have to modify it a little bit because I want air to be able to pass through the vent (on the "Real" R2s there just for looks) but I'm not that far yet.
I started with a drawing of the piece that I had transferred to card board and cut out to make a template.


I made the template because I need 2 of these parts and easier with a template then the spray glue method I like. The Outline was trace onto a sheet of 1/8" aluminum. I'm going to go off on a tangent here, The Aluminum that I'm using here is 3001 or 3031.... IF YOU CAN DON'T USE IT. It's real soft and it gums everything up and it flexes so much that I could not cut the inside details with a jigsaw. If you're going for small details pick up 6061, I've used that on most of the other parts I've made for R2...It's some much easier to work with, cause it's just a little harder.


I cut out the slots in the plate with a 4 1/2" angle grinder (the dremel cutoff wheel just loaded up with Aluminum and bogged down the dremel) So the cuts are rough...real rough. I drilled a hole at the head and tail of each slot (so the waste strip could fall out). I would like to emphasize safety glasses again, I busted one of my 4 1/2" cutoff wheels on this and pieces of it bounced off my safety glasses, I still got some grit and dust in my eye but at least I still have an eye!
Once I got the slots roughed in, I attempted to use a carbide burr on the dremel to chew away allot of the excess material....no luck this stuff just gummed up the bur...So I when at it with some hand files. That's the only good thing about this aluminum...it files well.


Here's the part when I called it a night (1am), the top 2 slots have been filed down (there's still some light filing to do, and the corners need worked, but that work can be done in the house where it's warm)
The bottom three slots have just been touched up a little with the burr and the dremel (knocked the slag and real high spots off so they file better).
Hopefully I'll get this or some drywall knocked out tonight after work.

Thanks for stopping by,

03-14-2006, 10:20 PM
Well With a little bit of Filing with my "Little" File, I've got the Slots smoothed out mostly. Still need a little work in the corners and ends.
My "Little File"

The Vent

Last week at the end of the week I got a neat surprise. I received a laser cut plastic dome ring. Thanks Andy. It's of the Same design as the wood one I made a few weeks ago.

the plastic one.

the wood one.

Now I just need to get it mounted.

LocalNut Job and Astromech Tech.............Part Jawa, Part Wookie

03-15-2006, 07:32 AM

I've got allot left. Not all the electronics are done ....maybe 20% are complete. THe frame and bbody are 90% complete. I still have to etch the dome, wire the whole thing up, mount the last motor, mount the center leg (and foot shell). Then thereis the PC install...Haven't even started that. I'm probibly 60% complete with all of R2.....Big thing Is PAINT...It's gotta get warmer here some time!

This will be a fixed 3 Leged R2...I had to give up the space for 3-2-3 mech to the computer. It's cool because I've been using ILM's carbon fiber R2 as my referance, it's a fixed 3 legger as well.

Well off to work in the spice mines again!


03-21-2006, 11:52 PM
Hello R2 Fans, Well another weekend has come and gone....And I have more progress to report (and Pics for you!). This installment of the R2Server Worklog will be Pic heavy, I had a camera women in the workshop on Saturday so there's action shots for you.

The goal of this work session is to get the panels cut into the center foot shell. The Panels allow access to the wheel and the mounting bolt for the foot to ankle connection on the center foot. So the panels need to be removable. Plus they add the extra little detail that's on the Real R2.

We start by laying out the cut. The goal is make all the black disappear.

Then Make some starting cuts with the Dremel, so I can get the jigsaw balde in and do most of the cutting. The Jig saw cuts through the sheetmetal faster then the dremel (and cheaper....I use less cutoff wheels this way). Here's what the cuts look like after the jigsaw.

The turns in the corners were to tight to get with the jigsaw, and there is not enough clearance between the steel and the channel on the top. These areas will be cut with the Dremel.

I think that's the first shot of me actualy working in this worklog :)
After some dremeling this is what you get.

And after yet more cutting.

Now the Center sections that were cut out will be reused as the panel doors. To keep them from falling back into the foot shell I made up some sills that will be welded into place.


The sills are laid out on the sheet metal and cut out with tin snips.

Now before I weld everything in It's test fit time. Masking tape is for holding things in place.

After a little heat and some Welding Rod.....

I've still gotta make the clasps that hold the panels in place yet allow them to be removed for maintenance, but this is what the shell will look like.
I've got some Ideas for the clasp just need to make one up, and test it.

Let me know what you think.


03-27-2006, 03:45 PM
There was progress made on the R2 front ! R2Server is now on 3 Legs. Yeap 3 Legs. I also worked out a panel mounting system for the center foot shell panels. This took a bit of playing and trail n Error, but it works!

To be able to mount the third foot I had to cut out an area the size of the foot shell in the bottom ring (more of those real R2 details, as it's there because that's where the foot would go when r2 is in 2 leg mode....which mine doesn't do!). I started by drilling a hole near on of the corners (yeap it's a little 2.5" hole....Had the hole saw in the drill for running the gas pipe in the body and was too lazy to take it out, but it worked :) ).


Now A little Jigsaw action and bob's your uncle I'm done.

A little aside, as you can tell from the above pics...there's carpet there, yeap it's the middle of the living room. If your married and you whip out the jig saw and start cutting 3/4" plywood in your living room...be prepared for some flak..... I'll tell you my wife is great! I've done all kinds of R2 building this winter in our home (in the living room). But I've been told many times (by her and others) that most wives don't take to kindly to that sort of thing. So be warned!! Back to the Building

To connect all the legs together (better weight transfer) and maximize space. I used 3/4" Black steel gas pipe. There are floor plates on each outer leg, a union and a Tee between the two legs.
Here I'm getting the connections good and tight.

Once everything was nice and tight I installed it into R2 (that's why there's a union there....)
The third leg (a long piece of pipe) is attached to the downward leg of the tee. The ankle and pipe are joined by cutting a 1/4" notch out of the pipe slipping the ankle in and running 2 1/4" bolts through the pipe and ankle.


The Foots on but what about the panels?

Well I simply welded a tab across the top of the panel (sorry no pics?).
That was the easy part. Then I had to figure out how to latch the bottom. The Answer Clips. I brazed on 2 #8x32 machine bolts to the back of the panel.


Then I made some wing clips out of scrap sheet steel, bent to perfection (ok hillbilly perfection) and used a cut down #8x32 Machine screw to hold it in place.


The Finished Product from the outside.


With R2 Standing on his own I just had to slip a few details that are laying about in place and take a Work In Progress Pic. (haven't had one for a few months). as you can tell I'm really excited about this....In fact my wife kept telling me to go to bed (it was only 1Am) but I couldn't till I got this shot.....

The End is in sight, I was really worried that I wouldn't finish before MML. Still no guarantee...but I feel a whole lot closer (for the moment!)

Let Me know what you think,

04-04-2006, 02:56 PM
I was pretty busy this weekend working on R2.

I was able to get the second foot mount mostly welded up (still have to attach the mounting points)


After these welds I was out of O2....so I moved on (got the tank refilled Monday so we're good to go!)

Most of Saturday was spent fighting with this skirt template.


The Problem is that it's curved and on an angle. so the angles are complicated. It took 10-12 templates to get it figured out.

I got all the plastic cut out and mocked up.


Then started the glue up (it's held in with Epoxy....don't want it going anywhere! and I ran out of Rubber contact cement).


Still have 2 more pieces to glue on, then I'll get you more pics.

When I was making the Utiliy arms a few months ago I had one slight mishap, on the second arm the band saw blade snagged the hand and snapped it off. So I started laying out a new hand.


The Arm is shown too.

Here I've got the new hand cut out and I was toying with the Idea of giving it a pivot point (it's the shaft of a pop rivet). I don't care for the look, and the hand slides off to easy. Think it's getting glue together.


I also Ordered R2's Computing parts.

From Mini-box.com

VIA EPIA MII12000 (http://www.mini-box.com/s.nl/sc.8/category.99/it.A/id.361/.f)

M2-ATX DC-DC ATX Automotive Computer Power Supply (http://www.mini-box.com/s.nl/sc.8/category.13/it.A/id.424/.f)

AC-Dc 12V 8.5A Power Supply (http://www.mini-box.com/s.nl/sc.8/category.13/it.A/id.279/.f)

From Newegg

Seagate 250Gb 7200RPM IDE Hard Disk (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16822148062)

CORSAIR Value Select 1GB DDR400 Ram module (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16820145505)

I also contacted a fellow R2 builder that created these display boards for the group @ C3. http://www.astromech.net/c3/Lists/Placards/BuilderBoard.jpg
He's going to make me a set for MML (so I don't have to stand by R2 for 4 days answering the same Q's)


Lastly my wife and I got a few new tools from Home Depot. They are having a "Power Tool" sale you get a gift card back for so much if you spend so much, also they're having "a sign up for a Home despot credit card save 10%" drive too. So being the tight wads we are we did both.
The rough price for all was about $700, we paid about $600 and will get a $125 gift card too. Now we just have to wait 3-4 days so the balance can post then I'll pay that card off (and not use it again :) )
Yeap, My Tax Refund came in :)

Now I can look forward to assembling more stuff. Wife wants some shelves and cabinets made, now that I have the tools, crap she always finds away around my excuses! :)

As Always let me know what you think!


What the heck to they mean insert tab A into slot B....There's not slots just a bunch of square holes?

04-10-2006, 11:37 PM
Well after some time spent welding and adjusting the second motor mount is finished.


After even more welding brazing and drilling, the motor mount is mounted in the foot shell


So now I have two completed feet :)


The nice UPS man came to my house again today:)
The Heart of the case mod is here!


Now I've gotta design a mount for everything. I'll get to that this week.

Let me know what you think.


04-17-2006, 01:57 PM
Well there's not much to report on the R2 front...Was out of town all of last week (for work), and I'm going to be gone again this week...:( But while I was gone I got 2 more boxes of R2 goodies :)

The First one was from DarkJediKeith (he pours the best Resin R2 Parts!), It was a box full of Resin details for R2, Sweeeeeet !

There will be very little clean up to do on these :) So I'll be washing them, then a light Alcohol bath, dry primer and Paint!.....When I get home.

The Other box was the Netgear 108Mb Wireless Network card.

This will help him interface with those pesky Trash compactors on level 9!

I hope to get most of the building done in the next few weeks so that I have a couple of weeks to spend painting him, and working out all the wiring!


05-01-2006, 12:25 PM
Well It's Great To be Home! If you have not noticed The R2 Updates have been none Existent for the last few weeks, That's because I've been away on Business. I'm back! , at least for a few weeks.

I spent a couple of days setting up the new tool! Here she is in all her glory.

With the Saw set up I've Started on the Booster Covers, What I thought would be one of the hardest parts to make. Not Now! Here's a shot of the booster covers on the ILM R2D2.
(It's the blue thing down the middle of the Leg)

Here's what I started with....Yeap a 2x4".

So I ripped about 1/8" off each side, a 1/2" off the back and Put this Bevel on the top. I did this on a 2x4" long enough to make both the booster covers out of. Saves setup time :)

The next step was to layout the outline of the booster cover, I used my Handy Dandy 1:1 print out for this.

Once the layout was transferred I cut it out on the band saw. (Quicker then the jigsaw and straighter on this thick stock).

Now you can see that the top of the booster cover (I'm going to call the head) is much thicker then the bottom, and is tapered. So I'm going to make it out of another piece of 2x4" Ripped down to 1" thick and just as wide as the cover. Then I'll hit the bottom with a rounding bit in the router, and finish the curve with a drum sander on the drill press (I forgot Pics for some of this....allot of trial and error here till it worked).

Ok so now the back of the head is flat and the Booster cover is beveled how do you glue them together? Easy Flatten the area where the head meets the cover :)

Now I'll add some of the basic details, the small lines were cut in with a hand saw the larger groves at the bottom a 1/4" round head router bit in the drill press...If you've got a buddy with a milling machine....Use him It's hard to keep the bit going straight (of course my drill is cheap and has a ton of run out...that's when the bit and or the head of the drill wobbles and are not dead straight when pressure is applied.) But a little filing and it will be all good. And Remember that all this wood will get a lite coat of bondo to keep the grain from popping up when painted. So Little things can be repaired then too.

Now Lets dry fit the basic parts before the glue up starts.

Now a Healthy does of Gorilla Glue and a clamp, and we're all set.

Once this Dries I'll start working on the last bits of details, for this one then Repeat for the other side. Took about 5 hours to make this one, but I also made the rough cuts for the second (the bevels and Ripping the stock to size) so it added time on, and now I know how to do it....The second one will be much easier and quicker.

As always Let me know what you think, and Click on the pics for bigger views.


By the way, R2 is going to MML....Even If I've gotta work on him in the parking lot !!!

05-03-2006, 11:02 AM
Well here's just a little update. I spent last night finishing up the detail on the first Booster Cover and Started Cutting out the second. I'm not going to bore you with a rehash of the process just the end results.

Here Everything is glued and clamped up. (Yes, Masking tape counts as a Clamp in my world!!)

And with the clamps (and tape) removed. I've got to clean up the glue overflow (Gorilla glue foams) and sand evrything smooth. Then I'll be getting out the Bondo. (Ok, I already bondoed part of one....Remember kiddos that when you clamp wood up make sure that you have a block between the clamp and your finished peice....cause if not you have a nice big divot where the clamp was.!)

That's all from Hillbilly LAbs.......More later, Yeap we're getting closer to paint everyday.....Soon, Very Soon.


05-08-2006, 12:14 PM
This weekend I was back in Ohio. My Niece had her first birthday on Saturday. But even with that I was able to move forward a little on R2

A few months back you may remember me making these things for the feet.

Well they needed some adjustments. So This weekend They Got adjusted and Brazed into place.

Now I can start the bondo phase (that's just one phase short of paint!)
I'll be running some wire down the legs to run the motors, then putting all the plastic back on them, this week as well as starting all the putty and primering on the Legs, Booster covers and Horseshoes (basicly the whole leg and leg details). Then this weekend I'll start on the mobo mount (I know that's why your all here! is for the PC part!)

Wish me luck...cause I'm going to need it to finish on time!


05-09-2006, 03:44 PM
I got home Last night and had a package Waiting for me:)
It was the Ball caster I ordered from Atwater Arch. It's a 4" ball in this bad boy....I'll not be getting caught up in sidewalk joints with this thing!!!


On a bit of a down note, My wife left me today and took the Digital camera with her :(

But She'll Be back

She's spending 10 days doing veterinary aid in Honduras, Like I said before She's very giving and loves People as well as animals (still doesn't explain why she married me?)..... So I'll not have any pic to post for a bit.. There is a chance that I'll hook up the R2 web cam and could use it for pics, but the image quality is really bad on that thing (640x480 I think is wishful thinking for it!).

I'm going to try and Get R2 moving for mml, But it still depends on weather or not I can get a speed controller in time. So I'll wire him like he needs to be and then I'll start bondo and painting.


05-15-2006, 02:39 PM
OK, You all talked me into it!
I'm shooting for R2 to be moving for MML :)
SO, I ordered this


It's the ScorpionXL from Robot Power.http://www.robotpower.com/products/scorpion_XL_info.html
It's a nice little Speed controller, that should take care of R2's movements.

With that on orde I started bondoing R2's feet....(by the way I hate bondo, not the product..just the whole putty,sand,putty,sand,putty,sand thing I've got going on.. Might help if I wasn't so ANAL :) ) Sorry no pics...but I'll make sure I put some up later in the week (you know when my wife gets back with the camera).

On deck this week, more putting, and sanding, also going to whip up the mobo tray and hard drive mount (drawings nearly complete...I'll post them instead of pics) .


05-22-2006, 12:02 PM
It's been a bit since we've had a proper update to this worklog! So here we go!

Well the putting and sanding is mostly done on the feet, as you can see they've got a coat of primer now. There's some light touch up work to be done yet be there close.
If you look at the top of the pic you can see the Red and White 14Ga Power wires for the motors are ran down through the legs.

I also have the battery boxes, (they'll mount to the inside of the feet) These were hand crafted from PVC plumbing pipe (thanks Craig!!).
Now I just need to make a few holes for the motors and mounting and they'll be ready for prep and paint.

While we're on the feet I also got the Caster mounted in the front foot.
The center foot needs prepped and bondoed.

The Speed controller showed up this weekend (Great shipping!). So I hit Advanced Auto, where I found a nice Fuse block, some 15A and 30A fuses, and some 10Ga wire (for the battery to Speed controller link).

I want to place the Mother Board Tray and Hard disk before I mount the Speed controller and fuse block (so everything is neat and tidy). So I whipped up a Mobo Tray out of some 1/8" Aluminum. Still need to drill the holes for the standoffs but I'm having trouble finding a M3 tap locally....Might have to go to plan B (Radio Shack...If they carry standoffs any more?). I'm going to have to Remake the HDD mount ....It wasn't Square I slipped while sanding the edge smooth and took about 1/16" to much off of one end.

I also started and completed a "Mini-mod" I upgraded the battery pack in my Radio. See it came with an old NiCad pack (700MAH) and they don't sell any that are better. So I bought 8 AA NIMH (2200MAH) Batteries and modded the battery pack I had, by cutting the old batts out and using some Brass shim stock from the local hobby shop to join the NIMH batts together in the correct orientation. Now The Transmitter should run all day on one charge :)



Sunday after noon was spent Redrawing the lines that needed etched on the dome (some late night drawing before left some very crooked lines). With that done the Etching can begin.

So I've got allot of work ahead of me, but for the first time in a while it feels like the MML Dead line is doable. He will not be all done and some of the smaller details will be missing but, you'll know it's R2 and most people will not notice the missing pieces.

Expect More From the R2 Camp...As every night here at Hillbilly Labs is a Work night till MML!

Crazybillybob, heading back to the LAB!

06-06-2006, 10:23 AM
Just a little update (no pics....Tomorrow Promise) Just so you all know I'm still alive....been hard at work lately!
I've been Wiring....and wiring to get R2 Running around under his own power. He's very close Just need to punch a few holes into the feet (for the wires to run through) , attach the connectors, and finish up a brace for the speed controller (after a little talk with the guys from Robot power, I decided that to help improve airflow over the SC that it needs to mounted vertically, hence a new bracket!). Oh and there has been painting.....of detail parts..

Back to Work,

06-07-2006, 03:03 PM
Here's the Pics I promised! and a little update.

The Wiring for the Drive motors is all installed.

I didn't get the Speed controller mounted because I ran out of Screws....Picked some up today at lunch so It will be installed tonight!

That means that Hopefully I'll have some action pics to post tomorrow :)

I've also been working on getting the legs back to looking perdy, I've started by gluing the inside skin back on the legs. http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/cbb/R2/LegSkin_reglue_big.JPG
The Edges should be glued back on soon, just waiting for the inside to dry good.

The nice Pretty Battery boxes that I got from Craig needed moded a bit, because my motors stick out of the inside of the feet. So I had to put a 2 1/2" hole in the side so that the box seats flat on the foot.
The hole is a 2 1/2" top Radius, the bottom is flattish, just the shape the motor needed to fit.
Here it is with the Batt Box in place on the foot. (It's held there with tape for now, need to run a couple of screws in to hold it.

I also was busy Sanding and puttying, priming and painting.
Here's a big lot of Details All primered up, Drying before they are wet sanded (the second time for the eye pieces).

And Here are the Power Coupler insides after their repaint job.

There's still allot left to do, but things are getting there. I hope to finish the etching on the dome tomorrow night. That way I can have the paint done on it Saturday....That will give me a few good days of Dry on the clear.

Crazybillybob.......Back to work!

06-08-2006, 09:46 AM
Well after allot of work and a bit of sweating (you know the last Speed controller I hooked up Exploded into flames inches from my face!)
The Scorpion XL is installed and All wired up.
As The directions For the Scorpion State I tested it with out the motors attached (pulled the fuses), Then did a quick calibration (jumper setting on the SC board). About this time my Transmitter Batteries died (what They've been sitting on the shelf for a month....never thought about them discharging), So It was late last night I but the Transmitter on the charger and went to bed. Planning on testing R2 after work today..... Well When I got up for work I walked by R2 and just couldn't leave him sitting there so close with out knowing. I hooked up the Batteries and fired up the transmitter...... He's FAST!!! :shock: , after playing gently with him for 10 mins I had to see what he could doo, Well I goosed the throttle, from 0 to full...... R2 Just about flipped over backwards.....He Rode the wheelie about 3 foot (that's how fast he is, I let go of the throttle as soon as I saw the front wheel clear the ground!) My wife saw me playing with him, and couldn't resist, she drove him around in a little circle for abit too (I knew she'd come around!!!) Well I did end up being about 10 mins late for work.... Played to long and got stuffed in traffic. So I don't have any video for you.... But I'll try and get the web cam out this weekend (It's not great quality but, you see him move!) and post a video .....OOOOW Outside, where I can open him up and not worry about my walls :)

Well, Back to work!
CrazyBillyBob <- A very Happy RedNeck!

06-08-2006, 12:50 PM
The Projector Works, I just have to test the new lamp I designed. It's 22 UB 3mm White LEDs surrounding a 1W LED.....(Yeap it's bright) I bread boarded it to check brightness. Then I etched a nice board (2 concentric circles around the 1W) It runs on 3Vdc so I've gotta wire up a LM317 to deliver 3Vdc (will do up to 1A so we're good on power). Once that's done I'll install it into the projector and button that up.

The Must be done by Wednesday (6/14/06) List is.
Wet Sand and paint the Holoeyes (Chrome)
Finish etching the dome, cut out the holes for all the details on the dome.
Mask off Prep and paint the Hypo Blue area's of the dome.
Mount the Mini ITX Mobo (on Tray then mount tray in R2)
Mount HDD
Load XP Pro, Updates, Virus software, BF2, BF2 (Battle front, battle field), Load custom R2 Sound software that includes Web cam control.
Mount all the details on the dome.
Mount Projector in dome.
Mount Web cam in Dome
Mount dome on Plastic ring.
Mount Lazy Susan to dome and Frame.
Find a 12V Battery charger, and 12V battery (for PC when not plugged in)
Paint and mount Utility Arms
Mount as many body details as I have painted or fabbed.
Place plastic filler Panes in place (some places on R2 need filled in)
Paint Feet, legs and body
Mount Rear Door and latch.
Build Crate to transport R2. Have Drawings and wood, just not done yet!
The inevitable crap I don't know needs to be done before one of the above can be finished. Plus pack up all my Crap For MML (My Rig, Gear and clothes, As I have a 5hr drive to Ohio to meet the Waffle Train, then a 7hr drive to MML, I've gotta pull out of Lansing by noon or 1 on Wednesday)

At this point Saturday Afternoon I'll be breathing paint fumes! (allot of Paint fumes), First thing in the morning I have to hit Harbor freight and Sams (for some tools and battery Equipment!)

To Quote BNL....
"Who needs Sleep, you know your never going to get it!" :redface:


06-08-2006, 02:19 PM
I do have some Shock absurbing material for the HDD. Though I'm pretty sure that it will only minorly help if R2 flipps. I'm hopeing that when I get the 4 12V 4.5AH Drive motor Batts mounted, and the 12V batt for the PC in place that the CG drops and the flipping becomes a none issue. I'm also thinking about limiting the output from the Transmitter (I've got a comp Radio, so I can set the out put of both channel 1 and 2 to max @ 75%, which will still be fast, but will limit the wheelies with N008 Drivers). The Shock mounts are two layers of this 1/8" Rubber Gasket Matrial that we use on test engines @ work (high temp, air tight), I think it will cut down on basic Road Vib, but not sure that theres a good way to save it from a flip (unless I mount in a Spring harness like they did with Nitro...back in the old days). But I had thought of that and it falls under the "Mounting the HDD" heading so your not adding work. :D That's the other reason the DVD Writer is not in there perminently yet, I don't want to break it the first time out.


06-12-2006, 12:22 PM
Well here at the HillBilly Labs we've learned one thing this weekend....R2 Dome Suck!, They suck Time, Must be a special property of the Aluminum that it's made out of. Well my Plan to have this thing painted Saturday afternoon...Failed. The Dome was half etched when I started Friday night, It took another 6 hours to finish the etching, 6 Hours to finish adding all the holes, 5 hrs to mask and prep for paint, about 3.5 hours to prime and paint.
But It's painted!! And I didn't get that video up for you all :( Sorry R2 Hasn't moved again since the first day (to busy with the dome!), To add to the mess I realized Sunday morning that the center foot has never been bondoed :shock: So I spent a few hours working on that (while paint was drying outside). But You guys want PICs.....Here you go!

Here I'm etching the dome. The Dremel (Craftsman type) Is no longer with us....It coughed up smoke and blue sparks several hours after this pic was taken....Still under Warranty...So Back it goes....Current count R2 2 Dremels 0

To make the Various Sized round holes in the dome I used a single bladed hole cutter (Widow Maker) to etch a perfect circle about 1/4 through the aluminum. Then I made the center hole much larger (so the Jig saw blade would fit) then I cut lines from the center to the outer ring, that left me with "Hanging Pie" pieces. I used some pliers to bend the pie wedges in and out till the broke off. The hole cutter was set to be just abit smaller then I needed Then I used files and a sanding drum to bring the hole to the correct Size. (not pictured) The Squareish and rectangle holes were cut out with the Jig saw (Dremel died trying to cut the first pie wedge) then filed to size.

Here's the Dome Etched and Cut Ready for Masking!

Masking was a two setp Process, The fist being to mask the edges of all the panels to be painted blue.

The next Setp was to cover the large areas that will stay silver after painting.

Once Masked I wiped the exposed parts down with denatured alcohol (again). Then 3 coats of primer was laid down (forgot to snap pic). Then 3 Coats of Metallic Purple was applied.

Next 2 coats of blue candy was applied.
Followed by 4 coats of Clear.

A hairdryer was used to help speed up the drying time between each coat...(The Temps dropped to 55f Shortly after sundown Sunday night)

While the Primer and others were drying ( and to get me away from the dome) I laid and sanded a coat of bondo on the center foot, The picture is of the second coat of bondo (filling in some air bubbles and low spots).

Tonight I'll remove the paint mask from the Dome and Start mounting the Holoeyes and L brackets for the attachment of dome to Disk, as well as finish up the sanding of the Center foot (hopefully I'll get some Primer on it too!). I'm not going to Promise anything on the Video but I'll get one up ASAP!

Now Back to Work!


06-13-2006, 10:44 AM
It was another late night @ HillBilly Labs. Progress was made and Pitfalls Appeared :( But The Mood was light and the hour late.

After some work with a razor knife (to free the tape from the paint, by scoring a line at the edge of the tape, you pro's have got to tell me what I did wrong!) The dome's paint job appears. And He looks good in Hypo Blue !!


And After much thought and discussion (thanks Dave, Tolk, and My Wife) The feet were painted (Ok Primered) White... I know that before they get a final cot of paint that there is a bit more body work to do, so the white primer does two things it blends the body and feet together and points out some of the spots that need to be fixed..... It's both Form and function, I love it when a plan come together (name that 80's Tv Show, and for bonus point the character that made it famous!)
The Center foot (leg details in the background)

The Out Side Feet

The Hand made L Brackets to hold the Dome to the Plastic Ring were fabed (just some alum L channel cut to 1/2" lengths with a 1/4" hole drilled in the "Bottom" side. I laid out 8 points on the inside of the dome about 1.5" up from the lip. The Brackets were then mount in place with JB-Kwik (the tape is just to keep them from moving till the JB setts!), also the Screws for the Rear Logic display were JBed into place.

Now on to the computer type front, The motherboard Tray had it's brass stand offs installed. Hopefully the mobo gets mounted and the OS will be loaded today.

Your Reading this going , he said pitfalls, I don't see any pit falls???
We're getting to that point now. I tried to get one of each of the major detail pieces painted in there proper color last night, with grave results. I'm not sure what happened but on the booster cover the blue clouded up with in minutes of being applied (didn't use any clear....just more to sand off). The utility Arm had an even worse reaction the Paint just bubbled up and off of the arm... The only thing that I can think of is that I was close to the end of the can of blue candy and was trying to finish with what I had (the auto store is closed at 11pm here, and it's the only color that I don't have 2-3 cans of :( ) So these pieces will need to be stripped down, but I'm not sure that they'll get done before MML....(Not on the Priority list any more!)

So It was a mixed night, but I got allot done (What I don’t get home from work till 7Pm, and 2am is bed time...Still have to work :) )

Tonight will be mounting night, Every thing gets installed in R2. Dome Details, Battery supports, PC, HDD....you name it it's getting stuff in place. Also My wonderful wife is going to head up the R2 Crate project for me tonight (thanks babe!!!)


Trying to "Work" work done .....and failing, my mind keeps drifting to R2.

06-13-2006, 10:48 AM
Missed the Pics of the Bad Paint.

Clouded Booster Cover
Blustered Utility Arm


06-19-2006, 04:35 PM
Here's the video that I promised :)
The First one is a short demo of R2 Running.
For fun R2SRV was entered into the MR. WSVG contest, here he is doing a dance.

More pics from MML will show up shortly.


06-21-2006, 01:18 PM
Yeah, Go back into my work log, I go into some details on how to make your own.... I think the end cost was less then $50us..... not counting the ac to dc convesion I'm doing (using a boat load of UB LEDS for a light source instead of a bulb). It's built I just need to get the light source installed then the whole projector mounted into R2.


06-22-2006, 10:29 AM
I notice in the moving videos the outside leg feet are not aligned with the ground, but aligned with the leg supports, yet I could swear the feet should be parrallel to the ground.

Looks awesome great to see it moving!

Your Absilutly Right, The Foot shells kept moving on me (even though they are Torqued down as tight as I can get them), It's due to the weight of R2 and the speed/Torque that is being transfered as he rounds the corners. That is also why I Want to pin the feet as soon as I can.

As for the Auto Track, It's a feature that I've thought about but will only be able to make happen when/ if I make R2 autonimous..... Still Wrastling with this, he weighs in at around 150Lbs, and is very fast....he could hurt some one very easily and I plan on taking him to childrens events when completed...That could be bad news together. But it's still a thought.


08-28-2006, 10:52 AM
This Log is not dead!!!
R2's coming back from Summer Vacation Shortly :)


Battery Life is Crazy....On one Set (2 X 12V 4.5AH) R2 Ran At MML for 4-6Hrs....That's the DRIVE SYTEM :) and he's got 2 sets a Primary and a backup. I'm very happy about the Run Time. I have to keep both sets of Batts in R2 So that He Doesn't do wheelies so much....(Still does plenty of wheelies thou.....In fact I've had him Flip over on his back....An other R2 Builder saved him from hitting the floor ). I'm still looking for a big 12V Batt (12-18AH) for the PC side. I've got Lots of Things to do to R2 and now that my Summer Time "Out Side" home Improvements are wrapping up I'll get back to them.

Ready to MOD!!!

09-13-2006, 01:58 PM
Well now that summer is drawing to an end I'm back working on R2-SRV, but before we get into that some pics from the 2nd annual Midwest builders meet held in Chicago on Aug. 5 this year. Target Practice drove up from Columbus, Ohio to attend with me. The Turn out was good, It was held at the Comfort Inn so we had a few of the kids staying the drop in to see why all the R2's were running around, (Just something about one of these little guys driving through the parking lot that draws a crowd).


There were some new Droids there, The purple one is quick! The beat up two legged Droid is made out of Cintra (PVC foam core boards), the dome is Resin (it weighs more then the body does!!), it's static display model but pretty :)

Everyone's favorite Little Mini R4 was back too.

And Of course we had Food, Good Droid Food :)

The Builders Meet Really got me fired up to finish R2 (plus I've got some Ideas for a new mod but one at a time....for now ) But a vacation, and boat load of work (work work ,and wife work) has keep me busy since then. But I finial got to work this weekend on R2.

I'm trying to make a set of stiff inserts for the front doors (on the right and left of R2's chest). I have the outer layer there in styrene, but the doors keep wanting to flatten out, and the body is round so it doesn't work so well. The doors are to be moveable (open close) so that I can put things in there.....not telling what yet don't want anyone hopes to get dashed :) This spring I get a set of battery boxes for R2 from one of the other builders (he makes then in his basement) and there made out of PVC pipe, heated, reshaped, with extra PVC parts glued on. He also showed a group of us how to reform PVC, it was easy. So I thought after my fiber glassing mistakes that I'd try the PVC path for these doors.

First thing to do was get some pipe......Off to Home Despot!
An 8 foot section of 3.5" thin wall PVC pipe....Perfect

After a meeting with the Chop saw....A more manageable 20" piece of pipe.

Next a trip to the table saw, to split one side of the pipe length wise (pic didn't turn out of this)

Then I heated the PVC with my heat gun...Spread it out (Make sure to wear gloves that plastic gets HOT!!!) Reheat and smash between two pieces of 3/4" plywood. You get some thing like this...

I know your thinking....That's not going to help make the doors curved....your right, but it makes it easier to remold it when it's flat.

So I broke out my handy dandy R2 Shaped form thingy

Heated the PVC and formed it over the plywood section.
Well the our come sucked, It's too deeply bent in the middle, too shallow on the edges and there's a big dimple in the center.... :(

Well I got looking at my form (cause every thing I pull off it is screwed up the same way.) there are high spots where the support members are, low spot where there not and the edges flex way to much....it's junk!

So I decide that I'll make a solid buck this time. After a bit of tracing (the out side edge of R2 where the doors will be) I came up with this Profile template.
So I know how high and wide the buck needs to be. If I glue up some 2x4" scrap it'll fit, after a quick dive in the scrap box I get the pieces I need. Then I realize that I don't own any bar clamps...and this thing is going to be 18" long and 12" wide....what to do??? Redneck Tech..I pulled out my ball of bailer twine (yes this really came off of hay/straw bales) and some scrap wood. The Twine goes around the pieces to be glued then into a hole at each end of the scrap wood. This way when you twist the scrap wood you tighten the string.....Being that this is a buck and not a finished work, I just dry wall screwed the scraps to the buck to keep them from loosening.

( No one's Questioning my Handle now are they :) )

The Gorilla glue dried over night, I'll scrap off the extra with a sharp chisel.

Then Run the ends through the table saw (so we know that there square) and we've got a 17" blank.
Now two more trips through the table saw to get as much extra wood off as we can before the profile is roughed in (the profile was drawn on the end of the blank to set the cuts)

With all the Wood removed that can be with the saw, the blank is clamped to the bench and Roughed in by hand (yeap, a jackplane , Chisel and rubber mallet).

Once it was roughed in (very close to perfect), the belt sander smoothed things up, I check the profile intermittently with the profile template, marked the hig spots and sanded them down, checked marked , sanded...repeat till perfect.

At this Point I heard the Announcer on the radio say "Good Wednesday morning, it's 12:07 here at " and realized I need ed to be going to work in a few hours.....sleep would be smart. So I'll see how this buck works and let you all know !

It’s Great to be back !!!!


09-28-2006, 12:31 PM
After much delay and deliberation, I've started on the Dome Electronics...Yeap some of the R2 Bling will be going in.

I'm starting first with the front logics. These were Designed by the founder of the R2 builders club, with this run being made by Ben and Jason (ok, I helped in the Prototype stage and finding the PCB fab shop).
The Displays, randomly flash and fade 40 3mm Ultra Bright LEDs (mix of Blue and white) It also has the ability to scroll a message across like a marquee, when triggered. The Message is programmed by a serial connection. (think a little adapter and hyperterm), and trigger by dropping the trigger line to Gnd.

This is what I started with....Looks like fun :)

After some work and a bit of time (about 45min to an hour each) I ended up with these things.
The LEDs a packed very tightly so soldering them is painful!

But the Results they are worth it!
You'll not that it looks like the lights are turned off in the room in this picture. They are not, in fact it's as brightly lite as is was in the previous two pics. The LEDs are so Bright the camera darkened everything around them.

The next step is to be able to trigger that scrolling message remotely. To do that I need a remote switch..... Well I've got less channels on my 7channel remote then I've got thing to switch (ok or planed things :) )
So I'm going to start making a multiplexer....sort of.
I'm going to make a plate that will allow a servo ti sit in the middle and toggle diffrent switches on and off based on how far the servo wheel spins.

I'm starting with a piece of that flattened PVC I have left over from the door panels gone bad.
Then I'll cut out a square the size of the top of the servo, and mark and drill 4 pilot hole for the screws to hold the servo to the PVC. Then mount the Servo.
I also had to use a bit of scrap PVC to raise the roller switch to the correct height. As I add more devices I'll be adding more roller switches. In the above pic the switch is in the off position.
In this pic you can see that the roller has fallen into the notch that is cut into the servo's wheel, this is the on position. The great thing about the roller switches is that they have both normally open (when no pressure is on the switch there's no connection) and normally closed (when no pressure is on the switch there is a connection). What this feature allows me to do is depress the switch when I want it off and turn it on when I release the switch.

Now I need to work on mounting the Logics....That will be next time on this old Droid!


once mounted I'll get some video of the scrolling message.

10-11-2006, 11:13 AM
Part of today's update will be off on a tangent.
Over the weekend I setup R2 to be a Mechwarrior 4 Mercs Online Server, with the MekTek Mech Packs ( Downlaodable here (http://www.mektek.net/mekpak/download.html?B3=I+AGREE)). He's up 24/7 come and join in (Redneck Games). So I've been playing a bit of Mechwarrior lately! I've got these cool joysticks for it (Saitek X45's) and found out they work in BF2, and BF2142 (they didn't work in BF1942 that's why I stopped using them) Well Sitting back in my Desk chair my lap was getting crowded and I was getting my butt kick because I had to fish the track ball up off the floor, or one of the joysticks, or I'd hit some keys with the joys it was just bad.... So I built a couple of little shelves for my Chair and mounted my Joysticks there (think Rocket Man!!!)


Now everything is Right at hand and mounted solidly (makes flying in Bf so much easier :) )

Close up of Joy

The Saitek Joysticks have mounting slots built into the base, so I just bolted them to the little shelves, a bit of self adhesive Velcro under the TrackBall so it stays where I want it! Very happy with this Rig!

Ok, now to the small R2 update.

To allow the Dome to spin there is a bearing mounted under the dome like so:

So far I've had the bearing only attached to the body frame by 2 screws into this temp Spacer across the middle of the top frame ring.

It worked ok, but over time the weight of the dome bouncing as R2 drives around has started to deform the mounting area on the bearing, as well as letting the Dome bounce back and forth about 1/2" not good! To fix this I'm making a new spacing ring that is .9" thick and 18" in Dia. With a 6" hole in the center. I'll be making it in a similar fashion as the rings for the frame were made...but I've learned a bit so I'm going to apply that new knowledge to make thins go smoother :)

Here we've got the 1/4" birch Plywood and the 3/4" birch plywood, you can see that I have the lines laid out for the 18" circle and the 6" hole. You will also note that there is a circle in between the two, this is where the screws that hold the bearing will go, it will be very helpful in lining up my screw placing template that I made up in CAD.
That's where we're at now... I'll get the rings cut and trued up this week and mounted. I know your thinking is that ALL? nope I've been working on a bunch of stuff for in the dome, but it's not real exciting or photo able yet. I'm working on how to mount the LED matrixes, and the PSI lights...Trebly boring stuff but it must be done... Their also calling for snow here starting tomorrow...So My thoughts of painting this weekend are shot! maybe I'll make the LDP (large data port....It's the blue curved rectangle on the front of R2 just below his dome) not sure yet. Oh, I almost forgot R2SRV is Folding (I'm trying to find the cure Are you?). Till next Time!!


10-26-2006, 01:23 PM
It's been awhile since I've updated everyone on my progress. I have been working more on R2 then will be in this update (gotta get some more pics), but work has been getting in my way of getting a post up (this Fiscal year can't end fast enough!).

In the last installment you saw the bearing spacer plate laid out on square stock. This time you'll see how I get that square perfectly round.

First I cut out a rough circle with the scroll saw (for the 1/4" piece) and the jig saw (for the 3/4" piece). The layout circle was a guide and I tried to leave between 1/8" and 1/4" of space between the cut and the layout line. The out come looks like this.

I created a jig for my router table that allows you to make a perfect circle. It's a piece of 1/4" plywood bolted to the router table with a screw in it, real high tech stuff :) By adjusting the distance between the edge of the router bit and the screw I can adjust the diameter of the circle. To mount the wood to the jig I drilled a 1/8" hole in the center of the board. then use the jig screw to hole the board to the jig. Here's the thin board mounted to the router table.

Just turn the router on and spin the board around, and out come this.

Now I just have to mount the bearing to it and center the whole thing on R2's body....more to come on this.

While I was working on the spacer I figured it was time to take care of those detail pieces that had the blistered paint on them.

After the paint was removed the booster cover got another coat of primer
This is just the first of many!

It's kind of good that the paint on the utility arm bubbled because I didn't like how rough parts of it looked once the paint dried (the area's that didn't bubble) so I started reglazing it, hoping that it will help make the finish smoother this time.

Being that the highs up here are only 50F it's going to take a few days for this stuff to dry so I'll get back to it later. I don't want any cracks or such in them.

It's a lite update for being quite so long but I've been working on some more body details and I'm going to have to adjust some of the drive components so there's more to come real soon (seeing that I've gotta have my little buddy up and running in just over a week for a LAN party)

Your humble hillbilly astromech tech,

12-11-2006, 12:01 AM

I've started looking a diffrent direction for R2's swivel power interface I'm looking into comercial slip rings there not cheap but they can handle more power and alot more signals (like 24 total lines). The Circuit board one that I was looking at makeing would have handled maybe a couple of amps. How much power it could deliver is based on the thickness of the copper on the board, the width of the trace and the surface area of the transfer (the more surface are where the brush and trace meet the lower the resistance = more current).

As for the powering R2's CPU while driving around....I've not implemented it yet. But I'm much closer now, I've just need to order the 12V 12AH battery and build a circuit to charge the battery while alowing the CPU to run from it at the same time. That was a little harder to figure out then one would think, I had to talk with one of the guys I work with to come up with the charging circuit, I just need to buid it now :)

Sorry that's all the help I've got.

12-11-2006, 12:03 AM
So By now your all thinking that I've give up on R2...NOPE Just a little busy.
The part I've been working on has been kicking my butt. The shape has been difficult to covert from 2d Drawing (think a picture with dimensions) into a flat-pack (a drawing that’s used when your going to form everything out of a sheet of flat metal) It's got an angled cut on a curve that took me abit to work out. In this ref pic here there's a cylinder in the way but you get the Idea.
With everything laid out
The Hard part is done Now I just cut each peice out
Then Clamp it up for Brazing, I'm Brazing instead of welding because tese parts are not structural and it's easier to do on this thin sheet metal (22ga).

With It all brazed up and a light bit of sanding (to get all the slag off), The First one is done! One more to go
I only built one at first to make sure my math and drawings were right :) now that this one worked out I'll go ahead and finish the second one (already have it cut out).

The mother board should be back soon, Once that's back I think I'm going to redesign the mother board tray, as I think that it flexed to much and that's what casued the failure.... So if anyone has any new Ideas please let me know!

Well back to the shop!


01-23-2007, 12:54 PM
In this Installment of this old Droid we're showing you how discount LED Christmas lights can be used to Pretty up your Droid. :)

A long while ago you all saw me Drill an absurd number of 3mm holes ( 108 ) in some 1/8" aluminum.

Well I dug it back out for use till a new custom Display can be built (that Scrolls Messages like the front).
Here's the items I have to work with
The LED Christmas lights were on Clearance ($3ea) at Walgreens, but I had to have a Friend ship them in from Florida, Seems the Walgreens here in the North didn’t carry them at all this year. Each set has 20 LEDs strung together, so I'll be using 6 sets (the extra will be bundled up and hidden. They will be driven by a "Pic Flasher" from Carl's electronics (http://www.electronickits.com/kit/complete/ligh/ck1007.htm). The LED Strings run on 4 AA's (6V) the Flasher runs on 9V so I'll just switch out the Resisters that come with the kit for some 390 ohm ones, which will keep the LED's from burning up when run on 9V.

After several hours of random insertion and hot glue you get to this (not quite done but getting there) There's like 3hours of watching movies and burning my fingers in there pwned Not to everyone, Hot glue is hot, and sticky it stays moltten for awhile, and hurts the whole time :) so don't get it on you.

After Testing all the LED strings I tidy up a bit, some black tape, some final connections to the Pic Flasher we're ready to go.
Nope, Some idiot wired all the LED strands backwards to the Pic Flasher... :( It's so Hard to get good help these days!)
By the time I figured that out It was too late in the night to pull all the wires out of the Flasher and fix it.
So Next Time on this Old Droid (tonight) I'll get it rewired, and film the lights running (video forth coming).

Thanks for Tuning in to This Old Droid.
Up next DYI Hyperdrives


This is my first step into the Dome Electronics, I'm hoping that it will kick me in the butt and I'll get the rest pumped out soon ( with the holidays, and my wife not in school for the last 2 months. my motivation has been lacking, hopefully this will change now).

01-24-2007, 11:50 AM
Just to Prove that I'm not Scared of you Dave!! :bunny: :banana: :santa:


This Space For Rent


01-24-2007, 11:50 AM
I've gotten the wiring sorted out on the Rear Logic display.

The Blinking pattern is ok, Not sure what I was hoping for, but it will do!

Here's a Quick link to a Video of the display in action. (http://www.fccmonline.com/LanImages/R2/films/RLogic_mov_big.MOV) (it's 36Mb so modems beware! and you'll need a MOV player like QuickTime to view it).

Now that the display is complete I'm moving on to the next system....
Sound :) I'm starting out with this nice Chinese made I-Fraud I-shuffle Mp3 player.

I'm toying with the Idea of making it radio controlled...How by hacking a cheap Zip-Zap Knock off (that I got last year @ MML for being on a loosing team in Ubisoft's GRAW Tourney....Clancy Section did have it's benefits)
I've gotta do some testing on both first. If you've got any Ideas please share them with me (and the rest of the class :) )

Next time the Dissection of the I-shuffle (and maybe the car)


03-01-2007, 05:38 PM
Holy Cow..... There's a R2SRV Update!!!!

Yep, It's Update time. Wife's been out of town for almost 3 weeks, so Me and R2 have spent allot of time together lately.

I started with installing the Rear door hinges, and getting them Aligned ...that took way longer then it should have!!!

With the hinges in you need something to keep the door shut... So I installed a magnetic latch.
Here's a nice view with the latch installed.

With the rear door in I got ready to install the hinges for the front panels...I got a bit ahead of my self and removed the front skins... Only to notice that I lost part of a hinge... so I've only got one hinge for the door.
I've got a few sets on order now so it ok, but there's something depressing about seeing your project go backwards.

With the hinge debacle It was time to work on something else.
As the motherboard had failed once already due to a cracked trace, I felt that the motherboard tray was probably not heavy enough for all the vibration and movement (both while driving R2 around, and in transporting him to shows). So it was time to make a new motherboard protection system. The old motherboard tray was made out of 0.062" aluminum (about 1/16) with an L bend in one end for mounting. The new "protection system" is made out of 0.152" (over 1/8") Aluminum folded into a box.
This nice sheet of Aluminum came home with me from the metal shop, all ready to protect my motherboard.
After a little run in with the Masking tape roll, and marker the Box is laid out ready to cut.
This stuff is tough to cut!! took 1.5 hours to cut this out on the scroll saw.
Now comes the fun part, bending all this up. I was going into this thinking, the last one was easy to bend I mean it's only aluminum after all. Well Even with cutting 1/2 the way through with the dremel, it was 3 hours of bending for this. My home use two sections of angle iron and a vise bending was making me wish I had a nice pan break by the end.
All you guys that have made whole cases, and mod parts with 1/8" aluminum with just a vise and some wood or metal blocks....Have my full respect now. That stuff kicked my butt, To get it into final position I tried standing on the sides of the box (mind you I'm 6'2", and clocking at 250LBS) and they still wouldn't stay. So I got out the bar clamps clamped the sides and ends in lined up so I could drill and rivet them together. After all that work, you get something like this.
Not bad to start (I think I'll weld up the seams just to clean everything up). Now to layout and cut the hole for the Motherboard I/0, a little file work, drill holes for the MB standoffs and this is what you get.
The masking tape got a little beat up in the bending process but It protected the Aluminum quit nicely. I've gotta get a fan and a couple of switches from All electronics before I can finish the enclosure. I'm also planning some nice detail elements as well. I know it doesn't look like 2 weeks worth of work, but it was. I also got some planning done on my ankles, how to attach them and how to make the middle one. As well as a new light source for my projector (remember that old Idea...Yep it's back too!)
I'm looking at the end press here I'm starting my push for MML6... So keep watching for more fun!


03-02-2007, 02:02 PM
R2 will move around like the Real R2D2...In fact he (R2SRV) made a showing at last years MillionManLAn....

I've posted these before but Here you go again...R2SRV in action

The First one is a short demo of R2 Running.
For fun R2SRV was entered into the MR. WSVG contest, here he is doing a dance.


Will this be a moving or non moving build CBB? What I mean is, will it move around like the real R2D2?

3 weeks with a robot and no wife, that almost sounds like a good thing. lol

03-15-2007, 10:48 AM
Ok, Little update on things here in the AstromechLab..

I worked on the center ankle cover, Not structural just hides all the load bearing members.
I skipped pics of the layout (figured you got the Idea by now :) )
Here is all the pieces laid out, The large one at the top will be folded into a rectangle, the flat area's on the curves at the bottom are just setting there to show what they should look like (test fit).

Then we fast forward through several hours of bending, welding, grinding to get this, still not done the flaps on the bottom need bent into place and welded. I'll use a series of tack welds to hold them into place while bending them from bottom to top. After there bent I'll finish the weld. The Mig welder makes this so much easier and faster then my torches.

With all the welds in place and cleaned up, it's time for a test fit.
You notice that it doesn't go all the way down, the corner of the load bearing member (alum plate in the middle) needs trimmed down... It will need to meet the grinder again. Other then that it looks good.

Next we'll move to the Fan Guard for the 40mm fan that will move air into the Processor protection System (little Alum box that the motherboard hides in). I had several designs that I had trouble picking from but finally settled on this one. Nice R2 Logo with 45degree connections to the screw mount holes (Thanks Grunts!!)
The drawing is spray glue mounted on a scrap piece left over from making the protection system, 1/8" alum taped to keep it from scratching. The quarter is there to show you how big a 40mm fan really is. After an hour or so meeting with the scroll saw, this lovely little thing emerges.
Needs some clean up with the needle files, and a bit of sand paper (yes I know the paper's still glued on...I'll get to that). Well there's a bit of a problem, see the idiot that drew the fan layout, mismeasured the screw mounting holes...
So they don't line up so well, It's useable but not perfect...So I'll be making a new one.....That's why the paper's still on, keep you all wondering how shinny is it really under there??? Well you'll have to wait till next time :)

From the deep bowels of a sand crawler, right next the scrap heap....

04-04-2007, 01:48 PM
I was out of town for a bit (work), so now I'm back and I'll show you what I've gotten done over the last week or so.
I started by mounting outer ankle covers (added just a little more metal to fill in some voids)

With those mounted I focused in on the Center ankle, for it to be mounted I had to cut a recess in the bottom of the frame (about 1/4" of wood was removed from the 3/4" plywood), also I filled the area around the perimeter full of expanding foam ( the .04" styrene was sagging allot, and any bump made it flex). Then the Ankle over was pop riveted into place.
Sorry, It was getting ready to rain when I did the cutting and mounting, so I was in a hurry and forgot to snap pics till I was done.

I also gave in and ordered a 24 contact Slipring (straight from China...that was fun). The Slip ring allows electrical connections to remain constant even when the parts are spinning. With 2Amps max per trace I'll end up using about 21 of the 24 contact straight out of the box, this and signal to noise ratio is why I gave up on building my own.
This thing has nice gold contacts inside, so I can run that USB web cam through it :) and some Serial communication to the logics up there. To make removing the dome less of an issue I attached a DB25 to one side of the slipring.
Getting all these wires hooked up and tested is an on going process so expect to see more of it soon.
I also recut that Fan guard that I messed up, took way less time this go. Still need to file the saw marks out and make it all purrdy but it's getting there.
While I was cutting stuff I took a few minutes to cut a lid out for the Motherboard protection system....Nothing fancy...
We all know that R2-D2 makes sounds, Well So will R2-SRV to do that we need Speakers, well the speakers need mounts that was the next task tackled. I got 1 cut out of 18gauge steel that I have...This stuff is tough to cut with a scroll saw (inside cut can't be done easily with tin snips).
Looks nice, Lets test fit it with the speaker.
Now that I know it really fits, I'll drill the holes in the corners for mounting screws and cut out the second one.

I've got a bit more fab to finish up, I think I'm down to 6-10 parts left to make, and mount the front doors and we're ready for paint (ok,I know I still need to make the Mp3 player work, and mount the projector, and make the 12V battery charger but this can be worked on when the paints wet....I'm trying to schedule it all) Plus with g00se's I7 threating to be at MML too, I need to kick it up a notch ( what, I love the idea of I7 and R2 Racing at MML....any betters out there???) (G00se's work log is @ Gruntville.com)

Please let me know what you think. I also know it's been a long time since I posted a pic of the complete R2 (or at least everything I've got done)... That's coming, I'll post one before paint, then I'll post one after we get to MML when the paint's done...what can't reveal everything too early.


04-18-2007, 09:43 PM
Welcome once again to This old Droid.....
This week we'll get a glimpse of one of the last steel details as it's starting. We'll also make an astablemultivibrator.... Fun! Also there will be a revisit to the motherboard protection system.. Now lets go to the shop.

I've been working on finishing up the fab of all the steel details (so the welder can be switched over to Aluminum welding), I'm down to the last 4 it's really just 4 of the same part, It's a detail on the side of the foot. Here's what I've got done (still more work needed) It's just the face plate.
There will be more work completed on this part this week.
Most of my time was spent working on the more "Fun" part, the lighting.
Their is a yellow/ green oscillating light on the back of the dome. For that I made an astablemultivibrator circuit (big name little circuit, has 2 transistors, 2 capacitors, and 4 resistors in it) a home made PCB makes it a nice little package (the LEDs in the picture are 3mm in Dia)
With the board made and soldered up, I needed some thing to house it.
The white PVC plumbing fittings help space the lights away from the plexi lens in the dome (just a piece of lexan lightly wet sanded 800grit inside and out) so that there are no hot (bright) spots on the lens. Here's what this crazy thing looks like assembled.
When mounted in the dome you get an effect like this Video of Lights running in the dome! (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/cbb/R2/films/PSIInOP.MOV) (file is about 17Mb)
Now I know that you've seen the front logic displays but here's a video of them in action Video of Front Logics running in the dome! (http://www.thebestcasescenario.com/cbb/R2/films/FLDInOP.MOV)

Now that I'm done showing off the eye candy, lets see what’s up with the Motherboard protection system.
The power / reset switches are test fitted in the enclosure (you can also see the holes for the Wireless network adapters antenna near the bottom right corner).
Also the Fan hole has been drilled.
I know I know you want to see that Sweet R2 Fan guard mounted over that hole..... OK, stop twisting my arm! :)

That's where I'm at currently, got allot of work to complete and no time to do it! so keep watching I think it's going to get fun around here!


05-15-2007, 10:46 AM
Spurred along by G00se's I7W7 (http://www.gruntville.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=19870&sid=eae34a7dc5f009ef525a77011f4f77df) progress, and the impending Droid Race at MML, It's time for a little update
The Half-moon details for the feet are finally fully welded.

The half-moon details will be mounted on the sides of the feet Like this (minus the hand ;) )
Just need to drill a couple holes in the foot for mounting.

With that done all of the large pieces are fabbed... I can finish mounting things and start the painting process.

For Painting all of the wood parts get a thin coat of bondo, and/or glazing putty, This hides the wood grain and gives me a smooth surface to paint on.
Here you can see one arm coated in putty the other has been primed and sanded, a few spots have been filled in again....Rinse and repeat!

The booster covers here have been puttied, sanded and primed. The one on the left is all ready for paint, the one on the right needs a few last details glued on and some spots fixed and a few more coats of primer.

While the paint was drying (no I didn't watch it much this time!) The Slip ring was mounted into the frame.

I also started getting the Dome Motor ready to install, It's out of the automatic seat belt that was in my wife's car. Don't worry she doesn't drive it anymore......My Mother in law does :)


I've also been working on some more of the Electronics, no fun pics just designs and what not. Also a few projects around the house, and the fact that I've gotten a new job, back in Ohio that I start soon (about 5.5 hours from home) have kept me busy. I'll be hitting R2 hard for the next few weeks as I have some time off coming...
As always let me know what you think.


08-20-2007, 09:46 AM
What??? An Update..... About Time!!! :)

It's been a while since I got around to posting an update so some of this is a bit dated, but you all have stuck with me this far I'll not start skimping out now!

The first group here is the end of the mad dash to MML this year.

The Big thing was the Paint Job on the body, Legs, and feet.
To start it off I masked off the inside of the droid shell.

Once everything was masked off the painting started... After 2 and 1/2 cans of Krylon fusion (and a few hours of drying time) R2's body looks...well white (it's not really white, it's a bit offwhite but the camera adjusts to make it look white)

I also found some Great stuff for cases, It's Cheap, looks good and holds paint well... What is this miracle stuff?
That's right Aluminum window screen.

This one layer painted and cut to size.

Here's 2 layers of screen glued to the back of the aluminum grill cover. My two Speakers are mounted behind the grills one on each side of the droid's body. I can see this stuff showing up in some of my other mods where I would have used modders mesh before.

Then there's the night before MML (we took off @ 3am Thursday...I didn't sleep at all that night)
This was what the inside of my friend Cytog's garage looked like till about 2:59am :)

There was also some work completed at MML (some Wiring finished..and some repairs from shipping damage)
Target Practice Is lending a helping hand here too.

At this point your thinking WHY!!!
Well here's a few pics from MML6, all I can say is that Running R2 around in a crowd is FUN!!
R2's first kiss.
Some Jedi younglings and their Masters.
Then there's always the Grunts :)
There's also the Droid Races too!

(a special thanks to Cytog... the last few pics were taken by him)

Well after recovering from MML6 I started the push to Finish the last remaining things on R2-SRV In preparation for Showdown LAN 2007 - Indy . Sept. 14-16 2007. The biggest thing not done now is the Dome Rotation.
The first step to getting the dome to rotate is to get the drive wheel mounted on the motor shaft.....

For that you need a shaft adapter (a chunk of metal that is as big around as the hole in the middle of the drive wheel and has a hole in it as big as the motor shaft) how do you get one of these? Well I took a Brass Blank about 1.5 inches around
Added a little Lathe (8x12" model)
Then add in a bored 55 year old father (recovering from a kidney removal) .... Sorry the Old guy is camera shy :)
Mix all that up and leave for work one morning.... When you get home some 8-9 hours later... you have a bored 55 year old guy with this in his hands

With a little work (drilling and taping a setscrew hole) and mounting the wheel you get this ...

Then your company sends you to Texas for 10 days....30 days later I'm still here So I've gotten nothing more done :( But the up side you all will get more R2-Srv updates in the future! (hay, act more excited!!)

Time to pack and hope my flight home is not delayed!! (Edit:....Made It home!!!)


08-21-2007, 08:17 AM
I'm glad to be back cernn!!

The things left to do on R2:
Rewire the 12V Electrical system
Install Dome Rotation motor
Install projector
Install resin Front vents
Install Aluminum Coin returns (3 total )
Install Pocket vents
Repair some damage that happen when I Drove R2 to MML (had some screws shear off and big parts bounced around for at least 100 miles in the crate
This will include some more painting :(

Try very hard to get the second... "Special Edition" Feature in place.

Also get the weathering done.

A much smaller list then before :)

A mu

12-12-2007, 12:50 PM
Small Update.... R2SRV is on Hold for a bit... As it's in Ohio and well I spend most of my time in Tx or MI....Work N Wife. I'll be putting up some Higher res images of him currently after the Holidays (I get to visit him for a couple of days :))


04-22-2008, 12:13 PM
Not really an Update but more of a pimpage

Check out the cover of this Months Servo Mag! (http://servo.texterity.com/servo/200805/?u1=texterity&cache=96FmxBdSDETP&cookies=1)

Also check out A Dorid of your own in this months Nuts and Volts (http://www.nutsvolts.com/preview.php?issue=69)

I've not got much more on R2. I'm in the process of moving (again) and still working in a different state from R2.... Soon He will be complete and I'll be able to start on the next one (mod that is... It will be a bit before the next bot...maybe :) )

Still Alive

08-14-2008, 01:02 PM
What :o More pics! I know it's been a bit since the last update! The new Job keeps me on the road, away from home Alot! So What I've got today is Pics of R2 in his current state.... I've got a few minor things to do to finish him up (a little paint, and some hoses to hook up) I'm planning to have him Complete For Showdown LAN IL the end of Sept.
So with out further lip flapping The Pic's

Close up of the Dome:
http://www.fccmonline.com/LanImages/R2/thumbs/R2_DomeF_close_thm.jpg (http://www.fccmonline.com/LanImages/R2/R2_DomeF_close.jpg)

Close up of the lower Front section:
http://www.fccmonline.com/LanImages/R2/thumbs/R2_FrontF_Close_Thm.jpg (http://www.fccmonline.com/LanImages/R2/R2_FrontF_Close_BIG.jpg)

The Whole Front of R2-SRV:
http://www.fccmonline.com/LanImages/R2/thumbs/R2_front1sm.JPG (http://www.fccmonline.com/LanImages/R2/R2_front1.JPG)

Whole Front Angle shot!
http://www.fccmonline.com/LanImages/R2/thumbs/R2_Ang_f1sm.JPG (http://www.fccmonline.com/LanImages/R2/R2_Ang_f1.JPG)

Hope You like them !!!