Thursday, January 24, 2019

NAMM Convention - 2019

Tonight R2 joined a few other characters to help Comicon International and Roland Corporation announce their partnership at the National Association of Music Merchants convention at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The characters met up with the Comicon staff at the nearby Sheraton hotel, so that they could change into costume. In the meantime, R2 hung out on his cart in the lobby with me and the Comicon staff. (I uncovered him for a pic.)



Once the characters were ready, we made the relatively short walk from the hotel to the convention center. We were an eclectic group (which was the point). I should have recorded this in super slow-motion.



When we arrived at the convention center, we hung out in a "secret room" (which looked remarkably like a storage room) while we awaited our appointed time to appear at the Roland booth for the announcement there. Once they were ready for us, we lined up outside the booth for our surprise appearance. They weren't letting the general public in, this was invite-only.



While we waited, this was all I got to see of the convention. Some 120,000 people will attend this weekend.



I also took a peek into the Roland booth, it was pretty huge.



And finally, in we went as the announcement was made. We lined up in front of the stage. Poor R2 is so short, I don't know if anyone behind the front row saw much of him.



The event was well attended with media and other invitees.




Afterward, we did photo-ops with folks that were in attendance.




And that was a wrap! We walked back to the hotel, and I loaded R2 on up into the Droidmobile and headed home. This was R2's first outing with his new gas pipes, and I'm happy to say they performed just fine.

It's always good working with the folks from Comicon, and I'll be seeing their staff at Wondercon in a couple months.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Wrapped Up Gas Pipe Transplant for Droid #1

Today I finally finished up the work I did to get droid #1's legs closer to the body, by replacing the gas pipes that connect the legs with a slightly shorter set. Time to put Humpty back together again.


But what's this? Somehow a piece of keystock has managed to work itself loose in the drivetrain. That's no good.



I'll shut off the keyway on the axel by hammering it closed just a little bit. That's what I intended to do before, but evidently I didn't do a good enough job.



With that out of the way, I can return to other fun stuff, like fishing the old 75MHz FM antenna down the leg with an unfolded hanger.



I don't use this antenna anymore, but it does serve as a backup to my 2.4GHz radio.



And, done! (Well, I had to reglue an under shoulder detail at the end of the day, but close enough.)




I'm liking the new look. I'm glad after all these years I finally got around to making this change. Hopefully it'll hold up for another 11 years.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

Adjustment for Shoulder Hub Flashing, Filed Flat Spot on New Gas Pipe, Widened Holes for Nuts on Gas Pipe

Today I just about wrapped up work on the gas pipe transplant effort on droid #1.

I started by adding a few layers of masking tape to the inner perimeter of the flashing that wraps around the shoulder discs, to keep things nice and snug. Hopefully this will help prevent the flashing from moving when I install the legs on the body.



Next, I worked on filing the flat spot on the 1" gas pipe, upon which the vertical rail rests. I tilted the droid to its requisite 36° and marked where on the pipe I should file the flat spot. Then I took the work to the garage and started the work with a file.



After I had a bit of a flat spot going, I used the angle grinder to progress a little further.



Before going much further, I took the pipe back to the droid and ensured that things were going as planned. The tilt was still at 36°, so I went back to the garage to continue with the file. I wanted to be more precise with the file than I could be with the angle grinder. A little while longer, and I was done.



Turning to the bolts that lock the pipes together, I found that if I tried to wiggle the legs hard enough when they were bolted together, I was able to move them just a bit. I had this problem with droid #2, and Mike Senna suggested that I drill a larger hole on the side where the nut goes, so that the nut can fit partially through the hole and draw the inner pipe tight against the outer pipe when the bolt and nut are tightened.



That seems to have fixed the wiggle problem.

I started to put the droid back together, but I saw that some keystock managed to work itself loose on the front gear of the right drivetrain, so I'm going to need to fix that. I also managed to knock loose the right-front under shoulder detail, so I will need to glue that back in place. And there are minor white paint dings that the legs incurred during this effort that I need to touch up. Still, the end of the gas pipe transplant is in sight.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Trimmed and Redrilled Gas Pipe

Well, after yesterday's big effort to get everything just right in the gas pipe transplant for droid #1, I slept on it and decided I needed to work on this some more.

It's only somewhere between 1/16" and 1/8", but the legs are far enough from the body that this would bother me if I left things this way. After all, the whole point of this effort is to get the spacing right, and I shouldn't stop now.

I used the angle grinder to trim a bit of material from both pipes.




This also helps with clearance from the pins that help lock the pipe to the flange.



Of course, shortening the pipes also means that the holes I drilled yesterday no longer line up when the pipes are fully interlocked, so that means I have to drill new holes, which I really was hoping not to do. Oh well. Also, I wanted to trim only 2/16" off, but it looks like I trimmed more like 3/16".



That's not too big a deal, I can use the scrap to shim the pipe by about 1/16".




One more pre-drill measurement. Again, I'm shooting for 1/4" on each side.



Ok, that looks good (that's what I said yesterday...). Let's drill. Again.




In the process of drilling 1/4" holes followed by 5/16" holes, I managed to break a 1/4" drill bit.

The shards of Narsil.



Luckily, I had another 1/4" bit, so I was able to complete the work. I drilled adjacent to the original holes.



Once I was done, I reassembled everything, and once again installed the legs on the droid. Please let this be right this time...



It looks good. I think this is it.

I still need to file the flat spot on the gas pipe where the vertical rail that helps ensure the 36° tilt comes to rest, and I need to do a minor adjustment to get the flashing on one of the shoulder discs to fit more snugly. And then, I think I'll be done. At least I hope so.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Drilled Gas Pipe, Cut and Installed Shoulder Disc Flashing

Today I drilled the gas pipe and cut and installed the shoulder disc flashing for the gas pipe transplant effort on droid #1.

I decided to remove a bit of the ragged material from the 1" gas pipe, since it was causing the pipes to not interlock completely.




Once that was done, I reinstalled the legs in the droid body to recheck that the spacing between the legs and body are acceptable. I'm shooting for 1/4". It's hard to measure accurately, but I think this is about it.




It looks about right. Let's hope for the best and get to drilling.

I clamped a pair of boards to the legs to keep them perfectly parallel, and prepared to drill. I am planning to use a pair of 5/16" diameter bolts to lock the pipes together. I used a 1/4" drill bit to start.




Once that was done, I came back with a 5/16" bit and widened the hole, and then ran a bolt through it, before drilling the other hole.



I repeated the process for the right side. Once I put the second bolt on, I tested for wiggle, and there was none. That's a relief.




Before installing the legs back on the droid, I wanted to take care of the aluminum flashing that goes around the shoulder discs. I am able to recycle one of the pieces of flashing from the old shoulder discs, but the other disc is just a hair larger in diameter, enough that the mounting holes don't line up and I don't have enough room to drill new ones. So I laid out the old piece of flashing and traced it just a bit longer, so I could cut a new piece.




I marked where to drill one of the ends, and drilled a hole for a #4x3/4" wood screw, and for a #4x3/4" machine screw.



I returned to the shoulder disc, and wrapped the flashing around the disc and marked through the hole onto the overlapped flashing (and my finger nail), so I could drill the holes for where the wrap occurs.



I then drilled the second set of holes.



Finally, I returned once more to the shoulder disc, and used a pen to mark through the two holes onto the wood, so I could drill a pilot hole.





I used the same procedure to drill a pilot hole in the other shoulder disc, whose aluminum flashing already fits ok, and I installed the flashing, prior to mounting the legs to the body.




Ok, time for the moment of truth... time to install the legs on the body and see how things look.



Hmm.

They still seem just a bit too far from the body. Like maybe 1/16" or even 1/8". I measured, and it does seem like there is 1/16" or so more distance on each side that I want. Surely I can live with that, right??

I need to sleep on it.