Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween 2008

As he did last Halloween, R2 greeted trick-or-treaters tonight as they arrived.

Visitors young, and not-so-young enjoyed interacting with R2 as they picked up their treats.

Star Wars still seems pretty popular with the kids, which I regard as a good thing.

R2 has an event scheduled this Sunday. Hopefully the weather will cooperate.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A&A Foot Shells Arrive

The A&A foot shell pack that I recently ordered arrived today! This will save me a lot of work. Scratch-building these for droid #1 was by far the longest part of the build. I really didn't want to go through that again.

This week is extremely busy/time-consuming at work, so this is the best I can do until I can get some real build-time in...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Finished Evercoat Work on Horseshoes (Maybe)

Today I think I did the last of the filling/sanding for the horseshoes. Yesterday I had filled in the shallow holes I Dremeled out, and today I sanded the surface smooth.

As usual, I started with 150 grit sand paper to take down the Evercoat to be close to the rest of the surface.

I followed that with rounds of sanding with 220 grit and 400 grit sand paper.

Everything feels very smooth. I will give it the primer test soon to verify that the horseshoes are ready for final primer and painting. I might drill the pockets first for the hydraulics and buttons, I haven't decided.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Yet More Evercoat for Horseshoes

Last night I spoke with Matthew regarding how best to hide the alignment dowels on the front face of the horseshoes. He recommended that I use the Dremel with the sanding drum attachment to first carve a steep (roughly 45 degree) angle at the edge along where the dowel and the MDF meet, followed by a much more shallow angled sanding, to smoothly chamfer the edge.

I gave it my best shot, running the Dremel at about as low an RPM as it would go. I didn't go too deep, just enough to make sure that the Evercoat had a shallow pit to fill around the entire area that I was sanding.

After that was done, I applied another round of Evercoat to the areas I sanded. I didn't have a chance to sand these down today, hopefully I'll have time tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Light Primer and Sanding for Horseshoes and Curved Ankles

With little daylight available when I get home from work, there isn't much of a chance to get work done on droid #2 in the evenings. Tonight all I was able to do is apply a light coat of primer to the horseshoes and curved ankles, to check the smoothness on my finishing work.

After the primer dried, I lightly sanded it to get a more uniform look across seams. I'm pretty happy with the sides of the horseshoes. I have a couple of very tiny divots to fill. The front faces will probably need some more work to better hide the alignment dowels.

The curved ankles are also looking pretty close to being ready. These still need to have the slot cut out from the angled face.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

More Sanding of Horseshoes & Ankles

Back from a six-day business trip, I had a chance to do a little work on the shoulders and curved ankles.

I picked up where I left off, and started sanding the horseshoes, beginning with 150-grit sand paper, to knock down the high spots.

That was followed by a round of sanding with 400-grit sand paper, which is my finish-sanding step.

The edges on the horseshoes are very smooth, I think they are done. The front faces may need a bit of work still, due to the alignment dowels. We'll see. As for the curved ankles, I'll spray some primer on them and see how they look.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Placentia Heritage Festival 2008

Just like last year, this year R2 participated in the 2008 Placentia Heritage Festival. Unlike last year, the weather was very nice this time.

The festival was preceded by a parade, in which several Star Wars characters participated, but R2 was not among them, since he doesn't handle parades so well.

R2 joined the characters after the parade, to greet the estimated 20,000 visitors in the park.

Although R2 wasn't part of the parade, the Star Wars characters won First Place in the "novelty" category for the parade.

And it just wouldn't be a public appearance without swarms of kids trying to pull things off. I think R2 returned home with everything he left with. "Be gentle..."

Lots more pics here.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Test-Fit NPC Motor in Battery Box, Wired Up Spare Motor

Going off a tip from Matthew Henricks, I decided to pre-wire my spare Saturn motor, so that if I ever need to swap it out at an event, I won't need to fire up the butane soldering iron in the field.

I needed to check the polarity of the connector that goes up into the leg, so I needed to remove the right battery box to check the connector. While I had the battery box off, I decided to check to see if the NPC motors fit.

They do fit, barely.

With that out of the way, I set up for soldering.

Since I take pictures of everything, I had reference photos of the motors currently on the droid, that shows that the red wire on the connector is soldered to the yellow wire on the motor. Likewise, the black wire on the connector is soldered to the white wire on the motor.

This matters, because these connectors eventually lead to the speed controller, which will apply positive or negative voltage to these wires, to go forward or backward. Connecting these wires incorrectly will cause the droid to move in unexpected ways, and we don't want that.

All done. A quick test on the battery shows success.

I have an event on Saturday, and given the rough blacktop surface, I want to make sure I have a spare motor ready to go.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Evercoat for Right Horseshoe

I didn't have much time to work on droid #2 today. All I was able to do is apply Evercoat on the right horseshoe. I didn't have time to sand it down.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Evercoat for Curved Ankles, Left Horseshoe

Today I finally returned to working on droid #2.

First, it was time to fix up the curved ankle pieces that I somewhat butchered when I was trimming them with the router. I applied Evercoat glazing putty wherever the surface was messed up.

I also applied Evercoat to the edge of the left horseshoe, and later, to the front of the horseshoe, where the four dowels are visible.

Several pieces of sand paper later, the curved ankles were done.

I sanded down the straight edges of the horseshoe, before going after the curved part. I should have masked the dowels to avoid getting Evercoat on them, but it came off pretty easily. Still, lesson learned for the right horseshoe.

Done with these for now. Some primer and paint, and they should be looking good!

Tomorrow I hope to get to the right horseshoe, and maybe start on the sides of the legs.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

R2 Builders Badge, NPC Motors Arrive

The R2 Builders badge that Damien made arrived today. Very nice!

The NPC 2212 motors and Delrin reducers that I ordered for Mike and myself also arrived. Four of them are for me, two for Mike. As much as I like my scratch-built H&A drivetrain, I'm concerned about the durability of the Trico wiper motors, especially since replacements are so hard to find nowadays. Mike and I plan to build some drivetrains based on his new design in the near future.