Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tested Repaired Right Motor for Droid #2

To wrap up the saga of the right foot motor repair on droid #2, the JB Weld had fully cured, so I tested the motor with a spare 12 volt battery.

That blurry gear is the result of the motor humming along happily at 285 RPM. I now think the repair is going to work out, but time will tell.

The battery box is almost perfectly flush with the foot shell now, but I may fiddle with the fit a little more to make it perfect. Or if I'm smart, I won't. But lately I haven't been too smart.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

JB Weld for Right Foot Motor on Droid #2

With some encouragement (or is it egging me on? :) ) from Russell and Matthew, I'm going to see if I can get the JB Weld repair of the right motor on droid #2 to work. The area where the hole is is not structural - nothing rests on it. The hole just needs to be sealed up. I held off on ordering a new NPC2212 motor for now.

The JB Weld cured, and this evening I removed the tape on the outside.

I whipped up some more JB Weld for a second pass. (I always mix too much.)

I applied it to the area of the hole, and smoothed it out.

I'll let this cure overnight, and then I'll test the motor with a battery. I expect it will work, but the real question is, will it work reliably over a long period of time? We shall see.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Hacked NPC Motor Too Much

I do somewhat dumb things from time to time, but I hadn't done anything incredibly dumb lately. Tonight I remedied that.

I decided to get back to work on making the foot shell/battery box/motor/motor mount combination fit together on the right foot for droid #2.

I found that the motor mount itself was bumping into the battery box, so I marked an area of the battery box to trim. (I also trimmed a slight amount of material from the motor mount.)

I used a hacksaw blade to remove a little material from the battery box, and filed down the rough edges.

Okay, this fits now, with only the motor mount installed. If that didn't fit, then there's little hope with the motor installed.

I then did a re-fit with the motor installed, and saw the same problem that I saw with the motor mount before I trimmed it. So I figured I better remove some more material from the motor. You can see where this is going.

How many hacks does it take to get to the center of an NPC motor?






Nice job.

I decided to tape up the hole and finish the hacking, even though I believe I may have ruined a $155 motor.

Well, at least the battery box now fits with the (possibly ruined) motor installed.

Let's assess the damage from the inside.

The hole is at the 2:00 position in the picture below. (The worm gear is at the 10:00 position). Lots of metal saw dust is in there. Not good at all.

Even more metal sawdust on the axle gear.

I cleaned up the saw dust on both parts of the motor. Then I figured since I was on a roll, what other horrible ideas could I come up with?

See if you can play along. It helps if you shave some IQ points off your normal intellect.

Yes, I attempted to fill the hole with JB Weld.

I don't expect this will actually work, but I figured what the heck, I have nothing to lose. In reality I plan to call NPC tomorrow and order another motor.

So if you were looking for a tutorial on how to ruin your NPC motor, you came to the right place. There are probably more efficient ways to destroy a motor (drill press, 9mm pistol), but I thought this was pretty creative.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


Today was the grandaddy of them all, R2LA X! With 90 people in attendance, 21 droids (plus several in-progress), food and fun, this was the place to be.

Wow, ten years of these. I've only been a club member since R2LA III, but R2LA X certainly felt like a big milestone, and a good point to consider all the fun and friendships the club has brought.

Today's activities started with setup at Mike's house at 10:00am, in preparation for the 11:00am event.

Time to clear furniture and other miscellaneous equipment out of the house and make room for a hoard of droids and their builders.

Anyone who was passing through the neighborhood stopped and asked what in the world was going on, as droid after droid made its way to Mike's house.

Within the first 10 minutes we had over 10 droids setting up shop, including my droid #2 as R5-D4.

Marc demonstrated his Marcduino system, with music playing and panels-a-poppin'.

Ed Perello's decked-out droid showed off its wares, with not one, not two, but three CPU arms among the appendages.

Kevin Holme demonstrated his cool deployable and articulated booster covers.

Nikki's sparkly Million Dollar R2 dome looked like a million bucks. It must be seen in video form.

Last year at Comikaze, Chris Romines' droid bumped into little Kayla Miyamoto and knocked her down. No tears, no foul, but we can't let Chris live that down, so Nikki and William had a couple of t-shirts made. Kayla's shirt: "I got run over by Chris Romines's R2, and all I got was this stupid T-shirt." Chris' shirt: "I ran over a baby with my R2, and all I got was this stupid T-shirt."

Original Disney Imagineer Bob Gurr joined us for a while, and the visit was a nice treat for both him and us.

Around mid-day, William Miyamoto and Michael McMaster gave a surprise presentation that we had been planning with Damien Metz. Damien made a very nice commemorative plaque in honor of R2LA X, and it was presented to Mike and Amy, along with a $100 gift certificate to a nice restaurant.

Time for the group picture of the droids, along with their sith lord. My droids are somewhere way in the back, which is what happens when you arrive on the early side.

Lots o' droids.

And time for a group shot of the humans.

Trey Stokes, Director of the Pink 5 films, filmed a scene or two for the next movie in the saga (a prequel). We also got to preview the conclusion of the original series, and it was great!

Evening arrived, and slowly but surely folks had to start heading home, especially those with a long drive ahead of them. Many of us were able to stay, although the goofiness factor started to go up exponentially with the hour.

Webcam Dog.

I can't even begin to describe the phone call Michael McMaster had Mike Granek make to McMaster's wife, but it had us in stitches. (Her, not so much.)

No evil here!

So it's been a great 10 years (8 for me since I wasn't around for the first two) of friends sharing in a wonderful hobby, and it's amazing that Mike has brought so many of us together for so many years. Here's hoping for many more years and many more good times.

The full photoset is here.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Pre-R2LA X Dinner

The event we've all been waiting for is almost here, R2LA X!

The weekend kicked off with the annual pre-R2LA dinner at Lampost Pizza in Yorba Linda. We had a good turnout of locals and out-of-towners.

And of course we took the traditional group picture.

After dinner, it was on back to Mike Senna's house, where a few of us (including me) cheated and unloaded some droids a little early. I needed to do so because I'm bringing droid #2 tomorrow, and I can only transport one droid at a time.

Michael McMaster can't get enough of those cow bones. Strange, strange man.

Meanwhile, we relaxed by the fire pit as the kids cooked S'mores.

Tomorrow is the big day, and it's almost here.