Monday, November 25, 2019

CHOC Fall Visit - 2019

Today R2 made one more visit in 2019 to Childrens Hospital Orange County to visit patients in their rooms. He was joined by members of the 501st Garrison.

I arrived around 1:15pm, and the room-to-room visits were scheduled from 2pm to 4pm. We visited several floors and wards.

The staff always asks for pictures as well.

One quick group shot before we wrapped up.

It's always good to visit CHOC, and I look forward to coming back next year.

Monday, November 11, 2019

Grounding Strap for R2

Occasionally I have a problem with static electricity collecting on R2, to the point that I get concerned about the onboard electronics, not to mention the mild zap that I can get when I touch the dome or other metal parts after he's been driving.

I researched various solutions, and settled on a grounding strap. In my case, I used some copper braided solder wick.

I wanted the strap to not be visible to the outside world, so I chose to place it on the inboard side of the motor area in the center of the drivetrain. I cleaned the surface with acetone and used some 3M duct tape to attach the strap. I cut the length to about 5", and about 2.25" hangs down below the drivetrain body.

I made sure that the strap was long enough to touch the driving surface, but short enough that it cannot reach the wheels or get wrapped on the axles or any other part of the wheel.

Unless you are an ant, this is not visible to the outside world.

And best of all, my static electricity build-up problems are gone. It will be interesting to see if this wears down over time. Hopefully it'll last a good long while.

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Swapped Out Front Wheels on Center Foot

After 12.5 years running on the same caster wheels on the front foot, R2 is getting a new pair of shoes (or toes, or whatever the analogy would be).

I bought the original Proctor Glove 3RS 3" x 1.25" casters at an Ace Hardware in Yorba Linda, CA back in 2006. That store has since gone out of business and I had trouble sourcing them at other Ace stores. I called Proctor Glove to see if they could let me know where I could find them, and they pointed me to McFadden-Dale hardware in Santa Ana, CA, so I picked some up.

I debated about whether to swap out the entire caster, or just the wheel. On the one hand, an entire new caster would have brand new bearings, but I was reluctant to unscrew the caster from the wooden foot, so I decided to leave the casters in and just swap out the wheels.

The old wheels were quite chewed up.

Even more surprising was how much more the front wheel had worn out, compared to the rear wheel.

The new wheels are on, and R2 is loving them.

Let's see if they're still going strong in 10 years (and me).