R4-D4 Holoprojector motorised - upgrade 1.0

My friend Paul posted up that he had now fitted his new REON Holoprojector units.

For Astromech members the link for the REON units is here.

These boards are fitted with a colour changing LED and other circuits that also control random servo movements. When re-told about these, I remember reading the articual....four years ago, but because I didn't have any use for it, building an R5 unit, I forgot about it's usefulness. Forward four years and the lightbulb moment came for using it to control R4's holoprojector unit.
Servo 1 test fitting
Paul was kind enough to let me have one of his control boards as he was getting another for a new project he’s working on. 
Size DOES matter lol
The board won't fit up inside the Holo.....
What to do......I'll have to think about this.....

I will need to print off the two servo holder unit I designed for him. Image below was early design to allow location holes to be drilled to best suit his holo's.

This will get a few changes to the design, cut outs etc. & possibly a new power mounting board too....


R5's new dome bearing tape

I don't know why, but after a while of using the dome, the rubber motor wheel slips and won't turn the dome. A reverse spin usually sorts this.......no idea why as the wheel is a tight fit??

But also you get kids try spinning the dome, which can be annoying as then others start doing it and R5's usually trapped so can't drive away...backup... is the 'scream' sound effect lol.

Now, this tape is the anti-slip stuff you find fitted on steps etc. It's grippy like sandpaper, but not as course, plus it comes with adhesive backing which (as you'd expect) is good sticky stuff.
R5-D4 bearing wheel tape
And of course, it had to be Red......well, orangey red lol
I test wrapped the tape around the inside edge first and cut to length. Next up was applying to the inside edge of the bearing face.

R5-D4 bearing wheel tape

I started and unwrapped the adhesive backing tape.

R5-D4 bearing wheel tape
 I fed the tape/bearing around as I applied it. The wheel liked this.

R5-D4 bearing wheel tape
And here it is all wrapped up.
Next was to trim off the excess tape. Yes I could of trimmed to size before applying, but as it was my first time using this tape, this way you can do without any issues with messing up fitting and have excess tape (on the overhang).

R5-D4 bearing wheel tape
Trimming off the excess
And here it is finished.

I was asked if the rubber wheel will wear....it should be ok, imagine a car tyre on the road, it wears through use. This should be good as well as it grips better and there's no slippage.


Solo - 3D printed trading card display

After designing the display for holding the four Solo cards from the Odeon cinema.
(see past post)

I wanted to have a stand to show off, individually, the four Astromech Droid trading cards, with a single Solo card. Three have their own cards, R2-F1P, R2-S8 & R5-PHT.

R2-F1P, R2-S8 & R5-PHT.
There is another astromech seen in the film, but it doesn't have a trading card. The fourth droid (see picture below) are also the droids from the Disney Droid Factory, toy set.

So I used the slot size I had used on the previous stand & then measured up the cards. I display my cards in protective plastic sleeves, so these are the dimensions I used for the trading card slot. The above three droid cards are vertical, the final card, of R5-232, who doesn't have a card like the above, can be seen on base card no.57. This card features an Imperial Stormtrooper, is a horizontal style.

I'll add some paint to the text to make it stand out
This was a test print and it lifted off the bed a bit, but it worked and the cards fitted well.
I then redesigned the slot to fit the vertical cards.

I've added these 3D stl files to my Thingiverse account.


My Thingiverse page - for 3D design work - UPDATE

Just a small post to say that I've added some more work to my Thingiverse page.

These include:

  • The 'Fake electronics panel'.
  • And the components I had created that would eventually be combined into it.
  • The Holo Projector ring (not a standard component) I made to cover up the Holo securing screw heads.

All these are free to use. They maybe of use to you or help with other projects.
If you do use, it would be great to see, my Thingiverse page is => here


R5's sound system - maintenance work

I was never happy with the 12 Channel remote controller as it's relays were ALL over the place, not as you'd expect, fitted to the board 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 etc. Plus the fact that some of the relays don't even work!!

Sometimes some of the sounds don't play either, even tho they do when on the test bench.

One sound that didn't work was the Bad Motivator 'pop-bang' effect. This I noticed when at MCM London the other week.

So I pulled out the board and give it an inspection/maintenance once over. This is where I found one of the wires had actually broken.....The Motivator 'pop-bang' sound effect.

With the actual motivator only recently re-fitted, I didn't realise it was down to this break.

So a quick re-wire and all's now working again.

Future Upgrade: I keep looking at replacing the large board with a smaller 'digital' version of the 12 Channel unit. It has no relays, just a chip!
Digital chip version

12 channel 's still
Mentioned this to Simon B recently at MCM London, as he also had problems with the relay version. This 'chip' version is on my list of upgrades to try out!

My R5-D4 Patch

Patches are heading off, all over the world.

The majority have gone to Astromech builders,
from the UK, America, Spain & the furthest so far....Australia!
Patch (black boarder) and the smaller sticker version
Also sold to non astromech builders,
but who are fans of R5-D4.

I've almost sold out of the stickers,
but think I'll order some more of these.

Patch price is £5.00
Postage worldwide is £2.00 (UK just 50p)

If you would like one, follow the link below to my

James_R5D4 Instagram

interested?? Then send me a DM,

If your not on Instagram, follow this link to R5-D4's Facebook page

Solo - The Official Guide Book (no spoilers)

This post has no film spoilers so its safe to carry on reading.

With events & family life, and the fact I can't stand waiting for things I've ordered lol, I'd decided I would go out and buy the book....when I had time....

....well, after seeing a post that ASDA that they were selling the book with a reduced price, £8. I knew now was the time to go buy it! So last Friday lunchtime I did just that.

That's another one added to the book collection & my youngest loved reading up on all the stuff she saw in the film....and some stuff she missed!

MCM London - Sunday 27th May - UK R2D2 Builders Club

Day two for early starts and a long drive up to London. The last time I was here was 2016, for Celebration Europe! That was THE best event I have ever been too!

Checkout my past posts on the event reports start here

Easy drive up and around the M25, which brings you right round to the Excel turn-off. Think I actually passed the hotel I previously stayed in back in 2016. Once cleared with security I parked up and unloaded R5 with the help of fellow R2D2 builder Sam Prentice. We set up next to the 501st. We were joined by Paul Stidston (spotter) & Simon Battell with his R2 Boba Fett painted droid.

The early bird doors opened and it wasn’t long before people found us lol.

There was lots to see but thankfully the event wasn’t as packed as Saturday. Paul mentioned this as the crowds and the temperature inside the event the previous day were overwhelming!

We went for a drive around the event,
R5 off on his travels...........
Afternoon myself & Paul went to get a cuppa, 20mins later and umpteen photos later lol, we arrived, got drinks and found a corner table to sit down. (Having being stood up nearly all day, as per usual). People wanted photos of R5, so I drove him away from as a short distance. Still in visual and vocal range lol. This was a good laugh as people would stop, chat, take photos with him & R5 would follow people etc and people would be trying to look around to see who was operating him.

R5's transmitter started beeping, so we headed back.....eventually, through the photos lol.

Got back and Brain Herring & Derek Arnold popped over, to catch up with Lee (who unfortunately could be there the weekend). We had a group chat and laugh about recent events lol & they were both kind enough to have a group photo with us and the droids.

There was plenty more crowed entertaining. Including R5 & R2 squabbling over Liz lol... R5 wasn't happy about R2 getting her attention.

Come five o'clock, the crowds started to thin out. So we started to pack up and made our way through the leaving crowds back to our cars. For me it was then a long drive back to Bristol. It was a good day and as always lots of fun.