R5's Speed Controller - Dimension Engineering dual x25A

Checked online at Technobot last week that the dual speed controller needed for R5 was in stock, but it wasn't. Three week wait! I had seen it out of stock a few times before as it is a very popular unit. Its made by Dimension Engineering and is THE controller of choice for R2 Builders as well as other robots. This was last week. I checked again on Saturday, three days later, and they are now back in stock!

The Speed Controller has now been ordered!
Dimension Engeering - Dual Speed Controller

For non builders, the dual controller sends signals from the transmitter/receiver to the motors that move the wheels. It does this in, whats known as, TANK mode. So both wheels are moving forward or backwards at the same time, but to turn, one stops and drives in the opposite direction, so turning your 'droid' on the spot, like a tank.

Next I bought a fuse block then [once my bank account has recovered) I need to buy two 12 volt 18amp batteries.

Other items I need are, cable, fuses, connectors, a dome controller and motor and a charger to recharge the batteries!


***** Chippenhan Sci-Fi Day, October 25th 2014 *****

R5-D4 will be attending a local event in a few months time.
A fellow R2 Builders Club member and friend Ian, will also be attending with his
R4 'Arther' Astromech Unit.

Event's facebook page:


R5 update.....electrics & weathering progress.

Having returned from holiday, am now saving up for R5's speed controller, batteries and extras needed to get him mobile. These two main items plus cables, fuse block etc are going to set me back almost £200.00 in total! And I only have nine weeks or so to get them, fit them and get R5 rolling! This is my small challange time frame as I would like him mobile for an event in October in Chippenham (UK).

I did install the first part of my batteries restraint. A strip of batton to the rear floor of R5, inside. Once I know for sure, dimensions for them, I can move forward with the rest to secure them in place.
Whilst I was inside R5, I swapped over the three centre leg securing bolts with hex cap head ones. These are much easier to work with rather than with a Phillips screwdriver!
I then did some more weathering, to the front center foot, rear skirt and rear area of the body, that I hadn't done. These are yet to be finished, once fully dried I can wipe more paint excess off.


Transmitter & Receiver for R5 - digital readout upgrade

I wasn't happy with the colour changing LED to tell me the voltage of the batteries in the Transmitter. So I bought a digital panel readout off eBay, the same type as I had bought for R5's dome battery level.
Testing which contacts were live for when before turning off.
The wire was actually soldered onto the end 'switch' contact.

There was just the right spot that it would look 'standard' in, so I opened up the transmitter and checked available space. Was a bit tight, but the spot was great. I unscrewed the electronics panels and moved them out of the way. Next, I marked a template up and got to drilling and cutting. I needed some sort of holder for the screws to hold the panel in place. I found the perfect piece of plastic. I cut and slotted it the allow the panel to fit into it. I drilled two holes and secured the lot with two black screws I had saved from years ago.

Once all panels were fitted back, I tested the contacts I needed and the soldered the fly leads into place.

'And the Monkey flips the switch!'

       (Name that film?)

It works, lol, it should do!



Fire Extinguisher 1.2 - 'Bad Motivator'

With most of R5 pieced back together, i've been starting to plan the extras that I want to fit into him. Now I have my Radio Controller unit, and have been re-reading forum posts on extra switch controllers, the simple 'Fire Extinguisher' project, just stepped up a notch lol.

I'd like to link a sound effect of R5's motivator blowing with the Bad Motivator popping up and 'mist' effect coming not just out the pie hole at the top, but also from around the edges of the dome, as seen in this screen grab from behind the scenes vintage footage.
Not sure I can manage the flash as well......but you never know.....
I have sketched up an idea of how it might look, but of course it has to be tried and tested.


R5's got new shoes..... (Feet motor's are fitted)

Reassembled internals on foot no1. Motor, belt, wheel, then into foot shell and locked in with the aluminium channel strip. I then fitted back onto R5's ankle.....

Ooops, I forgot that the securing ankle bolt needed to be cut short. It was that long to go through two pieces of 18mm thick wood!

Next problem I found. The gap between the side channels is slightly to wide and there (rightly so) is no flex of give in the metal channel plates. So the ankle bolt doesn't force the side channels to clamp onto the legs ankle. Again, the wood in the old internals did flex to clamp.

Lifting the body showed that the new foot is well balanced. But because the foot is not clamped I need a lock....an ankle lock. So out came the paper and pencil and traced up a wedge. Now because my foot shells are wood, the only place I can apply the wedge, in the hope it will work and not damage the shell, is on the inside face of the leg, so that the force is transferred to the metal motor frame directly below it.

And here it is, screwed in place. Let's hope this works......?

YES, it works! Well in lifting the foot and trying to tip it forward it stops it doing it.
Just have to see how well once fully operational.
And here are both new feet fitted, with there locking wedges.


R5 is (almost) fully operational - Transmitter Rc testing -1.0

Got to test out for the first time my new Transmitter this morning. Had been waiting on my mini test servo and then it was linking it all up to test which channel did what.
Picture shows ch1 linked up

 Six channels in total, two (rotary ch5 & ch6) not sure I'll need or use due to they're movement type. Ch3 is an on/off so that could be used for moving the motivator up/down......idea for the future. Ch1 will be left/right for R5's dome, ch2 forward/back and ch4 left/right.


Outer Foot No2 - New foot internal frame work 1.3

Well, due to work commitments, welder Neil's was not been able to weld up the foot frame last week, so still waiting for this to be done.

In the mean time I got on with making the angle brackets to fit the front caster onto. I cut up some U section aluminium and then cut one of the U's off, to make an L shape. Then it was just a case of marking, drilling and thread tapping holes.
Excuse the colouring in the picture, but the Sun was streaming in through the window :)

Neil got the first part of the welding done and it's a lot less cleaning up than the other one lol.


first part of welding, done

Test fitted motor and wheel with belt back into frame......and again, there's a slight misalignment grrrrrr :( This may just be down to me and not making holes 'clearance' holes lol. Soon sorted though. Next was sorting and positioning the channel wall's, see pictures below.
Ankle bolt locked in place first to help align the two holes, then holes were drilled and tapped for the angles to support the side channel walls. Next up these and the nut to be welded.....