R5-D4's You Tube channel - R5's first steps

Click on the You Tube pic below, to see video's of
James' R5-D4 Astromech Droid:

For more updates on R5's moves and event's, why not follow him on his Facebok page:


R5-D4 First Steps........YES!!

What a day!

Started off trying to figure out why R5 wouldn't move? Tried to Motivate him lol, but no luck.

Was looking at options, new radio transmitter or receiver or replacement speed controller?? I eventually find out from reading a 'Full' set of instructions, that I had the power lead in the wrong socket, during the re-binding process! Once sorted, it worked and so did R5 :)

Still had to switch over cables to reverse forward and back, after almost running myself over lol. But all sorted and had him ready and moving just in time for when my kids came home :) they were very excited :).

Video footage will hopefully be posted up when I get to minutes.


R5-D4's first steps.............???

Finished off connecting up all the wires, strapped the batteries back inside, and just like the Jawa's, moved R5 off his transport platform, out into the twin Suns burning bri.....yeah okay, maybe not, it was 1am in the morning in my garage!

Power switch on................check.
Power switch to motors.....check.
Radio transmitter on..........check.
Radio reciever on..............check.

Here is R5's first steps.....

<insert video here>

This was where I'd planned to post up a video of R5 rolling around........but no, nothing!

I mean, nothing happened???

Checked voltage in, at first switch, at terminals into speed controller, all good! Speed controller status Blue LED, on and no red error lite. It was late and tired so called it a night and went to bed :( a little disappointed with myself. Will re-look in the morning.


***** Chippenhan Sci-Fi Day 2014, UPDATE *****


Sarah Louise Madison (Dr Who - Weeping Angle) won't now be attending
due to work commitments.

Chippenham Sci-Fi Event 2014

R5-D4 and other members of the UK R2D2 Builders Club will be in attendance.

I've set up my own...OK....R5's own Event page over on FaceBook, just for fun.


Electrical: Batteries arrive & more installation 1:4

Sunday I started sorting the servo leads, firstly by cutting off the end female plug as the wires are fitted into terminal blocks on the speed controller. The receiver get's it's power from terminal blocks on the Speed Controller.

Monday, my.....sorry, R5's Batteries arrived. They tried to deliver them last Friday, now that's quick service!!
R5D4 batteries

I placed them into the base area and they look good! :-)
I then started looking at how/what I had material wise to clamp them in place. Something lightweight, but strong! Found it! A strip of U section Aluminium (not shown in picture). I had left over. So after marking it up, into work it went and had two sections milled out. These help with securing the batteries and stabilising them from possibly sliding around. Next was to make up two angle securing brackets for the ends of the strip to be bolted onto.

Last night (Tuesday) was a good work night!!

Spent bout an hour soldering up last cable, re-wireing a cable to the main power switch, marking cables with coloured tape, and the battery connectors (just incase). Checked the battery connector circuit was the right way round to give 24v power out.

I then physically checked cables, that contacts were screwed down tight and all plugs were too.......then flipped the on switch......

Speed controller statue blue light: ON

Digital readout: reading 25v (no, not a typo) lol.
R5D4 electrical system

R5-D4 electrical system
Am very happy!


Electrical: More cable installation 1:3

Thursday's work:

  • The rest of my cables arrived so I could get on with wireing up R5.
  • The Batteries are ordered and have been dispatched, so soon have them.

Fitted the electronics board back into R5 the other night, but didn't like it's size so I cut it in half. This is the new layout pic below.
R5D4 Droid

I also milled out an area for the digital volt meter to be push fittd into the panel. I drilled some 10mm dia holes in the perspex to help ventilate the back face of the speed controller. I then cleaned up the slot cut out for the cables to fit through.

I found some double sided sticky pads to stick the Radio reciever to the board (once everything else is sorted). For now R5-D4 will only have power for his feet, driveing him on 24v from the two 12v batteries. Then next will be motorising his dome, with a seperate 12v battery. I may hook-up the lights in his dome to run of it as well. But his next stage will have to wait till funding is approved lol. [and by approved I mean by myself, as I need to save it].

Friday evening:
I screwed the supporting angles into place to take the electronics board. Then I started soldering up the cables to the switch and the spade connectors for the speed controller.
Then after cutting cable to length I realised I had cut one of them to short. Luckily tho it was just the right length for R5's other leg as the switch is closer to one side than the other.

R5's electrical/lectronics board - v2 installation

Saturdays work:
Added the female connectors to the battery cable terminal ends. Finished of some more soldering of spade connectors for the negative cables on both sides. Hooked up the battery cables. Have ordered a new length now for R5's other leg and we are good to go!
R5's electrical/lectronics board - v2 installation


Electrical: Cable installation begings 1:2

More pieces arrived on Monday, 12AWG cable, spade connectors and digital volt meter (range 3v to 30v).

Oh, and from the weekend, my Speed Controller!

Just waiting on some double pole switches, some more cable connectors with XT60's pre fitted to them and a light indicator. The extra XT60 connectors with cable, will be to connect up the two batteries in parallel, to boost power from single 12v power to 24v power!


Took parts into work to position them and drill holes to secure them to the 'Electronics Panel'.

The spade connectors that connect the cables up to the speed controller, have holes in them. These are enlarged so that the screw clamp will fit through, securing the spade connector in place. I'd seen this done before and thought it a great idea. My wires will all be soldered to the spade contacts, so they are doubly secured.
Dimension Engineering Speed Controller
Once home I started on feeding the 12AWG gauge cable down the inside of R5's hollow leg.
I removed the centre hub (can be seen just in front of outer feet) for easier access and taped the cable ends together.
R5-D4 power cable
(To see more of the inside of R5's legs, click on the right hand side)

R5-D4 power cable
Next I fired up my soldering iron, then trimmed the cable ends ready to fit the spade connectors. Once fitted, I then soldered the cable ends and connectors.
R5-D4 power cable
I think I have some cable sleeve somewhere, that I'll fit over where the cable runs into the foot shell and inside the leg, passing through them into the body. Granted, there is less chance of the cables chaffing but better safe than sorry!


WOW..........30,000 Blog Views!!

Just checked in to see my counter has rolled over the 30,000 views mark!

I never thought I'd get any when I started this Build Blog as there are so many better ones out there and in Aluminium & Styrene!

I hope you keep popping by to see R5 moving and the events he hopes to attend in the future.  I also hope that this blog is of help answering any build questions etc.

Thanks again for stopping by, from me & R5 :-)