31/10/2014

Custom box for radio transmitter 1.0

I looked at buying a case to store & carry my radio transmitter in. And yes, there are cases, but I wanted something a bit special lol.

I had an idea of what I wanted the box to look like, ever since I saw the scanning crew box from ANH on the Death Star. Similar boxes below pic.
Star Wars prop box

R2D2 C3PO Death Star

Then just recently on Star Wars Rebels, there's a scene which includes this design again.
Star Wars Rebels - Storage boxs

Not to sure if the size of my box will be to small for this design on the sides??
I've also been thinking about not so recognisable designs. The Nokia phone promo box that came out a few years ago, gave me a few ideas.
Nokia Phone promo box - Ep3 ROTS

For now though, I'm just going to build the box itself and think about the outside later.
So a quick trip to B&Q for some wood and screws and I was ready to make a start.

I measured up the transmitter and then allowed extra for the proposed foam protections.
I then started to measure and cut out sides, base and lid.

Radio Transmitter storage box

Radio Transmitter storage box
I had cut all the sides out, but after three hours work of cutting, drilling, couter sinking holes etc I thought I'd call it a night

30/10/2014

You Tube - R5's first motorised event

Here's a short video taken at Chippenham Sci-Fi day.
R5's first motorised event.
Click on the You Tube pic, to see video 'R5-D4 @ Chippenham Sci-Fi 2014'.

Click on the above pic below, to be taken to Facebook page.

Have a few more short video's taken that I hope to upload soon
Thanks for watching.

R5-D4's transport platform 1.3 - UPGRADE

R5-D4 when built fitted into the boot/load area of MY Zafira just fine. But the wife's newer one, the hatch is smaller in height.
Meaning the feet have to come off. This was something I would of preferred not to have to do, because then I'd have to figure out a way to support R5 in no leg mode!

This is not complete, but is on it's way to being. The centre leg would have to come off due to the limited height.


So I built this mini platform, which will also double as an assembly stand once attached to the mobile platform. The mini platform fits onto the mobile platform, giving the right amount of clearance and stability to re-assemble his feet, then he can be reversed, giving access to the stand, which once moved, allow's me to re-fit his central leg/foot assembly. Phew.

The left pic shows how the stand will be once R5's in place, the right picture shows the stand aligned with the edge of the platform, this allows the outer feet to be re-attached with plenty of ground/platform clearance.

I thought about if I needed to transport from A-B without having the space (or dry weather) and needed to move everything quickly. So thought and made up these to channel runners to bolt the outer feet too. The ankle bolts hold them in place whilst in transport, also means I can't misplace them lol.

I still need secure the centre leg and re-do the strap U-bolts (at the front of platform). Of course the proof will be when it comes to using it if this works or not lol. But, I know that with his feet off, I'm able to lift him up and into the boot again.

29/10/2014

Star Wars Shoes - the return

My friend who was helping out at last Saturdays event,
wore her new Star Wars covered shoes (her wedge ones).
She also took her other pair, but decided best not to wear them, whilst in 'help mode'.
Star Wars shoes

They were spotted and commented on by several people. And a few pictures were taken.
These were then Tweeted on Jedi News!
Who then later posted up on their web site, check out the website
(click image below)


R5-D4 on You Tube @ Chippenham Sci-Fi 2014

This video has been floating round on Facebook from Saturdays Chippenham Sci-Fi Day.
It's not my video, have yet to sort these out.
Show's lots of the stuff from the event, including........ R5-D4 lol as well as R2 & R4.


27/10/2014

UK R2 Builders & Chippenham Sci-Fi Day 2014 - My Event Report

Had a great time on Saturday with Ian (R4), Giles (R2) & Mark with his Steampunk Droid Issa. Having R5 moving and joining in was soooo much fun, I had a stupid kid grin on my face all day! Hahaha.

Arrived just in time for the event opening and set-up R5. Turned the power on and........nothing! WHAT??? My heart sank! Had the radio transmitter and receiver lost their connection?? Then, R5 lurched forward! Connection worked!?! Perhaps it was because it was in close proximity to the other guys systems?? It did it again later on when I turned off and on the transmitter .

Then R5-D4 was rolling :) joining in with the others &having his picture taken. We joined in with photo opps with the Southern Troopers and their Tantive IV backdrop, as well as roaming round to the Milton Keynes Garrison & their backdrop.

There was plenty to see for visitors with stalls and displays as well as Special Guests!
The Charity Sci-Fi group were also in attencance with Darlek's and other costume characters from Dr Who, Judge Dredd, Ghostbusters to name a few.
R5-D4 R2-D2

With all the roaming around before I knew it, three hours had passed! It was suggested that we take the droids outside as access was good and flat. The route had carpet and a slight incline, R5 coped OK with this, 24v power and him being a heavy build pay's off, phew. Then outside we joined up with ST & MK members to entertain the crowds, some not realiseing that the event was even going on.
Chippenham Sci-Fi 2014Chippenham Sci-Fi 2014

Chippenham Sci-Fi 2014
At which point they then followed us all back inside when we did, result.

Then it was back inside for more roaming and photo :)
Astromech Droids

R5-D4 Chippenham Sci-Fi Day 2014

Southern Troopers

MK Garrison

Chippenham Sci-Fi

Southern Troopers

Lots of people asked questions about plans, costs and abilities needed to build an Astromech. I hope the people I spoke to were encouraged to not to daunted with what can seem a big build challenge.
Chippenham Sci-Fi 2014

Chippenham Sci-Fi 2014Chippenham Sci-Fi 2014

Chippenham Sci-Fi 2014Chippenham Sci-Fi 2014

Chippenham Sci-Fi 2014
Crowds started to quieten down by about 3pm, tho there were still people coming in who had seen what was going on outside. This gave the droids a bit of space to 'play' lol. Kids were still having pictures taken and interacting with them, which is always great to see.

Have to give respect to one Mum who corrected her child that said 'look theres R2!', to which she replied, 'no thats not R2, thats R5!' Most impressed!

Then it was time to pack up, just after 4pm. Another great event attended with my fellow builder friends. Always good to see them and learn and swap ideas and roll around with the Droids! And a great day for Chippenham Sci-Fi as their first event was a great success!

Chippenham Sci-Fi Day Facebook page

Southern Troopers Facebook page

MK Garrison Facebook page

26/10/2014

R5-D4's first motorised event......preview report

Was a great day and enjoyed roaming around an event for the first time with fellow R2 Builders club members Giles R2 & Ian A4 as well as Mark with this Steampunk Astromech.

Photos, videos and event day write up to follow tomorrow, once I have these sorted.

25/10/2014

*** Chippenham Sci-Fi 2014 - TODAY ***

....First Transport, is away!

Well.......almost lol. Loaded R5 into transport (car's boot) last night along with everything I hopefully need!
Setting off with my Son, and picking up a friend who is helping out at the event today, on the way.

More details about the event later.

Checkout my facebook page: James' R5-D4 for updates and photos, please like my page & tag R5-D4 and yourselfs in pictures :) thanks.

Follow R5-D4 on Twitter @jamesR5D4

24/10/2014

Prep work for R5-D4's next event @ Chippenham 25.10.14

These last few day's I've been checking and re-checking, last minute fixing, charging batteries etc ready for Saturdays event in Chippenham.


Finaly got round to fitting this last strap bracket to fully hold R5 down.
Astromech transport platformAstromech transport platform


I don't know about R5, but this is his first event that he'll be rolling around at and so am a little apprehensive about him behaving himself lol.

17/10/2014

R5-D4 - Bad Motivator Smoke system 1.0

Not long back I posted up about a mist venting system for R5 from his dome and other parts of his body that I had ideas for:

Fire Extinguisher 1.3 - 'Bad Motivator'


Since then I got to working on the lift system for the 'blown' Motivator. This is now complete, but not powered up or fully tested yet.

Next though was something that I always really wanted to sort for R5.......smoke!

This I've seen on a few R5's and it does look a great visual effect. But most system's that can produce 'smoke', come at a great cost....

But after much internet searching I found something that I'm hopeing will be just what R5 needs, more to come.....

14/10/2014

** UK R2 Builders Club - Event's attending this weekend - Feel the Force - Peterborough 2014 **

Fellow members of the UK R2 Builders Club,
will be attending Feel the Force in Peterborough this weekend!

picture links to the Feel the Force Day page.

This is a great event especially designed for disabled people.
Visitor's are able to get 'hands-on' with costumes and props alike.

There will be four Club members attending this event.
(subject to availability of course)

This event is a little closer than FACTS, so why not visit and enjoy!

** UK R2 Builders Club - Event's attending this weekend - FACTS 2014 **

Fellow members of the UK R2 Builders Club,
will be attending not one but two events this weekend!

The first event is FACT2014, over in Ghent.
This runs from 18th & 19th October 2014, so don't miss the opertunity to visit the Astromech area and say 'Hi' to some of the UK's finest droids!
There are 9 members attending this event representing the Club.

13/10/2014

Motivator Pie Hole - wood filler time again

Small update:
The weekened I bought some more 'multipurpose filler'. This stuff is great and have used it on different parts of R5's build, body, legs, foot shells etc and it does the job well.

Removed the Motivator from the Dome and got to work filling in the sides that were left after removing the original wood side's.

Just need to sand smooth.

10/10/2014

Second Side Vent installed......at last

I've been meaning to sort this out since I eventually finished slotting and painting this side of R5.....erm, last year! I knew it was going to be a pain and I was right!
R5-D4 side vent
Almost an hour, cutting, trimming, test fitting of the two MDF wedges (top & bottom locations) I had cut to fit between the inside vertical panel and the grill/body skin. As with the other side, I cut two curved pieces and then just wedged them in to hold the grill tight against the inside of R5's body. Nothing technical or fancy :)

Utility Arm locks

After R5's first outing a few years back, I soon realised that he would need to have some way of locking his Utility arm's in a closed position. I had already fitted push stops to prevent them from being pushed inwards and getting stuck, but with them not being the most securist of items, I needed something to stop them from being pulled open to far.

I wanted something quick to fit, not be to damaging and infringe on the overall look. So after a few ideas I came up with this simple idea.

The stiff wire, hocks into the arms.
R5D4 utility arm

Feeds through the rear mesh.
R5D4 utility arm

And is then bent to lock all in place.
R5D4 utility arm
Yes, I'm not really happy about the holes, but they are not that bad and can be easily filled and painted. I had to drill the holes in the top as you try drilling a hole upwards :D lol.

08/10/2014

Rear Hatch Alarm

With R5's first mobile event getting closer and fiddeling with bits & pieces. It got me thinking about, what if's? One thing I thought of was the rear hatch. It is held on securley via two spring loaded clips, but what if it come loose or someone opens it up if/when I'm not around R5.

So I dug out my soldering iron, a piezo buzzer (the first one I got when developing my Droid Caller) & used one of the new micro switches I'd planned to use for the dome control unit & soldered them all up.

R5D4 rear HatchR5-D4R5-D4

The micro switch is wired in the NC (normally closed) position.
The buzzer is wired in-line. I was going to install a swith to turn off the buzzer when working inside, but re-thought this as a possible 'forgot to turn on' so left it as I just have to remember to place the batter back in, hence, installing it fight in front of me.

Installed the micro switch inside the rear hatch opening, in a place even better than the one I had originally intended.....bacically because where I wasnted it to originally go, it wouldn't of fitted lol. I then routed the cable through some flexible tubing round to the inside front of R5. I then screwed the piezo buzzer onto the frame. And secured the mini 12v battery holder in place.

03/10/2014

'Bad Motivator' - upgrade to power lift 'Blown' status 1.2

Tuesday 30th Sept.
Almost finished making the frame/support bracket to hold the door look actuator (solenoid) with. The unit will be secured with two screws to the inside of the dome.

Some thought went into this build (the very basic idea of what I wanted) and some bits weren't lol. As this build was mostly guessed on the fly, I kid you not lol. As I need to figure out if I'll be able to screw in one of the mounting screws, as its partially obscured by the actuator (solenoid) lol. I had to move the actuator over as the top angles securing bolt was in the way.

I wanted to make the bracket(s) as light as posible, so I weighed one before I took it into work and machined off excess material.
R5D4 bad motivator
I didn't get the chance to weigh the brackets after machining, but we'll assume they are now lighter lol.

Friday 3rd Oct.
Well here's some pics of what the whole thing looks like installed. Oh yeah, re: how I was going to fix the actuator's bracket in place....I marked and screwed it down first, then screwed the two securing screws for the actuator into place. These were not so difficult to reach, phew... :)
R5D4 Bad Motivator

R5D4 Bad Motivator

R5D4 Bad Motivator

I've jet to wire up to power, but test moving by hand, I think it will work OK.....