***WynterCon 2015***

Members of the UK R2 Builders Club will be in attendance at this years.....
click pic for link

WynterCon 2015 event in Eastbourne, at The Winter Gardens.
Starts Saturday 31st Oct - Sunday 1st November.

So check em out along with all the other great stuff.
Checkout the FaceBook page of the UK R2 Builders Club 


Centre Foot - wheel upgrade......again...... 2.0

A few months ago I swapped over the old centre foot wheel for a newer version, as the old one had worn down. I like the wide rubber wheel, but not the fact that it grips to well when trying to turn R5. It also has started to wear down, in part to the fact that I think this wheels diameter was slightly larger than the original one (???) and is rubbing/jamming on the inner foot shell's lower edge. This was made more clear to me at the recent Chippenham event.
Rubber wheel, rubbing on foot shell skirt

So my plan was swap over the rubber wheel for a spare 100mm dia scooter wheel, (was off my Son's old scooter). But the hole is just a fraction to low and the wheel won't spin. So plan was to re-re-use the brackets I original had lol. But these are no good for hole position, plus the wheel NEED's to be off-centre, to help pivot nicely.

A quick eBay search and some aluminium plate was found and ordered. This, I'll cut up and make into spacer brackets.....


Event - Chippenham Sci-Fi Day 2015 - report

As with all my recent events R5 was loaded up the night before into the back of the car.

Chippenham is only about a 40 min drive away, but I had to fill up with petrol & pick up a friend who was helping out at the event as well. The weather was wet on arriving, but I had my 'car cover' to protect R5 lol.
[yes, car cover lol, it doesn't fit the larger cars, but knew it would come in handy]

The town council had made ALL pay parking free for the day, this helped with parking for everyone, nice touch!

Neeld Hall, has had an over haul since last year, more space has been opened up, with was great for the crowds to move around.
The stage was dominated by an Alien Queen prop as well as other Alien film props. In front was Terminator items.
  • Mark was there with his Podpad studios props, Astromech's, steampunk Dalek & lots more.
  • Joker Squad, Charity Sci-Fi, Southern Troopers & The Milton Keynes Garrison were just some of the groups there in a full range of costumes.
There were lots of stall's, collections for charities & of course Guests.

Paul F brought along his almost completed R2-D2 dome, with pop-up periscope that he has been working on. Great work in what he's done!

The Doors opened at 10am.
R5D4, Twitter, @JamesR5D4

Here's some of the pictures from the start of the day lol,
was to busy with R5 to take pics when it was packed lol

Alien Queen & Terminator props

R5D4 & R2D2
 R5 having 5mins break

Princess and droid
 A Princess and the droid [ok, so it's not R2 lol]

Podpad Studio's
 Podpad Studio's - selection of props

Terminator props

Another great, fun packed day for all who attended.....oh and the Sun did come out eventually.


Sounds .....like...?

Another half hour playing with the sound board and 12 Channel remote.
Few more 'random' settings for sounds and a clip of the Star Wars theme.

Just now need to re-label the remote and back in business, one less thing to do to be ready for Chippenham Sci-Fi Day on the 24th.....

So last night I eventually finished installing servo no2 for the lower utility arm & was going through everything and checking the sounds.....

.......and no SW theme played? :(

Will have to see what happens tomorrow, and then look at it next week.


R5's Utility Arm movement - servo No2 - installation

So Wednesday lunchtime I gots to cutting [drill & filing] out the opening in the screen, for the servo arm linkage to fit through. Re-installed the servos and fitted the panel back in place in R5. I then got on with cutting out the right angled pivot plate.
R5D4, utility arms

Pics from above of servo fitted screen, in place. I didn't take a pic of the cables cable tied in place along the bottom, for neetness, but you can just see it in the pic.

The push rod fittings make adjusting to the correct length, so much easier. I just set the minimum position I want the utility arm to be in when closed and lock the grub srew in place. [It's the brass coloured itme attached to the push rod, on the end of the servo arm.] No more whining servo as was with my first wire attempt. As the servo was still trying to reach its end point.


R5's Utility Arm movement - servo No1 - WORKS

LOL, I sound surprised, but after I had some sleep, and then a bit of Blog reading/searching oh and eBay surfing lol. I found how I was going to connect up the servo linkages to the Utility arm(s).

It may seem straight forward, but with how my servos 'movements range' was sort of limited, positioning of them for them to be able to close, meant that 'fully open' is not an option.

This was only a test, and was rushing as wanted to get one arm sorted before the weekends event [Feel the Force Day 3]. The throw is short and his arm doesn't come out to far, but am happy with this is is less exposed 'for safety'.

The test bracket fitted to the arm with the bent piece of wire, wasn't upto the abuse and broke. So had to make a new stronger angled bracket. I also bought some proper 'push rods', 'servo arm stoppers' & 'clevies'. These did a much better job and are obviously a lot more easier to adjust.


Servo position no.2 is now a WIP.....


Event - Chippenham Sci-Fi Day - 2015

Only 9 days till R5 will be attending another event.
This time it's.......
click pic to take to their website.

This is the second year of of this event.
Check out there website for up-to-date info.

Like them on FaceBook.
Also follow them on Twitter @chippenhamscifi.


Event - Feel The Force Day - 2015 **The Day in pictures**

Click pic for FTFD home page

......'What an amazing event!!'

For those who may not of heard of 'Feel the Force',

Welcome to Feel the Force Day. Truly unconventional conventions. Feel the Force Days are film and TV conventions designed for disabled people. We found over many years that film and TV conventions are just not able to enable full access to the subject they promote.
.......website quote
click logo for upto date info from their FaceBook page

** Over 4500 visitors **

R5 was loaded up Friday for an early start Saturday morning. Up at 6am, out the door by 7am for the drive up to Peterborough. From Bristol it's just over 2 hours 40mins drive [with no stops lol].

On arriving, I was greeted by a Delorean, Lightning McQueen, an LAPD squad car, a Mr Stay Puff Marshmallow man & more.

Click pic for conference centre

I managed to park close to tarmac, as the car parking area was stones. Assembled R5 in what has to of been the quickest time EVER lol, thanks to the new sled. Batteries in and hooked up, dome on & locked down, R5's Battery boxes on, powered up, rear hatch on.....10 mins tops!

We rolled up and through the entrance area and into the main room, where I found Adam Strawson with his R2 Unit & Wall-E droid.

R5D4, R2D2 & Wall-E
Wall-E:......just keep moving, they may not see me...

Other costume groups were already set up and entertaining the early arrivals. Door's 'opened' at 11am. The droids had their fare share of new friends and were interacting with them all, with their sounds and utility arms :).

R5D4, Feel the Force Day 2015

R5D4, Feel the Force Day 2015

R5D4, R2D2, Feel the force day 2015

This was the pic I tweeted...

The great thing about this event is that people CAN touch the props! To be able to help someone by describing parts of R5 and where they originally came from, what happens to him in the film etc. One young girl in a motorised wheelchair was playing chase with R5 :) Other people just wanted to touch and feel, which was good as with R5 being made from wood, his skin textured had imperfections in :)

There was so much to see, touch, hear and sense [smell section] that everyone could take part. Feel the Force Day's twitter account was very much alive over the weekend with positive feedback.



R5D4, AT-AT walker


R5D4, R2D2

Was a really good day, with lots to see and do for guests, there were also stage shows, Jedi fight scene and more. So check out their website for updates, pictures and videos on their You Tube channel for more of the day.


R5 really does have a 'Bad Motivator'....?

For the life of me I can't remember if I've actually tested R5's 'Bad Motivator' whilst his head has been connected to his body??? I've bench tested it wired direct to a 12 volt 12ah battery and everything works fine.

But the other night, whilst connecting everything up and testing, I noticed & heard that the actuator was making a hell of a racket and wasn't able to pop, like it did on test??

The smoke system is fine, but no 'pop'. Bench tested and all's ok!?!?!

The wiring hasn't changed and all's ok there.......so I'll need to look at this again. But don't have time at mo, with having to redo the 12 channel board and prep R5 ready for Saturday [loading Friday night].

For now, I've locked the Motivator in the up position & disconnected it's power. He will still have smoke and sound, so all good there :)

You know that new 12 channel remote I said I wouldn't be needing.....

........well, Wednesday night when I was having problems with R5's motivator actuator not popping up [see next Blog update]. Well I somehow managed to kill the 12 channel remote board :(. It beeps to receive the remote's signal, but nothing else works.....

So out came the replacement one and wired it up. But things are never that simple. The relays are not in order and two don't work at all??

But I've multiple sounds via the other button's so not the end of the world.

I then labelled up the remote, so I know what sound is which. Thought it might come in handy if he's talking to kids :)

Roll on Saturday :)


Event - Feel The Force Day - 2015

Only a few days till R5 is loaded up on his new 'sledge' and into the boot of the car for his transport for the drive up to Peterborough for Feel the Force Day.

Really looking forward to this :)

Click pic for twitter link to Feel The Force Day

R5's Utility Arm movement - servo No1

In work this morning and I got on with the drilling and the filing for fitting Utility arm servo No1.

I'd already marked a suitable position on a piece of cardboard template.

And here's servo No1 test fitting on rear mesh screen [which was fitted years ago to prevent fingers etc being put inside R5 lol]




Test fit of servo, looking good. Just need to add the bottom two nuts and screws.

Electronics & Automation upgrade time..... 1.1

Servo's &  brackets & leads arrived at the weekend.

The servo's I'd ordered were cheap budget Tower Pro ones. Only because I wanted to test that I could get the transmitter to work them. I'd also bout some brackets to be able to fit them. These didn't fit over the servo's location lugs, so I had to file them down a bit to fit. No big problem and they now fit a lot better.

So got to playing with the Transmitter settings in the hope I can actually control the Utility arm's once connected up. See next update on Utility Arm movement Blog post.....


Thought I'd have to have both arms servo's running off a Y-splitter, but I must of set both 'switches' A & B the same, and the knobs too. This means I can dial the servo's to OPEN position, and then flip the switch and the action is cancelled and the arms will 'CLOSE'..... well, that's the thinking, tho may need to swap this round.

LED's & Fibre optic cable came too. More on this later on......

On order was a new 12 Channel remote control, for sound activation........hope this one works properly!

.......well, this came a LOT sooner than I expected, minus a mini battery [no big deal].... But it arrived the day after I actually got my old one working properly!?!?!

Thought I'd try to sort old 12 Channel remote, one last time. Noticed that the remote's LED was dimming, so swapped it over....... All the channels relays 'switch', they all work and they all play their connected sounds.....What the.....?!?!? Am not 100% sure that this was the cause of the problem, but can't believe that this could of been the whole problem?
But I don't really care, am to happy that it all works lol, even the 'NEXT' function settings work, so I have multipule sounds from clicking one button!

Wired up one of the leads from the slip ring to activate R5's bad motivator sound from the second remote, but couldn't get it to work. Not going to worry to much as it will just have to be operated from the main remote control and be a two finger button pressing operation lol


New platform/support/frame for R5 in car - Sledge 1

After quite a few events, what I really want is for R5 to be ready to roll, straight out the back of the car, so to speak. Travelling to local events, he can fit in rear of my car, standing up on his motorised feet, but in the car other (used for NOT so local) events, they have to be removed, due to the rear hatch being lower. This adds more to the time needed to disassemble/reassemble him, and in which order.....

So I needed to build a new support frame so he can be led down, instead of stood up.

There are loads of different ideas, so which one is best for me......?? lol
So plans are being drawn up to accommodate his specific needs....

Sunday 27th, I got to start work on building, the idea I setteled on is one I've seen used a few times by other builders. Had been measuring up and marked wood, so today was cutting it all out.

Well I managed to get it 95% completed....enough to support in car anyway lol.

The underside of the frame sits on the lower protruding parts, then it helps to tip R5. The upper 'arms' stop him sliding once in the car. Then he'll be strapped in place on sledge and to points in car boot.