Thursday, June 30, 2005

Radio/receiver ordered

Ordered the Futaba 7 channel radio/receiver combo and it should be delivered this coming Wednesday.


Monday, June 27, 2005

Audio amp and speakers

I spent some time building the stereo audio amp kit and getting it all wired up only to discover that it has unacceptable RF interference anytime it is turned on.

So I chucked it and got the cheapest set of powered computer speakers from CompUSA and tore out the guts and just used them. Works great, and now I have another cool blue LED inside the back panel...

Here are the speakers mounted just behind where the vent surrounds will go.

Another view from the inside.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Mac mini wiring and mounting

Been spending a lot of time getting the Mac mini mounted and wired in, as well as the voltage regulator, audio and video cabling, fuse blocks, and disconnects. Still lots more to do. But I do love this stuff.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Logic surrounds painted

Got these painted metallic silver/aluminum finally.

Scratch-built center foot

I'm getting in on JAG's metal center foot run, but I need a foot before the end of the month so I'm building my own. Using some 1:1 drawings from my buddy Nick, I've got a pretty good set up so far. Aluminum bar for the frame with layers of birch ply built up for the form, then skinned in styrene. I'm using the same ball casters from McMaster Carr that will be used on the JAG foot. I'll transfer them later on. I'll probably re-use this foot for my next droid.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Periscope progress

I have the main body to the periscope together, bondo'ed, sanded, primed, and painted. I'm working on getting it on a cylindrical shaft to raise it up. I discovered that a 1.5" plumbing tailpiece works perfectly for this. I'll post more info as I progress through figuring out how to get it all mounted in the dome so it can be raised and lowered.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

DC-DC converter arrived

The Carnetix converter arrive today. I plan to get it installed this weekend, possibly with the Mac mini as well, if I can figure out a mounting bracket/method for attaching the mini to the frame.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

DC-DC converter

The DC-DC converter from Carnetix should be here any day. I'm using this to power the Mac mini from R2's on-board 12V batteries. It's a device that is used to power PCs that have been installed in cars. It provides filtered power to the Mac, and allows for orderly startup and shutdown/sleep when power is removed. It even provides a secondary power output that is delayed on power up for audio amps and USB bus power.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Audio amp

I ordered a 4W stereo audio amp from that will drive a pair of 4" automotive mid-range speakers inside R2. This amp will be driven by the line-level stereo audio output from the Mac mini. My custom application will play back R2 sounds as triggered remotely from the Bluetooth wireless keyboard.

Booster Covers Mounted

Got the holes drilled into the legs to mount the aluminum booster covers.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Battery box shelf

I figured out how to mount the battery into the battery box, keep it in place, and clear the motor that sticks out thru the cut-out I had to make in each outer foot. Piece of 1" aluminum angle stock cut to 6 7/8", then two holes tapped for the same 8-32 bolts that the boxes hang from.


Re-routed all of the power and drive motor wiring. While I had the ankles and legs/feet apart changing out the motor brackets, I drilled holes and put in grommets to pass the wiring from the ankles to the feet. I'm using 12 gauge automotive wire for battery and motor connections.

I also put in some terminal blocks and terminated all of the wiring there. Motors on top, batteries on the bottom.

I used some heavy duty disconnects for the batteries that will go in the battery boxes so they can be easily swapped and recharged in the field.

I have 4 separate 12V 7AH batteries. Two in the bottom of the body frame for electronics, and two in the battery boxes for motors.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

New motor mounts

Pat Coajou's cool new scooter motor mounting brackets came in the mail. I swapped them out for my home-made ones. Pat's use the ball caster and are much more compact. I had to remove the feet, which is a big deal, so I ended up completely taking R2 apart to get some other work done inside as well.

Test fitting the parts before installation.

I had to enlarge the opening for the scooter motor since Pat's brackets were smaller than mine and fit closer to the U-channel of the foot.

I also had to drill and countersink new mounting holes.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Dome wiring harness

Spent time making a wiring harness for all of the dome electronics. Separate 12v supplies for logics/LEDs/PSIs and Holoprojector lamp/video LCD board/etc. Also includes the firewire cable for the iSight, video in for the LCD, and a separate supply for future use. The 12v goes through the dome bump switches as well. Photos to come.

Monday, June 06, 2005

S&R Periscope

Bag of parts arrived for the S&R periscope yesterday. I bent the parts using the boiling water method. Also got the main housing glued up. Ordered the bolts from McMaster Carr. Will try to get the rest of it assembled soon.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Front logics LEDs done

Got 100 more white LEDs in the mail. Finished soldering all of the blue and white LEDs to the Hyperdyne front logics. They look great. Pics to come.