I have neglected this site for a LOOOONG time….

I have been updating a bit in the member forums, but had gotten away from keeping this site current. So anyways, R5 was indeed complete in time for dragonCon, and shortly thereafter, I finished him 100%
Here is a nice pic of him somebody else took at the con….

and here is a pic showing his fully completed feet and everything…

After dragoncon, I made a series of pretty serious upgrades. I more than doubled his battery capacity, going from 14ah at 12v to 18AH at 24v.
I found that at 12v the scooter drives would get bogged in carpet, so bumping it up to the 24v the motors were really designed for gives me tons more power. On flat ground he was already too darn fast, so i have adjusted my throttle curve and endpoints to keep him in check. He still is twitchy, but controllable. I also inverted the drives, placing the drive wheel forward for better turning.
I redid all the electrics, removing all my fancy relays and just going with simple switches to save power.
His battery life at dragoncon was poor by my estimation, though several other guys though that a 4 hour runtime was fine, I wanted him to run all day with power to spare. I also changed the mounting, adding a hatch on the back so that he can keep his dome on and I can power him up/down by just popping open a little door. I also installed a simple charge socket there, and he charges with a cheap 24v charger meant for electric wheelchairs.
charge station

Since completing that, I had been working on my other droid, designing the leg drop mechanism. I had it down to a setup that would probably cost $700 in parts to construct, including some custom-cut aluminum parts, but the costs of being a parent are catching up with me, and i had to cut my fun budget down to 1/3 of what it had been. so…it would take me like 6 months to put aside that cash. I decided to do cheaper things, that would take more time and keep me busy. I have been doing little cheap things to keep making R5 better, and gotten into model airplanes.

So, on the R5 front now, I decided to use the R2 style dome I had gotten for my second droid on R5 for now. I chose this color scheme partially for the fact there are 2 canon droids with these colors, one is R5-X2, the other is R2-R9. It’s like 2 droids for the price of like, 1.25 🙂

So…. this is R5 doing his very best R2-R9 Impression 😛

This was a little more involved than just removing one head and slapping on the other. The spacing at the neck on the 2 domes is very different, so I had to use longer screws to secure the dome to the rockler than I would with the R5 head. While I had the rockler off, i took it apart, cleaned it out, re-sanded, re-polished, and re-greased it since being out in the garage means it gets more and more dust and gunk in it all the time. Tomorrow night perhaps I’m hoping to give him a good dusting and bring him in from the cold to stand in the office or living room. Maybe take the place of the christmas tree 🙂
I also modified my dome drive to use an A&A gear set I picked up used recently. No slippage, and a little less noise now. I used some tamiya gear lube that came in this tiny tube with some random science kit on the gears, and put a wood screw in my frame as a stop so the gears would not mesh too deep or have pressure on them. The spring just keeps the drive gear in place, and would theoretically allow it to ride out of the track and slip if the rockler jammed. Probably has way too much spring tension for that to work properly right now, I will probably need to use a lighter spring to reflect the swing arm’s new purpose.

Anyways, next for my now R2-R9 I guess will be to get back to the periscope and lifter, and maybe some more interesting programming for the microcontrollers, and maybe even finally get that old embedded PC i have laying about installed 🙂

December 2017
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