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How much does an Astromech Droid weigh?

Well, since I packed my R2 to go to a family thing over the weekend, and R2 was brought along to show my young cousins, and to act like a music player for the midsummer’s eve party, I decided to actually find out how much that darn thing weighs!

So, the body i styrene, got 3 motors in it, rather heavy aluminum dome with electronics and a big motorcycle battery. I know the body is heavy, but I guess it is more cumbersome than heavy, really.

Total tally was not as bad as I first had thought/feared.

When I started out this project, my goal was to build a droid that ends up around 40-50 kilos (that’s in-between 88-110 lbs for you who don’t like metric).

At this moment, and there ‘s not a whole lot of things that will be added to the droid, more like a few things replaced here and there, and it all clocks in at 38.5 kilos. 85 pounds!

Not bad!

Still, it packs a pretty mean punch when it is driving towards you at “full” speed…

By | 2016-12-06T00:01:27+00:00 June 23rd, 2012|R2-D2|Comments Off on How much does an Astromech Droid weigh?

More tiny detail work….

Today was time to do some of the small bits I have postponed for some time.

Really, some of it was really quick temporary fixes in order to get the droid looking as complete as possible for the upcoming holidays.

I started with the legs. Just look how nice they are now =)

I started with cutting out foot strips of styrene and painted them silver. At the same time, I painted some extra pieces of styrene as well, to double up as temporary side vents and pocket vents until I have had time to cut the real vents out.

Also in the paint process were my shoulder hubs. I painted them all silvery, which works quite well. Even though I will have proper aluminum in the end, this really helps the look of the droid until that’s done =)

Another thing I added, was screwing the legs apart and inserting the ankle bracelets that I made a run for earlier. Looks a lot better!

All that’s missing on the legs now is the ankle cylinders and holders and wedges, otherwise they are pretty much finished!

Once the foot strips were done, I finally got to insert my braided hoses into the feet and battery boxes! It really helps the overall look! =)

I cheated a bit, though. I only fixed the front of the feet. No stripes on the backsides yet …

The feet really starts looking good!

Now, about my pocket vents and side vents. I have not had time to cut these out, so I really cheated on these ones!

I took a piece of 1mm styrene, painted it silver and took a blue thick marker, and my steel ruler, and simply drew lines on them!

Horrible, I know, but at least it fills up the gap in the body! =)

The front pocket vent, I tried to cut out and put a piece of styrene behind it (made blue with my marker above) and glued that together. A 5 minute job to get something that looks sort of like a pocket vent.

Side vents are even more horrid… are you ready for this?

Now, these are closeups and no legs getting in the way, but as a temporary solution, I think it will work well! I’ll get to work on these from mid july when my vacation actually starts! =)

Once that was done, I looked over my center wheel, modified the position of the caster inside the wheel, as it really needed to be moved forward from my road test earlier this week. Hopefully it will be sturdier and run a bit smoother now! =)

One last thing that I did that was actually not a temporary fix, was taking apart my holo projectors and adding felt pads inside the HP holders, which will keep the droid from rattling so much on uneven surfaces.

Now, it’s time for midsummer holiday!

By | 2016-12-06T00:01:28+00:00 June 21st, 2012|R2-D2|Comments Off on More tiny detail work….

Test driving in the street

This may well be one of the biggest updates….

So, I did quite a few things and decided to take R2 on a quick test drive into the street….

Well… first things first… Let me tell you about the stuff I had to do to get him there….

R2 has been on a massive overhaul lately, and I’ve started doing things from painting to change the wheels around, and rethinking the speakers and coming up with a good solution for that, and now also changing the position of the battery, which in turn led me to finally redo the entire electronics board, and actually add a fuse box into my little friend!

This is the new electronics board, which in this version (it has changed slightly) has the Dan Stuettgen Power Distribution board bottom left, going to the fusebox, up right, sending power up to the dome and into the RC receiver and finally the Sabretooth and Syren 10 used for drive and dome control.

The entire electronics board is suspended with velcro, so it actually has a really good vibration dampener, something that I really like!

The battery has been moved from the front of my droid body to the back of the droid body. Low point of gravity and all.

This is how much space I have between the board and the battery..

The battery is secured with Velcro underneath, and also a strip of velcro making sure it doesn’t vibrate out of place, tying it to the frame in the back. I like Velcro.

From the top, the droid doesn’t look as cluttered anymore..

Now, of course there were some snags with this. First off I realized that the slip ring connector board was too close to my slip ring holder, so I had to move it around a bit. Actually you can see the new position in the pic above, compared with the first picture of the board.

Second.. well … we’ll get to that later! =) All in good time!

Paint job has continued. Even though I have ordered a metal set, I made a quick paint job on my resin set of power couplers. I know. I forgot the ring in the front, and no, it’s not very nicely painted. Come on, people. Give me a break. This is a rush job to impress the family on Midsummer! I will get proper paints and proper metal pieces as well, but I wanted them to at least have sort of the correct paint job! =)

I have quite painfully realized that my hands are not as steady as they used to be last time I brought out them citadel paints. 15 years ago when I was painting eyes on war hammer figures about an inch tall…

I have also realized that there are many auto paint shops that can not only break the color to the exact nuance I want, but also put it in an aerosol can for me!

Lately, I’ve been out looking at cars to find a color that I like that may or may not be my R2 blue.

Since the silver can was out anyway, I painted my resin Center Vents. They are pretty beat up, and I can’t wait to get a nice, clean aluminum set from BobC. Again. Midsummer. Temporary. Impress family…

Anyway, this is the speaker/center vent holder with the blue front. Works quite well. It would work a lot better with a pair of metal center vents screwed into the holder!

By the way… the speakers are now held in place with .. you guessed it …. Velcro!

I like the package feeling I get from the unit with the vents and the speakers. Small, self contained… works …

Another great way of fastening things on my droid is magnets. I picked up a few bags of rather small magnets and made a holder for my LDP, and superglued two magnets to the back of it. It sits really sturdy in place and is going nowhere!

Locking mechanism above…. and LDP in place below:

The utility arms are not mounted properly either. I still lack the tubes and screws needed so for now, they are only sitting inside the arm holders with … Well … it starts with a “V” …

I really like the dark color of them utility arms and LDP, though. It is the SAME color as the rest of the blue stuff… but I think I didn’t rattle the can enough, since the stuff I sprayed first came out much darker than the stuff towards the end of the can…

One thing that is NOT fastened with Velcro, however are the copper hose braids. I have still no foot stripes so I have not drilled out the holes in the feet yet that these should connect to, but decided to fix them up anyway.

The hose braids was ordered by Sigge and shipped to me. Thank you Captain Sigge!

I found a good clear rubber hose that I cut to length and placed inside the copper braids. My next move was to use the old “plug and screw” technique in order to lock the braids inside the hose.

Since they will be screwed into place, I only secured ONE end, the other end will be inserted into the battery box and gently pulled out until it is quite secure.

Finally, it was time to assemble my droid again. He has not been fully assembled since winter, and it was about time!

When putting on his center leg, the box I had him propped up against slid away from under him, and he almost face planted. As it happens, the edge of the box really smashed up one of the center vents even more. so I had to do a quick fix with some superglue and silver paint to cover up the worst.

Again, getting proper metal ones, so this is ok for the moment… really.

Once he was on three wheels, it was time to test drive him around a bit.

Or so I thought.

Turns it was time to troubleshoot electronics a bit.

The Sabretooth started blinking as if the battery was depleted, but that’s a pretty big battery and I think I had it more than half full. I charged for 40 minutes and tried again. Same error.

Turns out that the Power Distribution Board is not made for sending through the power to the motor controller, so I had to put that in parallel from the battery. A snip here, a cable there, and problem was fixed.

Another thing I realized was that I need to move his front wheel slightly more to the front, and I need to work on securing the center ankle, as it was not as stable as I’d hoped. I may need to come up with another solution for the foot.

Anyway, all assembled, still needing pocket and side vents, here is my droid in its current state:

Still, lots to do, but at least I know he works, and apart from painting and weathering and fixing an ankle and some vents and stuff, he is starting to be quite… assembled! =)

By | 2016-12-06T00:01:29+00:00 June 19th, 2012|R2-D2|Comments Off on Test driving in the street

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