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Sunday, June 11, 2006

B9 Power Pack, collar refurb and vents

There has definately been more building and less being at the computer updating this log lately. This weekend turned out to be fairly productive.

First off, the decision to make the second B9 is now solid. For a few weeks I thought I'd just sell the parts but it turned out that keeping them is a better decision. The second B9 will be a lot more durable with fiberglass legs, knees and a steel treadsection that I may motorize.

I had a collar that was pretty busted up and yesterday while working on the vents, I repaired the busted ribs on the collar. There were about 8 busted ribs. The shape and size of the ribs were much different than the jigs I had when I made my first collar so I just heated a few acrylic rods up with a heat gun and formed them in the shape of the other ribs by hand. It wasn't too hard actually. The repair was a little messy with some glue going places it shouldn't have. The end result should hold up pretty durable and it beats buying or fabricating a completely new collar. This one isn't bad.

The vents are now complete and ready to mount inside the robot. Now that I'm committed to the second B9, I need to fabricate another set while I have the jigs available. It's fun working with this stuff and I find it's very relaxing.

The highlight of the weekend is installing a power pack in my B9. I have no idea why I put this off for so long. The power pack looks very cool on the robot and it was actually a piece of cake to install. B9's need their power packs. Another B9 project was to glue the upper channel in the programming bay. Up until now, it was just resting inside my B9. I need to get that permanently mounted. My first attempt was using tiny bolts from the hobby shop but the heads hit the vents as they slid open and closed. That's when I chucked the bolts and grabbed the jb weld.

Another big mistake on my initial B9 was the way I made a fake soil sampler door. This weekend I was able to remove that fake door miraculously without even hurting the finish underneath. Even though there's no soil sampler door on the B9, it looks 100% better without that stupid fake door. It was glued on with GOOP and this is the second time I had to remove something that was put on with goop and I had no problems even though the goop is very strong. Good stuff !

The big disappointment of Saturday morning was my attempt to solder some LED light chasers. Even though the soldering was neat and looked perfect, they didn't work and I eventually gave up. A great learning experience with the soldering iron for sure.

I ordered the dye to dye the fiberglass legs (I like dye better than paint) on the second B9. I'm pretty sure it will work. Next weekend I'll have a bunch of those parts finished and looking sharp.

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