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Thursday, October 30, 2008

Major success !

Finally ..... The little droid is alive ..... Oh yeah, what a great feeling after what seems like many years of working on him. The last couple weeks I poured my energy and enthusiasm into the build and it payed off. As always, many lessons were learned along the way and some of the most frustrating things were caused by the stupidest errors. For example, the many weeks I fought with building a dome drive were the result of using a piece of @%#@% power supply. That power supply flaked out my speed controller which spasmatically had my motors going crazy. I thought the motors were binding or something and didn't look at the obvious problem.

Recently I had a problem with my dome electronics where the display controller would reset on bootup and never get into the lighting routine. After diagnosing the voltage, it was determined that one volt was dropped and it was feeding 4v instead of 5v. Even though most places indicated 5v, when it powered on, there just wasn't enough juice to keep the display controller going. Merely changing the power feed wire took care of the problem. But it took me many days and a bit of fretting to figure that out.

So now, my dome spins (I installed a purchased AP drive), R2 talks, lights up and even the drive system is working well. I was driving him around the garage and it was amazing. I'm on cloud nine.

I took yesterday and today off work to do some hard core wiring and built a clear rear door on hinges that is removable and where I mount most of the electronics. I bought a piece of lexan which is tough and a good insulator (I think). The fiberglass electronics panel that came with the frame is on the other side of the battery and is holding all the CF sound electronics. I redid the sound wav files and completely redid that setup. So not only does everything work well, it looks professional and organized.

One of the only things I still need to install is the power couplers. But not a big deal. So maybe R2 will be outside during halloween even though we only get about 6 kids.

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