April 19 2002
Well it has been a while since my last update. Things have progressed slowly but are picking up
as I am trying to get a few things done for Celebration II (C2). This is the BIG Star Wars convention
in Indianapolis in May 3,4,5 2002.

I got my CD working for R2 sounds. Unfortunately the relays make a very loud click when they are
activated. I will have to deaden them by insulating them somehow. I will also have to memorize the
tracks so that I can pick specific sounds for certain situations. I have included the scream
and the blowing up sounds. I have also included the theme to Star Wars and Battlestar Galactica.
Other songs are a short clip of the I'm Too Sexy song and Tiny Toons.

Since the CD player and speakers take 6VDC I have now added a 6VDC battery into my R2.
I tried to wire up my CD and speakers to use the 12VDC in my R2 but the speakers have a power save
feature that shuts down whenever there is no signal to them. This also shuts down the CD player.
I have a 6VDC battery from a power wheel car and will have to install it into R2.

I have rewired R2. Now all major components can be removed by pulling connectors apart.
The next step is to remount everything into R2. By rewiring everything I have hopefully made it
easier to trouble shoot any problems. I have also added wiring for the CD, speakers and 6 volt battery.

Another fun time was trying to wire up my dome LEDs to the 12VDC battery supply. I was leery
of this since I didn't want to burn out my LEDs. These things cost quite a lot and I didn't want to
take any chances. Before I ran the Leds off of a 9V battery. Of course this burned out the
batteries after a few hours.

Since I am an electronic moron I was advised to add a 280-320 ohm resistor into the circuit.
This would bring the voltage down and limit the current to make it safe for my LEDs. I went to
an electronics store and bought some 100 ohm resistors to try in my circuit.

After a few frustrating hours of trying various combinations I noticed that I bought the wrong resistors.
I bought 100000 ohm resistors instead of 100 ohm. In short I did eventually got my LEDs wired to my
12VDC batteries. I measured the voltage and it was lower then the desired 9VDC. This makes the flashing
red/green LEDs a bit slower and the green diagnostic LEDs not as bright.

In my current R2 I have replaced the rear power coupling with switches. I used these to turn
on the main power and the power to the RC unit. I have replaced this with a 4 switch unit.
One is still for 24VDC and the RC unit but I have added one for 6VDC and the 4th one is a spare.

I also had to reprogram my Switch 16 a couple of times before I can get the thing working.
This thing sure is fiddly. I always wonder if I got a bad unit. I did have to send it back for
repairs since the first one I had did not work.

For C2 I also designed a new cart for my R2. One problem with my R2 is that when he is in my
car in parts it is very hard to get a cart in the car. It takes a lot of squeezing of parts.
Also it takes several trips to bring all the parts before R2 can be assembled.

I was hoping with this cart I could make only one trip of R2 parts to be assembled.
To help the process I purchased a new toolbox with wheels. It is a nice standup unit and replaces 2 tool boxes.

I designed the cart to be broken down into parts that can be easily fit in my car in all the
little nooks and crannies after R2 is in there.

It is almost done and we shall soon see if it is strong enough. The second function of the
cart is to use it to transport the assembled R2. At C2 there is going to be an R2 parade.
The top speed of my R2 is very slow and if it is deemed too slow I will put my R2 on my cart and pull it along.

I have been also adding a few details that I haven't had on R2 before. Certain details were
always missing from my R2 and most people would not notice. However at C2 I am sure people will notice
the little things so I am adding these items and doing a little painting.

Panting - Side and rear grills, the little part that holds the bars to the side of the ankles

Parts - the little details on the front and rear of the ankles

I did get a couple of resin arms from a club member and I am going to soon cut out the painted
ones on my body to install them. If I have the time I will hinge them. I am still not sure what
I am going to do to open and close them. All motors and solenoids I have found are too fast.

I also have an X-10 video camera that I want to install into the holoeye.


If you want to build your own R2 go here -->http://groups.yahoo.com/group/r2builders

Email me ask@interlog.com