Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Getting the JEDI Light system mounted into the dome

This is the phase of the build I haven't looked forward to. Lighting, electronics and mounting things in the dome


Because there is little room for forgiveness and misplaced holes!

As you can see here, the cutout required for the one-piece front logic display is huge. It also makes mounting it a real challenge. I toyed with making braces or some sort of way to clamp them into place. However, none of those ideas would work. So, I went with something I have used with great success....silicone.

Silicone has several things in its favor. Inexpensive. Dries quickly. Easy to trim if too much is used. Removable, should you want to remove the part someday. And...can handle being bounced around, which all droids do. I have busted and broken more JB Weld over the past few years than epoxy.

While that dried over night, I worked on a way to mount the JEDI electronics into the dome. Thankfully I kept all the scrap aluminum from the skins and found that what was in the pocket vent location would work perfect. It also had the curvature that would work inside the dome ring.

I needed to be careful to use spacers so that the boards would not short out. I also needed something simple and easy for cable/wire access. I think this came out rather nice!

The next night, with the silicone dried, I mounted things into place...

Mounting the lighting into the metal surrounds was a real trick.
The first thing I had to do was drill and tap holes to match the LED templates. The rear logic display was a bit trickier. Since the lights do not completely fill the surround piece opening with lights, I had to center it a bit for the best result.
After I drilled and tapped holes for 4-40 screws, I took several 1 inch long 4-40 screws and used the dremel to cut off the heads. Here's the order in which I placed them into place...
1) Loosely screw in the 1 inch screws into the metal surround.
2) Slide the lense into place. With the screws only in loosely, you can manuever them around to fit the lense in. Do this for the rest of the pieces, have a small screwdriver handy to fit the screw to the alignment holes.
3) Slide the LED template on, taking note that they are marked "back piece".
4) Slide the round spacers into position
5) Slide the logic surround piece into position.
6) Using some needle-nose pliers, very carefully tighten the screws into the metal surround.
7) Once those are snug/tight, use the plastic nuts on the front logic displays. I then used a split washer and nut on top of them. For the rear logic display, since I had no more plastic spacers, I used a split washer in nut for that.

Next I used two wood screws and mounted the JEDI control panel into position.
I then used 16 guage speaker wire from Radio Shack, since it was the only ZIP type wire I could find locally (positive and negative wires together, less "spaghetti" mess).
After the JEDI was re-wired up, here's the result...