Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dome re-wire!

One issue I keep having is with the dome and the power wires.
As I had it, I had the battery sitting on the dome plate, which spins with the dome.   
The problem I kept running into was the wires would get caught on something inside the body and get yanked off the electronics.  The wires were made long so that I could remove R2's head and have enough wire to set R2's head down a short distance away.  This just wasn't working, as spooling and stuffing all that wire under the dome was a huge hassle.  It would also make the installation of other dome accessories, such as the projector, a problem.
My local Batteries Plus operator suggested some small, 6 volt batteries attached in series to provide 12 volts.  Since they are very thin, they would sit inside the dome ring and be held in place with velcro.
So, I began the process of untangling all the wires and figuring out if the maritime 12 volt fuse block would fit....
It turns out that the fuse block would fit inside the dome.  I would do what I did with the JEDI electronics that power the dome lights, make a small mounting plate.

Its no very pretty in there, but now the dome runs independently from the body.  I didn't go crazy cutting and shortening wires as I would just have to do it all over again once I start hinging and attaching servos to the top dome panels.

And then, there was the moment of truth....everything powered on and worked!

Next week will be really busy for R2...
  • New main computer.  The current netbook is being replaced with a brand new Asus 1201N.  This netbook features an Intel Atom dual core processor, 4 gb of RAM, nVidia ION graphics and will run Windows 7 64-bit.  With R2 doing sounds and video projector work, the big boost in processing will keep things moving along nicely.
  • Resin CPU Arm.  This arrives next week and is a resin copy of the aluminum model.  I have some resin cleaning, priming, sanding and painting ahead of me.  Then, the fine work of setting it up to work with the servos for R2's computer to control.
The week after that, R2 has a visit planned with some great young adults.  More on that later!