Friday, June 24, 2011

Visit to Barbara Bush Children's Hospital (Maine Medical Center, Portland)

Today was my trip to the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital, which is part of Maine Medical Center.  Located in Portland, its about  2 hour drive south from me.  Road construction and rainy weather added some time to that but when you have the right music, who cares, right?

Like most of my hospital visits, due to patient privacy (HIPPA) laws, I can't photograph the patients with R2, unless they have signed consent forms agreeing to it.  Since I have both hands busy controlling R2, I do not take many pictures.

My friend, Christina, joined me for this R2 visit and acted as the official photographer for the Child Life staff.  The pictures will be printed and given to the kids.

As is usually the case with patient visits, after R2-D2 was given a thorough disinfectant wipe down, we do a quick system check, make sure everything is working normally and then follow the Child Life Specialist around.  "Alice" was fantastic to work with, leading us from room to room, making sure the patient was awake and wanted a galactic visitor!

I honestly don't know who had the biggest smiles.  The patients, the families or the staff!

One family gave me the "Ok" to take a wonderful picture of their little boy with R2.  I had R2 playing the disco song "Staying Alive" from the BeeGees and the little guy would clap away with a big smile...

I lost track of how many children we visited but we had a great time.  

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The night before the journey, I discovered what has caused two blown fuses at the Children's Miracle Network Telethon.  

It turns out that the thick 10-gauge wire that goes from the drive batteries into the RoboteQ AX-3500 bends at a sharp angle.  When R2 takes a large bump, this one power wire seems to get yanked, pulling upwards on the tab.  This has slowly pulled it loose of the solder connection, so the pin portion of the tab is sliding in and out of the solder joint.

I did some very delicate solder work to heat the tab and re-apply some solder to the top portion of where it meets the circuit board.

Then the more delicate work was to slowly heat the pins on the other side.  The camera couldn't focus very well but essentially it looked like to solder doughnuts, with the pins sliding in and out.  Now, after some careful heating, it has been re-soldered and is back to new condition.