Friday, 28 January 2011


I´m playing with my new toy - the arduino open source micro controller. So far I´ve managed to blink a couple of LEDs - a small step for many, a giant leap for me. My first arduino (UNO smd) had a bug in the bootloader, so Robonor sent me a new working one (thanks). In theory you can program the working one to "heal" the faulty one by using the working one as an ISP and then upload a new bootloader to the faulty one - can I fix it? No I can´t - at least not yet. Hopefully the Arduinopeople can find an easy fix - would be cool to have two working arduinos, lol :D

For more info on the arduino check out here

Thursday, 20 January 2011


Today I removed all burrs and whatnots from the inside of the outer dome - what a drag! Hopefully it is good enough. I also started sanding the darn thing. I picked up this fake mouse sander for only 17$, so I decided to give it a try. 200 grain paper as a start made those spin lines disappear pretty quick - I still have hours of hand sanding with 400 and 600 etc etc left. Before...

....and after - still LOTS of sanding left. Well, my arms definetly could do with some more exercise. I feel like Karate Kid getting his work out by working.

Dome and Dremel sitting in a tree...

Finally I managed to free all panels - using the Dremel without a single mistake. Yay!

Luckily I managed to get the line pretty straight where the laser had stopped. I used various files and just filed away very gently until the line looked right. I also got a spare Rear Logics panel from Daren today, thanks mate.
 Oh, hehe - I got this "droid builders uniform" for 50$ on the bay the other day :D

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Scary! Pt 2

As I said earlier - today, for some weird reason, I felt the urge to attack the dome head on with the Dremel instead of saving it to last and do it slowly when I have perfected my technique on the skins and scraps.

Tools for today:

The crappy 0,8 mm cutting blades (the good ones are too wide for these gaps) and a medium file (flat one side, curved the other)

Here´s the pie panels cut out. Not a single mistake- The narrow blades leave enough space as long as you have a steady hand. Te rest of the tabs are removed with the file very easily.

Since this went so well I decided to cut off the faulty rear logics panel too.

The bottom ring also came off today. Here's those tiny hands of mine filing away. I found raising the dome up to chest level made it easier to work.

And finally, here's the Astromechanic in all his glory, lol.

- Yeah, I know, the Devils are having a crappy season - but they´ve been my team since I was a kid. Why? No idea :D Nowadays I coach hockey kids (3-7yrs) and am pondering the possibility of trying out for one of the teams in the old boys league...hmmm)


For some reason I felt like attacking the dome head on this morning. In came the Dremel and out with all the safer saws and files. So far all pie panels as well as the bottom ring has come off without any horrors. The dome is made from virgin aluminium - very soft and easy to work with.

Saturday, 8 January 2011


My JAG ankles have arrived. Purchased at the club's junkyard - Thank you Ray!

Minor setback

The Dome has had an encounter with a lazy laser that has missed parts of one of the gaps. This needs to be sorted. Luckily Daren (Mr. Dome) has offered to send me a spare rear logics dome panel, so I only need to worry about the actual dome. The remedy is to cut off the panel below the top edge of the gap, and then gently file away until the line is perfect. Masking off this line or drawing it on is difficult because of the domes curves, but I´ll figure something out.

Here´s the faulty gap:

Thursday, 6 January 2011


Weeeeeeeeeeeeee! Nerdgasm!! The dome is made up of two layers same as the skins. for info check out

Parts from eBay...

Generally everyone advices against ordering parts from eBay due to crappy quality etc. However... I wanted some coin returns in a hurry as these are used when you align the inner/outer skin. I found these on eBay and decided to give them a try since the price was very low. I regret it now, although I´ve been told by other members of the builders club that the seller normally delivers quality items. I´ll give him the benefit of doubt and settle on my item beeing the one bad egg in the basket...

As you can see these are no longer in one piece - the thing cracked and came apart trying to fit it to the skins - the base of each coin return just doesn´t match up, and the back piece is curved. Upon closer inspection you can see that the whole thing is made up of separate pieces glued together - not accurate enough. Lesson learned - stay off eBay.

The chisel method

I decided to try the chisel method recommended to me by other builders at
I decided to use a small hammer, a needle file that fit perfectly in the larger gaps (se pic 2) and a tiny 90 degree scalpel - kept super sharp on a whetstone. The file did the job on the large gaps while the hammer/scalpel combo made getting at the tabs in the narrow gaps fun - and most importantly - without any dents...

Sherell aluminium skins!

Testfitting the inner skins. The fit is extremely good.

To test the skins I use these band clamps - perfect for this job.

Frame assembled

57 mins later and it looks like this. Not bad, not bad at all!

My first part!

This fantastic piece of kit is a Com8A frame. It assembles in about 1 hour - IKEA style! Available to members of the R2-D2 Builders Club only. Come join us: