R2 Update: Control System Proof-of-Concept

This last weekend, I decided to do a proof-of-concept with R2’s control electronics. I wanted to be sure the radio transmitter, receiver, and motor controllers not only functioned, but functioned the way I think they should.

I had an old Kenner radio controlled R2 given to me a few years ago, but it didn’t work. At one point, I took it apart to fix it (I did go to school for electronics after all) but the electronics were in pretty bad shape. Bad capacitors, cold solder joints, etc. I decided this would make a perfect “proof-of-concept” test, since the basic layout is the same: 1 motor in each foot, and 1 in the dome.

I was almost able to fit all of the electronics for the full-size R2 into the battery compartment of the little R2. What was left (batteries) I simply taped to him temporarily. After a little tweaking of dip switches on the speed controllers, I was able to control the little R2 exactly the way I suspected it would work. Here’s a little video of the test:

The only issue I had was with the cheap plastic gears in the toy – they kept seizing up. With the exception of that, the control system works flawlessly!

On Saturday, I started mounting the electronics on a piece of plexiglass to mount inside R2. Here’s a photo with the radio receiver, speed controllers, and connection points mounted. I’m waiting for a fuse box to arrive to complete this. I plan to put a fuse inline with each motor, so that if a motor shorts out or overloads, it will blow the fuse and not the speed controller (they ain’t cheap!)

And the control board inside R2 (you can see the master power switch at the left):

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