Darnell Caster Wheels

A couple of people have asked about the replacement 2.5″ wheels I got for my front foot setup back in May from California Caster.

The soft rubber wheels are made by Darnell-Rose, and product number/markings on them show “Darnell Corp X-6 2 1-2 Calf.”. Unfortunately, I can’t find my original receipt nor the wheel in Darnell’s catalog or California Caster’s website. If I find it I’ll try and remember to update this post, but I think if you call up and say X-6 2- 1-2, you be okay.

oh! and a point of clarification, I’m still using the original Proctor Glove / Arrow Hardware caster assembly

Left: Original Proctor Glove wheel – shaved down to 2.5″
Middle: New Darnell wheel
Right: Full Proctor Glove 3″ caster

Posted by Chris on October 9th, 2009 in General | No Comments

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Maker Faire Upgrades

Maker Faire is just a day away, and I’ve had a busy time getting ready. This is probably my favorite event of the year, and we will have a good showing, with 4 droids and 6 builders in attendance. Bonnie Burton from SW.com will also be there running a kids workshop on Star Wars Puppet Craft.

Over the long Memorial Day weekend I stripped Artoo down for some long needed repairs and upgrades I’d been putting off.

I’ve replaced the center foot with the a new one from JAG with the taller skirt. Here’s a comparison shot with the new foot on the right

Sadly, with extra tapper of the foot skirt, the “Special” 3 inch Ace casters are too big and had to be re-worked. To be honest, they were a bit of a squeeze in the old foot, so I was on the hunt for some nice 2.5″ casters! I searched and searched locally, but couldn’t find anything suitable, I had three options, order something online, hack what I had, or just install one caster.

Long story short, I tried the last option, and even went as far as creating a new mounting bracket for one 3″ caster, but when I was done I then had to redo my ankle locks as there was now a backward tipping as well as the forward tipping. Hard to explain, but bottom inline I needed to redo my locks, which meant drilling more holes in the ankle that I wasn’t prepared to do….. back to the drawing board.

Because of time, and on Gerard’s suggestion, I resorted to trimming down the 3″ casters I already had. I mounted them in my drill press and filled them down.  It took forever, there was rubber dust everywhere, and it’s not something I want to do again.

What I’ve also realized is that never trust a label, the original casters were labeled 3 inches, but they were closer to 2 7/8th. Here’s a before and after comparison

After some finegaling, and making a new mounting plate,  I got them installed in the new foot – nice and level, unlike when I had the 3″ wheels.

Getting the right caster for the center foot can be tricky, it’s a balancing acts. You want the biggest wheel you can get fit, but because space is tight, the deeper you recess them to get things level the less space you have for a bigger wheel.

oh! and just as I was done with trimming the wheels, I went back and looked at one of the online stores I’d found earlier in the weekend, and what do I find – they’re LOCAL, or almost. They’re called California Caster and based in San Francisco, and had 100’s if not 1000’s of caster products in stock. I just had to make a trip up there. This was just a small selection of casters they had on display

Even though my new center foot was running again, I picked up these replacement 2.5″ wheel for the next round of maintenance.

I also replaced the radar eye with one I picked up from Dave Shaw many moons ago, luckily the old hole placement didn’t screw anything up. It doesn’t look too much different, and the wife thinks I’m crazy for swapping it out. I had the hardest time matching the Kryder blue, and it’s way to clean, but none of my panels match anyway 🙂

I can’t remember exactly what else I worked on, this was my droid on Sunday morning, all stripped down.

There’s been a long list of things I wanted to re-work, like shortening and re-routing some wires that were bugging me, to tweaking the front vents. I almost added servos to the utility arms, but that would require me filling them down and repaint – which I didn’t have time for.

But I did hinge manage to hing some doors in the body. I made some little aluminum brackets to help mount the servos to the frame

I know I worked on more stuff for Makers, but I can’t remember exactly what 🙂

oh! I remember, I’ve also been working on a small wireless controller based on a iPAQ Mobile phone, but more on that later.

Related:

Posted by Chris on May 28th, 2009 in Dome, Electronics, Feet | No Comments

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Mini Dolly to the Rescue

Nearly ever droid builder I know lugs around a large cart just in case their droid fails. This is especially needed for those of us with drive systems that lock when no powered is applied to the motors. Knock on wood, I’ve never needed to use my cart and it’s always stayed in the van.

Well, at WonderCon last week Gerard showed us his latest find – mini 6″ tri-wheel dollies that’s can easily be place under each drive wheel. They’re small and light enough to throw in your backpack or toolbox.

Only downside is the wheels are pretty small so wouldn’t go over any major bumps or door jams easily, and I wouldn’t recommend using them to totally replace your cart, especially if you use it all the time. Never the less, I went straight out and bought a set to have in case of an emergency.

Here’s Gerard in action pushing his droid around on two of these

[Direct link to Youtube video]

dolly-video1

Manufacturer: Sheperd Hardware
Mode Number: 9299
Approx Price: $9

Available at Home Depot, Ace Hardware, etc. Cheapest online location: Ace Hardware Outlet ($5 ea.)

Posted by Chris on March 16th, 2009 in Feet, General | 5 Comments

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Proctor Glove Wheel Casters

I’ve received several emails recently on where I got my 3″ wheel casters from. These are the exact one’s used by Mike Senna and Victor Franco, so I can’t take credit for finding them – but the question keeps coming up , so I thought it might be a good idea to post the information I have.

I have no idea why these seem to work better than others, I think it’s a combination of the dimensions and having a soft rubber wheel that works on variety of surfaces – and the price is right too.

My first set came from a friend in Southern California who bought them at the Arrow/Ace Hardware in Yorba Linda (714-524-1621) for $7 each. Once I had them in hand I was also able to get my local Ace Hardware to order me some spares.

Here’s a close up of the label that might help –

Manufacturer: Proctor Glove
Part Number: 3RS
Description: 3″ Rubber Swivel 125lb
UPC: 7 80272 000003 7

They’re made in Korean and sold by Proctor Glove Co. who are located in Santa Fe Springs CA, or more specifically:

11122 Shoemaker Ave
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
(562) 903-1320

I don’t think any builder has called them up directly to try and order, but if you are successful please let me know and I can add it to this post.

A builder contacted them a few years ago and did a run of these, including offering the rubber wheels in softer or harder variants.

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Posted by Chris on July 9th, 2008 in Feet | No Comments

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