Kinect Star Wars Midnight Launch Party

I took Artoo out for the Star Wars XBox launch party the other evening. Plenty of fun and games, including free raffle drawings, a costume contents and a Star Wars Trivia competition.


Line was pretty long and the 501st was on hand to keep everyone in check, by the time everyone was inside the store was packed.

Most of the children (young and and old) where excited to see Artoo. This little girl almost fell over when she saw him coming


But some were a little more timid









As usual more photos in the gallery.

Posted by Chris on April 5th, 2012 in Events | 1 Comment


Maker Faire Interview with Steve Simmons

Make:TV interview with Steve from last years Maker Faire.


Posted by Chris on January 12th, 2012 in Events | Comments Off on Maker Faire Interview with Steve Simmons

Tags: ,

Halloween 2011

Halloween has been and gone and as usually Artoo was out to share the night. We mixed it up a bit this year and setup a movie projector to show The Star Wars on a big screen.


I also setup Vader and Yoda in the windows.



We had a big turnout and everyone was very well behaved. Had our far share of SW costumes, but not as many as usual. I would say Mario and his brother was the top choice this year, closely followed by Transformers.








As usual more photos in the gallery.

Posted by Chris on November 1st, 2011 in Events | 3 Comments


COM8 Budget Frame Center Ankle Fix

Last week I helped Johnathan fix his COM8 Budget frame. Due to a misunderstanding of club measurements the frame had to be tweaked to allow the center ankle to recess into the body.

I’m sure a lot of people are going to be doing this, so I thought I’d share how Johnathan did his. The thinking behind keeping the hole as small as possible (vs matching the larger skirt opening) was to keep as much material and strength as possible in the lower “ring”.

We marked out where the ankle needed to go (and added a little wiggle room), and simply cut out the hole using jigsaw with a medium tooth blade. We finished off the edges with a file and Dremel. Johnathan later drilled some holes for the new additional ankle mounting plate.





Posted by Chris on August 29th, 2011 in General | Comments Off on COM8 Budget Frame Center Ankle Fix

Tags: ,

FS: Dome Logics/Electronics

Teeces has release a new set of dome electronics/logics, which now include PSI and HP lights.

As I did for the v2 logic boards, I’m going to offer my services to assemble the new v3 kits.  I will also have a few pre-assembled kits for sale or you can send me your kit to assemble.

Here’s a short video from John demoing the new kit

Full assembled v3 kit, including:

  • Assembled Front/Rear logics
  • Assembled PSI LED boards x2
  • Holo Projector LEDs x3
  • Cables
  • Joymonkey Bezels, screens and Diffusers
  • Arduino Mini Pro (pre-programmed)
  • 5V Regulator
  • Software loaded and thoroughly tested

Price $400

Assembly service $280 (you supply all the parts)

Optional at no charge:

  • Custom scrolling messages, with external triggers (interface to RF remote or switch)
  • Holo Projector LED on/off external trigger (interface to RF remote or switch)

Timeframe: Parts are on order, with shipping of first assembled kits in early October. $50 guarantees a spot.

Teeces unassembled kits available here from JoyMonkey

If you’re in the Bay Area, I’ll be hosting a free workshop in October to help builders assemble their kits.

Posted by Chris on August 17th, 2011 in Electronics | 2 Comments

Maker Faire Interview

We’ll be at Maker Faire again this year, and running up to the event they’re featuring makers on their blog. Check out my  interview here.

Maker Faire is May 21st and 22nd, at the San Mateo Fairegrounds. We should have a good showing again from local builders as well as a few friends from further afield. I can’t wait.


Posted by Chris on May 4th, 2011 in Events | Comments Off on Maker Faire Interview

Tags: ,

VaderBot @ RoboGames


Posted by Chris on April 24th, 2011 in Events | Comments Off on VaderBot @ RoboGames

Tags: ,

Arduino Controller Components and Cost


I’ve added up the cost of the components in my new controller and it’s a lot more than I thought. It would probably be close to $300 to recreate one of these with the external joysticks. I’d hate to think of all the parts I bought that I either destroyed, never used or special cables/bits I needed for programming.

You could bring down the price by sourcing parts from eBay, and you could use the cheaper 2.4GHz XBee’s, or simplify and remove the LCD or external joysticks. Then the cost would be close to $150-200, but that does not include the hours needed to make the custom PBCs I hand made.

Main Compontents:

PS2 Controller – $20
Arduino Fio
– $25
Arduino MEGA – $65 (or $30 ebay)
MEGA Shield (NKC Electronics) – $6.50
XBEE Modules (qty 2) – 2.4GHz = $40, 900MHz = $90
XBEE Explorer – $10
CD Screen (3.3V) – $27
MUSIC2 – $38


Lipo Battery – $16
Various Cables/wires – $5
Perfboard – $2
RJ45 sockets – $2
Extra Joysticks – $5 (ebay)
Amp – $20
RF Filter for VMusic/Amp – $5

Total: Approx $300

Posted by Chris on April 23rd, 2011 in Electronics, RC | 6 Comments

Tags: , ,

« Older Entries Newer Entries »