Brain Surgery

dsc03147dsc03144The lighting of the brain is accomplished from the electronic wizardry of Tom  Wisnionski or Tom Wiz as most of us know him in the club. His brain uses LED’s throughout. It does a wonderful job. However, when it is in brain mode where the eyes are on constantly, you can see hot spots of the LED focal point. So you need to diffuse the light so it will disperse evenly. What works for incandescent bulbs doesn’t work as well for LED’s because of the intensity and focal point of the light.

Usually spraying a frosting material to the inside of a clear plastic strip is sufficient to diffuse the light but that wasn’t working very well with LED’s so I had to come up with a better way of doing things. Bob Griener remembered a technique he had heard from Nick “Elvis”  Mulpango where he used hot glue globs to make fake rivets on his robot so we thought we might try that on the LED tips to see what happened. Boy it worked beautifully! It actually made the eyes look brighter!!! Bytheway, the Brain light LED’s are normally clear in color, I colored them using different colored sharpie pens for a little variety. The nice thing about that is if you don’t like the color, you can wipe it off, change it to something else or just leave it clear.

This is the technique we used for those who may want to do what I did. Get your standard glue gun and express out a dime size of hot glue and let it cool onto some wax paper or other surface that will be easy to lift off. Try to be as careful as possible to make a perfect a circle as possible. Then once you are ready express another small amount of hot glue and glue the dime size glob to the tip of the LED. Hold it for about 30 seconds. Make sure you keep it absolutely perpendicular to the brain eye plate. That’s It! Insert it centered into each eye cavity and the light should look evenly distributed.

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B9 Electronics: The Inside Story Part 6 – the Finger Lights, Brain & Crown Animation

As I was using the light controller from Tom for the belly and chest lights, so to am I using another board from Tom for the finger and brain lights. It’s basically the same board as the chest and belly lights controller card used in the Torso. The reason I used another one was so that I could get a different blinking and pattern rate than the torso. I wanted an asynchronous blinking pattern between the 2 sections. To me this gives a more realistic appearance of a real, functioning robot. Just as a side note, you could hook up everything to 1 controller card but I wanted that certain, special, something that only 2 cards can provide.
The crown and finger light movement is handled by the Hankscraft 12v 7rpm motor. You can obtain this motor from a number of sources and is readily available. The average price for this motor is 25.00. What I had a problem with was the wires coming out of the brain and finger lights passing through the brain cup into the neck. As you can see from the picture on the left from the B9 website, there isn’t much room and I had to remove the wire sheaths and drill out additional wire routes to go around the Hankscraft motor. It is a VERY tight fit. Take care not to kink the thin wires coming out of the finger lights.

B9 Brain, Lights and Crown

The B9 Brain was from Scott Sanderson. The basic body was copper coated to hold paint better when I received it. I got some white transparency material and sprayer the frost mist from any crafts store to serve as a diffuser for the brain lights. I also sprayed the frost in the brain eyes to give it that same look from the show. Inside I have Tom’s brain light kit. His kit has clear LED’s. I took some magic markers and colored the LED’s for a special, different effect. The beauty of this is if I don’t like it I can wipe them off and I am back to the standard B9 white lights.
I also like the LEDs because they only require 6 volts and do not produce any noticeable heat. That is very important so over time my bubble wont glaze. In addition, something not every B9’er seems to know is that the top of the brain is mirrored. So I had my lid polished to a mirror finish. I thought about chroming it but I think I got a good enough reflection to get a good effect when the crown is moving and when the upper lights are blinking. You be the judge.
The crown was from Bill Kendzierski. It is a highly polished stainless steel work of art.