The Great Texas B9 Build Off 0f 2008

Well, The Great Texas B9 Build Off of 2008 (May 16-18) seems to have been a success! I loved it. I learned so much and it was so refreshing to see so many different types of robots in 1 place and to see how they were constructed. It was mind blowing. There were members from the B9 Club, the R2 Builders Club and the Dallas Personal Robotics Club as well as visitors young and old. Some of them stopped buy as we were setting up on Saturday morning wondering if they could buy any of them. I think they thought we were having a garage sale……
There were B9’s, R2’s, R5, Battle Droid, Pit Droid, Mouse Droids, Insectoids, a C-3PO needing plating and a Fred Barton Robby the Robot all in 1 place. And let’s not forget the Laser rifles, a working MP41A Pulse Rifle, Light Sabers, Phasers, Tricorders, Communicators and life size mannequins of Dr. Smith & Will Robinson, not the least to mention a full size, working, Jupiter 2 center flight console with a Burroughs B205 console on top! And if that wasn’t enough we got to see a 1966 Batmobile in construction. MAN is that thing BIG!!!!! You need a Batcave to house that thing!
We had a few participants take advantage of the Machinist and Painter I had reserved for this weekend. We had B9 torsos painted and R2 & B9 parts made just for this event. Lots of goodies for everybody and there was parts everywhere! Lovely…..machined……anodized…aluminum parts….Did I mention they were machined and anodized….???
Since this was a build off I had to go ahead and announce “Build your Robots”. It was like Christmas. I saw people tearing into boxes and sanding and making frames for the Astromechs. When you have multiple palm sanders going it kind of sounds like model airplanes flying around and that definitely drew attention from my neighbors. They loved it. (Not to worry, I had informed my entire block that this was occurring). They had their kids out and about looking and poking at everything. I still have a smile on my face!
My machinist even helped out a fellow builder because he wanted to make one of his own and this was “good practice”. Wayne Orr replaced his Omni Balls with Casters. My R5 did his debut at the build off. Wayne’s R2 and my R5 had a little race in the back alley…… Three aluminum R2 Frames were built. Travis Jeter finally got those holes drilled by the master himself, Mike Joyce; and finally got his bubble attached! Bob Greiner and I also fixed his waist motor mount and drive.
All in all everybody had an excellent time. The food was great! Anybody and everybody that wanted or needed help got it. We even had a little strategy meeting on how we were going to help who and when so everybody could get taken care of.
There was also 3 very important lessons that I took away from the build off. Never drive your B9 when you are tired, 2) never stack your robot with parts that are not secured and 3) always remember to turn off your receiver before you turnoff your transmitter.
What happened was on Sunday morning I had my collar and radar unit placed on my replica torso. While I was talking to a friend, I was switching my transmitter to operate another robot I had (my R5D4). When I did that, and because I didn’t turn off my receiver before switching robots and my B9 leaned over and dumped my collar and radar section onto the hard concrete, shattering all of it into little pieces. The act of the collar coming off also scratched the neon mouth opening on the replica torso. Oh, well; as Mike Joyce said, you cant make a few robots without breaking a few parts……