I had the metal parts all machined following the plans provided by the Guild. They looked awesome. I made them functional in their own right since they were purpose specific. The arm telescopes to 7 feet using a car antenna and modified plumbing parts you can find at home depot. The ear lights cages house the moflash covers and flash using the light organ kit hooked up to the CF3 for all of my recorded phrases from the shows and the gun shoots out a variety of things. Water, paintball or marshmellows depending on the venue.
Routing the rings is not an easy task. Deciding what to make them out of is not easy either. Metal? Plastic? Wood? What would be the easiest and the cheapest? As you go higher, weight is an issue because you must “Pop the top” to gain access for electronics and center of gravity becomes a concern on a remote beast such as this. In addition, I may not always have a partner so I need ot be able to do this myself. OK…wood it is. Easy to cut and repair if necessary and I can use Evercoat to hide the grain when painting so it will look metal.
I got some of the herenbone material from eBay and the metal grill from a camping store. Applied that along with a monster servo (T.Seiko P105) to turn the dome and got a shaft keyed with a stop so it would index properly when putting the head on. Initially I had the Servo resting above the base plate of the neck but that made the dome site too high and interferred with 360 rotation so I brought it underneath it so it would sit inside the neck cavity. I then used another rockler bearing for the head to rotate around and then crafted the ear support pieces and Dalek eye piece support bracket to match the dome arc/radius so it would sit properly on the neck. With the speakers in the neck, this Dalek gets pretty loud.
Getting the shoulder to rotate about it axis was not a problem. Finding the parts to keep the shoulder together and to do it remotely was another story. I had a .060 base plate machined to support the fiberglass and then had a custom laser gear and sprocket made to fit the 23″ Rockler bearing and Banebot motor. All of this was experimental. I didnt know if it would work but I thought I would give it a try. Turns out it work out pretty good.
The other problem I had to overcome was the air pockets i was encountering on the edges of the shoulder. Basically, craters had formed where air had been trapped during the gelcoat to fiberglass application process. We used the short, chopped strand fiberglass and the high quality fiberglass resin but this shoulder did have a lot of those air pockets. So I drilled them out and filled them with EverCoat body filler RAGE and then used the Evercoat Polyester finishing putty for a glass smooth surface. A lot of work but it was worth it.
I decided to do a combination of 24v for the drive motors and 12v system for everything else. The batteries I use are the Werker 12v 33amp/hr. Since I wont be sitting inside it, I will wire it so it will be easy for me to configure it the way I need to for prototype development (since this is the first Dalek I have built). I will be using the Vantec RDFR23 motor controller for the main drive wheels. The Vantec RET411P for the waist rotation control connected to a BaneBot motor. Another RET411p was used to control the car antenna extension and retraction for the plunger arm. I will also be employing the control head technique for the master controls of the Dalek. They will be hidden inside one of the “bumps” in the skirt utilizing schedule 4o PVC 4″ tubing as a conduit. This Dalek uses recorded sound bites so I am using the CF3 by ACS Sound systems. Sounds are activated by a 12 channel RF remote, some sounds are linked tothe lights in the dome by assigning them to the right or left channel. I made all sounds that trigger the lights on the dome assigned to the right channel so Laser sounds or sounds not made by the talking of a Dalek do not light up the light cages.
I made the skirt so it would support a shoulder rotation. In order to do that it had to be modified to accept a 23″ Rocklear bearing with supports for motors to drive the gears rotating the shoulders. I also added a section of 4″ diameter Schedule 40 PVS tubing to hold the control head. Also, with the flange on the bottom of the skirt, I inserted flush screw mounts and used wing nuts to hold the the skirt to the base. Then came the work for the dalek bumps. The best ones I used were from EBay store Zophieschoice. They are the best 4″ partyfavor balls.
Most Dalek makers use a wheel chair as their base because they drive around while inside them. Mine will be R/C. The platform base is made out of 3/4″ plywood. I used an Invacare Mk 4 wheel chair as my source parts initially. I noticed it was too large to fit in the skirt using its own frame so I cannibalised it for its motors, batteries and electronics. The most important point here in cutting out your base is cutting out the correct position of the drive wheels. You need to know where the enter line of your Dalek will be in order to determine where the rear axle of the drive wheels will go. If the axle line is too far forward your Dalek will pop wheelies from sudden stop and starts and will requires anti wheelie wheels (which could interfere with the ground profile illusion of hoovering) or worst, it could fall over hurting some one and damaging all of that work you did. The base plaform does not offer much of a wheelbase so the placement of a few inches can make a big difference! The problem is you usually dont know the weight distribution of your little beastie until he is all put together so something I learned if I have to make the base again is to have adjustable positions for where I can put the wheelchair motors.
OK, this is the first “evil” robot I will be building. A NSD 2005 version Dalek from the Dr. Who series. I started watching this recently and really liked it. What I most probably will do will make the Dalek work remotely and do advanced functions while also trying out new building techniques I have learned while doing my other robot builds.