Friday, April 27, 2012

K-9 Build - Week 7

Every now and again I get a little time to play with K-9, even if its just a little bit at a time.  Over the past week I've made some small alterations to things but last night I decided to start working on the Robotics.  As it is right now I have the motors working and even have the tail wagging all via the remote.  The only thing I'm actually waiting for right now is the chains for the motor to the wheels.  Because I'm using Razor motors I'm expecting them to be pretty damn powerful but also pretty freaking fast, obviously I wont know until the chains get here and I can give K-9 his first REAL test drive.

It'll also be good to know how long the battery will last.  While wiring up the electronics I had to take into account I need easy access to the battery or at least an easy way of charging it, so I used the battery connector from the RC car I previously bought in an attempt to RC K-9 cheaply, I hated it! My battery charger was one I purchased from I used the wire and connector from the old charger, saving me a few bucks AND making it easy to charge the battery within K-9

I decided I wanted to make a neat pendant for K-9, and so I came up with a design that I was happy with and I think it turned out OK...

I was also asked recently about the measurements for the control panel so I just put this together very quickly:

Hope it helps....

Now for the past weeks tinkering photos....

Week 7

you may notice I have the tail Servo connected to the reciever here, however this is not a good idea and Ive noe disconnected it.  Theres a good chance it could damage the Sabertooth so dont do that!

Sabertooth 2x25

Main power cutoff
 The switch is underneath the main base allowing for easier access, only thing I MUST remember is that the breaker is OFF when I charge the battery.

The biggest issue I think I faced was placement.  I changed my mind several times before finally going with this setup...

The Tail... 

I attached the servo to the body of K-9 using Velcro this allows me to make adjustments easier, but it holds the servo in place very well...

Ill post a video once I have the chains for the motors and its all working

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Battling Daleks all day can be Stressful

Yesterday I came a across something due to be released May 14th

a TARDIS and a DALEK stress toy.  

A few years ago they release the adipose stress toy and to be totally honest the quality of the Adipose is less than perfect. After only a short time of it being on display its already started drying up, small cracks under the arms and around the feet mean that you cant hold it or 'play' with it.  In addition, my Adipose wasn't even used as a stress toy, but as a display piece so anyone who is (or was) squeezing theirs will have found that it lasted even less time.

So lets hope that these new 'toys' are better made and last longer.

PLEASE NOTE: the images are just promotional images, the actual produced may differ once released

Saturday, April 21, 2012

K-9 Build - Day 48

If you can dream it, you can build it... least you can, as long as you can afford it.

This seems to be my little motto right now, of late it seems life just wants to hold me back.  If its not a bill its something going wrong with the car. however slowly I have been accumulating parts I need to make K-9 properly RC and not by simply placing some remote controlled vehicle underneath (Day 32).

As of now I have:

Two 24volt 280W Electric Scooter Motors (yes pretty overkill, BUT I want it to have no trouble on any terrain indoor or outdoor, plus I am only going to be running this at 12v)

Two rear wheels from a Razor Scooter

12v/12AH Rechargeable Battery (I got this from for $16.50, elsewhere this battery is around $50)

While I wait for other parts to arrive, I decided to get to work and plan where everything was gonna go.  I removed the RC car from underneath which meant that I had a bloody great hole that I had to work with.  Fortunately I feel I managed to accommodate all the new parts in to the housing with plenty of room for the remainder of the RC components.  I figure within two weeks K-9 will be motorised.  Then its to work on his voice, a friend of mine is actually friends with John Leeson so I'm going to have K-9's original voice, I just need to put together a couple of 'unique' phrases

Until then, here's the latest photos of K-9s base...

 DAY 48

ready for the chains to be connected
the underside

Patience was never one of my virtues, I hate to wait.  However with no choice I am left to find something else to occupy my mind.  No doubt in the next day or two there will be a post about my newest project.  Until then Allons-y! 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Goodbye OUR Sarah Jane

It has been one year today since Elisabeth Clara Heath-Sladen passed away.

Although she is not with us, she remains in our hearts as one of the Doctors most beloved companions. Sladen first joined the Doctor on his adventures in 1973 first with Jon Pertwee and then with Tom Baker, she left the show in 1976 only to reprise her role as Sarah Jane Smith in 2006 along side David Tennant's Doctor, in 2007 she was introduced to a whole new generation in The Sarah Jane Adventures, proving you don't need to travel time and space to have exciting adventures.

Goodbye OUR Sarah Jane...

A young me, meeting Elisabeth Sladen at Forbidden Planet, London

Scientists close to inventing a REAL Sonic Screwdriver

Researchers at Dundee University (Scotland) claim to have invented a real-life Doctor Who-style sonic screwdriver.

The prototype device has successfully used ultrasound waves to lift and rotate a rubber disc floating in a cylinder of water - the first time ultrasound has been made to turn objects rather than simply push them - but physicists performing the research believe it can achieve a lot more.

We’ve witnessed the Doctor use his screwdriver to open locks and doors and control other devices, in the more classic episodes we also saw the Sonic Screwdriver used as a medical device.  The Dundee team of scientists believe that based on their current studies this new device could help make surgery using ultrasound techniques more precise and effective by giving doctors the ability to steer ultrasound waves to the precise spot where they are needed.

 ‘This 'sonic screwdriver' device is also part of the EU-funded Nanoporation project where we are already starting to push the boundaries of what ultrasound can do. Surgeons already use ultrasound to treat patients without the need for surgery, but the ability to steer objects such as drug capsules to precise locations could make the technique even more effective.

Mike MacDonald, of the university's Institute for Medical Science and Technology, said: “This experiment not only confirms a fundamental physics theory but also demonstrates a new level of control over ultrasound beams which can also be applied to non-invasive ultrasound surgery, targeted drug delivery and ultrasonic manipulation of cells.” He went on to say “It is an area that has great potential for developing new surgical techniques, among other applications, something which Dundee is very much at the forefront of.”

Dr MacDonald added: “Like Doctor Who's own device, our sonic screwdriver is capable of much more than just spinning things around.”

The results of the research are published in the American Physical Society's journal Physical Review Letters.

Last year, scientists in Bristol began working on their own ‘sonic screwdriver’ to be used in home improvements. The team experimented with rotating ultrasonic force fields which acted like the head of a screwdriver. 

Just another example of how Sci-Fi is being brought in to real life.  I know that Star Trek and even Star Wars have influenced a lot of things that we see everyday and don;t even realize it.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Time's up for Virgin commercial

It would appear that the BBC has been flexing its muscles again, this time it would seem they have managed to bully Virgin Media into pulling their multimillion commercial campaign featuring David Tennant.

The advert in question (featured below) has Tennant explaining the virtues of Virgin Media's TiVo personal video recorder and catch-up service, however, part of the problem BBC Worldwide has is the advert shows a close-up of the Doctor Who logo as Tennant searches through the listings. Whilst in the background, Richard Branson (founder and owner of Virgin Group Limited) is building a time travel machine. BBC Worldwide insists Branson is trying to cash in on the Doctor Who name.

Virgin initially responded by removing the Doctor Who branding from the advert, but it seems that was not enough. Virgin has now agreed to “DELETE” the commercial and “EXTERMINATE” it from history.

A joint statement from both companies said: “Virgin Media has listened to concerns raised by BBC Worldwide about perceived commercial endorsement by a BBC brand relating to the recent Virgin Media ad.”

“As a gesture of goodwill, Virgin Media has agreed to withdraw the ad and BBC Worldwide is satisfied that the issue has been addressed.”

Personally I feel the BEEB went a little to far with this one, I mean at worst Virgin appeared to be advertising DW...  I dunno but here is what the fuss is all about...

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

K-9 Build - Day 38 (Maximum Defense Mode)

Life really does have a funny way of getting in the way doesn't it?  However, slowly but surely I'm accumulating parts and making little changes.  Today I started on something that's been kind of niggling at me since I took him outside for a few photos with the TARDIS.

K-9's Laser

So here is my latest photographic update of what I've been up to today...

DAY 38

This is just a holder designed to hold one of my laser burst pens, eventually I may have it so the pen retract but for now I can simply place the laser in the holder, Ive also made it so that it has a small 'lip' which when the laser is inserted it will hold the on button down.

Still need to replace the rust that I ended up spraying with the Metallic blue but I decided to take him outside for a quick test run...

Field Test Photos


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Egg-sterminate... Happy Easter!

Last Easter I decided to attempt a very simple Dalek egg, using oven bake clay for the appendages I picked out one of the eggs my daughter had dyed and began converting it....

Very simply drawing the details on with Sharpie then gluing the attachment...

This year I decided to attempt a very simple Cyberman egg, it took maybe 15-20mins to actually do everything and being so simple pretty much anyone can do it.

Much like the Dalek I made the additions out of oven bake clay, molding them to the egg to give a good fit.

Baked the clay for 15mins - 225°F

While the clay was baking I sprayed the egg silver

Once the clay had cooled I simply glued them to the egg then sprayed again with the silver

With a Sharpie I drew on the simple face details


Like I said, its a very simple version. I could add more maybe some blue about the mouth maybe even using the oven bake clay sculpt the face but all in all you know what it is and that's what I was aiming for...

With that, I wish you all a fantastic and safe Easter.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Classic Daleks returning to Season 7?


Just posted on Twitter by

More clues as to whats to come in the new season?  Its all getting very exciting...

Monday, April 2, 2012

1978 Talking K-9

I want to introduce the latest addition to my collection an original 1978 Talking K-9.  Recently I was offered this toy as a damaged item due to a battery leak.  When I received it I could see just how bad it was BUT also how easy it would be to repair, I actually felt like that guy in Toy Story II when he comes to repaint and repair Woody.

I took the main compartment out and removed the damaged areas, I than took apart an old battery holder I had and used some of the fixtures to replace the damaged parts of the electronics. And as if by magic K-9 came to life once more...

Mission Accomplished - I was able to fix the damaged electronics
Whats really cool about this toy is how the voice works.  Unlike todays electronics its not all microchips and circuit boards but instead its a tiny record and needle theres probably 4 or 5 different phrases on each side of the record so yes, I have to turn it over if I want him to say different things.

So I want to say a big thank you to Janet Borkowski for contacting me and offering this to me, Im very pleased to add this to my Doctor Who collection.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

K-9 Build - Day 32

As I said in previous posts progress has now slowed down a lot.  Most due to finances, you know how life has a funny way of getting in the way...

Anyway, so to keep things cheap (for the moment) I decided in order to give K9 a little motion I would use an RC vehicle.  Now its not ideal and most certainly its not going to be a permanent thing but in order to simple give him a little more life...

I also fixed the control panel a little more and added 2 LEDs for his eyes....


First test of K-9 in motion

As it is right now, its OK, Im not happy with keeping the motion like this and its pretty clear the RC car event though its a 4WD Hummer struggles a little.  I even kept the casters on there to make movement a little easier.  However turning isnt very good, Ive not taken him outside yet to see how far or how fast he can go maybe later today.  The battery holds a charge for only a short time though....

All in all this is for sure a temporary fix until I can get all the parts needed to make K-9 powerful enough.  Until then.... this will do.