Sunday, June 24, 2012

K-9 Build - Week 13

Im now another step closer to having K-9 fully remote controlled.  Essentially he is, except for a voice.  Thats gonna be the next big job.

I got most of the parts I need its just figuring it all out.

But until then heres the work so far...
Week 13

As far as the head motion and the eye scanner, this took a little creative thinking, yes I'm sure this is what most robot builders know to do but as this is my first time I had to figure a way to turn on both the extending antenna (eye) and the wiper motor (head) and so I used two micro switches attached to servos (these servos cost me $3 each on eBay the micro switches were $1 each from BGMicro) all I did was set the arm of the servo to trigger the microswitch turning on either the wiper motor or the extending Antenna.  

As far as the extending antenna is concerned it had three wires Red, Black and Green, when the Red is connected to the positive and the black to the negative the antenna retracts, however with the green is connected to the red it extends. So all i did was use the micro switch to connect the green to the red.  Also as a side bonus. The suction cup also holds the visor on more securely.

Another thing to take into account is making sure the wires are clear of the motors.... no easy task when you're working in such a small space with a number of moving parts.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

R.I.P. Caroline John 1940-2012

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of classic series actress Caroline John, who played Doctor Who companion Liz Shaw.

The BBC confirmed that Caroline died on the 5th June. She was aged 72.

She appeared in Doctor Who in 1970 as Elizabeth Shaw, introduced as a scientist working for UNIT, who went on to join Third Doctor Jon Pertwee on his Earth-bound travels.

Steven Moffat described her as “a brilliant actress”. “She was not just a sidekick, but a scientist in her own right,” he said. “A match for the universe’s number one know-all.” Caroline first reprised the role of Miss Shaw in 1983 as part of the Doctors 20th Anniversary episode "The Five Doctors" and  again in the 1993 BBC Children In Need special "Dimensions In Time".

She was also a mainstay of Big Finish Productions and BBC Audio soundtracks and talking books for many years...

David Parkinson of Big Finish Productions told BBC news: “She was a brilliant actress and a lovely, kind soul who was a joy to be around and who was interested in everyone. She will be greatly missed.”

R.I.P. Caroline John.

Tweets from past Doctor Who actors/actresses

Devastated to hear that the lovely, talented, wise and gentle Caroline John is no longer with us. So sad. Thoughts with Geoffrey and family.

just heard about Caroline John ! She was a dear beautiful soul .her humour &talent will be sorely missed xxxxxxx

so so sad to hear the news. Another of our family gone.

Very sad news. A lovely one has left us. All I can say. :(

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Alex Kingston (River Song) in Florida next week


Next week, I will be appearing along side Doctor Who star Alex Kingston (River Song) at 2 different events, firstly I will be guest emcee at the Hurricane Who Summer Night at the Buena Vista Palace Hotel located across from the Downtown Disney Marketplace Thursday 28th June and then Friday we head down to Miami to join the folks at Florida Supercon for Friday, Saturday and Sunday.  Both events will be offering professional photo ops for $30 where you get an 8x10 with Alex printed on site.

In addition, Florida Supercon will be giving away a full size TARDIS, full details are to be confirmed but I can tell you I've seen the work that's gone into this TARDIS

Win your own Life size, Variant Matt Smith Dr. Who TARDIS at Florida Supercon 2012. Lasting the whole convention so please check us out and see if you walk home with your own time lord ride!

4'6" x 4'6" x over 9' Tall!!
Styled on the latest Matt Smith Tardis build.
Exterior Shell consisting of Select #2 Cedar
Complete 6”x6” corner posts sectioned off to form a sturdy frame
Reinforced Based for high traffic and coated with primer and rubber sealer for weather proofing
Removable Power cable with weather proof electrical box cover
Exterior stained Blue with Clear coat over to protect and add weatherproofing
Black Interior designed to give the “bigger in the inside” feel.
LED lighting rated for 50000 hours continuous use on windows and police box signs
Rounded corners for safety and beauty
Aluminum signs on phone door
Illuminated phone box to night time use
Phonelynx Bluetooth to Land Line system allows 2 phones to be connected to the TARDIS at the same time
Illuminated power switch inside
UK Yale lock –w- 2 keys and TARDIS keychain
Old style two piece phone installed in Front Panel
Weatherproofing on Roof with insulation for climate control
120V Incandescent bulb for flashing top with sound
Fully remote control Lights and sound
Custom circuits easily modular to replace
Separate power supply for lights and circuits for redundancy and failover
Caster on bottom for easy moving on flat flooring
Signed by Alex Kingston (River Song)

For full details do check out both the websites and I hope to see you there....


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Are the Ice Warriors returning to 'Doctor Who'?


Sources say 'Doctor Who' bosses are bringing back the Ice Warriors after almost 45 years since they were first on our screens.

The Time Lord will do battle against these Reptilian Humanoid Martians that he first met back in 1967 (when Patrick Troughton held the role of the Doctor) they are expected to be among the first creatures encountered by the Doctor's new companion, who is played by Jenna-Louise Coleman.

The Daily Star newspaper reported on the episode, which will be written by Mark Gatiss: "'Who' fans have been crying out for the return of the Ice Warriors. Now they've got their wish. It's going to be an exciting year with the 50th anniversary celebrations."

Jenna's character - who is set to hit screens at Christmas - has been shrouded in mystery but it was recently claimed her name will be Clara.

Fans who have watched filming in Wales claim they overheard the Doctor (Matt Smith) calling her Clara.

Clara was in fact the middle name of former Doctor Who companion Elisabeth Sladen, who passed away in April 2011, hardcore Whovians suspect that DW bosses could want to honor her with the name of the new character, who takes over from Karen Gillen's Amy Pond at the end of this year.

However, as always show bosses are remaining tight lipped in regards to what villains will be returning

What the cool Geeks are wearing - Daleksons by Sumrow

Today's $10 Tee deal of the day over at is this Simpsons/Doctor Who mashup by Sumrow

The sale began this morning at 00.01 EST and will continue until midnight tonight where this design will no longer be available on this site.  And like most DW themed shirts its already become a 'Popular Item' based on only the sales of the past few hours.

Heres what the artist had to say about this design:
 I do polls on Facebook sometimes and ask people for suggestions. The top voted idea gets drawn. One time The Simpsons and Dr. Who tied for first. So naturally I just fired up my sketchbook and ... out popped this. :D

Monday, June 11, 2012

K-9 Build - Week 12

Today has been the first time I've done anything with K-9 since returning from Phoenix ComiCon, 2 weeks ago.

So what else can I do, well ultimately I want K-9 to have a voice, but in the meantime I wanted to make his head bob up and down as well as get the 'eye' scanner to extend and retract.

Well Ive managed to install BOTH, however as of right now they arnt remote controlled.  I'm going to have to order some servos and micro switches but as far as progress is concerned I feel that i got a lot done.

The head motion uses a wiper motor that I picked up from

 Product Information
  •    12 VDC has high and low speeds
  •     High Speed @ 12V: 53 r.p.m.
  •     Low Speed @ 12V: 38 r.p.m.
  •     High Speed @ 5V: 21 r.p.m.
  •     Low Speed @ 5V: 15 r.p.m.
  •     Working Torque - 3.98 foot pounds (5.4 N m)
  •     Static Torque - 13.27 foot pounds (18 N m)
  •     Full Load: 2000mA @ 12VDC, 1080mA @ 5VDC
  •     No Load: 1020mA @ 12VDC, 780mA @ 5VDC
  •     Click on the "More Images" link beneath the picture above to view where to connect to the  terminals for high and low speeds.
  •     The workhorse of electric props. Used in many animatronics.

It actually only cost me $17 and does the job perfectly

The Eye Scanner was an electronic antenna I bought off eBay from China, again pretty cheap.  Using some tape to stop it fully retracting I managed to get it working, again not Remote Controlled yet but it is working.

Week 12
Head Motion

Eye Scanner

The wires and such need to be tidied up a bit but that can wait til I get the servos and switches....

TARDIS Trash Can, is it bigger on the inside?

 This Office-sized Trash Can, a detailed model of the 11th Doctor’s TARDIS offers the retro futuristic vibe your office sorely needs!

Or if you're like me and your office/workshop is a TARDIS this is a MUST HAVE!

Just step on the pedal to open the roof and activate the police box light detail and TARDIS Materialize sound effect, and when your rubbish is safely deposited into the easy clean removable interior, release the pedal to activate the TARDIS Dematerialize sound effect.

• The approximate height is 42cms, but remember, it's bigger on the inside.
• Office-sized Trash Can is a detailed model of the 11th Doctor’s TARDIS.
• Step on pedal and the roof opens.
• Removable interior can with handle to make trash easily removable.
• Sound & Light activated when the pedal is pressed.  Sound is as TARDIS Materialize when opened and TARDIS Dematerialize when closed. The light is pale blue and flashes with the crescendos of the sound effect.

I do hope there is a way to turn the sound off though, I would imagine that after awhile some may get tired of hearing the VWORP! VWORP! everytime you throw something away... Not me... But some others maybe.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

What the cool geeks are wearing - Blue Box Bar

Today's $10 Tee deal of the day over at is this TARDIS shirt by Dreweyes

The sale began this morning at 00.01 EST and will continue until midnight tonight where this design will no longer be available on this site.  And like most DW themed shirts its already become a 'Popular Item' based on only the sales of the past few hours.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

I've not been exterminated...

I am still here, just this past couple of weeks have been incredibly busy for me and Ive had very little time to build anything.  There is some DW news I want to post, but again its having time to actually get to sit down and write....

So in the mean time the BBC officially released photos of Matt Smiths new get up and new companion for the Christmas special...  I rather like the waist coat.

And this is exactly why I LOVE having Steven Moffat holding the reigns because he is such a fanboy....

Filming is underway right now, and in fact this photo was taken on set at Magram Castle in Wales, where I've been as part of Ghost Hunters International.  It has also been used several times during the years of Doctor Who.

Margram Castle photo by Paul Bradford