Thursday, February 11, 2016

Robot fighting document translation

One of the things that annoyed me when I was working as a FIRST team manager was how, whenever I mentionned robots and competition together, people would always, ALWAYS, say "Oh, you mean robot fighting, like Robot Wars?" (Except they're saying it in french). Now, unlike the USA, and Saskatoon, we don't have fancy pansy robot fighting league, motorama, or Dragon-con.
Even though, if you talk to pretty much anyone, they'll remember robot wars, or say how cool robot fighting is...well, everyone except for university deans who say it's too violent and is contrary the school values, when in reality, beside the battles's really just like FIRST, with teams helping each others, knowledge sharing, community building, etc. Some actual engineering competition are way more toxic.

I find that really sad, how a sport that EVERYONE think is cool, literally doesn't exist in my province. Now, since everyone seem to like it, maybe all it needs is a little push. In order to give that little push, I reached out to SPARC and asked them if I could translate all their documents in french. You have to remember, many people in this province speak only french, and, while they might be comfortable enough with English to browse Amazon, reading pages and pages of rules, standards, and specification is asking a bit too much.

So, I added a new page, on this blog, in french only, where the french translation of these documents will live. Here's the link, but it should also be in the top-bar. The first one, "Règles des matchs" should be coming by the end of February.

I will do my best to spread those document to makerspaces in the province, and hopefully this seed will sprout into a competition or two. Now, I cannot guarantee I will be able to continue translating these documents as new revisions come out, but I will try. I doubt there will be huge revisions anyway.

Turnigy Receiver Tear-Down:

I've had intermittent failures on my receiver. So I decided to open it to see if the last crash it had broke something internally.

It is quite well made for dissection. There are no clips holding it. It's only 2 screws (nothing hidden!) and 2 tabs on the other side, so it's built a bit like the battery-cover on the back of your calculator!

Gotta admire the simplicity of the thing. what I thought would be right-angled pins, are actually straight pins on an angled PCB. The only thing holding the PCB there is the solder...which is fine, since in that enclosure, the only force the thing will ever see is straight pulling force.

Now, I don't have a I can't actually tell you what any of those pieces are. especially not those tiny resistors...or caps?...or whatever is in these...0201...01005? I don't know, at this size, i'd rather replace the whole thing than having to try even PLACE those things.

Anyway, turns out my problem was in mechanical interference. The case doesn't have proper tolerances, so in some places, the connectors push on the case, and then push on every other connectors subsequently if you remove one later, it also pulls on the second, making for a shoddy connection. I could have found that out without opening it...but then, curiosity got the best of me.

Dark Repulsor

I did the plans for it before, but I need to make this cosmetic piece at some point. One method I wouldn't live without anymore is making the plan for whatever piece i'm making on Inventor, and then sticking it on the stock i'm about to cut. For complex pieces like this, it's WAY faster than taking a pair of calipers and scribing cutting marks, and for simpler pieces, it is often simpler and faster to do it anyway because chances are you've already made a plan anyway...unless you want to just cut a rectangle, then it is simpler to cut to length and not stick

Dremel and Bandsaw time! Which it is ALL the time for prop-makers.

Dremel is love, Dremel is life...And I ended up with something like 6 inches of sawdust on my shirt (exagerating of course) Remember to wear a facemask/respirator when sanding that much off wood.

And how it looks from the same-ish angle as the anime. I still need the work on the handle, and then cast this piece to have an identical copy on each side. Sadly, because I hand sanded my piece, I have some overhangs in some place, so i'll need to use silicone resin, instead of cheaper plaster, to make a mold and cast the piece in urethane. Because

And compared to my source:

The handle is WAY shorter...because it's not a 4-handed sword!

Space Gun:

One of my plans this year was to make a gun prop. Recently, japan outdone themselves (as usual) and released a copy of the Dominator from Psycho Pass. If you haven't seen it, it's worth every second of this video:

AFDWHAFWCDQRWDX WANT! HOW MUCH IS IT? 86 thousand yen? WTF?...welp...

Guess what prop i'm gonna try to make? ;P I don't tink it's going to only take this year to make though, but then, it might end up being a collaboration!


As some of you may remember, one of my goals this year was practicing Ocarina at every few days, sometimes with sheet music. Well, finding free (because poor student) sheet music for Ocarina is hard! Some websites, like STL Ocarina's forum and Songbird Ocarina have Tabs (fingering charts pretty much) but no sheet music. Even if I wanted to pay for it, the quantity of work made for Ocarina is...lacking.

As such, i'm going to take some of those tabs and translate them to sheet music. I'm going to put some of them (depending on their copyright licences and terms of use) right here.

So far i've been able to play bad apple without the correct speed...with only one or two slowdowns where I keep forgetting how to move my fingers.