About Candybots. Does any one knows this littel guy (14cm high)? I remember it was carrying a piece of bubble gum in its belly (separates in 2 parts). Must have been quite before 1990. The mold states: MADE SPAIN at the back and LICEN BELOKAPI under one foot.
Well the rigging with the two coils and the condensator must be some filter to eliminate or dampen the sparks and RF eventually produced by the traction engine. Maybe Masudaya added it after printing the schematic when they realized that this engine might be producing interfering radio frequencies thus unintentionally triggering the nearby coherer. But it is only an assumption.
The mentioned exposed coil is just eye-candy, it serves no electrical purpose: on my Radicon both end touch the tin so they would anyway be shorted.
On the photo, the blue wire going to the monitoring lamp in the window should be soldered to the red wire (at far left) so that it only lights up when the steering engine is working, thus indicating an incoming "radio" command. This behaviour is like in the video but may be it is not the original way, at least according to the schematic where the lamp would be on as long as the on/off switch is on.
Thanks to all who replied till now. With all these appraisals, I start to feel very proud as a genuine Radicon daddy and I'm slowly mutating into a more engaged robot collector. It feels like picking up a lost sweepstakes from the street and winning the jack pot without even dreaming of it. So in order to fulfill my parental duties toward Radicon, I already rewired it properly as detailed before. The next thing were the blind eyes. One bulb with a bad contact (blinks again now thanks to contact cleaning fluid) and the other bulb dead. Trying to unscrew that one (E10 screw socket) the glass bulb came loose as the screw of those lamps are kind of glued to their holding sockets, probably to secure their sitting. Trying to buy 2 replacements on line at servicelighting.com for this very seldom flattened bulb type at a hefty price of USD 7 a piece had to be aborted as Switzerland is not a US-State with a US zip code. So I mailed them and here is their answer:
"Thank you for the information. The shipping would be $70.24 in addition to the cost of the product. There is also a 12% fee added to the sub-total for taxes and fees. We accept US-issued credit cards wire transfer only. To place an order for an international order it needs to be done through email. "
Quite a rip off isn't it? But there is a cheaper hack as I tried out. And here it goes (might help for other technical toys with blind vintage lamps):
Get the glass bulb loose from it socket (done without wanting). By crunching around a little bit the bulb should separate from the socket. Unsolder or cut any connecting wire. If the socket is terminally bent, cannibalize an existing flashlight lamp to get rid of its bulb an use its socket as a replacement. Now comes the dentist type of work. With a miniature hand rotary tool (Proxxon) and a 1/32" diamond bur - grinding bit I separated the dome of the glas bulb from its base, getting rid of the defective filament mount. Don't worry I didn't try to make a new filament. Just took a replacement bulb for the mini Maglite laying by chance in my scrap box. They are so small that they fit and the 3V seems hopefully OK. After cleaning the inside of the screw socket, I bent one lead of the miniature lamp (making a u-turn) and soldered 1 inch of insulated thin wire to it and to the socket's inside. Spiraled the lead to push it inside and soldered the mini's other lead (kept straight) and introduced through the hole at the base of the socket. Test. Yes it works! Using crystal clear epoxy I secured the glass dome back in place so the lamp is almost original and might blink for many years. Using crystal clear epoxy is important as some of the glue might adhere to the mini and should not obscure it. Still use enough epoxy to secure the glass dome all around well to the base because you'll need to grip and screw the lamp back inside without breaking the glass. Lucky that my wife wasn't around, she would have thought that I'm out of my mind and maybe even filed for divorce...
In order for the window lamp to light on only when receiving a command like in the video, this lamp should be connected to the other contact of the relay (together with the stepping motor and not like in the wiring diagramm directly at the plus 3V. I rewired accordingly and now it works like in the video which really makes more sense as a monitor for incoming commands.
It is easy to open the red eye covers by gently pulling the holding rings at the side where it gives way. One lamp had a bad contact and the other alas is defective. Unluckily these lamp bulbs are not the usual ones. They are flattened instead of globes. With normal shaped globes the red cover will not fit. So I'm trying to find a replacement here in Zurich. Vintage Bulbs seems to have them (thanks to the forum to indicate that adress under "tips") but at USD 7.02 plus probaly a minimum of USD 20 to send it to Switzerland and maybe a minimum order amount it is a rip off.
When i switch the robot on, it starts immediatly to move. But if the stepping cycle was at stop when switched off, then it will not move without a pulse. Is this behaviour correct?
The difference with my Radicon is that the lamp in the window is always on when the on/off switch is on and the eyes remain dark during at all the time. So I'll check in that direction. It could be a hint that somebody had tempered with the wiring to make the robot walk without the remote. The wires are plastic insulated with different colors. Can somebody confirm that they have the same time of insulation? I'm not sure that this type of insulation was already in use by 1958.
I noticed on the video that the lamp in the window should be green and not uncolored. So it must be a replacement bulb and somebody had to open the casing anyway to change the original green painted bulb. I have green lamp lacker somewhere.
As said in one of my former posts; the coherer reacts to the grill's piezo initor (but only when the spark duration is long enough) by switching on the stepping/steering motor and the sequence happens as described with the decoherer tapping at the end of each cycle. One could also test the functions by bridging briefly the coherer with a wire to initiate steps.
The wiring seems original and is working (see attached pic), so I won't change anything. Only none of the eye lamps are flashing. Applying voltage to them brings no result but according to the Ohm meter current flows thru them so it remains a mystery. I wouldn't dare to open the head enclosing in fear of breaking some laps and I anyway do not know the right sequence. How did Masudaya think about replacing bad eye lamps? I also had those attached wiring diagrams. They are by no way complete as they do not show the rotating switches and the detailed LC damping circuit of the traction motor. So I doubt if the drawing for the remote is accurate.
I'll be looking for a spare remote of course but was just thinking of a solution to be able to demo the robot to my visitors. If a reverse ebay would exist where one could post a missing item with a picture, it would be a great thing. Maybe some people would say: hey I have such an item and have always been wondering what that was for. This is quite easy for vintage replacement electronic parts but not in this particular case. When you google for coherers. there is this interesting site with some hints on how to work/build/trigger coherers. Home made coherers Ill try to find a powerful bbq ignitor to see if it works. It would be puzzling to steer a robot with such a gimmick.
Hello everybody. It's nice to be part of this interesting forum! I understand the argument about Ebay and agree. Yes you are right.
The story of my Radicon: I got it from my brother when he left Europe to live in Bali. He was fond of old toys and all sorts of antiquities at the time and found the Radicon ages ago on some flee market. Since years it was the delight of all visiting kids and used to circle around when switched on. Nobody knew what clever guts were inside and how to turn the wheels without breaking something. My wife kept buying me some mechanoid types of decorative toys like flies and spring actuated spiders because I like entertaining but good taste objects. When the first afordable "clever" robots came on the market, I tought I might collect some of them. So I bought the Robospien and the big Roboraptor from WoWee (designed by a retired NASA engineer). Speaking of NASA: I eagerly follow their missions. The avatar I have choosen is the sunset on Mars, as photographed by one of their robot rovers. Hope the choice is OK.
Coming back to my Radicon. A few days ago I visited a Robot Exhibition here in Zürich Robot Exhibition. An exhibit consists of step rows with toy robots from the private collection of Marianne Burkhalter, a swiss architect who designed the exhibition. And at the place of honor a Radicon Robot was standing, together with its remote control. So I realized what I have and do not have (remote + antennas) to make it walk straight and on command. As I do not know the lady, I soon found out more infos on the internet and also some incredible auction results which I won't mention here to save the lucky co-owners unafordable theft insurance premiums...
On the first picture you can see how I checked (to my delight) the working condition of the Radicon by using a piezo grill ignitor fitted with a makeshift antenna. So - may I repeat - if somebody has any tip on how to build a more practical remote spark transmitter which I would fit into a lookl alike case replica, it would be great to hear about it. On the picture you can see on the background my first acquisition (at the exhibition) of a toy robot replica, the Galaxy or Conehead robot which I find very cute. I also ordered the miniature wind up replica of the Radicon, made by Masayuda and a miniature tinbox replica of the original box so the Radicon has some 3D context infos around. By the way I saw a cardboard replica of the original Radicon box for sell at the crazy price of USD 550. When I visited Japan I realized that people are very fetichist about the containing boxes of objects. After buying some beautiful lackerware, I was almost thrown out of the ryokan when the landlady found out that I had destroyed the wooden box belonging to the item to save overweight... So - since then I keep those boxes like now the cheap box of my Galaxy Robot replica...
The second picture gives some clue how the Radicon function.
An unboxed Radicon with remote control and antennas (no box?) is offered for USD 21.500 on Ebay, expiring Sept., 7th 2009. The same seller has also the Radicon Bus on his listings.
I'm the lucky owner of a Radicon. As I have no antennas or the remote control, I managed to test its function with makeshift antennas on the robot and the piezo ignitor of a portable gaz grill... and it works sometimes. I'd like to build a more efficient spark transmitter. Alas the schematic of the remote controller -as published earlier on this forum - is not very explicit. Has anyone a more useful guide how to built such a thing? The Radicon Bus uses the same transmitter as both work with a coherer to sense the RF generated by the spark transmitter in the remote. By the way Nikola Tesla demonstrated a robot boat during the 1898 Electrical Exhibition at Madison Garden which also was based on the coherer device. Since then and till the 1957(8) Radicon this technique had fallen into oblivion.