Thanks Eagle and Tinman for your welcome comments.
The drive platform for the RC Radicon was a "Combat Hero" Mini Tank #3813D. I bought it on eBay for $4.95 plus shipping from get_set_go (http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=110069520226). The mini tank differs from others in that it has actual treads (not just wheels). I think this is the one John said he used as well. I went through all kinds of gearing changes...kept the original motor drive but pressed on geared pinions (instead of the pulleys). I replaced the drive wheels with 64t aluminum gears to match the pinions. These gears are the wheels of the robot and provide the movement. It's a bit squirrely on hard surfaces but has a nice grip on carpet.
After this I discovered the Smart Trackerz and, not a surprise, they use the exact same basic motor/tread arrangement. Only this time I found it was possible to mount the entire mechanism vertically and have the tip of the treads project below the robot to provide traction. This proved to be a lot easier than my somewhat complicated previous gearing arrangement and I would recommend this as a solution to both modifications.
Thanks John...both for the advice and the inspiration for the project. I'll see if I can create some animated GIFs. Meanwhile, here is a link to the videos (mp4 and asf formats) and jpegs of the projects. Enjoy!
I just completed two of my wind-up "Gang of Five" conversions. The first is a Radicon wind-up-to-RC conversion, inspired by John at RobotHut. He built the first one that I know of, another person on Alphadrome built one...so I think mine is #3 in a series. I tried to make the controller look like the Radicon transmitter...grey hammertone paint, top-mounted antenna, etc.
Here is Radicon being charged. I mounted the plug at the bottom of the controller and the jack on the underside of the robot to avoid wires between them.
I decided to convert Lavender Robot into a "line-follower" based on a "Smart Trackerz" vehicle. The optics were tricky but I managed to get it to work quite well.
My next project is to convert another of the wind-ups into a "steerable" robot like the Ideal Robert Robot. Project three underway.... :D
Update...here's a link to my videos and jpegs of these projects: Designprof's project videos & pics
I am jumping in on this thread and putting up some photos of my robots. They are all made from common parts found in my junk bin and at the local recycle place. Like Eagle said, save those old appliances!
As a newbie to this forum, I would certainly enjoy any comments. :)
There is a "Gang of Five" wind-up in the group picture to give scale.
Thanks Blechroboter! When dealing with the delicate parts of a vintage robot, metal or plastic, it helps to be extra careful. Over the years many of us have developed a set of tools that work well for the purpose and I find there is a consistency. I appreciated hearing the fact that we both work in the same manner. That's why I like this forum...
Thanks Robobob for your comment. Yes, I've seen those photos and they're a great reference. I have restored four Radicon buses so far and have a very good knowledge of the mechanism and electronics for Radicon. :)
The SONICON bus is baffling me, though. :blink: The sound drum and trigger seem so random (as far as reversing the motor goes). So I am wondering if I am missing something or if that's the nature of the beast. Inside photos of a working unit, especially close-ups of the drum and switch arrangement, would really help me at this point.
I'm a newbie here. I joined because Alphadrome has the best knowledge and resources for mechanical toy collectors, hands down! I am not specifically a Robot guy...I just love the mechanisms and electronics used in these wonderful old toys. My "specialty" is Radicon and Sonicon vehicles, specifically buses (at least that's what I have found and collected so far). If you have any questions about Radicon Robot electronics and repair, let me know.
My question is about the Sonicon Rocket. Does anyone have a photo of the insides? Specifically, I need to know the orientation and positioning of the sound-drum and attached touch-switch. The one in my Sonicon bus can be pivoted through about 120 degrees so I don't know the original positioning. I have rebuilt the drive system...had to replace the motor and the original wheels were ruined by previous 'users' pushing the vehicle around on the floor. Finding new wheels was impossible so I was able to restore the mechanism using Erector Set pulley's with O-rings snapped onto them. While this may sound stupid, it worked extremely well.
So now I need to see if the rest of the vehicle is intact and if the sound drum is oriented properly. So any Sonicon photos you guys may have - Rockets or Buses - will be greatly appreciated!
Interesting discussion about paint and I have some strong opinions on that subject! Always use Lacquer paint for your restoration projects...never Enamel.
I strictly use Martin-Senour paint...available at your local NAPA auto store in spray-cans. I use their sanding lacquer primer for raw plastic or metal surfaces. Dries quickly and can be sanded to an extreme smoothness (wet-dry). Can also be used to fill slight imperfections, scratches, etc. Comes in white, gray and black.
Then I follow up with any of the Martin-Senour lacquer auto colors...multiple fine coats (no sanding between!). When the last coat looks perfect and has dried for a few days, the finish can be hand-buffed or polished with good old auto paste wax.
By using lacquer paint from the same source, you minimize chemical differences that might cause crazing or crackling of the finish. Martin-Senour lacquers may be a bit more expensive than your dollar-store enamel, but what is your Robot worth to you?