Asked — Edited

Releasing The Magic Smoke

Hi all,

I thought I'd share what I've spent the past week working through;...........

The top brain section of my B9 previously housed "one of three" V3 EZB's that animated him. Now that I'm converting over the V4. I found that the new version of EZB is just a bit to tall to fit into that tight space by about 1/4 inch when the servo cables are plugged into the ports. So to keep the animation working that I wanted I had to transfer the functions that the old V3 handled down through the neck of B9 onto the EZB V4 that sits in the torso. So, after running the extra 5 feet of wire I thought I had everything ready so I turned on the power and............ Nothing, tired The brain was dead. tired I had blown the fuse protecting this circuit. Thank goodness I had installed fuses in crucial circuits. Well, maybe.........

After a few days of trying to find the cause of the obvious short and a few packs of 2 amp slow blow fuses I decided to leave the fuse out and place an amp probe across the open hoping to find out just how much amperage I'm pulling. Ya, that wasn't such a good idea because when I switched on the power I watched the amp meter quickly move up to 13 amps (a full 11 amps above it should have been!) eek . What happened next was straight out of an episode of Lost in Space; I heard a loud sizzling, saw a flash of light above B9 and then a cloud of foul smelling smoke rolled out of the brain. I looked around for Dr. Smith and realized that I'm Dr Smith this time. blush

OK, I still have a problem that I cant find but at least now I know what area to look in. When I reopened the brain lid the first thing I see are fried and melted wires that feed the lower finger lights, a blown transistor on the Light Controller board and a blown diode.

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The short was obviously in the very thin wires leading down to the finger lights. Here's what this area looked like before the mishap:

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I decided to rewire the thin wires in the brain to thicker and better insulated wire thinking and hoping the short may be in that nest of wires somewhere. Here's the finished look without the V3 installed. Notice the blown diode on the diode board in position #1. I missed this at first:

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OK, All's well? No. tired Power up and another blown fuse. The Only place left to look is inside the brain cup. What I found was one of the very thin finger light's hot wires got snagged behind the piano wire that the finger lights pivot up and down on. It broke the insulation on that wire and caused a short to the cup's aluminum body. This must have happened when I pulled the new control wires through the cup that I ran down into the torso to that V4 EZB. Here's what it looks like when all is well with no problems:

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Once I cleared the short and repaired the damage to the insulation all works great! What I used to repair the insulation was to simply paint on some liquid electric tape.

All is truly well now and both B9 and myself are happy campers!

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hang in there, Dr. Smith. I mean DAVE. I just blew one of my EZB3s. You got to expect some problems on a machine as complicated as this one. The nice thing about a robot as compared with a person, you can ALWAYS replace the parts and have it running as good as new. You can do that on a person with some limitations. But, the robot has the advantage.

You don't want to be Dr. Smith. He has a shotty personality. You want to be Will Robinson.


Yeah, I'd call you Will before I called you Dr. Smith - nice job troubleshooting though.


Thanks guys. Yes, it's nice to be able to find a issue and be able to repair get it working again. Although it was a frustrating process it did feel good when it lit up and worked without blowing a fuse. However after a week of failure I was a little apprehensive at first it would last.

@Bret, I don't know if I really want to accept praise as to my troubleshooting method. It's not very slick to just pour the juice to it till something burns up to find a problem. blush I had thought about opening the brain cup but I was to lazy to go to the trouble. With all the wires running through there and the crown motor that sits in the middle of this area it's a real pain to take it apart and reassemble. I had already had to rewire the finger lights once and I was not eager to dive back in there. As you can see there isn't a lot of room in there:

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In the end Dr Smith wasn't such a bad guy. However he did always have a black spot on his heart when it came to power, money and going home. :(


Dave, we used to do that in circuits wired in the phone company main frame. Once the smoking cloth covered wires were identified the DC power was shut off and repairs made.

Ya did good !


LOL @Doc! Thanks for the at-a-boy. You have a great story there! It makes me feel better. I work at the Power Company and to be honest, when we can't find a source of a power outage sometimes we do the same thing, only on a much bigger scale. Well put a bigger fuse in the line switch, throw it home and watch the sky for the flash and listen for the direction of the ARC sound. eek


Where did you get the arm hoses from and do you think the heavy duty servos they sell will be good to animate them PLEASE let me know