Well this diary is been done a bit in retrospect. We started building Tina Treks back in December, by the first week of December we had built the upper chassis. But Mentorn phoned to say we were not eligible to enter so we stopped construction, and even though we were told later that we were eligible to enter, we had lost the motivation to continue construction until the new year. Since then we have been very busy catching up.
Second Week of January
We were asked to rename Tina ???? and we chose Tina Treks. We then went to Loudwater Combined School to get the children to design the panels for Tina Treks. We spent an evening looking through the childrens drawings, picking out common themes in the designs and came up with a composite design. We also built the legs, they are 2.5 metres long, She will be a tall machine.
Third week of January
We mounted the legs onto the upper frame, and started suspending the lower chassis from her, we also cut out the panels so that the children could start painting them at the school. She looks like a pagoda on legs, you can see the top of her over the top of our garage from the house.
Fourth week of January
The big engine arrived today 20hp Briggs and Stratton Vanguard, Ummm nice. We completed the mounting of the lower chassis to the upper chassis and fitted the long hydraulic hoses, which go from the lower chassis to the rams in the upper chassis. Once the hoses were fitted we did some tests with the small engine, she certainly has a long stride, the sensor cabling is not complete and so we could not test the walking. It is a shame that because she is so big, we have to dismantle her at the end of each weekend, to get her to fit in the garage. Miss Struts was on Robot Wars this week.
First week of February
It has been a busy week, a film crew came to the school and interviewed the children painting the panels. They then came over to our garage to film Tina Treks, we had built her up in the morning so that she could be filmed in the afternoon. That evening we dismantled her and put her away in the garage. We then spent the weekend mounting the hydraulic pump to the big engine and mounted the engine in the lower chassis.
Second week of February
We built yet another hydraulic reservoir tank, this time using sheet steel and mounting it directly to the hydraulic pump's inlet. We then did some tests with the big engine. Excellent there is very little frothing of the hydraulic oil despite using the bigger pump. One big problem, the hydraulic oil gets very hot and the polycarbonate baffle plates we had in the reservoir went soft and deformed, the oil suddenly started foaming and came spewing out the reservoir tank breather. Oops what a delightful mess! We then replaced the baffles with ones made of sheet steel and made an aluminium top for the tank and all is okay now. It still gets very hot, good for keeping warm in the rain!
Third week of February
We built Tina Treks up fully this weekend and finished attaching the up and down sensors on to the sides of the legs, this is all in preparation for testing at the school next week. Also found out this week that the recording will be at the Millennium Dome, the bad news is we can not use our 458.5MHz transmitter as it clashes with some of the systems at the Millennium Dome. Had a little think about this and decided the quickest and cheapest solution is to use a tether. So ordered some cable and some chips to turn our serial data into RS485 or is it 422?, anyway, one direction only. Don't really need this additional hassle with a week to go!