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robothut

Robot Commando helpful hints and tips.

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robothut

First off here is a You Tube link for a propperly operating Robot Commando including the original squeaker robot sound effect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4vy57T1tiM&feature=share&list=UU3WEwAKUPsIt1eZRBHBAFbg

I was lucky enough too have had a Robot Commando when I was a kid. I had to trade what was left of my Mr Mercury robot to a kid down the street for his robot commando. Since I always took all my toys apart and put then back together over and over I know this toy inside and out . So many of the Robot Commando's you find these days "50 years later" do not work or do not work 100 %. Here are some of the problems and way that you repair them should you chose to do so.

First Robot Commando had a special robot motor noise that most of you have never heard, it had a squeaker that is activated by a cam that has to fingers close together then on the other side of the can two more fingers close together. These fingers push on the end of a long lever. The cam that pushed these fingers on to the lever turn clock wise and fairly slowly. The lever is made to push on the squeaker slowly but releases very suddenly when the cam fingers pass by the lever. This make the squeaking sound on the release not on the squeeze. The squeaker bulb was a balloon type rubber "latex" a lot like a balloon before you blow it up in fact, but the rubber is thick enough that it always opens back up to a bulb shape on its own when the lever stops squeezing on it. Now every sing Robot Commando I have ever seen in the last 20 years no longer squeaks because this red rubber squeaker bulb has turned to stone. And in most cases when this rubber bulb does turn solid this jams the lever and the lever jams the cam with the fingers and then the robot can not run.

You can remove the side kick panel doors on a robot commando with a single screw on each panel and with some custom wire probes you can fish out the dried up old red rubber bulb/ squeaker. The lever can be removed also, the easy way is to push a small flat blade screw driver up threw the bottom of the robot in to the post that holds the squeaker lever. Get the blade of the screw driver between the post and the lever pivot pin and rotate the screw driver blade until the post is pushed away from the lever pivot pin, you can then rotate the lever up and it will roll out of the post assembly.

Now you can replace the squeaker if you have something that will fit the small area and squeak on the release cycle and is easy enough to squeeze for the cam mechanic to operate.

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robothut

Now finding a squeaker that is easy enough for the lever system and small enough to fit in the robot is a problem. All plastic toy squeakers that are used in dog toys for example are just to stiff , the motor lever drive system just can not operate them and the motor will be jammed up. using a eye dropper as the bulb for the squeaker is a good idea but normal eye droppers bulbs are too small for this job and the jumbo eye droppers have a perfect size bulb but again they are to stiff for the mechanical drive system. The atomizor bulb from a old perfume sprayer is about the right size but again to hard for the mechanics in the robot too operate.The squeeze bulb from a Gag gift ring squirter or jumping frog/spider toy is again a very good pick from the size stand point but too hard for the mechanic to operate. What you need is a very soft rubber bulb that is just firm enough to pop back in to its bulb shape when the lever is released. So in the end what I ended up doing was buying some rubber thumb protectors, not the thin condom type ones but the thicker amber rubber ones. I cut one in 1/2 and used it as a patch for the open end of an other one. CA type glues work well for attaching the patch, good type glue works well also and was used to fill the 4 little air holes on the side of the ribber thumb protector. I made a small opening near the edge of the patch and glued in the squeaker reeds. Lay this little rubber squeaker in the resessed are provided in the robot then put the lever back in place. the lever can be replaced easly by placing the levers back side pin down and toward the post hole are then just rotate the lever down in to place the front pin on the lever will pop in to place.

post-7-0-44906300-1389389609_thumb.jpg

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robothut

Ok, now if your Robot Commando eyes no longer rotate this is do to the fact that a elastic cord was used to make a drive belt for them. The good news is you can still by the same elastic cord in shops that sell cloth and material. It is a simple matter to make a drive belt.

Now what if you robot commando does not run.

First you need to know how to operate the robot. put the 3 D cells in the bottom of the robot in the direction indicated in the plastic base.

Next go to the remote hand control you will see a plastic lever that can be pushed too the left and to the right and is marked ON and OFF.

The On position does not mean that the robot is ON, it means that the robot could be turned ON if you were to blow on the metal flapper in the control unit. The metal flapper will be held back in place by a magnet and when the metal flapper touches the magnet that completes the circuit that turns ON the motor in the robot.

Pushing the plastic lever to the OFF position simply pops the metal flapper away from the magnet, breaking the circuit and turning OFF the motor.

So if you set the plastic lever too the ON position and blow on the metal flapper and it sticks back in place but the motor is still not running what do you do?

Well first open the side panels and make sure the dried up old squeaker is not jamming the lever/ cam wheel as this will jam the motor as well. You should be able to move the squeaker lever by hand up and down. the can wheel rotates in clock wise manner when the robot is running. So the lever is free and the motor is not running.

There are two possible things that happen a lot in robot commando from a electrical stand point. First all of the connection in a robot commando are friction connections, no solder in the baby. All electrical connections a crimp / push type. For example the metal finger that a battery touches is held in place by a brass rivet that goes threw the plastic base of the robot. One the inside of the robot there will be a eyelet connector that has a wire crimped on to it, the eyelet connector is held in place by the back side of the brass rivet that holds the battery wiper in place. So if any or these metal parts that are all held together by a single brass rivet have corroded or oxidized then you have a poor or NO connection. These types of crimp and rivet connections are used every where in the robot and the remote control unit. if any of them feel lose then they will be a problem. In some cases you can solder the metal parts that touch the brass rivet on both side and this will fix the problem. So lets say you used a volt meter and found that every thing was OK that there is voltage reaching the motor but its is still not running and you can rotate the gears connected to the motor with your fingers and they all seem free. Well what you have is a motor who's brushes are gummed up with 60 year old grease. So why do they put grease on toy motor brushes you may ask. On non toy motors they don't use grease because the the motor brushed are normally made of carbon and carbon is a lubricant and conductor. But toy motors are cheep and not meant to last, so they just use beryllium to keep it from wearing out "metal on metal will not last very long" they put grease on them. After 40 or 50 or more years the grease dries out and becomes a lo like tar.

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robothut

So far all the repairs have been done with out drilling out the rivets that hold the body parts together and just working threw the side panels. There is a way to try and clean out the motor with out removing it from the robot, but if this does not work then you will have to drill out the body rivets to get into the motor.

Ok there is a small hole right on top of the motor near the non gear end. This hole is right above the brushes. So if you have a good spray contact cleaner with the long plastic straw like tip you can spray it right in to the hole. rotate the motor shaft with your fingers and let the spray sit for a bit, then come back do it all again. with batteries in stalled and the ON lever on the remote in the ON position and the metal MIC flapper in the back position you should be able to rotate the motor with your finger and with any luck it should sow signs of wanting to run now and then. if so a little more spray cleaner in the little motor hole and little more fingering and the motor should take off. If not, well it means you will have to split the body haves to get the motor out and take it apart and clean it by hand.

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robothut

 

Also a comment on operating the control knob on the remote unit. Even as a kid when these came out I can tell you it was hard to move the selector up and down to select the different functions. Besides turning the knob you also need to add a little up or down pressure to make it work . Turning the knob counter clock wise you need to be pushing up on the knob as well and turning the knob clock wise you need to be pulling down on the knob. Other wise you run the risk of breaking off a tooth on the knob gear or the linear gear in the remote. it is also easier to change the function if the motor is running, like I did in the You Tube video. There is a nice spot about mid way on the remote knob selector that you can use like a neutral postion where the motor can run but no other function will happen other than the rotating eyes and the special robot squeaker sound.

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roboz

Great stuff John , didn't see anything else on youtube that worked properly other than the

commercial but no squeaker sound on that though it did have pretty cool looking translucent parts

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robothut

I found these two images of the Robot Commando guts on Ebay, that can help you see the tray area for the squeaker and the lever and all the good stuff. Also you can see alot of the rivet crimp electrical connections.

Also this is the link to the Patent drawings for Robot Commando.

post-7-0-27685000-1389583728_thumb.jpg

post-7-0-75775100-1389583744_thumb.jpg

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curt sly

hello. i just purchased a robot commando on ebay. he is in great cosmetic condition. i do not know if he works or not. the previous owner said he put the batteries in him, but he did not work. the brown remote cable is frayed a little, with some wires exposed. could this be the problem ? i feel this toy is worth repairing. if needed. is there someone in my area that you know of, who can do this kind of work ? i live in the san francisco bay area. any information would be appreciated. thank you. curt.

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