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...... Central Support System (CSS) ......

This design evolved out of talks between myself and another aussie builder, David York. We both planned to have the belly lights, chest lights, and buttons, on a separate rectangular plate that would affix to the front of the torso, so as to give a distinct border between the dark grey chest area and the silver torso, rather than just a paint line, and also to make the wiring more easily accessible.

Then we thought "Why not have it attached to the CSS?" then slide forward from the inside rather than attaching from the front, this would leave it permanently wired up and still accessible for testing/modifications while the torso was removed. From there the logical next step was to consider including the Programming Bay and Neon.

We also planned to use the CSS to support the collar and head section, as well as the arms, plus hold the usual electronics for audio and RF etc, so it was rapidly filling up. Which is why i decided to go for the maximum available diameter (see the section for the donut).

Executive Summary - The CSS will:

Contain the programming bay and chest lights/buttons.
Have the maximum diameter (16").
Contain the rotational drive system for the torso.
Be separable at any level without having to move the other levels.
Have fixed spacers between levels so they reassemble easily to the correct position.
Wiring between each level to go through a pair of multi pin connectors to permit separation of the levels.
An umbilical cable to electrically connect each level even when CSS is split apart.
Support all the weight of the head, collar, and bubble lifter.
Support fully articulated arms.
Contain the sound system and flasher for the neon, the radio receiver, voltage converters, and Arduino processors.
Use a slip ring for electrical connection to the batteries in the tread section.
Have vertical guide rails so the torso slips over the top easily.
(Optionally) May have small caster wheels that hang down inside the donut area.

The first stage with the Programming bay permanently mounted on sliding rails inside the CSS. After the torso is lowered into place it slides forward to fill the gap.

Added the supporting framework for the chest lights and buttons. Replaced the long threaded spacing rods with individual bolts of different lengths for each shelf, with aluminium tubing as spacers for ease of assembly. Surprised to find it is now more rigid than it was before - can stand on it with no trouble. Also the CSS can be split at any level to work on the components without having to disassemble all the shelves.

To be continued . . .