This is parts 2 and 3 of my archive of a real-time record of turning a pile of parts into a robot ready for fighting at Robot Battles, originally posted to a popular social network. You can read part 1 here.
I didn’t pay as much attention to the converting these parts to a blog post, so threading is lost, and there may be a few other formatting mistakes.
Another day of live build updates where I turn a pile of parts into a working robot. This is the last weekend before Dragon Con, so it’s crunch time. The kids are off to Chinese school now so I have some free time to get some work done starting with wiring. I have a large iced green tea and I have queued up Kraftwerk.
Likes: Will Bales and 13 others
Derek Reihe Ok what is the cool lid?
August 28 at 12:15pm
Simon Arthur Polycarbonate 🙂
August 28 at 12:18pm
Derek Reihe Oh less cool then 🙂
August 28 at 12:18pm
Simon Arthur I used this stuff on it.
1 Â· August 28 at 12:21pm
August 28 at 12:22pm
Simon Arthur Soldering iron is Heating
August 28 at 12:28pm
Simon Arthur Wow these power poles do not want to come apart
August 28 at 12:34pm
Simon Arthur Helps if you push them in the right direction
August 28 at 12:35pm
Simon Arthur Snaking my 14 gauge Marine wire from the battery to the disconnect switch. It has to be long enough so that when I pull the battery out I can get the connector out as well.
August 28 at 12:37pm
Simon Arthur The stripped section needs to be just long enough to fit inside the power pole connector
August 28 at 12:42pm
Simon Arthur Crimped
August 28 at 12:43pm
Simon Arthur Using a different style cramp on the other end which should allow it to slide into the power pole housing easier. You think I would know this stuff by now.
August 28 at 12:51pm
Simon Arthur Ordered the special heavy-duty ring terminals because they happened to be narrow enough to fit the terminal block on the speed controller.
August 28 at 1:02pm
Simon Arthur Turn it on and the blinky light comes on
August 28 at 1:04pm
Simon Arthur Last year I had to file my regular ring terminals down because they were too wide.
August 28 at 1:09pm
Simon Arthur Soundrack: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pe-AamEY-Ko
Simon Arthur Signs of Life
August 28 at 1:33pm
August 28 at 1:49pm
Andrew Burghgraef looks very fast on the lifter arm, it is strong enough to flip the bot?
1 August 28 at 1:51pm
Simon Arthur It was almost enough last year with longer arms and a taller body. We’ll see. Keep checking back to find out.
August 28 at 2:22pm
August 28 at 1:55pm
Simon Arthur Obviously my soldering job was terrible so I’ll cover it up with this pretty heat shrink I got from Boeing Surplus a few years back.
1 Â· August 28 at 2:00pm
Simon Arthur My cheapass radio doesn’t have an easy way to reverse the servo outputs, so I have to make sure to wire things up the right way to begin with.
August 28 at 2:05pm
Simon Arthur Right rear blue wire – M1A, right rear pink wire – M1B
August 28 at 2:08pm
Andrew Burghgraef Putting motors on bullet plugs makes that easy 😉 heat shrink each side of the bullet, make sure it’s all right, then another layer of heat shrink to make sure they stay together
1 Â· August 28 at 2:24pm
Simon Arthur Andrew Burghgraef I was going to put them on Power Pole connectors, but there’s not a lot of space.
August 28 at 2:26pm
Simon Arthur Right front is conveniently wired with the same colors, both motors should run on the M1 side.
August 28 at 2:37pm
Simon Arthur Soundtrack: WRAS Featured Rotation live stream. http://wras.org/
August 28 at 2:28pm
August 28 at 2:38pm
Andrew Burghgraef Different ratio boxes front and back?
1 Â· August 28 at 2:41pm
Simon Arthur Different wheel sizes as well.
August 28 at 2:41pm
Andrew Burghgraef Yup, seen that, just wasn’t sure if the front wheels had less reduction or were being under driven. The speed work out to be pretty close?
1 Â· August 28 at 2:42pm
Simon Arthur Yeah, I made a spreadsheet to figure out what wheel sizes would match well with what gearboxes.
August 28 at 2:43pm
1 Â· August 28 at 2:46pm
Simon Arthur No idea how well this will actually work.
August 28 at 2:47pm
Simon Arthur Left rear motor does not want to turn. Looks like a mechanical problem as I can’t turn the shaft by hand with locking pliers. I’m troubleshooting that.
August 28 at 2:50pm
Simon Arthur I took the motor assembly out. It still does not want to backdrive, and turning the motor end gives a lot of resistance. I’ll break down the gearbox.
August 28 at 2:54pm
Simon Arthur The motor by itself turns OK both by hand and under power.
August 28 at 2:56pm
Simon Arthur The gearbox by itself backdrives OK. It must have something to do with how the two were assembled together.
August 28 at 2:57pm
Andrew Burghgraef Make sure the pinion isn’t sticking too far out on the motor and binding.
1 Â· August 28 at 2:58pm
Simon Arthur Okay I gave the pinion gear a couple light taps. You didn’t look too bad to begin with. I’ll try reassembling now
August 28 at 3:09pm
Simon Arthur Seems like if the long screws are in tight, the gearbox binds up. I may have to add some shims.
August 28 at 3:14pm
Simon Arthur But first… I have to go make a bottle for the baby.
August 28 at 3:14pm
Kyle Singer Poor countertop
1 Â· August 28 at 3:24pm
Simon Arthur pushed it further down
August 28 at 5:06pm Edited
Simon Arthur Soundtrack: Deep & Dope 248 by JaBig
August 28 at 5:07pm
Simon Arthur Also filed off the top of the output shaft. It now runs smoothly when fully tightened.
August 28 at 5:11pm
Simon Arthur Soundtrack: Deep & Dope 195 by JaBig
August 28 at 5:25pm
Simon Arthur I’m going to do something a little different for the left side: join the motors together on the left, then run only 1 pair of wires over to the speed controller.
August 28 at 5:26pm
Simon Arthur Like this
August 28 at 5:51pm
Simon Arthur Needed pink electrical tape
August 28 at 5:55pm
Simon Arthur All four wheels running. No keys installed yet though so no movement.
1 Â· August 28 at 6:16pm
Simon Arthur Off to dinner.
August 28 at 7:04pm
Simon Arthur Grinding down keys to fit
1 Â· August 28 at 10:18pm
Simon Arthur Pressing the key in.
1 Â· August 28 at 10:43pm
Simon Arthur I didn’t get as far this weekend as I had hoped. Then again, I never do. The weapon and paint are still to be done, plus the robot is overweight. There are also a host of other minor tasks. Now to order some robot weight loss supplies, and off to bed.
August 28 at 10:53pm
Simon Arthur Oh, and the robot drives, I tried it. The FB app seems to have lost the video I shot.
1 Â· August 28 at 11:08pm
Eric Von Lindhardt Whys ur wheels different sizes, and whats the void for front and center?
August 28 at 11:59pm
Justin Maldonado He’s using different speeds of gear boxes so he is still getting the same speed out of both setups (front and back)
1 Â· August 29 at 2:42am
Simon Arthur That area is a spot to trap the opponent.
August 29 at 7:30am
Back to live posting my robot building antics. Pieces marked with black marker light on top of the center of the robot need to be machined. I did some work earlier today and figuring out how to mount the support for the weapon on the side away from the motor that involves stacking up a lot of hardware together and shaving a yak.
Simon Arthur Lining up steel washer to have the mark section cut off
August 30 at 9:13pm
Simon Arthur Always wear hearing and eye protection
August 30 at 9:16pm
Simon Arthur getting ready to smooth down the burrs
August 30 at 9:17pm
Simon Arthur Countersinking a spot where there was an interference between a screw head and a drive motor that I had missed. So I’m putting in a flat head screw there.
August 30 at 9:20pm
Simon Arthur Looking good.
August 30 at 9:23pm
Simon Arthur I really need a thrust washer with a quarter inch hole and 1/8 inch thickness for the lifting arm but I don’t have that so I’m going to see what I can scrounge up from the workshop. The if that doesn’t work the lifting arm will just go straight over the axle without a bearing.
August 30 at 9:25pm
Simon Arthur My container full of random washers and my container full of random bushings
August 30 at 9:27pm
Simon Arthur You know people say that the wheel was one of Mankind’s greatest inventions but I think it was not really that useful until someone came along and invented the bearing.
August 30 at 9:29pm
Simon Arthur I’m not a mechanical engineer so the bearing will just be a hole in the aluminum arm
August 30 at 9:39pm
Simon Arthur Little rough but it seems to move
August 30 at 9:42pm
Simon Arthur Front plate install you can see the countersunk screw gives me a little more clearance on the inside. Show a picture with the motor in place later. For what it’s worth I install the nut strip on the vertical plate before screwing it in from the bottom.
August 30 at 9:47pm
Simon Arthur Little interference with the nut strip
August 30 at 9:48pm
Simon Arthur Much better it’s too bad it takes a hacksaw to make it happen
August 30 at 9:59pm
Simon Arthur Soundtrack. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmDYBXZLZl0
August 30 at 10:03pm
Simon Arthur So here’s the order it goes together. The shaft with the collar gets the fender washer with the pieces cut out of it then the bronze bushing is inserted into the frame. The shaft goes through the bronze bushing. The shaft collar with no set screw goes up the shaft into the bronze bushing. Then on the outside of thrust washer goes on. Then the quarter inch washer. Then the shaft collar.
August 30 at 10:14pm
Simon Arthur This build involves a surprising amount of hammering.
August 30 at 10:28pm
Simon Arthur Pressing a hex bar into the motor side lifter arm to make some extra room 4 the real bar when it goes into place
August 30 at 10:33pm
Simon Arthur The screwdriver out for it holds the shaft in place with a small chunk metal. The shaft has a little dent ground into it that the metal chunk fits into. Then I retain the whole thing with a shaft collar.
August 30 at 10:40pm
Simon Arthur These were regular shaft collars but I drill them out slightly to be able to fit the hole diameter of the quarter inch hex rod.
August 30 at 10:43pm
Simon Arthur After a particularly nice test of the weapon the signal wire popped loose.
August 30 at 11:10pm
Simon Arthur Soundtrack: Cowtipper’s DEElight on WRAS http://wras.org/
August 30 at 11:19pm
Simon Arthur Will it Drive? Can the weapon flip robot? Watch the video to find out.
August 30 at 11:26pm
Simon Arthur It’s almost 5 oz overweight. So I’m starting weight loss measures. Starting by replacing some of the 1/2″ length screws with 1/4″ screws.
August 30 at 11:30pm
Simon Arthur Old screw size in silver, new size in black. I didn’t order enough. I’ve also got aluminum screws I can use in less critical places.
August 31 at 12:08am
Simon Arthur I’m replacing the steel threaded rod in the weapon motor with aluminum threaded rod.
August 31 at 12:24am
Simon Arthur Mark Length with a sharpie
August 31 at 12:27am
Simon Arthur Cut to length with bolt cutters
August 31 at 12:39am
Simon Arthur I can’t find my number 10 die at the moment so I just have to run the nut down the long way to where the bad part is.
August 31 at 12:44am
Simon Arthur Getting close
August 31 at 12:48am
Simon Arthur Should save an ounce by replacing the battery box with thinner material.
August 31 at 1:20am
Simon Arthur I was going to cut this with the table saw but then thought better of it and decided to use these shares instead. Material is aluminum 5052 .025 thickness.
August 31 at 1:27am
Simon Arthur Bending to approximately the correct size
August 31 at 1:29am
Simon Arthur Accidentally cut all the way through while cutting out a notch for the battery lead
August 31 at 1:32am
Simon Arthur Metal tape to the rescue
August 31 at 1:34am
Simon Arthur I have a bit of margin.
August 31 at 2:00am
Simon Arthur Next up: cable ties for the wiring. Hot glue to replace the battery padding. Installing the receiver.
August 31 at 2:07am
Simon Arthur Finally RotoZip away the little bit of the top that was interfering with the weapon motor.
August 31 at 2:52am
Simon Arthur Everything inside mounted and cable ties
August 31 at 3:04am
Simon Arthur Ready to compete with .6 ounces to spare.
August 31 at 3:16am
Simon Arthur That’s it for now. The robot gods have smiled on my endeavors tonight and now I can return to Robot Battles. I’d still like to use thread locker and retaining compound in a few places. There are a couple spots on the top that could use better fastening. And I really want to do paint.
1 Â· August 31 at 3:23am
Robert DuBard 3:23 AM?
August 31 at 5:43pm
Simon Arthur Yep, and up at 6:45 to get the kids off to school.
August 31 at 6:37pm