Chasing a Registration Problem

I spend way too much time this week on creating simple tests in Selenium. The problem was that my development environment wasn’t working right, so the tests were coming out wrong. I had to trace the problem through Mijoshop, the Joomla Mail libraries, PHPMailer, then finally Sendmail. It turns out that the fix was to simply add the sever hostname to /etc/hosts. The solution was here:

A long way to go, and not many tests done yet.


Storage Case Rack


Following up on my earlier post on parts organization and storage, I’ve been organizing a lot of my miscellaneous hardware and parts into Harbor Freight/StoreHouse cases. These are not the highest quality cases, but at only $6.99 per slim case with coupon  or $9.99 for the thick cases with coupon, I don’t think I’ve gone too far wrong. I also ended up buying a few of the half-width cases because they come loaded with more of the smallest size part cups. I’ll end up using these for other storage tasks around the house, like a first aid kit and cases for my daughter’s art supplies.

I built a rack to hold all the cases. It’s based on the design by n3lud. By fortunate coincidence, his design fits 13 slim cases and 2 thick cases, exactly the number of cases I have to hold all of my hardware.

You can download the Sketchup design for this from 3D Warehouse.

Note that if you’re going to make this yourself, be careful to measure the actual thickness of the materials and adjust the design accordingly. I had a couple things that didn’t fit exactly right and also ended up having to modify all the 1×3 boards, which ate up a bunch of time. If I had to do it over again, I’d make the top and bottom plywood pieces a bit wider.



Flipper 720 Realtime Build Log Parts 2&3: August 28-31, 2016

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 · August 28 at 12:21pm

Simon Arthur

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:

The Alan Parsons Project Robot Full Album

The Alan Parsons Project – Robot – Full Album

youtube.comAugust 28 at 1:32pm

Simon Arthur Signs of Life

August 28 at 1:33pm

Simon Arthur

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

Simon Arthur

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 · 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 · 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.

WRAS-Album 88 | Left on the Dial, Right on the Music

Album 88: Georgia State University’s student radio station, influencing the Atlanta music scene since ’71. Online 24/7, on WRAS-FM 88.5 7 p.m. – 5 a.m.

August 28 at 2:28pm

Simon Arthur

August 28 at 2:38pm

Andrew Burghgraef Different ratio boxes front and back?

1 · 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 · 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

Simon Arthur

1 · 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 · 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 · 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 · August 28 at 6:16pm

Simon Arthur Off to dinner.

August 28 at 7:04pm

Simon Arthur Grinding down keys to fit

1 · August 28 at 10:18pm

Simon Arthur Pressing the key in.

1 · 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 · 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 · 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.



55 5


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.

The Rolling Stones / Tattoo You / 1981 / VinylRip / HQ

The Rolling Stones / Tattoo You / 1981 / Original US Robert Ludwig Pressing / pbthal Start Me Up 00:00 Hang Fire 03:33 Slave 05:56 Little T & A 10:51 Black L…

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

WRAS-Album 88 | Left on the Dial, Right on the Music

Album 88: Georgia State University’s student radio station, influencing the Atlanta music scene since ’71. Online 24/7, on WRAS-FM 88.5 7 p.m. – 5 a.m.

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 · 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