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New featherweight



This is the new chassis for our next featherweight project. It's 50x25 2mm ERW . The lumps on the inside are the gearbox cages from 4 cordless drill motors, there's a copper bush through the chassis and the shaft is circlipped on the wheel side. If I can be bothered I'll gas weld some tiny nuts to the cages to mount the motors.. if not then I'll araldite the cut down plastic cases.
I have 4x12v motors to run this, and it's a bit of a toss up whether I run them at 24v using a pair of NCC 35 24v's OR the simpler, but maybe less brutal electronise option. I like the idea of the electronise, as we could then run trhe whole thing at say 16v, whilst still keeping all the components inside the central box... all under 80mm high. However the ncc's would certainly make the wheels squeal better, and I have some 100mm wheel options that would make it caper about at an alarming rate. The whole idea of this build is to be as simple and robust as can be.. if a motor burns out I can easily get another from FOCUS DIY, the chasis is a solid as can be, and will be even tougher when I plate the top with sheet steel, and weld on the side bars. I even have a stainless outer coat to go over it if needed.

Just need to get another Supernova to quick charge the battery packs.

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ready for action

Just put the finishing touches to Meathammer
The whole setup works quite well.. I'm off to modelworld to run it through it's paces a couple of times.
The weak bits look to be the drive shafts, which I'd like to bulk up to at least 20mm and have some better bearnings for.
The battery packs are also a bit weedy, but we'll see how they last, and may invest in a few high output packs.
Of course it could also really do with running the 4QD 35's or 60's instead of the electronise speedies.. but we'll see how it performs and make amends.
Since I took this phot I've added a hinged scoop, so we can get under other feathers... it's a popular design in the states, should work over here.
I only need to wire in an LED to show power and then we are ok to roll.

The weakness of machines

All of the robots I have built have failed in fights, and usually at the axles/wheels, it's like a running joke.
So why should it be any different with this featherweight?
Meathammer was designed back in 2005/06 when using 4 drill motors was a bit of a novelty... it was made more novel still by mounting the epicyclic gear cages directly to the chassis, which unfortunately sends all the drive shocks back through the gearbox.

The original version ran for a number of fights at modelworld 2006? and even won some, especially the sumo, which favoured its very low profile.
I've just rebuilt the gearboxes with all metal gears, and tested it, and it seems it should last for at least one fight… but as I put it in the car after testing, I noted one of the wheels had nearly fallen off. Mark that bolt for Lockthreading!

All this got me thinking if I could make something less likely to lose a wheel, break a gearbox etc
I have a huge pile of bits and bobs that were destined for heavier machi…

robot rebuilds

For two years in a row I've missed out joining in with Ian Watts robot bash at the Uni. So I'm making sure I've got something running before it swings around again.

So I welded a couple of new gearbox cages into the 4 wheel push bot, and dug out a set of Electronize speed controllers. I fitted the titanium plate that has been cluttering the basement for a decade and have been doing some testing with a set of LiON batteries that used to belong to a cordless strimmer, which fell apart from overuse.


I've run it up and the battery doesn't really have enough life to power 4 motors, but is useful for testing. I've stuck some old NiMH units on a charge cycle to see if they have enough life for a bout or two. The only things I actually need to "buy" are a 2.4GHz radio set, as the old 40MHz stuff is against the rules these days, so I've ordered a Hobby King 4 channel set for £20 off ebay.

Strangely yesterday Mentorn emailed a bunch of robot folk to say Rob…