We finished up yesterday with a handful of remaining items to complete for the build of this beetle. The level of anticipation was quite high, especially considering that we started this 'bot almost seven years ago! It's going to be great to see it running finally. Click Back after viewing an image.
First thing for this morning is to drill and install a 1/16" steel rollpin to connect the blade to the weapon shaft. Not only do we successfully complete this, but we don't break a drill bit in the process - an auspicious start! :-)
Installing the power light - a simple 12V lamp from Rat Shack. At least there's no soldering involved.
The innards are starting to be put into place. We added a couple of cable-tie anchors to keep wiring in place and away from the spinning can of the weapon motor.
We hit a small snag mounting the receiver using a cable-tie anchor - it took up too much room, meaning the receiver hit the battery. We had a bit of a rethink to see how we could mount the receiver ...
... And came up with this: Some double-sided sticky tape. Even if it comes loose, with the front wall on, there won't be too far for it to move, as the PWM cables to the drive speed controllers don't have much slack.
Things got a bit cramped around the power switch, but we were eventually able to tie everything down and keep it away from the weapon motor. Pretty fiddly, and we're glad it's done!
On the back side of the 'bot we're trying to keep the wiring neat here too. We've already realized we put the battery in the wrong way - it's leads won't meet the connector right in the middle of the 'bot.
Dealing with the battery is fiddly, because it's a tight fit, but at least that means it can't bounce around inside the 'bot! Here we've plugged in the battery, and there were no explosions or sparks, which - to us - means one thing: we're done!
The next big moment is powering the 'bot up for the first time - as you can see here we did that, again with no sparks or melting parts - cool! At this point we attempted a test drive, and it went absolutely no-where! Frustrated we looked the 'bot over to see what had gone horribly wrong. It turns out that the spacers under the hoops (to prevent them from falling too far down the pod) we causing too much friction for the hoops to turn. We removed them:
Cool! Now we know it can at least move, it's time to check the weight, and see what the bad news is. As you can see here the total weight is 3lb 1.2oz ... not good.
Out of curiosity we took the rear plate off - 2lb 15.7oz, so each plate weighs 1.5oz ... if we could use thinner polycarb we'd make weight. Luckily we had some available.
And here are the new panels. The drilling was a bit iffy, but we're okay with that. As you can see they're pretty thin - don't tell our opponents!
We never did get around to ordering any 2.25"-long #6-32 bolts, so we've decided to Dremel off the excess. That should save us a bit of weight.
Ta daa! Between shortening the bolts and replacing the panels we're now at 2lb 15.6 ounces, and we're very happy! Note the funky way the hoops are hanging in the pods - that's because of the removed spacers. Could make for some interesting driving in the arena :-)
Time for a beauty shot. All in all we're pretty happy with the 'bot, although there's still one more thing to test: the weapon!
Hmm ... not so good. Time to go do some research to try and find out why the weapon setup is being so temperamental. This sounds to us like "cogging", although we're certainly not experts, so we'll post a couple of questions on the Forum too. We're wondering if the motor is too wimpy, but when it finally does 'catch' and spin up, it spins very nicely. So perhaps it's the speed controller. We've done as much as we can for tonight, and - periodically - the weapon does spin up, so we're going to call this 'bot done!