Let's Make Robots!

Phase 5 - Project Enclosure & Stock Chassis Issues

If you've not been following along, I have a photobucket album with a ton of pictures for this build.

The chassis has four horns on top of its stock controller board housing that the plastic truck body once attached to. After a trip to Radio Shack for a 8x6x3 enclosure, I spent an hour or so measuring, drilling, cutting, rigging & wiring the enclosure. I used those horns to secure the enclosure with 8 - 32 x 3/4" machine fasteners and extra nuts. I covered them with electrical tape to minimize damage and any accidental shorts.

I still needed a platform or arm for the servo and ping to mount to and the best piece I had laying around that matched was the battery tray cover off of a scrapped IR transmitter. It had a single screw hole in the middle, so I drilled it out for the machine fasteners and hot glued the sides. Generous hot glue on the micro servo and ping sensor held it in place.


Wiring everything back together was straight forward, albeit with the chassis battery positive wire being almost too short to get the job done, I was able to use it without modification, though. That all may change in the future.

Next came the battery tray for power to the arduino. Really the only thing I have right now is a 6AA battery tray, which may be overkill, but it'll have to make do for now. 

There is lots of room for expansion... however...


Now for some not so great news, I'm past the capabilities of this stock rock crawler already, but this can be remedied if I choose.

While I have plenty of space, there are basically 2 limiting factors I'm facing with the rock crawler. First, rechargeable AA's aren't cutting it for power to the motors. They need a full 9v from standard batteries and not the 7.2 you get from 6 rechargeable AA's. In short, this robot needs a kick in the pants. Since I'm all about rechargeables, I'll be getting a lipo pack for the project. Second, having crawling suspension is great, unless you add some weight. But let's be serious here, I've not added a whole lot of weight compared to what I had planned, but the suspension is already bottoming out with just the gear from the picture above. Previously, I had the battery tray zip-tied to the rear motor/shaft housing and it was performing just fine, but I really want a clean look, so I will be researching spring upgrades for the suspension. Here's a picture of the suspension drooping.


Phase 5 completed.

I have a bunch of parts for Phase 6 on order, which may take a few weeks for it all to arrive. 

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Stiffer springs may not be enough to right that truck.  The larger problem is that the shocks are laid down too much and the extra weight on top has too much leverage over them.  I'm not guessing there's any adjustability in the shock placement, but if you could find a way to get the shocks more vertical, even the current springs may be enough to stay upright.

That's a great observation, I'll check that out. Thank you.