December 29, 2008
Hey guys, I have a question for you. I see many of you guys using the track and wheel set from Tamiya (http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=321) that is special built to be compatible with their dual geared motors. For such a cheap price you get a very versatile tread kit that allows endless combinations of tread length and design, however, it seems what's gained in inexpense, is lost in quality. Many who I've spoke to say you get what you pay for when purchasing this item, especially when it comes to the motors (http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=319) The motors seem to be great, you can adjust the gearing ratio to balance out your required speed and torque, however, it seems they never balance. When you increase torque, the motors move too slow, and when you increase speed, it's too fast! I was about to purchase these until I found what may be a better solution.
The tread kit from Solarbotics! (http://www.solarbotics.com/products/gmtpkg/) This kit comes with, what apprears to be, great adjustable tracks, 2 motors, 2 cogs, and 2 idlers. This package is more expensive, however, there is more documentation on all of the parts, and more options as far as motor choice goes. But, as I mentioned, it's more expensive; add in the extra cost of more idlers and longer track pieces if you want a better design, and you'll be running some bucks. I see a few robots that utilize these tracks here as well.
Well my question is, based on your experiece with whatever tread kit, which one do you recommend?