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Thread: Team Death - New Heavyweight

  1. #161
    Redirect Left's Avatar

    Hyperion (BW)
    Wakefield, West Yorkshire

    This week we tried something a little different, a skid! Colin had preprepared this during the so its week, and the only thing left for today was to weld it in place, which we dutifully did. We used polycarb for the base of the skid, as it was the item of least friction there was to hand around the workshop.
    After welding, we got straight off to the testing area. The skid correcfted the steering issues, and the bot drove in a straight line. However, the motors were notably making much more effort and current draw, and whilst it worked OK in forward and reverse, it struggled to turn corners due to the added friction. When checking on the bot, the connectors were noticably hot from the battery, where they are usually nothing more than lukewarm, so the motors must have been trying considerably harder to make the machine move, if there is enough current to make them hot. In the end, we removed the skid, but we still have it if we decide to use that later on. We're going to reconfigure the castor layout instead, and try to get the same straight drive, without the extra friction the skid was causing. Unfortunately we can only test on concrete, so the friction may have been OK in arenas, whose to know.
    The skid;
    Next week, we'll be doing the castor change, and going out to the test area again - we may revisit the skid perhaps with some nylon instead of polycarb.

    I had also acquired some bike tyres over the week, and one of the plans is to cover some tyres to try increasing friction. We tried this, however decided to try other things, as it was taking way too long to even do one piece. We may revisit this if we decide this is still the best couse of action later on.
    Here is an image of that, this is a pneumatic (air filled) tyre, with the internal air hose removed, and the donor tyre riveted on. We went with rivets, as it's the method that we hope will leave the least amount of debris inside the tyre for the air tube to burst upon. It also looks rather industrial from the outside, which fits in withthe overall theme. There was also a layer of glue/cement suitable for rubber underneath, although we later found this had not stuck at all, and was only being held on by the four rivets.

    This is a very time consuming thing, especially as the rivets take a lot of might to pull together, and each piece takes 4 rivets, and the tyre will take 9 pieces of tyre. However, I think next week we'll go straight to the castors and see if we can make that work before revisiting any of the above.
    Last edited by Redirect Left; 20th May 2018 at 20:34.

  2. #162
    After the semi successful trial with the skid on front of the Robot
    I have concluded that if it is used in combination with castors it
    might just solve our steering problems.
    A built up front spike is needed anyway to feed the enemy into the scoop
    as at the moment the scoop rides an inch or so above the surface
    Also I just received from e bay a new pair of bearings for the wheels
    which I intend to make adjustable and thus make both wheels touch
    the floor evenly -this should also help with the steering if I can achieve
    the same level on either side

  3. #163
    Sunny Sunday -Today I mainly worked on the front skids of the Robot
    and I'm hoping that balancing the front end weight between the scoop
    and the castors will greatly improve the steering of the Robot.
    Unfortunately Adam was unavailable this week so I was unable to take
    the Bot for a test run-it really is a 2 person job to cart around.

    Last week we tried the Robot with 65% of the weight on the front MK1
    skid, this had the effect of helping with straight steering but the Robot
    had to work too hard and leads got hot -also the turning was quite poor.
    Before we fitted the jaws the steering was really quite good so if we can
    negate the weight of the jaws by putting 12kg or so on to the scoop skid
    the motors should be less strained and the turning and steering should be
    Adam had been chatting with the crackers and smash team a couple of weeks
    ago and they suggested we changed our battery holding sleeves because any
    impact would be transferred through to the batteries, so today I also removed
    the sleeves and we will probably wrap the batteries in foam or bubble wrap.

    Because I wasn't pushed for time today I visited the car boot sale in the morning
    and picked up some interesting items including two game console remotes which
    we can adapt to use for the weapon,a small car that I may make into a ant or beetle
    weight and a broken helicopter full of servos motors and cogs.
    Last edited by team death; 27th May 2018 at 20:58.

  4. #164
    Redirect Left's Avatar

    Hyperion (BW)
    Wakefield, West Yorkshire
    Today was a bit of an odd day.

    We have started by getting the skid setup ready. There was a spring handily around the workshop, which was cut in half, then a little more - and sprung around both of the bolts to give a little suspension effect to the skid, so it'll hopefully bounce about a bit and maintain a constant pressure on the floor and aid in the straight driving.

    Whilst the other battery charged, we worked on a different encasing for the batteries, mostly using foam. We had to shave a little off one of the bolts for the castors, as we were a little short of space on one side. We're now in a position where the batteries will comfortably sit one at each side, as they were before. Just in a manner that is going to be a little less drastic for them in situation where the chassis is badly hit and shaken about.

    This passed enough time that now both batteries were charged, so we went out for a test. Which very rapidly went doooown hill. Almost immediately, I was able to drive it straight after a try or two with it skidding off to one side. It didn't take me long to find the required direction on the controller, just ever so slightly to the right, to achieve a straight line. If we cannot get it to naturally drive true, then this is something that won't take long for either myself or Colin (driver is still to be determined!) to adjust to, as we are running out of time and there are a few other things to do, such as the weapon and remote control of it - so we may have to leave the driving as is, at least for its first battle and we can come back to it again later on if needs be.
    Unfortunately, this is where the test abruptly ended, as we again came across a rather huge setback that was irrepairable out in the field. We had another weld failure, so we packed back up and headed back to the workshop.
    It took us a while to find out exactly where the weld had failed. But sure enough, the smaller sprocket had become unattached to the main bar. A little animation is the best way to describe it;

    This proved a little odd to fix. Colin welded the end of it together - this is the end that goes into the bearing, and also added a little delicately between the two sprockets, bearing in mind that once the chain is running, there really is very little space remaining to ensure smooth running of the chains.

    Whilst Colin did the welds - as im clueless on that side! - I discharged the batteries using a spare motor, as we thought this'd be quicker than using the charger to discharge it. As it turns out, no. These motors seem to use really little current when they're not loaded! Batteries discharged by a whopping 0.125V each in the space of 5-10 minutes. Compared to what would have been going on for a full discharge in the actual machine and its two motors.
    Here i am, fruitlessly trying to discharge the batteries.

    Next week, I am unavailable again, due to attending a tournament at Wembley Arena (not the big stadium!) for a game. But I believe Colin will be working to put the drive together again, and try to make sure we're going to be high and dry welding wise this time around, so we can go straight to the weapon onwards hopefully. Whilst the mechanics are all there, and we believe it to be functioning if untested with the full setup, it's currently got no control mechanism for it. So we need to wire that up, add a receiver to it, and wire up a seperate panel to the controller for whomever ends up controlling it seperate to the driver. Unfortunately, the robot is currently way too heavy for a single person to carry around, so i'm not sure how much testing Colin can reasonably do next week. However this evening, he was off to pickup a trolley he got on eBay cheaper than new, so that'll ease the task somewhat. There is also a further plan to try easing the driving issues, depending on if we can get the parts at a suitable price point - more on that next week, when we know the outcome!
    Last edited by Redirect Left; 3rd June 2018 at 23:00.

  5. #165
    As a follow up to Adams post -the chains on this side of the reducer sprocket have
    always been very close together, almost to the point that they may have meshed
    together at some point and this may have attributed to the weld failure.
    After welding the reducer yesterday I made the mistake of making the chain
    sprockets even closer and thus the chains are now touching even worse.

    So I will have to dismantle it again and next time get the chain
    distances as good as possible.

    Adam asked yesterday if it was just as well to start a fresh but I know
    how long it took to make on the lathe and welding the sprockets on near
    true-about a full day each-so that will be the last resort really.

    Last night I traveled north of scotch corner to pick up the hydraulic platform
    to make life easier when we take the robot to live events-its rated at 250kg
    so that is plenty strong enough for our 110kg Robot and it has a wide and
    long table to easily big enough to hold the bot safely.
    Last edited by team death; 4th June 2018 at 20:47.

  6. #166
    After protracted tinkering with the castors on the Robot this weekend in
    an attempt to cure the steering problem I decided to bite the bullet and
    do a job I have been putting off from almost week 5 of the build, namely
    level up the wheels at the back -not an easy task.
    But first some news to follow on from last weeks diary-I managed to fix
    the reducer sprocket fault and widen the distance between the driven
    chains to good degree and its probably the best its ever been.

    Before I started on the Robot today I had a trip to the car boot sale
    and picked up some bargains-4 cordless drills in a shopping bag for
    £1, which I want to use for a fun project later in the year.
    On the way back home my car started to overheat so I had to attend
    to this before today's bot build.

    Adam was unavailable this week due to attending a tournament in
    London so I took on the wheel leveling challenge on my own.
    This was a major dismantling job, I first removed the drive chain
    and the chain to the winch then I removed the winch and the very
    awkward bolts holding the wheel bearings in place and finally the
    It was quite interesting to view parts of the robot that hadn't seen
    light of day for a year, so that was a bonus.
    Due to the confined space it wasn't possible to modify the frame of
    the robot so I fitted modified bearings and bolted the whole wheel
    assembly back together.
    The results were very pleasing-not only does the robot look more level
    it also seemed to sit better on the floor when been pushed around-
    as previously it would lift one of its tyres off the ground from time to
    Will this help with the drive?-we shall find out next week.
    I'm looking at polo shirts with the idea of having the team death
    logo and name printed on them........nearly there

  7. #167
    Redirect Left's Avatar

    Hyperion (BW)
    Wakefield, West Yorkshire
    Another week has past us by...

    This weekend we started by trying to hookup the weapons electrics. This has been done in steps beforehand, but its never been permanently wired in, and our first immediate problem was that there was only one neutral wire, whereas we had previously added an extra live cable from a junction box in the past. So the first thing to do was to wire up another of these to serve the weapon motor. This didn't take too long to rectify, and there are now two junction boxes in the machine, one carrying splits for red, and the other for black cables. They're neatly tucked away along with one of the fuses, and with a good amount of metal between it and any weapons.
    We then went to test the weapon mechanism, and found an issue, in that the TX/RX combination Colin has, doesn't seem to have enough oomph to fully and reliably trigger the weapon mechanism in its current state, this can be resolved by using a different channel on the RX/TX, however that specific channel doesn't appear to have a fail safe 'revert to 0' situation for when signal is lost, where as the others do. This may fall foul of some events regulations, so we switched to the backup RX/TX that I had brought up to test things with a few week ago. We found that this one did correctly control the weapon mechanism to begin with, and more importantly, also has proper fail safes active for the channel we are using on the controller. This may mean we have to fall back to this one to use until we can find a better solution.

    Over the week, Colin had made some further adjustments, including the introduction of some running wheels to the rear of the bot. This will make sure the wheels are knocked against nothing too bad, should they be subjected to a hard hit, instead some harmless wheels will run along them instead.

    We ended by having an off-the-ground test of the motors, just to ensure the wiring changes hadn't broken anything, and to discharge the batteries somewhat. Which all went well thankfully.

    The bot, The Mean Machine, has been registered with the event in Grantham soon, waiting to hear back from that, so it may be not too long before its first fight!

  8. #168
    Damage report this week, Yes we finally got to our first event with the MEAN MACHINE
    and what a roller coaster experience it was down at Grantham.
    I had been putting in a bit of a night shift through the week to try to get the Robot
    ready but there were still a few tasks to do down at the Grantham event.
    Adam had brought a new set of batteries with him but the lead ends were different
    to the ones we had on the Robot so the first job was for Adam to solder new bullet
    connectors on and that was fairly straight forward and after a bit of a re-wire on
    the weapon by a Froggy team member.
    I turned my attention to the fail safe on the weapon-I set the failsafe in the transmitter
    which looked good on the relay and Adam called a crew member for a tech check.
    unfortunatley the fail safe failed to activate on the drive and then weapon fired and
    blew a fuse-failed tech check 1.
    Adam thought the error was in my transmitter after I had altered the settings so we
    tried Adams spare Flysky.
    After a second tech check all seemed good apart from the blown fuse so we decided
    to use the Bot as a ram bot for the first fight as time was now short.
    Adam had had a look at white board and we were in the competition proper up agaisnt
    Robot Wars series 8 winner Apollo and Earthquake by team shock.
    Adam and I decided that I would drive first and made a large circle bashing into
    the other Robots in the pre fight display.
    I talked to Adam about holding the centre ground so I Headed straight for the middle
    of the Arena-I think Apollo had all ready flipped Earthquake by then so Apollo headed
    my way, the most memorable part for me was when I drove up the the flipper of
    Apollo and got a mighty flip before I could drive off the deep end.
    The flip must have lifted the Bot five feet in the air but the Robot kept going-
    we didnt quite last three minutes-more like one and half and we were eventually
    immobilised by a protective rear flap pushing against the wheel.
    We got the Robot fight ready for the mele at the end and met series 10 RW
    winners in there-Eruption amongst other great flippers.
    Here's a list of the Damage..........

    Rear tyre flap protector ripped off
    polycarbonate side panel broken off
    Rc receiver batteries ripped out
    Large chunk of foam ripped out of Tyre
    Other tyre badly split
    Front shovel bent upwards
    weights bar ripped from bodywork
    Chest expander springs ripped off
    Winch webbing and hook torn from winch
    Chain for reducer sprocket has come off.

    I have yet to check the Esc (The Cytron) and the batteries but I hope to try it out
    next week.
    Last edited by team death; 24th June 2018 at 21:11.

  9. #169
    Redirect Left's Avatar

    Hyperion (BW)
    Wakefield, West Yorkshire
    I have a few images from today, showing some of the damage.

    When we arrrived, we were one of the first ones there, so plenty of table choice.
    We believe the huge chunk out of this tyre was caused by the house robot. Although i'm not sure what happened to the other one that formed huge cracks. One thing for sure is, if we had gone with airfilled tyres, we'd have been out a bit quicker, and solid tyres seemed to go better here.
    The welding came off the top of one of the spikes, unsure how, but it may have been the forces involved when the bot was flipped into the air and came back down with a thud.
    A front on shot after the 2 fights, with the return springs from the jaws completely loose.

    Overall, the bot maintain its shape, and to my knowledge, we only lost two parts, a bit of metal around the wheel protection, and the receiver batteries flew out, but they were not secured down to begin with. We'll try to get rid of the batteries and see if the ESC can power the transmitter, it should do anyway, with its own little 5V output.

    It was a hugely fun day, and I'll certainly be eager to take part in another live event when the bot is fixed up and refitted somewhat. It also seems to have given me the itch to go out and make more bots...
    Last edited by Redirect Left; 24th June 2018 at 19:56.

  10. #170
    Post match ESC and lipo batteries review.....
    So after two flipping tough battles down at Grantham how did the ESC
    and batteries hold up?.
    The Cytron ESC is probably the most expensive part in the Robot and
    some veteran Roboteers were concerned about the cooling fans not holding up
    against the G forces you will encounter in a battle situation.
    With that in mind we designed the protection for the ESC to a high spec as
    detailed in the build diary previously.
    The ESC was not held down in the Robot by screws or any fasteners, it was
    just squashed subtly between pieces of foam the holding box and the heavy
    duty lid, this has the effect of taking out any shock waves from the ESC.
    So after reviving the receiver batteries by soldering the wires back on-
    these ended up on the Arena floor for at least a minute I tested the ESC.
    The verdict is it's still in perfect working order
    The Lipo batteries had a similar protection spec-behind two layers of shielding
    including 8 mm polycard and 3mm steel box section and cushioned by foam.
    The verdict-undamaged and both batteries reading 15 .6 volts.
    overall very pleased, though there's at least a couple of weekend repairs to
    get the Mean Machine battle ready to previous spec or even more for improved
    For anyone who went down to Grantham -spot yourself on this video from
    Sunday?-we were gone by Sat eve-never mind
    Last edited by team death; 27th June 2018 at 21:52.

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