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Thread: Team Death: 24 Hour Beetle

  1. #1
    Redirect Left's Avatar
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    Adam
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    With the completion of our heavyweight, which we'll still be managing and updating / fixing where necessary, myself and Colin looked for other things to do. We've a few ideas coming up, but for now we've decided to try to build a beetleweight in 24 hours. To clarify, that would be 6-7 sundays, as we tend to do about 3 hours 30 to 4 hours per sunday, rather than doing an all nighter and spending 24 hours together doing it in one go.

    A long while back, I bought a load of BW components, with the intention of building my own bot, however a housemate later and lots of waving goodbye to motivation, that never occured. I do however, still have the components. So last sunday, I took them over to the workshop and myself and Colin decided to try our finger at something much smaller and lighter than our HW tunred out. But on top of that, let's see if we can do within 24 hours of work!

    So on Sunday, we took count of all the parts I'd collected for a beetle, and got to work. Colin had already thought of a basic design, using a PVC pipe and another material to make a basic T shape, with electrics all squeezed in there, and a wheel at each side of the machine. Colin had recently been to a car boot, and got a box of varying scrap metal parts, where we found two circular pieces of metal that fitted almost perfectly over the pipe, and some of the scrap metal left over from the HW build, these were welder together over the pipe, using a damp cloth to cool things down quickly enough to not melt or set the pipe on fire, to give us our basic T shape. We checked the battery fit within this T, and thankfully it did! Panels were cut out of both sides of the metal T, to give us more weight to play with.

    IMG_20180708_142335.jpg
    Next, we hit lots of road bumps. We couldn't get the solder to melt and shape accurately using irons available at the workshop. So I took them home, and have soldered all the motors to their wires. I'll later solder the XT60 caps to all the motors, and i'll take my 60/40 Tin/Lead solder and my soldering iron next Sunday session as these together seem to work infinitely better than what is to hand at the workshop for some reason.
    Colin also cut out a layer of plastic to cover up the hole in the T, as this is where the battery goes, so we need to protect that all we can. We also found out the beetle motors, mount and wheels we had all fit immensely well inside this pipe, considering i hadn't relayed any information about the parts I had bought. So this is the basic shape - at this moment nothing is secured on, except for the chassis T, everything else is floating here.
    IMG_20180708_150959.jpg
    We've not got any solid ideas for a weapon at this point, although we know where it'd need mounting. We also need to modify the ESCs, VEX #29s, to ensure they work correctly with the higher voltage we're using here. I've been linked to a how to guide, so i'll be looking at doing this soon. So from what we can see, other than some screws i've already ordered, we're pretty good to go, with no immediate parts obviously missing from my collection of prebought BW parts.
    At the end of our first 4 hours, we have the basic shape done, and confirmation of parts fitting in there. I took another 20 minutes at home, soldering the motors to their wires, so next week we should be in a good place to pickup and keep up to our 24 hour time frame.

    So this is what Team Death are currently working on, other than updates and repairs to The Mean Machine. Hopefully we'll be able to succeed in our 24 hour plan, and not only do ourselves an achievement, but show that with a bit of ingenuity, anyone can build a beetle in not much time at all.
    Last edited by Redirect Left; 10th July 2018 at 19:22.

  2. #2
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    It's Sunday!
    Which means more beetle mania, not that sort of beetle mania, the destructive sort. After today, myself and Colin were a little burnt, however we got to work in the sun outside, which is nice. As you can tell, myself and Colin are not exactly sticklers for tidyness, but we manage! This is our work surface in mid electrics for the controllers.
    IMG_20180715_143307.jpg
    Our 'table' is actually a reuse of the hydraulic lift table we got for the HW and Grantham, but it has a good second use!

    We spent most of our time today getting the motors up and running, we edited our little Vex controllers and after a bit of staring at it going 'Hmm', we got the wire splicing we needed done, and we should be able to run it as needed without anything being damaged from over volting. We are now in a position where both of our drive motors, and their ESC are up and running, so our next set of electrics will be the weapon. Speaking of which, this is currently planned to be a drill bit doing a bit of damage at the front of the T shape, as shown here. The motors i soldered wires onto last Sunday were purposefully given longer than necessary cables, so we can cut them down to size easier later on, as we're not entirely sure of the internal wire layout yet.

    IMG_20180715_154030.jpg

    In order to get our motors fitted in the right place with their brace, we had to heat up the plastic pipe with a blowtorch, then pressing down with the brace to force the pipe into the right shape with a flat side to put the screws in. These are still awkward to get in though, as there is a lot of faffing about to get the screws in there, given the motor is also in there, its a tight spot to get screws around.

    Overall, after about 8 hours of the 24, we're doing well. One of our largest concerns were getting the ESCs modified as needed, but we did that, and that all worked first time, so we quickly got the other done whilst we were on a roll. So all of our traction is currently sorted, and the electrics left are mostly just transmitter and weapon related.

  3. #3
    Nice work. I'm looking forward to seeing the drill in action!

  4. #4
    I have been plagued by Thunder bugs while building the beetle weight today
    which gave me a great idea for the name of the Robot.....THUNDER BUG .

    It was Adams birthday this weekend so he was unavailable for the build
    session so I set to on my own with orders to make a note of the building time.

    I spent a couple of hours trying to reduce the weight of the chassis by drilling
    lots of holes which is quite heavy steel, I then worked on the drive for the weapon
    which is basically a drill hub mounting connected to the drive motor by a flexible
    coupling and a hour was spent lining these up.

    We had worked on the vex speed controllers last week and I decided to see how
    the Robot so far performed with the wheels on.
    After a quick solder job to the battery connections I was ready to try it out and
    I was very pleased with the response-it was quick and the sticky wheels
    worked a treat on the quite slippy surface.
    Afterwards I decided to weigh the whole bot and it was 88 grams over weight
    I'm confident we can shave off a few more grams by changing the rc battery
    and more drilling ect.
    DSCN2262.jpg
    For the record 6 hours build time to add today
    Last edited by team death; Today at 16:04.

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