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Thread: Build Log - Bread Dead Redemption (FW) - First Build.

  1. #61
    Great write up, and great to meet you and see BDR yesterday! Congrats on your victory again and on your performance throughout the day. Those dustpans were amazingly effective, especially at scooping up Wedgeley - seemed to spend a lot of time with either our bottom jaw or a wheel stuck in there!

    Is this the Sabretooth ESC you have? If so, it might struggle a bit with two drill motors on each channel. As James says, to run two motors per side you'd just connect them together in parallel to the same channel of the ESC, either by connecting both into the same output on the ESC or making a separate cable to common the reds and blacks. However, 12 A might be a bit weedy to run two motors - the FeatherTwo (which was designed for this type of motor and application) is spec'd for 30 A per motor continuous and 80 A burst. I'm sure that's a bit OTT, but a quick read around suggests "normal" current from a 550 size motor at 12 V is of the order of 10 A. That means there's a fair chance two in parallel will be drawing 20 A a fair bit of the time, especially overvolted with a 4s battery, and you'd be over 100 A if two motors stalled.

    In theory, the Sabretooth has overcurrent protection but I wouldn't rely on that save itself, plus if you trip the current limit the drive will cut out and leave you sat there like a muffin.

    Regarding tank steering, it says on the Robot Shop site that the Sabretooth "... comes with options for exponential control, autocalibration and built-in mixing. The operating mode is set with the onboard DIP switches ..." So to control the two channels independently, you'd just need to find from the manual which of the DIPs sets the mixing and switch it off - if I'm reading that right. Then you'd have independent control of each channel.

    If you want tank steering and two motors a side, these are OK and not too pricey. We have one running the weapon motor in Ensign Crusher and I believe Chris has one driving each pair of motors on Luna-Tic.

    Edit: forgot to say, good luck with the updates!
    Last edited by McMullet; 2nd December 2019 at 20:43.

  2. #62
    Ocracoke's Avatar
    Team Kaizen

    I am gutted I wasn't there for this one to see your bot in action, I had Azriel running for this and all. Anyway, well done on your first event!

    Upgrade from a 3s lipo to a 4s, overvolting the motors. More power.
    Yup, I'd go for this. 14.8v over 11.1v should make a bit of difference in terms of speed and power.

    Ditch the plan of adding an axe and put the spare weight allowance to making the robot 4WD. I'm not sure how to do this with the Dual Sabertooth ESC. Would it be possible to wire two motors together on each side and wire them in to the ESC that way, or would that blow the board? Either that or rig up some drive pods with gears so one motor drives two wheels. I'm not sure yet.
    The simplest option is to, as James said, is to put a motor for each wheel in and put them in parallel. I did this with my first Middleweight Kaizen, worked fine but you do need to ensure your ESC can handle it. If your ESC is a 2x25 then I suspect that might be OK though I would recommend putting a fuse per motor in (20A) to prevent the motors from stone killing the ESC and themselves (as I found out).

    I would like tank-style steering. It's what I'm used to and just using one stick was proving difficult at times. Again, whether this is possible with a dual ESC, I don't know.
    If you mean like a RC car, then yes, you'd want to move your elevator channel to the rudder channel for steering. If you wanted full tank like control, you'd need a different transmitter (one with both sides where the up and down movements are sprung on it) and then turn off the mixing on the ESC, which you can do on the DIP switches. I happen to have one as it goes, might be persuaded to part with it.

    Custom made dustpan (will have to happen eventually), or reinforce the current ones. I'm contemplating a Sawblaze style 3-prong pan, but I'm not sure that is needed for now. I'll have a think. The pans held up reasonably, but they may need replacing and modifying if I keep them as is.
    Yeah, I'd get the internals "right" first before remaking the body. If you ever wanted a hand in doing this, quite happy to help.
    Last edited by Ocracoke; 3rd December 2019 at 13:56.
    Team Kaizen - Build Diary for all the robots

    AW: Amai, Ikari, Lafiel, Osu, Ramu
    BW: Shu!, The Honey Badger
    FW: Azriel
    MW: Jibril, Kaizen

  3. #63
    Theo's Avatar

    It was great seeing you and Bread Dead for the first time! Definitely one of my favorite events this year.

    Your Sabertooth should be okay by my reckoning. Boring Wedgebot uses a 2x12, which is absolutely not up to the task. The current limiting has kept it alive for... nearly a good 7 years now (part of the reason I've not been able to justify getting a new one) but is also a factor to its twitchy performance; even when it does get grip, that then overloads the ESC, but can never kill it..... long story short don'y use a 2.12 kids Your 2x25 looks alright as long as you don't push it overly hard.

    I'm looking forward to seeing how it comes along for the next Dojo, if you ever want a hand with anything, I'm only down the road in East Manchester) Good luck with it mate!

  4. #64
    Thanks to all for your comments and feedback. I'm still buzzing a week later!

    Based on what you guys have said, I've got all the parts on order to redo pretty much all the electrics for 4WD. So much for prioritising, eh? Hopefully shouldn't be too bad now that I've had a bit of experience. Praying that my measurements are right and it all fits, because it's going to be a tight squeeze.

    Sam is correct, BDR runs off a 2x12. Based on what Theo said, that may explain the total lack of pushing power last weekend if the ESC overcurrent protection was constantly kicking in.

    If you want tank steering and two motors a side, these are OK and not too pricey. We have one running the weapon motor in Ensign Crusher and I believe Chris has one driving each pair of motors on Luna-Tic.
    Cheers for that, I've ordered 2. I've also got a Flysky FS-I6X and 2 new motors. In order to fit everything in, I'm dropping back down to 100mm wheels from 120. This means I've ordered new mounts from Nat with the center to base height reduced by 10mm. The smaller wheels should mean more torque too.

    Should be a big improvement, if all goes well!

  5. #65
    Event Report - Robodojo January 2020

    Back in action for 2020! Bread Dead Redemption made it's way back to Sherburn in Elmet for it's second ever event.

    Pre-event, Upgrades and Objectives

    Last time around, BDR went 1-3 (1-4 if you include not starting a fight). In my post event write up, I identified the following concerns and proposed plans:


    With regards to improvements, it is obvious that the following issues need improving:

    • Lack of power

    • Lack of traction

    • Difficult to control

    • Better dustpans

    These are the solutions in my head so far:

    • Upgrade from a 3s lipo to a 4s, overvolting the motors. More power.

    • Ditch the plan of adding an axe and put the spare weight allowance to making the robot 4WD.

    • I would like tank-style steering. It's what I'm used to and just using one stick was proving difficult at times.

    • Custom made dustpan (will have to happen eventually), or reinforce the current ones. The pans held up reasonably, but they may need replacing and modifying if I keep them as is.

    Due to spending half of the time since last Robodojo on holiday, it was difficult to get all of the above achieved. I could have pushed for it, but would have rathered played it safe and have something functional rather than being too ambitious and ruining the robot.

    So, the robot was upgraded like so:

    Power: Toaster remained on 3S batteries, but the old Sabertooth 2x12a ESC was ditched in favour of 2x Hobbywing 0880 Dual 80a ESCs. If previous discussions were correct, this should give drastically increased power.

    Traction: Drive unchanged, still running on 12v Argos drill motors. Making the robot 4WD would have required turning the old chassis in to swiss cheese and dropping the wheel sizes down, which is more than I had time for. The new ESCs also allow for 2x motors per side, so future proof in that regard.

    Control: No real change. My budget transmitter was ditched in favour of a Flysky FS-I6X for on board mixing. Still using elevon mixing on one stick.

    Dustpan: Honestly, replacing the dustpans was effort. I opted to reinforce the old ones by hammering them flat and attaching 10mm HDPE wedges to the middle and sides. This would primarily strengthen the pans. I also noticed that during the last event, any hits to the corners would flatten the edges at the front, making them less effective in scooping other robots as the event went on. The HDPE was intended to replace that wedge, while also protecting the metal corners from damage.

    ETC: I also purchased a 3D printer in the January sale! After a few days tinkering with the settings, I was finally able to print some custom internal mountings for the ESC and batteries, meaning that everything was no longer held together with double-sided automotive tape!




    • Maintain/equal 1-3 record from December
    • At least 1 win by knockout.



    Day of the event arrived and I found myself on a bench with Vettel's Vengeance, Blue Moon and Woody. Tech check passed, lid back on and we were ready for action!


    Round 1 - Bread Dead Redemption vs Danger UXB

    The first event of the year and I got the match I was hoping for! I got my rematch against Danger UXB of Team Death, who I broke down against in December. Unfortunately I lost a motor connection while arming up the robot, so I started the fight on one wheel or risked being DQed again. I couldn't even start the fight in the corner.

    The fight went as expected. I got stuck in the wall and was counted out just before I got free. Team Death is proving to be a bogey team for me, with technical issues twice on the run. Given that UXB threw a chain after a hit on BDR, I reckon I would have had a chance had the fight kept going.

    Congratulations to Colin for his win, I'll get you next time (again).

    The break was caused by the lid, which has to be pushed inside the robot and mounted from the inside out. This was immediately obvious that it had pulled the wire out. This was bodged from the original design of the toaster and is something I was intending on fixing eventually, but has been bumped up to urgently now.

    Round 2 - Bread Dead Redemption vs Harald

    Motor connections soldered back on, and it was time for a fight with Harald, who was a new opponent to me.

    The toaster took off with speed, which was a relief that my electrical improvements had worked. I was able to get under Harald and push him around. Definite improvement from last time. My main objective of the event was to get a win by KO, so it felt great to do that in a convincing manner as early as Round 2.

    One observation is that it takes a double tap of the stick to put the robot in reverse, which may be due to the ESC software. Something to look in to, as there were a few occasions throughout the day where I was stuck somewhere awkward and unable to move.

    1-1 going in to Round 3. Overjoyed with the performance, I was optimistic awaiting the next draw.

    Round 3 - Bread Dead Redemption vs Pressure Point


    Oh no...

    Not going to lie, my heart sank when I heard BDR was drawn against Pressure Point, arguably the most destructive robot in the whole division. A rule change to the Sportsman division for 2020 means that crushers can now use hydraulics, but at limited force. That's exactly what Pressure Point does. Given that Alan had snapped a self righting cable in an earlier round, my only hope was that I could get under him early and tip him over.

    Yeah. Ow.


    On the positive side, the dustpans prevented Pressure Point from getting anywhere near the main internals of the robot (although I reckon he could have really done more damage if he wanted to). Damage was all relatively cosmetic. The dustpans given some precision percussive maintenance (read: large hammer) and the side was screwed back in place for the next round.
    Loved the crowd reaction though! Even though toaster got munched, it was well worth it to be entertaining.

    Round 4 - Bread Dead Redemption vs Ensign Wedgeley Crusher

    Another December rematch! This time against my good friends in Team Designed for Demise. I got the victory last time we met, so they were determined to even the score (They even showed me a picture of them practicing in their kitchen on their own toaster with dustpans taped to it!).

    After the first impact I lost drive in the same motor as Round 1 again, but I kept going, partly helped by EWC pushing me around! Unfortunately for Simon driving EWC, he found himself stuck on the edge of the arena within my limited turning circle and I scraped another KO! Great fight by the Wedgeley team, always enjoy fighting them.

    Success! That left me 2-2 for the weekend. Not quite enough to make the playoff rumble, but that's ok.
    I actually exceeded my expectations, getting 2 wins by KO. Robot is definitely improving, with still plenty of room for more in future. Bring on March!

    Room for improvement:

    • New dustpans. This has already been done. I've got 2 new pans, 40mm wider than the old ones and 2x thicker and heavier. Weighing 1kg each, this is possibly the most industrial dustpan I can get commercially. The shop description says that "this is the sort of item that will last and be passed down for generations" and has a lifetime guarantee, We'll see about that, shall we?

    • Investigate the ESC/Drive issues. Possibly just change the motor for a spare, plus look at the ESC software.

    • Redesign the lid. Simply put, I'm not willing to lose another fight because of something so silly as that.

    Last edited by Mr Manuva27; 27th January 2020 at 16:33. Reason: Font size

  6. #66
    Great to see you again Andrew, Initially I thought you were counted out in our fight

    before the regulation 10 seconds but looking at the video you were stood still for at

    least 10 seconds and Peter got it spot on, normally I will take an easy win anytime

    but to find ourselves in a virtual de ja vu situation was real bad luck.

    Almost 2 months to the next Robodojo so plenty of time for upgrades for all parties

    and given my own repairs are straightforward i'm pleased and looking forward to

    another default win next time .

  7. #67
    Great write up again Andy, and congrats on your performance! Despite the nasty perforations in the dustpans they once again did well at fending everyone off. May they long continue to do so, especially the new heavy duty ones.

    Speaking of perforation, you can hear me in the background making a horrified noise when Pressure Point went through your side panel... Glad there was no major damage, it looked a bit gruesome.

    Well done on beating us (again!), we'll get you next time...

    In the meantime, more training for Wedgeley:

    One observation is that it takes a double tap of the stick to put the robot in reverse, which may be due to the ESC software. Something to look in to, as there were a few occasions throughout the day where I was stuck somewhere awkward and unable to move.
    I should've mentioned that when I recommended those ESCs, so my bad there. It's quite possible I had the programming card in the car... It's a quick job to fix, you just need one of these programming cards:
    It's also worth increasing the reversing throttle to 100% and possibly twiddling the brakes a bit.

  8. #68
    So, it has been a little while! Lots of work has been going on, which has basically been a full rebuild of BDR using everything I have learned from the last two events. I'm still unsure whether it is still BDR, or moving on to BDR2, but whatever.

    First things first, 4WD has been the aim since December. To accommodate the extra set of motors and wheels, this means a new chassis. A change of colour too! Chassis is 20mm as with last time, with a few extra bits of 10mm in areas where I need the space.


    One of the major learning points was my fight with Pressure Point in January. The joins in the top of the HDPE were too exposed and weakly joined together. To rectify this, the top, side and base panels now all interlock using box joints. This will mean that the chassis material will bear the load of a lot more force when damaged, rather than the screws holding it together.


    Much more secure!

    The move to 4WD also meant dropping a wheel size from 120mm to 100mm. This meant new mounts from Nat that were reduced by 10mm to give the same ground clearance as previous. Gearboxes were taken apart and given a bit of TLC with some molybdenum grease. Good as new!


    Electrics were just a straight transfer from the old chassis. To prevent a repeat of the wire pulling incident from January, we resoldered all of the motor connections with solid-core wire.


    The move to 4WD means less space in the toaster, so a mezzanine level has been built in. ESCs go underneath to get all of the motor wiring out of the way. All the battery stuff goes on top for easy access.


    The ESCs have also been reprogrammed to eliminate the issue with having to double-tap the stick to reverse, which was pretty vital. My transmitter has also been converted to a dual spring return setup, so this version of BDR will be running on tank steering (finally!).


    New chassis, same toaster. Design has been changed so I can lift the whole toaster off to do maintenance now, rather than messing around with a lid where the slices are. Much easier. We've also added some domed washers to the screws, which I think look awesome!

    Just need to sort out re-cutting the front and back polycarbonate panels, then fit the new dustpans, then we're combat ready for Robodojo next weekend (coronavirus permitting)! Very excited.

  9. #69
    That long break between Robodojo events has been useful and your four wheel drive should make your

    Robot even more competitive -I don't think it was lacking pushing power before just reliability perhaps.

  10. #70
    Everything in the robot has now been re-wired with single core wire. All soldering points have been redone. Any excess wire from the previous build has been reduced. This should definitely improve the reliability. (Also, you can never have too much pushing power, Colin! )


    Front and back HDPE panels have been done. Also, a 3D printed link holder. Much less exposed than the previous wire dangling out.

    Finally, we took it out for a test drive. It's definitely quick!

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