SPARC Forum

Tech => Progress Reports => Topic started by: zacodonnell on January 23, 2015, 10:47:03 pm

Title: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 23, 2015, 10:47:03 pm
Team Brain Damage has been competing mostly in the northeast US since February 2004.  I build the bots solo and sometimes have help from my family at events. My website is http://www.therobotdesigner.com and it is a little out of date like most people's :).  Here are my bots from lowest to highest weight:

3 pound beetleweight flywheel powered flipper Eclipso (retired)
This bot was the first of many prototype versions of flywheel powered flipper I worked on. I had bad tools and a small budget and finished it 11 PM before its only competition where it went 0 and 2.
(http://therobotdesigner.com/images/eclipso/in-the-pits.jpg)

6 pound mantisweight flywheel powered flipper named Threecoil (probably retired)
This bot had many iterations and competed several times at the PA Bot Blast. It was where I developed the flywheel powered flipper and clutch mechanism that I now use in my Sportsman bot. It won the PA Bot Blast at least twice, maybe three times, but got trashed by One Fierce Bushwhacker this year. It was never likely to do well in a full combat class because I spent everything on making the flipper as good as I could. I don't think I'll be able to be successful with a flipper now that spinners are coming so I'll probably retire it and do something else fun.
Latest build log - https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/ThreecoilBB2014
Best Fight vs Precipitor - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nwBYpUHE4Y
(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ghQLHXhUHF8/VMOz8RW_FUI/AAAAAAAAMf4/2QET4ZYKfX8/s800/threecoil.jpg)

6 pound mantisweight Weakened Warrior AKA Chop (part of 12 pound multibot for Moto 2015)
I built Weakened Warrior in 15 hours over a single weekend out of only spare parts as an experiment. The mantis class was mostly sportsman-esque bots that year though and the bot ended up being so violent that I decided to only run exhibition matches and let the audience drive it to drum up some interest. Only one person wanted to try it out and it turned out to be a little hard for him to get the controls down. That's what 15 hours will get ya I guess.  I'm revamping the bot as half a multibot for Moto 2015 named Chop Block with Chris A's mantis wedge bot.
Build log - https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/ChopBlockMoto15?noredirect=1
WW Exhibition vs 30 pound bot Phoenix - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7AJr3-HOogc
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-cit25QqE_gE/VMO0rOpD8lI/AAAAAAAAMgg/DpmWSdEpDB8/s800/chop.JPG)

6 pound mantisweight CounterStryker is a vertical spinning bot with counter-rotating blades and giant expendable wheels. At the time of this update the build had just started:
(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-KnREjpOWSzk/VX3obnFg38I/AAAAAAAANL8/F2ik8HORGj0/w827-h609-no/side%2Bview.jpg)

12 pound hobbyweight Scurrie (retired)
Scurrie was my most successful robot. It won 28 of its last 30 fights and won first place at the PA Bot Blast in 2008 (I think?), then continued to win first at Motorama and Franklin each year until I retired it after Franklin 2011. It was an undercutter with a 3.5 pound blade running at ~17v (5S A123).  The drive system was slow and the weapon was geared low but it was very reliable and could spin the weapon up even as things got bent. I think my two favorite fights were:
Build pics - https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/ScurrieMoto2010
vs Foobar Moto 2009 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fxpFRCq2_g8
vs Surgical Strike (fight 1 of 3 at this comp) FI 2008 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6siA5nVAk5g
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-oR2VvR03RwQ/VMOz9IXv2NI/AAAAAAAAMgI/oek7joH6VEE/s800/scurrie.jpg)

12 pound hobbyweight Devour (retired)
Devour only competed at Motorama 2011. I built it to see if I could make a vertical spinning bot that spins "down" a successful design. The blade was my first vertical one, and was asymmetric with only one tooth. It was sunken into a .125" ti swept-back wedge and was mounted on a hinged weapon mount that had a bungee return built in. The idea was to hook the blade over drum teeth or frame rails on other bots and try to break the screws and pull the frames apart.  The belt setup for the weapon was crappy so the weapon didn't hurt enough to do what it was designed for. The drive and wedge were both solid though and I was able to get a lucky second place finish after Surgical Strike had electrical problems against me. It was a tough bot but not quite tough enough. This is my only bot to almost hit the ceiling of the box and it got totally destroyed by fighting Cataclysm twice.
vs Cataclysm #1 (sorry bad video) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXCziQZwRGc
vs Cataclysm #2 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XsKOmUT-x_8  Did it just spin up FASTER?!
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-M4_4eRJNKUg/VMOz7HoN77I/AAAAAAAAMfY/TlAgMih02D4/s800/devour.jpg)

Featherweight shell spinners: Bipolar, Tripolar, Steel Shadow, Tetanus, Triggo. All retired except Triggo. Ok, I've been building shell spinners a long time, in fact, I've had one at every motorama since 2004 I think. The success of the bots has varied some.

Bipolar was a cooking wok with giant 1" holes drilled in it to make weight and it went 1-2 at Moto 2004. The second version had an 8.5 lb aluminum cooking pot based shell and went 0-1 at RCRA 2004.  I drove 22 hours to alabama to get one fight... but I had fun!

Tripolar had several different iterations but was my first bot to go 2-2. It originally used 2x Astro 940s at 24v to the 15.4lb shell @3000 RPM ish but the motors kept breaking. I then switched to an AXI 5330 and have been using it ever since.
Build Log - https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/Tripolar09Build?noredirect=1
Tripolar best fight grudge match vs Billy Bob FI 2007 - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmpbF3a-_oE
Vs multibot at FI 2007 - first ever robo-explosion for my fights - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbpr3Npa5lA
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-BRWEqQa_vVY/VMOz9fmibmI/AAAAAAAAMgQ/uXhQUntXwQ4/s800/tripolar.jpg)

Steel Shadow was my first slope-sided shell. It started at FI 2010. The center of gravity was too high and it couldn't drive while spinning or spin up very well. The shell was pretty strong though and this was my first bot that pretty much always spun. That was thanks in large part to the axi 5330. I did melt a controller at Motorama 2011, making this my only bot so far to actually have flames inside during a match. The shell was sturdy but it never did well because it couldn't attack. It never had any really good fights but this one was kinda fun
Build Log - https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/SteelShadowBuildMoto2010?noredirect=1
Steel Shadow vs Shaka (last fight for SS ever) - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IpDx-DIPGY
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-NceexgyYJEU/VMOz9svLxhI/AAAAAAAAMgY/pXn86X5ffUc/s800/steel%2520shadow.JPG)

Tetanus was my first successful FBS. It started at FI 2012 and got 2nd after losing to Mangi because I couldn't get through the .75" UHMW front with all my little blade teeth. I ended up melting a battery in the fight but the bot translated great and the shell spun great... just needed better teeth.  I eventually upgraded the teeth to giant hammers instead of little blades, and after that the bot never had a match go 3 minutes and never lost another match.  It won Moto and FI from 2012 to 2014 (though Moto 2014 was really really close).  The big hammers had a downside though, the shell slowly got more and more bent every time I hit somebody with it until eventually it could barely spin at all.
Original Build Log - https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/TetanusFI2011?noredirect=1
Updates - https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/TetanusMoto2012?noredirect=1
Tetanus vs General Disarray - with the blade teeth - Get Back from the Glass! - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMOwQUv61oI
Tetans vs Mangi - payback with the new teeth - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VNq5NAyexAQ
(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-YTx2EGX8Hws/VMOz7VIt7VI/AAAAAAAAMfg/7-bThdH7T9c/s800/tetanus.jpg)

Triggo is the updated version of Tetanus, and my only active Combat Featherweight. I had to sacrifice some mobility and stability for a stronger shell. It doesn't translate as well as I want, but not as badly as Steel Shadow either. It has only had one fight so far but performed well in that fight. I'm still using the same AXI 5330 @30v since October 2010 but this is the first bot that put the friction roller right on the motor shaft.  The shell is 16.5 pounds and about 18" tip to tip on the teeth. Its first competition was right around Halloween 2014 so I painted it to match.
Triggo vs Drum-thing-else - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0EFXd89DedE
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-zhRapk4WLP4/VMOz81QSMvI/AAAAAAAAMgA/cJF1xPa39CE/s800/triggo.jpg)


Jack Reacher - 30 pound Sportsman class (retired)
Jack Reacher (the protagonist from my favorite book series) was my first ever sportsman. It was an attempt to scale up the flipper mechanism in Threecoil 5 times over. It stored 43 times as much energy in the flywheel and could flip the other bots ok but it took too long to spin up and it wasn't invertable. That last problem made it pretty much useless. It competed at Motorama 2013 and had an upgraded clutch at FI 2013 (where it placed 1st, but should have gotten 2nd. Alan flipped me back when I was stuck several times)
v1 vs K-Onstant - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFH_dU9652o
v2 vs Upheaval - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V7bcd97J5VE
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-84RPLa6OkLU/VMOz791AblI/AAAAAAAAMfo/5-4S8gk4o40/s800/jack-reacher.jpg)

Magneato - 30 pound Sportsman class (active)
Magneato is a flywheel powered flipper with an auto-resetting clutch and a 4-bar linkage for the arm. It has had a couple of different iterations. The first iteration could barely self right and competed at Motorama and FI 2014.  I'm currently working on an upgraded version for Moto 2015 that has been able to self right reliably in my tests. It has an on-board Arduino that controls the timing of the flipper mechanism, weapon throttle, and senses the opponent on the flipper. This is my coolest bot from a design perspective.
How it Works - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRgbLZp2hbQ
Best fight vs multibot - http://youtu.be/nZ3R8sOsetk
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-XaowI0ZqdeI/VMOz8FTdLEI/AAAAAAAAMfw/eQEk2vwPhDA/s800/magneato.jpg)

edit: smaller pics and new vid for Tripolar
-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Infernaltank on January 24, 2015, 12:35:01 am
yay you came :)

can you shrink the pics if possible zac?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Harry Hills on January 24, 2015, 05:11:29 am
Ditto on the pic shrinkage.

Awesome robots Zac, I've really loved how you document your build process too. Loads of nicely taken photos. I've spent many an hour looking through the photo albums. Your designs are very interesting too, and they seem very effective for the most part.

Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 24, 2015, 10:12:46 am
Pics are now 800 x 600.  Is there an easier way to do that then resizing them myself and linking to the resized ones? Kinda makes it not worth embedding them in the page very much.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: MikeNCR on January 24, 2015, 10:19:37 am
(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-zhRapk4WLP4/VMOz81QSMvI/AAAAAAAAMgA/cJF1xPa39CE/s800/triggo.jpg)

This was done by using a slight tweak to the normal bb code

[img width=400]https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-zhRapk4WLP4/VMOz81QSMvI/AAAAAAAAMgA/cJF1xPa39CE/s800/triggo.jpg[/img]
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 24, 2015, 08:55:51 pm
I spent some more time on Chop tonight. The lipo installation went well and the rewiring I had to do to put the battery on the right side came off ok. The left side is looking a bit cramped but not as much as most of my bots.  I did a heat-formed lexan top plate because it sounded fun and it came out ok.  It gave me clearance where I needed it, though also a little extra over the battery than I needed. That's not all bad though I guess.

After I got the top plate done and the wiring all tightened up I took the bot out for a test of the weapon. The blade spins great, even scarier than before. I haven't tested self righting yet because I want to cycle the batteries a couple of times before I do big bursts. I don't think it will matter but that's what the documentation says and I have time so why push it?

Unfortunately while the weapon works great, something is wrong with the drive setup. Everything is connected correctly because it was working, but seems to be intermittently losing calibration. I've been able to get it to kinda work by resetting the Tiny ESCs back to default calibration but it only lasts a couple of power ups then it dies again. I did some troubleshooting and the whole thing is a total mess.  In the end the right side doesn't respond at all and the BEC for that controller is outputting 0v. The left side goes to 100% reverse as soon as I power up and stays that way until power down, even if I unplug the rx lead from the receiver completely. It won't even failsafe when I unplug the rx lead.  I've tested with each Tiny plugged in as the only thing in the RX and I've tested with a receiver battery instead of the BEC. Other than the dead BEC on the first tiny I am able to drive a servo in each setup but can't get anything reliable out of the controllers. 

During my tests I noticed that I accidentally had the rx battery (4.9v) and one of the tinyESC BECs plugged into the rx at the same time.  I don't know which Tiny it was but probably the one that has a dead BEC now. The RX also has a white powder inside the case that looks like I fried something though it seems to work ok with the battery and servo still.

The weapon seems to be getting the right signals. I've only actually tried to spin it a few different times but the startup tones indicate valid signal when I have the rx lead plugged in and it has always worked correctly when I did spin it.

I don't know what's going on but I don't want to fry my only backup BR6000 if something is wrong with my tinyESCs. I'll do some more troubleshooting tomorrow.

Pictures of today's progress:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/ChopBlockMoto15#6108089022729603026

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Infernaltank on January 24, 2015, 10:14:33 pm
i had no idea devour's blade spun downwards!
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 24, 2015, 11:09:25 pm
Well... that was the plan. It never really did anything that way and I had trouble keeping the blade working because I had it on the throttle stick which isn't spring-centered and the controller needs to be centered to switch directions properly. I thought it might be effective against all the drum bots that were cropping up because the frame design is pretty common between them and tooth failure is the #1 way the drums fail.  In the end it wasn't a great design but I was trying to do something different than everybody else.  I probably could have worked on it a little more to make it more effective but it got so trashed by cataclysm in those two fights that I never rebuilt it.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 25, 2015, 05:04:05 pm
Today I spent most of the time in the shop working on redoing the electrical system in Chop.  I pulled out the Tiny ESCs so I can send them back to Kurtis. He agreed to send me a replacement upgraded pair for free which is pretty cool.  After thinking about the bot a little bit more though I decided that I wanted some more ground clearance, which meant bigger wheels. Bigger wheels meant more current draw and I was already a little iffy on using the TinyESCs to drive around a 6 pound bot in a 16' box at 15v... So I decided to swap in the Old Reliable BaneBots 12-45 controllers that drove Scurrie in all those fights I mentioned above.  These are way overspec for this bot but I have about 4 ounces available and they only add about 2, and being overkill in the speed controller department has served me well in the past. Also it means I get to play with the bot this weekend instead of waiting for the TinyESCs to come in.  I'll keep them as backups in case these controllers get bashed.

After I got it all set up I took the bot out for a spin and... it drags horribly left.  That makes sense I guess, as the weapon motor and weapon controller are way heavier than the battery and drive controllers.  The difference is so much that the bot visibly leans to that side on the foam wheels.  This makes the back corner drag and so the bot slews to that side when I'm driving forward.  I added a skid in the middle to hopefully make the drag be more centered, and that helped some, but it is still tough to drive forward.  It handles like a dream backwards though, so I may have to do my long distance driving that way once Chris has their weapon stopped :)

I did a 3 minute test with as many spinups as I could get (without hitting a target... I need to put another floor plate down if I'm going to be hitting my test box with the weapon) and I tried to drive continuously the whole time. This bot isn't going to be doing any pushing so that's probably about as heavy as the load is going to get on the drive. I was nervous about the load on the drive motors since the wheels are bigger than they have been in Threecoil and the voltage is a little higher too.  I was also interested to see how much battery capacity I used with the bigger battery and faster weapon.

In the end the hottest component was the weapon motor at 104F and the drive motors and battery were fine.  I used about 350 mah during the test too, though it will be a lot higher when I'm actually hitting other bots and self righting.  I still need to verify the self righting works but I think it will.

Video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HL8mcuoPZGI&feature=youtu.be

Pics:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/ChopBlockMoto15#6108403026580036578

Now I get to decide what to do with the other 2 ounces and maybe run some more tests.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 25, 2015, 10:30:48 pm
I double checked the charger and the test was 441mah out of the weapon battery.

I then tried to do some self right testing. It had a bit more tendency to drive the bot forward instead of flipping it over than before. Possibly in part due to the bubble in the top plate changing the impact angle when inverted. I'll have to look into that further.  At the end of my testing the weapon went out for some reason. I did a couple of quick checks on the bench and the weapon controller is showing no signs of life now... It definitely has power (verified by meter on the exposed solder joints) and the "power switch" jumper shows the contacts shorted, so something else is going on.  My spare controller shows a blinking LED when it gets power and nothing else, so something is wrong with the input power. The solder joints look pretty shady on the main leads so I'm going to try reflowing them tomorrow to see if that fixes it. If not I'll swap in the spare. This controller was only ever used on Devour and Weakened Warrior (in two exhibition matches) so I'm not sure how well tested it is.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 26, 2015, 09:08:05 pm
Tonight I spent some more time on Chop. I installed the spare weapon controller I had then did some more testing. It spins up fine, and after I remembered to reprogram the controller for 100% reverse it spun down fine too.  Unfortunately when I did some invert testing it promptly smoked so I've got no weapon again.

This robot has now eaten three weapon controllers and two drive controllers.  Sure, the drive controllers were just calibration problems, but I've ignited two weapon controllers. I'm also being mean to the weapon a little by asking it to self right while inverted, but I didn't expect it to just smoke immediately.

I'm going to have to think a while about what controller to use as a replacement. I have a unidirectional one from Scurrie that is monstrous but could fit in the battery bay. The reversible controller was to help the bot self right but it seems the higher speed gearing on the weapon and rear bubble in the top plate are conspiring against me to prevent that.  It won't self right if it only spins one way, but if it won't anyway then a unidirectional controller is fine. The alternative is to reduce the speed of the weapon and hope the additional gearing is enough to get it to self right again... which would mean ordering another one of the controllers I just lost 2 of in as many days.

Good thing I still have 3 weeks to decide!

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on January 27, 2015, 10:43:48 am
Just make a loop of shame. They work, mostly.
-Kyle

Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Infernaltank on January 27, 2015, 12:42:43 pm
loop of shame! loop of shame! loop of shame!
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 28, 2015, 08:03:16 pm
Actually last night I was just thinking that. This bot is so front heavy and lopsided that a loop of shame will probably work great. I haven't decided if one across the width will be better than one on either side of the blade front to back yet.  I'm hoping to try something out tonight.  My 2 ounces should give me a couple of 1" wide .1" thick UHMW strips that will be stiff enough to do the job.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 28, 2015, 09:03:37 pm
Initial prototyping suggests that a dual UHMW loop of shame, with one on either side of the blade, should be reasonably effective at helping to bot roll over without making it overweight. I'll have to decide what attachment points I'll use. I'm not sure if I want them to be mounted only to the top plate or only to the bot. I do know that I'd rather not have it be half and half because it makes working on the bot more annoying.

I seem to have run out of my favorite material - ~.1" UHMW sheet.  I have a bunch of the .15" thick black sheet that I made the wings on Magneato out of but I don't have any more of the thinner stuff that should be better for this use case. Nothing Mcmaster can't take care of, and I'll certainly find a way to use it.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 07, 2015, 04:59:39 pm
Today I spent pretty much the whole time in the shop trying to get Chop finalized for Moto.  Even my partner bot "Block" is getting antsy because I haven't posted any updates.  Well, after frying two weapon controllers, having self righting problems, almost being overweight, and calibration problems with drive controllers, I'm finally ready to call Chop done for Motorama.

I beefed up the front corners and added Hoops of Shame (now with even MORE shame) to the bot to help it self right. I also redid the top plate.  In the end I'm reasonably happy with the bot. I may do a final tweak here or there with my remaining one ounce, but it's going on the shelf until I get the other bots 100% done and packed.

Here's the build log:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/ChopBlockMoto15#6113222850843515026

And the obligatory "now I can embed images" pictures:
(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-OksD-l6YsnM/VNaHzXGodsI/AAAAAAAAMj4/6yrhAEOQ2cY/s720/IMG_4445.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-bH_IdMb-YZs/VNaH37icGFI/AAAAAAAAMlk/wJ3mfwgyuoY/s720/IMG_4455.JPG)

Also a testing video. It has a rather odd way of self righting when it turtles that I didn't intend but kinda like:
http://youtu.be/JerEN4Qwws8

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 07, 2015, 09:12:22 pm
I spent the rest of the night designing and implementing a more sensitive bump sensor for Magneato. This one is based on a pair of torsion springs instead of bolts over compression springs. These are much softer and should account for misalignment better. It does seem more sensitive in my bench tests but I won't know if it really works until I fight a moving opponent.

I also replaced the clutch rollers on Magneato in preparation for the competition and found the ones I made are not quite bored out enough to accommodate the washer and snap ring so I'll have to do a little more of that tomorrow. I have four more pairs to make tomorrow anyway so no biggie.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-hwYiFnhYRf4/VNbFB-GgleI/AAAAAAAAMl4/oRjs4RQJKr8/s720/IMG_4460.JPG)

details:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/MagneatoMoto2015#6113290181842867682

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 08, 2015, 01:27:41 pm
Breaking news:

Team Brain Damage will be pitching in with Team Terror (from Canada) at Robogames 2015! I'm not bringing any of my robots but I'll be lending a hand in the pits and watching brackets / foraging for food. I may also be helping with repairs as needed on their two robots.  I just booked the flight and hotel (I'll be at the HoJo 4 blocks down the road from the venue).  It looks like the hotel info on the Robogames site is out of date, they don't have a group rate at that hotel this year. The rate I paid is $105/night but that's still fairly reasonable I think - it's a bit under what I'm paying for Motorama hotels actually.  At least one other competitor must have called the front desk because the woman I talked to mentioned another Robo-gamer.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Infernaltank on February 08, 2015, 02:31:30 pm
thats great zac! have a great time and take lots of pics!
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 08, 2015, 08:27:14 pm
Tonight I got started on the final prep before painting and packing. My ToDo lists are getting pretty short.  Triggo is officially "done enough".  The bot is still not anywhere near as stable as I want but it will have to do for Motorama. The mechanics of the bot are solid, but the weight distribution is just too high I think. Not too much I can do about it right now so we'll see how problematic it is.

Chop is good to go. I shoe-goo'd in the weapon mount to help it resist being blown off the bot by the first big drum I hit.  I don't think that will be enough but I'm hoping to not go face-first into the drums too often.  I need to break in the second battery pack a little bit so I may do a couple more test runs with that bot.

Magneato is pretty much ready to go. I made a weapon lock and replaced the clutch roller with a brand new one, and I made a whole bunch of spares:
(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-N2Ibz1ZStJg/VNgLMUwafSI/AAAAAAAAMm4/q48C9WCO2tM/s720/IMG_4467.JPG)

I should probably redo the top plates because they are a little dinged up from Al's various hammer bot incarnations. With the army of hammer bots coming this time I admit I'm a little nervous about the way my top armor is set up.  It'll have to do I guess. I'll just have to flip them before they can get a blow in on my battery pack or electronics. The wings should help some from the sides and back, but the flipper will have to do the work up front.

Painting and packing scheduled for next weekend, then I'm hitting the road the following Friday morning.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: BranYoung on February 10, 2015, 06:51:37 am
Sorry to switch focus on you hear, but what sort of wheels did you use as your clutch in Threecoil? The Colsons would seem to large and heavy for that particular robot and from the pictures I have seen they don't appear to be the same either.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 10, 2015, 08:26:23 am
It's just 1" polyurethane tubing from mcmaster bored out to .5" to fit the needle roller bearing. An end mill worked great to bore it out. Drill bits not so much - polyurethane is very wear resistant but cuts easily.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: BranYoung on February 10, 2015, 01:00:18 pm
If polyurethane is anything like UHMW, then these Forstner bits should also be able to do the job:

http://www.harborfreight.com/7-piece-3-8-eighth-inch-shank-1-4-quarter-inch-to-1-inch-titanium-nitride-coated-forstner-bit-set-1903.html

If I may ask again, how were you able to calculate the necessary mass of the coil drum/ flywheel?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on February 10, 2015, 01:10:07 pm
If he designs anything like I do, he made the coil wheel as light as he thought was strong enough and then made the flywheel as heavy as he had weight for.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 10, 2015, 03:14:27 pm
Yep, that's pretty much it.

I did spend some time playing with a spreadsheet to see what I thought might be possible based on different flywheel sizes and speeds. Then I made it as big as my lathe could handle (2.75") and as heavy as the bot could handle (steadily increasing version to version as I thinned other parts down) then I spun it as fast as the motor could handle (ended up about 14krpm in Threecoil)

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 12, 2015, 09:03:42 pm
Last night I designed and tonight I implemented some anti-hammer top armor for Magneato. I'm not sure yet if it is a good idea, the new top plates feel pretty thin in comparison to the old ones.  I think they'll be better if the hammer hits the shock mounted lexan, but much weaker where the lexan isn't. Hopefully not so much weaker that bad things happen but I guess we'll see :)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-6B2SkE_xSYs/VN1a5V0uVvI/AAAAAAAAMoA/92LXLDPhMqg/s720/IMG_4475.JPG)

https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/MagneatoMoto2015#6115143797227994994

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: jiocca on February 12, 2015, 10:43:33 pm
Yess....Delicious.

I wouldn't worry too much without my little targeting system I'm not actually likely to hit anything in my first competition.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on February 12, 2015, 10:56:02 pm
Why don't you cover the whole top with shock mounted lexan like that with lexan as the actual cover/support as well? It should hold up good against hammers and the like.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Don Doerfler on February 13, 2015, 12:28:53 am
if he did only lexan It would probably shatter unless it was like <1/4
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on February 13, 2015, 12:54:40 am
Yeah, that is true, but it depends on how effective the shock mounts are and how well supported the lexan is. I haven't really seen that many pictures of the bot without plates mounted, so I'm not sure if it has pieces it's just touching that aren't actually bolted down or not. If it does, I'd think the lexan would hold up well. Of course, I've never really fought hammer bots, so I don't know exactly how much force they're putting out.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 13, 2015, 08:10:29 am
In the past I used just a simple plate of 1/8" aluminum and it has held up for a few competitions. The hammer bots are starting to get a little more serious though and my big worry is that the arduino board and batteries are right up against the top plate at the back of the bot. I don't expect them to puncture the 1/8" aluminum to much depth, but can't tolerate more than about another 1/8" and I want to protect the electronics from shock too, not just a direct strike.

I could go to ~.25" lexan for the whole top plate (with weight for nothing else) except I don't have a good way to mount it to this frame in a shock-resistant manner, and it is ultra non-resistant to saw bots. I guess I could switch top plates based on opponents to deal with the latter point.  We'll see how this goes, it could be unnecessary or it could but insufficient.

Everywhere you see a bolt sticking through there is a .375" wide UHMW bar there too. I have a support at the back of the drive motors too to help hold that part up but nothing where the electronics are.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 13, 2015, 09:16:11 pm
Tonight I finished the other side top plate and made a spare lexan cover for each side so I can replace them as they get beat up. I also finished out the weapon lock to make it not scrape my knuckles every time I try to remove it.

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-f7owRrGdY1s/VN6vOPmP6jI/AAAAAAAAMoo/uFpBhSfDdN4/s720/IMG_4479.JPG)

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/MagneatoMoto2015#6115517982459085234

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: BranYoung on February 15, 2015, 12:18:32 pm
Do you have any good videos of either magneato or threecoil firing? I feel like it will be interesting to see how the mechanism works during the act of firing.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 15, 2015, 12:30:53 pm
Kyle took some high speed video of it happening in Threecoil at Bot Blast a couple years ago. This wasn't the automatic-reset version but it is the best video I have of it actually firing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBjUYk48ED4

It happens so fast that it is difficult to capture on video, at least with the equipment I have. I'm bringing a big halogen light that we can use on Magneato to capture the flip action with Kyle's fancy high speed camera at Moto this year. I'm pretty curious to see how it works for real too.  The low-light capture we did at Franklin shows me something I didn't know was happening - the weapon actually fires twice every time I pull the trigger because the latch servos don't get the latch back in place in time.  You can see the white cap on top of the clutch jumps up and down twice even in the low light video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fv2s_weYEgM

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: BranYoung on February 15, 2015, 06:43:51 pm
A question about the latch servos: In your photos of Threecoil I noticed that the lever that holds the clutch down is released by a servo that appears to be attached to it by a single pivot point. When you fire, the servo pulls that lever away which allows the spring to engage the clutch and let it fire, yes? My question is that if the servo pulls that lever away for it to fire and is connected, wouldn't that mean you would have to manually move the servo back into place to re-capture the clutch?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 15, 2015, 08:04:16 pm
I do have to move the servo back into place to re-capture. That's what's too slow to actually work on Magneato before it auto-fires a second time.  I couldn't come up with a better approach yet that was still reliable.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: BranYoung on February 15, 2015, 10:11:25 pm
It seems more like recapturing the clutch depends a great deal on the reaction time of the driver. I would have suggested the use of a solenoid-controlled magnet much like how you designed that one robot of yours awhile back using that technique to mirror walking. In that scenario, you would have one magnet connected to the clutch itself that is a permanent magnet and an opposing magnet on the baseplate directly beneath it. When you turn on the solenoid-controlled baseplate magnet, it simply attracts the clutch down and holds it there.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 16, 2015, 08:12:55 am
This is just how the last version of Jack Reacher worked. Unfortunately the abuse the magnet took from repeatedly getting the clutch hammered down into it caused parts of it to start coming off so I switched to the mechanical latch to improve reliability. The magnet was faster, but occasionally failed to recapture the arm and provided an additional point of failure.

In the door latch system there is no reaction time of the driver either - the on board microcontroller moves the servos in a specific pattern to ensure both release and recapture of the clutch. I flip a switch and it fires and resets. In the latest version I don't even have to flip a switch - running into the other bot should flip it for me, at least that's the plan. There is still the time it takes the servo to traverse that causes it to fire more than once. I could get faster servos but they need to be strong enough to be able to reset the clutch if it fails to reset automatically, which could happen if the tongue is under the wall or something gets bent. The torque and speed requirements would mean I need much bigger servos to do both, though I may do that some time.

Unfortunately, I already changed the name of the bot to Magneato before I had the crazy idea of the door latch mechanism instead of the magnets. I like the name so I kept it. 

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: BranYoung on February 16, 2015, 08:51:55 am
How did you program the microcontroller? Where there any certain parameters like a 1/10th second release and recapture time?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 16, 2015, 06:43:53 pm
The microcontroller is an Arduino Nano. I used the Arduino IDE and 734 lines of code to control everything. The robot uses 8 IO pins on the arduino to read the throttle, flip, and ArmAI input as well as read a bump sensor on the front of the bot and control both capture servos, the throttle out, and the LED strip. I coordinate turning off the throttle, moving the trigger servos, and ramping the throttle back up to speed as well as safe startup, servo reset if it fails to mechanically reset, and a diagnostics/demo mode so I can use it in the pits without actually updating the throttle.

Right now I move the servos for 200ms before telling them to return to the start position when I trigger the clutch. It happens after shutting the throttle down for 500ms to ensure it is off and I don't blow my belt or fry my motor/controller/battery trying to drive the flipper with the motor instead of the flywheel. This 500ms could probably be shorter.

The throttle ramp-up time after flip is a 4 second period of linear throttle, to stop from killing the weapon motor/pulley setup. I also have some settings for how long the bump sensor should be ignored while I'm spinning up so that multiple box rushes can't result in many low-speed flips automatically.  The bump sensor is something I'm really only trying out for the first time here. I never had any time to dial it in on the old version (I only spend 4 hours on it for Franklin)

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 23, 2015, 05:58:04 pm
I got back from Motorama today around Noon.  I had a great time and got to hang out with many old friends as well as meet some new ones. I don't think I've ever been so tired at an event before. I can officially say that running 3 robots alone is silly and I hope none of you can talk me into doing it again. Here's a quick rundown from my very foggy memory of what happened.  The order and days could be wrong as it is all a blur to me. I will anxiously await Mike and Julie's video to see how bad my memory is.

I got there Friday and took 5 trips to haul all my crap in.  The arena got delayed by weather so I had lots of time to hang out and talk to people before it arrived. The big and small arenas were together and we set the small arena up in what felt like about 20 minutes. That box is so much easier to deal with. I'm starting to see why people prefer to host insect competitions :)

I spent most of the rest of the day with a few other people setting up the main arena. Dylan's dad was a huge help that we didn't have last year so the big box went together pretty quickly too. I wasn't fighting any of the little bots on Friday so I got to really enjoy myself. I spent a lot of time talking to some of the ant builders, especially Revelation Robotics. They have progressed leaps and bounds from where they started and are already more organized than I was at my first few competitions, despite being very young.

I got through safety with the big bots once the subfloor was in and we did the multibot the next morning.

Saturday:
Saturday was a little busier. I think my first fight was with Chop Block against Placebo. I don't think it happened until like 2 or 3 because there were SO MANY BEETLES. Chris and I went in together on Chop Block for my first foray into a multibot. It was silly and I couldn't drive while spinning hardly at all, but it was fun. We drew Placebo in the first round. Placebo was an undercutter with like 30 degree wedges front and back.  We found out in this fight that even if Chris could get under a 12 pound bot, there was so much weight on the wedge that the wheels couldn't get enough traction to actually lift or push them. That combined with the slope on the wedges meant I couldn't get any bite at all. Placebo was having troubles keeping his friction wheel working so the blade didn't get us too bad, but I sure cracked Block in the face pretty hard when I had a bad spurt of driving. He did a triple or quadruple backflip and ended up with a good notch in the wedge plate. Placebo had some troubles with ground clearance too though so we ended up getting the judges' decision.

Next up was probably Triggo and Miss Fortune, the big eggbeater. I matched up ok with Miss Fortune because it had square corners on the front, but Kyle added some anti-horizontal UHMW flaps to deflect me away enough to get the drum involved. As soon as he put the bot down he was having driving issues though. The front of the bot has so much weight in it that the skids he added were digging into the wood floor a lot. This ended up giving me the advantage on the first hit and he tapped out when it was clear that he was stuck facing the wall with the back corner out.

I think the next fight was probably  Chop Block vs Hyper Drive. Hyper drive is Apollyon converted to ridiculous brushless drive motors. Unfortunately the drive motors were a bit much for the gearboxes so Jerome was blowing gearboxes the whole competition. It sure was fast when it was working though!  In our fight he spent a lot of the time being a pseudo-melty because of the blown wheel, but I thought he was intentionally doing it to ensure that my bad driving couldn't possibly result in a hit on the exposed wheels. It worked, I never really hit him for anything noticeable. I did crack Block a couple more times though, including a shot that pried the baseplate out to high center him. Hyper Drive won by judges' decision.

Next up was probably Triggo vs The Magnificent Poncho. Triggo was in good shape going into this match, and I had knocked Poncho out last year when I faced it with Tetanus, although I think it was the fight that caused the shell to warp beyond repair when I got one of his wheels and crashed into the wall. This year I decided to spin a bit slower to avoid bending the shell (since it was the third fight for it) against a wedge bot that couldn't hurt me unless I hurt myself.  Poncho drove very well and was able to ensure often that when I hit him I was the one that hit the wall instead of him. Triggo doesn't drive as well as Tetanus did and he took full advantage of that. We traded blows for the whole 3 minutes, including some very serious shots against the wall that were the reason I decided to back off on the throttle a little bit too much I think. This was the first time my shell spinner had a match go the distance since I put the big hammers on Tetanus but poncho is seriously tough. I was able to hurt the ablative armor on the front (A big hunk of angle iron) but never really stopped him. The judges decided in favor of Poncho and it was time for me to hang out in the loser's bracket. I thought everything was working after the fight but I'm pretty sure this is where my one drive motor started to get crunchy.

I think my last fight of the day was with Magneato, against Power of Metal. Too bad that PoM won against the auger bot because I wanted to face an underweight opponent again... This was the first combat test of the big gargoyle wings on Magneato as well as the bump sensor and improved software and arm geometry. I was pretty pumped about it.  PoM was able to stay on me the whole fight though, so much so that the 4 second 'disarmed' delay I put into the bump sensor so I could spin up wasn't enough, and I was only dealing partial-power flips to him. I decided to disable the bump sensor so I could spin up better, but ended up missing my flips a couple of times and landing upside down. That's when I found out my new anti-hammer guards that I added actually inhibited my ability to self-right. That's what I get for last minute, un-tested "features".  Ah well, between PoM being all over me and troubles self righting it was a clear judges' decision for PoM.

Sunday to come later

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on February 23, 2015, 07:38:54 pm
here is the flip we did. The darn camera was out of focus, the auto focus is crap. Im going to start doing it manually from now on. it's a shame your clutch jammed or we could have done more.
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOjsh7Pr2nI&list=UU0hZHhIZg8fbLGii1vZ29IA
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 23, 2015, 08:03:48 pm
I really is a shame, the part I'm most interested in is the servo trigger lag and clutch reset stuff, because that happens too fast to see.  I should have taken the stupid hammer guards off too, they block what's happening to the clutch as the bot resets and rotates back.  I wish I had more time to spend on getting it right.  Maybe we can do it again at bot blast in the mall parking lot if the weather is nice.  Surely there is an empty enough area for a test flip.

Thanks for sticking around and doing it so late. I can still see that the target stayed on the flipper tongue through almost the whole stroke, which is a surprise to me. That means the gearing is probably in the ballpark of what I wanted. The flip angle isn't too bad either.  All in all it was a reasonably successful test.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on February 23, 2015, 08:13:17 pm
bot blast is it. although there is talk somewhere on the internets of rage in the cage. may 2-3 ish. I will have to hit someone who knows whats going on up about it.
-Kyle
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 23, 2015, 08:19:36 pm
First, a little more Saturday:
In the fight against Power of Metal Magneato bent the weapon arm. It's made of two pairs of stacked 1/8" 6061 rails and I lamed-out and used some pretty thin threaded hex standoffs from mcmaster to bind them together. At some point toward the end of the fight PoM must have been crooked on the arm when I tried to flip and when combined with loose shaft collars on the rear hinge pin the pressure on the plates caused the rear standoff to tear and the arm bent between the two hinge pins. This is what made it not come back down very well during the fight, and was the final end to any hope I had of winning it.

At first all I did was try to bend the arm back and install an extra standoff to resist bending again so we could use Kyle's fancy camera to capture some 300fps footage of the flipping mechanism. I didn't bring anything that weighed 30 pounds that I wanted to flip so we asked around and Alex offered up his AR400 wedge bot that weighed 15 pounds instead.  That thing is dense.  We got the flip, and it was awesome, but one of the clutch strike plates was damaged in the PoM fight and in our test it failed completely and jammed the weapon, so we didn't really get to watch the resetting mechanism work like I wanted.  The arm also bent a little bit in the test, which didn't surprise me because once the rails weren't straight they were likely to fail even faster.

Kyle cleaned up the lighting rig we set up and I went about fixing the strike plate and replacing the clutch. I did a little bit more maintenance on the bot but eventually I was just too tired and I headed out about 11:00. The roads were horrible and I didn't get to the hotel until about 11:30, where I tried to get dinner at Sheetz (one of only a few places still open that late) and Rob was there and told me it was a long wait for food. I grabbed a couple of pre-made sandwiches and went to my hotel to eat and sleep.

Ok, I know you may be wondering "why does he keep saying 'I think...'  Wasn't he there?".  I was there, and it is pretty hazy because I was so busy sunday that I ate two granola bars from Mike for lunch because I didn't have time to do anything else. Here's the recap of the busiest Sunday I've ever had, with a fair bit of guessing on the order and content of the fights:


The next morning I hit the venue by 8 with a list of things I wanted to do before the matches started. The list included double checking that the batteries I had in the bots were really charged since I was so fried by the end of the night. I also wanted to remove the anti-hammer armor because it made it hard to self right and I wanted to use the weight for it to brace up the arm a little bit. I had some AL channel with me so I cut a couple of strips of it out with the jigsaw and bolted them to the arm to make it more rigid. I think it helped a lot.

I can't remember when the fights started, but I had mostly just finished fixing up the sportsman and getting it all reassembled. I had forgotten to tape the battery in Triggo and missed a couple of fasteners in the sportsman in my haze the night before so it was good I double checked everything. I think my first fight of the day was Chop Block vs Sonic the Hedgehog (shell spinner).

I was pretty worried about the fight because I knew I had no armor and very little ability to actually drive my robot. Block wasn't much better off since every time he turned around I hit him with my weapon, but we hoped he could deflect sonic up enough that I could hit him. Dalton had a bit of a scramble to get the bot working on time but we eventually got there.  He spun up and he cracked us a couple of times. I managed to get a couple of dings in although it was tough to bite his angled shell.  After some hits and pushing I think sonic stopped working and we won by KO. I don't know what happened, but it wasn't really Chop that did the KO'ing.

Next up was Triggo vs Cathii, the ring spinner. I didn't know if Cathii was spinning, but I did know the teeth on the ring looked very solid, and very solidly mounted to the ring.  I wasn't sure what to expect in this fight but hoped that I could benefit from how hard it is to solidly support a ring on a ring spinner.  I'm pretty sure the match ended in a KO of Cathii but I can't remember how long it was. I do remember some pretty serious hits. Toward the end of the match my bot wasn't really driving very well.

I took the bot back to the pits and found that one of the drive sides was totally seized. I had shattered the magnets in the motor, despite it being packed in foam. The gearbox is rigidly mounted to the base of course and the shock loading from the hits must have traveled through it into the drive motor.  I had a spare fully assembled motor and gearbox that I dropped in and the bot was back in shape. Sometimes even a win isn't a total win. I think the damage might have started in the Poncho fight, as there were a LOT of big hits there.

My next fight was probably Magneato vs Sparky, alex's ratbot-turned-sportsman driven by Josh M. The weapon controller wouldn't run it though so it was a weaponless underweight bot from spare parts and booger welds. I was hopeful that I might be able to win. Alas, it seems that was not to be. My bot just takes too long to spin up and there is too much lag in the flipping system.  Josh drove very well and deftly triggered my flips without actually getting hit by many of them. I spent a lot of the match upside down and the self righting didn't work as well as I hoped. It did work a couple of times, but at the end of the fight the rope got stuck in the clutch and I couldn't trigger the flipper anymore. I'll have to work on the rope alignment more for the next version. One of the things on my list that day was to replace the rope because it was getting stretched out, but I didn't do it. Too bad for me, Magneato was 0-2 after a loss by KO.

Next up was probably Triggo vs the ginormous bar spinner that came with Team Canada. I don't think it is registered on the BDB and I can't remember the name.  It was a giant midcutting bar spinner with bubble-shaped rear end / wheel guards and a huge weapon pulley attached to the bar.  While I was replacing the drive motor in Triggo the guy who made the bar spinner was kind enough to come over and remind me that he spun clockwise in case it made a difference to me. Indeed it did, and I switched my shell to go counter clockwise so the bar wouldn't be spinning into the shell teeth. Only very, very bad things could come of a head-to-head hit like that. 

I got my bot back together and we went into the arena. The match started and he got that bar up to speed scary fast. I don't know what the tip speed on it is but I'll be it's more than 150 mph.  There were some pretty big hits, including one that punched a pretty good dent in my shell, but then the steel teeth broke off of the bar spinner's blade and it became unbalanced. After that I think either the belt fell off the pulley or snapped. I managed to stay spinning and tried to attack something other than the weapon but couldn't get enough bite on the rounded bubbly back end of him. I eventually just started plowing into the weapon assembly (that was no longer powered) hoping to kill him that way.  I did not succeed, and the match went 3 minutes. The judges gave it to me so I was moving on.

The replaced drive motor was sounding a little crunchy again but I didn't have a spare or time to do anything about it. I started asking around for a motor and pinion to try to swap in, but I had so many fights so frequently that I couldn't really do it all at once. Charles lent me a gear puller, I got a motor from the canadians that I couldn't get the pinion off of, and I couldn't get the pinion off of the broken motor.... More on that saga later because then I was up with Chop Block vs Ripto Ultimate.

Chris and I figured this was the end of the line for us. I couldn't get any bite on Ripto's front end and his blade is terrifying. If I could hurt block with my little one then it was going to be very bad when Ripto got in there.  The match went about how we expected, with us fumbling around a little bit trying to do something and eventually getting annihilated by Ripto's blade.  Block was knocked out (I think?) so we lost, but Chop took a huge hit in the face that pulled the front frame through the base plate. I wasn't dead, but it wasn't going to get much better, and our primary was out anyway so we lost by KO.

Shortly thereafter I was in with Triggo facing Gloomy, the bot with the spinner-resistant tire armor and terrifying saw blade of death. He had repaired the damage from Hyper Active and I was nervous.  I knew that if I ever stopped spinning I was in very big trouble.  The match started and I throttled up, not even trying to drive until the shell was moving. I figured he would keep the saw out of it as long as I could keep spinning. I did my best to stay off of his little tongue and drive past the bear-hug arms but he got me into the wall a couple of good times.  I got a couple of lucky blows in to the corner of the bot and that took out one of the four wheels. He was having trouble controlling the bot after that and I was able to do enough damage to the back end that I think he tapped out.  It might have been a KO though, I can't remember.

It was very exciting, but I noticed my bot was handling like crap again at the end of the match. The shell was working fine, but that same drive side was crunchy again. When I got back to the pit I renewed my search for a replacement drive motor and got a pinion from Jamo so now all I needed was a motor that I could get the pinion off of that was close to the same KV as the one I was using. Jamo had some 555 motors but they are like 50% of the kv of the one I had in there. Eventually Chris mentioned he had a 550 motor on a HF gear box and brought it over, but I didn't have time to put it in before I was up again with Triggo, this time vs Chris's bot Whammo.

Whammo was using the RageBridge I won at Moto a couple years back as a replacement for his drive ESC after Gloomy sliced his RS80D in half. He just got it together and dialed in in time for the match.  I had done some testing and my bot could drive, but it pulled hard to one side.  I knew that was going to be bad news against a bot with a big ti wedge and a good driver, so I figured I needed to knock him out to win. I spun the shell all the way up and just kept it there the whole fight.  Whammo kept me right on the middle of the plow and pushed me around pretty much the whole time.  I couldn't drive well enough with the bum motor to get around his corners and I figured I was done.  Somehow the judges gave me the win though, after taking a long time to decide.  I'll have to go watch the video to see if I missed something, but I sure felt defeated at the end. This match took more out of my batteries than any ever had in Tetanus or Triggo. I used more than 2050 mah out of my 2300 pack. Everything was toasty, but nothing smoking hot. I think the weapon motor was 138F and the battery was similar.

Anyway, the saga with the drive motor continues, and now that I had one that I could use, and a pinion from Jamo, all I had to do was get the old one out and swap the new one in before my next fight... which was against the Magnificent Poncho, who put me in the loser's bracket in the first place.  Sean M helped me get the bot apart, the old motor out, and the new motor installed in record time. We had to go 50-50 on the polarity of the leads because we didn't have time to test it or anything. I was scrambling so much to get it installed in the first place that I put the gearbox together wrong, with the back panel 90 degrees rotated from the front panel. That meant I only had the front mounting screws to hold it to the base but that would have to be enough.  We got it together and it happened to be the right polarity, saving us an extra 8 minutes to take the wiring back apart and switch it.  I got everything tied down and just got the top on in time to go back to the box against the Magnificent Poncho. Couldn't have done it without all the help I got.

I threw the bot in the box and the match started. I went full throttle this time again because the shell was still flat and round despite the abuse I took in the whammo fight. Now if only I could avoid bashing another drive motor...  I figured I had to knock him out since the last time I thought I had it won but lost by the judges. I wasn't going to tempt fate after the whammo thing. Fortunately Poncho had been taking damage too and he had a bit of a laggy drive side from some crunchy magnets. I got around the plow this time and I think I won by KO.

Back to the pit finally with a bot that is actually working. I swapped the batteries out (and looked at the numbers from the whammo fight battery charge... damn) and got the bot back together. At this point I started working "ahead" by taking apart another one of Chris's drill motors and prepping leads for it in case I broke one in my next fight.... Speaking of which, it happened 20 minutes later!

I can't remember if there was a fight before the final with Megatron, so we're going to go with that.  Jamison is a better driver than me and I fully expected to get stuck in the dust pan and delivered to the wall the whole fight. At least I had a working drive system.  The match started and I did it the same way I did it with gloomy - get spinning and don't worry about driving yet. If i'm not spinning, the saw is an issue, and he's fast enough that I may never spin.

He gunned the throttle and was so torquey that it popped the nose of the dust pan up and he ramped over the shell and landed upside down.  I hit him maybe once, but when he realized the clutch was too loose on the saw arm to allow him to self right, he tapped so we'd get a second final.

I went back to the pit, swapped batteries, and buttoned the bot back up. 20 minutes later we tossed them in for a second final. Good thing I swapped batteries, Jamo was a lot more careful this time.  Jamo being careful is not good for Jamo's opponent.  He was able to scoop me pretty easily and even though I had a working drive system I wasn't fast enough to evade his advances very often. He had really reinforced corners so they took a beating well. I did bounce out of his dust pan a few times and got a hit or two in on the lip of the wedge.  That made it so it was a bit bent on that side, and after that sometimes he would ramp over the shell instead of scooping me.  I got a couple more hits in but couldn't seem to get a really good grip or get around the back.  About two and a half minutes in I was in the corner right by his tap out button and he came across the arena and his bot was at a 45 degree angle to the two walls, blocking me in the corner. I couldn't drive over the dust pan to get out so I tried crashing into the wall to jump out and over him. It didn't work either because I couldn't get up enough speed to get bite on the wall in the 2 inches I had. I should have slowed the shell down.

Miraculously in my attempts to get out I somehow knocked his power link out the top of the bot. It just stayed there, hemming me in but unable to move. They counted him out and I got first place.  It was totally nuts and I look forward to seeing the video.

At this point it was about 7:30 PM. There were still fights going on in other classes but I was too tired to watch them.  I had some food and water and just tried to sit for a while.  A few people stopped by and bought some of the motorama for sale stuff and I just tried to recover. Eventually I packed my stuff up and then helped with arena teardown.

Whoever was still left went out to dinner at Fridays because it was the only place still open at 11:00 that would seat a party of 20 or so.  We had a great time and I got back to the hotel about 12:30 I think.  It was awesome to sit down and talk with everybody.

Everybody who made this event happen is awesome. Special thanks go to Ed, Beth, Dude, Rob, and Jim for doing the organizational parts of all of it. Especially rob for driving that heavy arena down from boston in a blizzard.   Also, I couldn't have kept the bot going without help from Charles, Jamo, the canadians, Chris, and the hands-on help from Sean when I was under a time crunch.  It's been a while since I was that swamped and I forgot how challenging it is.

I look forward to the video Mike and Julie took and are uploading for us all for free. That's a boatload of work that many don't realize just how good a job they're doing for nothing. I'm sure I forgot people but everybody who does this is awesome. We should do it again... but not until I recover, ok?

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 23, 2015, 08:21:39 pm
bot blast is it. although there is talk somewhere on the internets of rage in the cage. may 2-3 ish. I will have to hit someone who knows whats going on up about it.
-Kyle

My primary contact for it would be Jeremy, dwrobots1189 at gmail.  I'm doing robogames April 3 ish, so I'm not sure I'll have time to build a new bot for that. I could probably fix up Chop, but it will suck :) Worst case I would go help out and bring Magneato for demos. That's only a couple hours from me.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 23, 2015, 08:23:52 pm
Also, I owe Jamison for that P60 pinion. Jamo, will you email me so I can send you a replacement?

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Joe Doerfler on February 23, 2015, 08:32:59 pm
This is what I send Kyle
The Bloomsburg Robotics Team (Malicious Intent) will be hosting the third annual Rage-in-the-Cage Tournament on May 2nd, 2015 in the center court of the Lycoming Mall
They will be hosting a separate two day, open tournament for professional builders and those that have graduated from the university level on May 2nd and May 3rd. The open tournament will be a multi-weight division tournament –Beetleweight (3lbs), Mantisweight (6lbs) and Hobbyweights (12lbs).
Educational teams will be able to interact with professional builders and learn from their experience and engineering skills.

If anyone needs more info contact Kirk Marshall at kmarshall@bloomsd.k12.pa.us
That was info I got back in October or so
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Badnik96 on February 23, 2015, 08:59:34 pm
Aw, no ants? Guess i'll have to build a mantis then...
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on February 23, 2015, 10:11:21 pm
-snip-
Gonna find a publisher for that book? ;)
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 24, 2015, 07:59:43 am
-snip-
Gonna find a publisher for that book? ;)

Heh, you know you liked it

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: teamsandman on February 24, 2015, 10:10:29 am
I talked to Dalton after the fight with Sonic and he showed me that the blade on Chop did manage to take several nice scrapes on the outside of the shell and also nearly completely cracked the weld of one of the teeth on the bottom edge of the shell.

It was great to see you at the event, and to fight with you and against you. I am very impressed how much beating Triggo and Whammo dealt out to each other.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: daggius on February 25, 2015, 05:32:29 pm
zac do your FBSs ever end up upside down?   do u plan ever to make a ring spinner that is invertible?  i only make ants so far and they always end up upside down so i wana make a ring myself.  it seems best for a ring spinner to have v groove bearings supporting the ring but I cant find any with high rpms since these are usually used for slow moving track type applications.

thanks
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 25, 2015, 07:44:51 pm
zac do your FBSs ever end up upside down?   do u plan ever to make a ring spinner that is invertible?  i only make ants so far and they always end up upside down so i wana make a ring myself.  it seems best for a ring spinner to have v groove bearings supporting the ring but I cant find any with high rpms since these are usually used for slow moving track type applications.

thanks

I think a ring spinner is one of the top three hardest designs to make work reliably. Ingor, Eater of Souls worked reliably at one or two competitions and it took him many iterations to get to that point.  So far my shell spinners have stayed upright fairly well. As long as you stay spinning fast enough, and you make them wide and short, the chances of flipping over are small.  You can see what I'm talking about here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4TUkY-1BbA

Reliability is probably the most important trait for a fighting robot, so sacrificing so much of it to be somewhat invertable doesn't seem worth it to me.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on February 25, 2015, 07:56:28 pm
I was trying really hard to find a video of it, but I just couldn't, but at the league I compete in, there's a ring spinner called Vortex and it's pretty ridiculous. It was quite reliable and entirely invertable until they decided to cram a taller motor i n instead of a wider one, and now its kinda invertible... It uses a friction drive with a couple banebots wheels and a set of blocks for the ring to spin on. It does well, but usually loses to Uppercut, but then, Kevin wins the national competition, too.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 25, 2015, 08:00:49 pm
I'm impressed that a ring spinner has been made to work reliably. I don't think I could do it better than I can do a shell spinner that spins fast enough to avoid being inverted. If you do find the video I'd love to see it.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: teamsandman on February 25, 2015, 09:14:17 pm
I have been thinking about the ring spinner, but your shell is so strong is all the bracing at the bottom edge and the huge gusseting on the top edge. Building a ring that is strong enough to hold its shape would be the majority of the challenge I think.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 25, 2015, 09:29:02 pm
I don't think the ring is the hardest part to make strong. My shell is 16+ pounds, and 16 pounds of steel in a ring should be strong enough to hold its shape. Of course, a ring spinner has to use a lot of weight to support the ring, and that I think is the weakest part. It's hard to brace the roller sections on the inside of the ring without spending a whole bunch of weight on it, and once you do all the weight you do spend is no longer spinning and hurting the other bot or giving you armor. Also, once the ring goes a tiny bit out of round you start having binding issues or vibration issues with the supports on a ring spinner. The hits Whammy Bar delivered that dented in the shell would have been the end of a ring spinner in most cases, but I had enough clearance that I was able to keep spinning.

I'm very happy with how strong the bottom brace has turned out to be. It was my dad's idea actually, but I never had the weight to implement it until this version. It did cost me some mobility, which I think made this bot less effective than the previous version, but I think I can increase the drive speed and maybe lower the center of gravity some internally to try to make it a little more stable.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: daggius on February 25, 2015, 09:29:20 pm
I have been thinking about the ring spinner, but your shell is so strong is all the bracing at the bottom edge and the huge gusseting on the top edge. Building a ring that is strong enough to hold its shape would be the majority of the challenge I think.

Looking at zac's shell designs and improvements over the years it looks like he started with a shell and then added the ring around the bottom for stiffness there and then also the vertical bracing along the radial members to add stiffness there.  This is consistent with my experience building a FBS of the 2 spots I needed more stiffness.

However with a ring, you can do away with the radial members and the vertical stiffeners altogether since you don't need to connect the shell to a central shaft.  You instead are connecting the outer portion only to several mounting points along the diameter of the ring.  Therefore I think this gives you additional weight allotment that you can put into stiffening the ring more.  Such as just making that part a bunch thicker so it wont deform. 

However, you need to also contribute some additional weight to the chassis for mounting the extra bearings.  probably 3 or more mounting points.  So maybe you lose the weight allowance that you gained.

Here is a pretty decent antweight ring i saw at RG12, Baby Blaster.  It appears to have a few design problems.  Like it's underpowered.  And it seemed like it needed 4wd instead of 2wd in order to keep from spinning itself on spin up.  But it went through many fights while still functioning, and looks well put together.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40g22JyuhyY

but yea those are some great hits by the wedge vs tetanus and mostly tetanus just flies straight up in the air .  pretty awesome.  I just realized that the rotational inertia of the bot really helps in making it want to keep that orientation.  so it is unlikely to get flipped upside down unless its not spun up when its hit.  cool stuff
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: daggius on February 25, 2015, 09:36:08 pm
zac i think you should build one though since you are a fbs expert and like to build interesting bots  ;)

just make it a lighter weight class since those ones seem to get inverted a lot more since they have the energy to go flying off the walls
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: daggius on February 25, 2015, 09:41:26 pm
pic attached of ring design

imo with this type of design the ring is too beefy to get any deform.  the brg locations will break before it deforms any.  but also this type of bearing creates a line contact at the v groove so that is probably pretty bad too. 

i dunno how to do it that well..
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on February 26, 2015, 12:11:57 am
Well, the ring would be lathed to a cylinder in the very center, so that's a non-issue. That would be a good way to support one, but could be difficult to machine smooth enough to roll really well. You'd need to be quite precise with a lathe on the other surfaces. You could also create your own bearings to save cost, with a steel or aluminum V-ring pressed onto a normal bearing. The design you're looking at would probably work the best on a very, very short bot, or with two sets of rollers. The ring, if as thick as you drew it, would get heavy extremely fast, probably faster than you think.

Vortex has two wheels, but doesn't spin like that much because the ring is spaced slightly higher than you'd think.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: jamisong on February 26, 2015, 05:18:52 pm
No worries Zac. I have a ton of those so I wouldn't even bother. As for our match, I still feel like I was losing although some people tell me otherwise. *shrug* All I know is that I wont be using XT60's ever again.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 26, 2015, 06:08:34 pm
No worries Zac. I have a ton of those so I wouldn't even bother. As for our match, I still feel like I was losing although some people tell me otherwise. *shrug* All I know is that I wont be using XT60's ever again.

Ok thanks again for giving me one when I needed it.

What did you determine to be the final reason the bot stopped?  You said at the end of the fight that you thought it was the power link, but it looks to me like your bot moved after you tapped out (just a little, see 2:33 or so here: http://youtu.be/k1LtCxWvA2o?t=2m33s) so I didn't think it was a pulled link.  Was it a melted connector like Kyle saw with his XT60s, or just pulled from shock? A little duct tape over the connection could have fixed the latter probably.  That is one stout bot you have.

I think if it went to the judges at 2:28 in that fight then you would have won my vote.  It doesn't really matter now - it was a great show and everybody enjoyed it. I know I enjoyed it (once I recovered from the adrenaline and exhaustion!)

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on February 26, 2015, 06:16:18 pm
Oh, so THAT'S what happened to megatRON.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on February 26, 2015, 07:14:59 pm
No worries Zac. I have a ton of those so I wouldn't even bother. As for our match, I still feel like I was losing although some people tell me otherwise. *shrug* All I know is that I wont be using XT60's ever again.

so does yours look like mine with the plastic pushing in on the male part of the xt60?
(http://i.imgur.com/PzCuoCu.jpg)
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: excello602 on February 27, 2015, 09:51:54 pm
Hey Zac, How did you go about fabricating the shell for Triggo? I've been throwing around a few ideas for a 12lb shell spinner and trying to decide if I want to go for a sloped shell design.

- Andrew
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on February 27, 2015, 10:45:30 pm
You do *want* to! From what I've seen they're much more durable, since they tend to deflect hits. They do look like a pain to make, though.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: excello602 on February 27, 2015, 11:07:39 pm
Well, yes, I would like to for sure :P Just trying to think logistically and monetarily haha
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on February 28, 2015, 01:22:07 am
Oh and I looked at his build log, from what I can tell, it's the same shell off of Tetanus, and he had a machine shop make it. How much did that run you, anyways, Zac? I'm not gonna lie, I've never had something made for me, pretty much if I couldn't make it myself, I didn't use it.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: jamisong on February 28, 2015, 01:41:46 pm
So it was a combination of things but all around stemmed from the XT60.

Usually I make a point to expand the pins with a small screwdriver on occasion. I do this with Attrition as well and hes never had issues. I tapped out when the bot would not respond and I saw the link floating higher than the top plate, which means it had dislodged. I do notice the movement Zac mentioned as well. I suppose this was because the RB takes a few seconds to setup upon power cycle at which that point the bot had found contact.

However for reasons previously mentioned, I knew this was intermittent and I rightfully tapped out. On closer inspection, there is heavy pitting damage on both pins from periodic contact. This damage was not present or at least not as severe before the match.

Gaiz, Triggo hits THAT hard. haha
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on March 01, 2015, 08:18:46 pm
The shell started its life as a big sheet of 18x48x.125" 4130 from onlinemetals. I made up drawings for the top, base rings, teeth, and bracing, as well as some rainbow shapes for the sides and sent all of it to NE Reihart and Sons in Huntingdon, PA (http://www.nereihart.com/) for fabrication. I don't have the facility, equipment, or skills to make the part and they did a great job on Steel Shadow and Tetanus shells. This one is not the same as Tetanus, although it is similar. The major difference is the solid triangular ring around the bottom inner edge so the shell won't bend. Tetanus just had a flat ring at the very bottom with holes in it.  To make weight for the new part the shell is now smaller and a hair taller, and the base had to shrink too. That ring is the reason the shell never bent even though I hammered the wall many, many times at the competition.

The shell, with materials, cutting, and welding was about $1000.  It sounds like a lot, but if I can keep it alive for a couple of years then it's not too terrible. Most of the cost is in the welding. The roll forming and laser cutting are not very expensive or time consuming, but all that welding is.  If you could do that part yourself on your equipment you could save some cash. I don't have the skills or equipment, so I pay them, and they do a good job.

I switched to the angled shell because I didn't think I could make a cylinder shell that could survive a big bar spinner like Whammy Bar. Even with the deflection he put some pretty good dents in this shell, and I think the shell on Tripolar would have folded in pretty far.  The cone shape is a lot less stable because to make it under weight the bot needs to have a very small footprint that is a bit top heavy. The shape is also harder to make, repair, and work on.  It does deflect big hits though, and works as a wedge if the weapon goes out to some extent. I'm happy with it.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: jamisong on March 02, 2015, 12:55:20 pm
Do you get your shells hardened after the welding?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on March 02, 2015, 01:57:24 pm
No, everybody I talked to said the shape would almost definitely become a pretzel on the quench.  It's unhardened 4130. Hardened would certainly hold up better, but if it warped when they quench it then it might have been garbage before even fighting and I didn't have the guts to risk it. I've considered having one of my old shells hardened just to see how much they warp as a test run, but it would be hard to tell because they are "old shells" because they are already warped.

The teeth are flame-hardened and they held up great. I can't remember the exact target I gave them but it was just heat with a torch to X temp (using temp crayons) then quench in water - not the most scientific approach.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on March 02, 2015, 06:09:12 pm
That'd be interesting, but how much do you think it would cost? They're pretty large. Maybe not so worth it for an old shell. If you do decide to, you could try tracing the outline of the shell or something to give you an idea of how much it warped. I'm sure it would some, especially with pieces welded on, but it might be within tolerance.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on March 02, 2015, 06:36:47 pm
>> With pieces welded on

Remember, they all started as one big flat sheet. They're basically all weld, so if the welds warp a little it'll be a pretzel.  I think a cheap version of the heat treat would likely cost $100 or so. I did cryogenic treatment on the Tripolar shell but I don't have a good handle on what properties it actually affected. The shell is still round, that must mean something. It didn't warp at all from that treatment. IIRC it was about $100 for that.

I think the fixture and the fancy high-pressure-gas heat treat on the Shrederator shell (much, much bigger than mine) was more than 2k. It still warped a little even with all the extra effort and the cylinder shape is easier to brace to resist warpage.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on March 02, 2015, 06:42:59 pm
I'm thinking more about where the teeth are, since those areas won't flex as much you'll probably get some warping around them, but it may be fairly symmetrical.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on April 05, 2015, 01:34:37 pm
I'm at Robogames with Team Terror this weekend. They built and brought over from Toronto the 220 bot Gloomsday.  This robot is HUGE. There have been some teething problems but much of it is working and even though we are now out at 1-2 we learned a few things to do differently next time and had a great time so far.

They made up great team uniforms and the crowd is really enjoying the bot. We're all very recognizable and have received many compliments on how different and cool the bot is. Kudos to Jason, Jared, and the gang for making something so cool, and letting me come and play without doing any of the hard work.  I know Dave C doesn't follow this board but it's a heck of a show he's putting on out here. It's my first trip out to RG and I'm impressed by the venue, location, and coordination provided by the EO and crew.

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-go_zJS4YcII/VSRijw0PLHI/AAAAAAAAM4Y/4Bmmis-zma8/w488-h651-no/IMG_0270.JPG)

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Infernaltank on April 05, 2015, 01:54:10 pm
I'm at Robogames with Team Terror this weekend. They built and brought over from Toronto the 220 bot Gloomsday.  This robot is HUGE. There have been some teething problems but much of it is working and even though we are now out at 1-2 we learned a few things to do differently next time and had a great time so far.

They made up great team uniforms and the crowd is really enjoying the bot. We're all very recognizable and have received many compliments on how different and cool the bot is. Kudos to Jason, Jared, and the gang for making something so cool, and letting me come and play without doing any of the hard work.  I know Dave C doesn't follow this board but it's a heck of a show he's putting on out here. It's my first trip out to RG and I'm impressed by the venue, location, and coordination provided by the EO and crew.

(https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/?ui=2&ik=ba097c72a8&view=fimg&th=14c8aa54501e18e4&attid=0.1&disp=inline&safe=1&attbid=ANGjdJ9k3tDTiWSaTtyqd8eZT-CY76ZWHaAIylUDwFRSfX0Ft4sB2tsg_REWv6nV61wa4cYc807F9nkAYPvXSTTsbxTZ0CMWGRV1Ifa2Aqatw8CX85jmx94FRV-Fokw&ats=1428255233611&rm=14c8aa54501e18e4&zw&sz=w1884-h670)

-Zac

Did you take pics like you do for other events? I look forward to hearing your perspective.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on April 05, 2015, 02:18:49 pm
Hey Zac, I can't view that picture. Could you re-upload it? Sounds fun, I wish I was there.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on April 07, 2015, 08:04:06 pm
Just got back from RG 2015 with Team Terror. We had a great time and a decent showing. Highlights for me were the effectiveness of the saw against Puck in the first round, the crowd cheering "Saw....Saw.....Saw....", and the reminder that even the builders I don't know because I haven't been to the west coast are just as cool as the other people who do this. We would have been out of the competition if Jerome hadn't lent us batteries no questions asked and Hal hadn't given us connectors to use to install them into our bot / battery charger.
We got a really lucky draw with Gloomsday, fighting three non-weaponed robots in a row. This was particularly important as the top armor was mostly just duct tape, hope, and dreams.

The saw arm mechanism worked great, even allowing the bot to self right. Jason is a great driver and the drivetrain on the bot was absolutely beastly. The chain tension and alignment was sufficient for the whole competition and the saw blade had some power (as evidenced by the video of it cutting into Puck). The borrowed batteries were a bit lower voltage than the originals and we had a tension issue on the saw blade nut in our fight against Vlad or the saw would have been a bigger factor. Gloomsday was different and effective, and I expect to see some different top armor next year smile emoticon

I had a blast and am wondering why I waited so long to make it out to Robogames at all. If it happens again next year I'll plan to be back. You can see my pictures and comments in my photo album here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/albums/6135136792186366369?banner=pwa

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-cVDdHhbX5wg/VSRijPM90PI/AAAAAAAAM4I/eArvelcaxqc/w488-h651-no/IMG_0268.JPG)

And some random promo video that includes a fair bit of our team:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V238OAHY7OE

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on April 07, 2015, 08:11:37 pm
I also took a video on my phone of the grudge match we did with Gruff. The plastic was very scratched and I forgot to roll the phone over to take the video with the right aspect ratio but it was still fun:

https://youtu.be/VqQuCIimNwI

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 14, 2015, 05:12:44 pm
Well it's been an awfully long time since I posted anything here. In fact, I haven't even unpacked from Motorama yet!  Instead of designing and building robots, I spent the spring watching big ones beat the crap out of each other. I went to Robogames and the BattleBots TV filming.  Now that I'm back home and bot blast is only a month away I guess it's time for a new robot. I've settled on a new design and even the name CounterStryker:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-fqICMRfgD_E/VX3oag_2F2I/AAAAAAAANLs/w9a97XR_bOg/w763-h625-no/top%2Brear%2Bview.jpg)

build log:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/albums/6160335400309506977/6160335407544670050?banner=pwa&pid=6160335407544670050&oid=107279152885550274671

This bot includes several features I've never tried before. It also should hopefully address the main problem I had at Motorama with Chop, which was frustratingly little control while under power. The new battery and giant weapon motor meant the bot had such terribly gyro problems that I couldn't actually attack. This was especially problematic in a 16' box and unfortunate when Chris would get somebody up off the ground but I couldn't do anything but damage my teammate. So here's a rundown of the main features:

1. Counter-rotating vertical disks, like Counter Revolution. I was very impressed with how stable the heavyweight was at RG this year, even when somebody tried to topple it over sideways. This stability is something I crave for chop, because the weapon could do damage if only I could deliver it.  I did think that having two GIANT blades with separate support structures seemed a little wasteful, since there is only one "front" of the bot, so I decided to try to adapt the idea into a single-weapon-axle bot.  I'm pretty happy with where I landed because it also allowed me to use the friction drive setup which I'm a big fan of.

2. Real invertability. I haven't had a bot that could run while inverted since Scurrie and it's starting to annoy me. Magneato keeps getting stuck, Chop had the hoops of shame, Devour wasn't dead upside down, but couldn't really do much. I want to be able to use this new found stability and maneuverability and to do that I'll need to be able to do it upside down. To provide this I settled on some gigantic wheels (for me).  I am going with 3" wheels, but because I need the wheels to be at the very back of the bot so they wrap around the tail end, and I don't think the gears on the 1000 RPM motors can drive a 3" wheel in a mantis safely I decided to drive the wheels with belts. This costs me a little weight and space inside the bot, which is a drag, but should improve the reliability of the system by getting the drive motor away from something other bots can hit. I'm also taking a leaf out of the Sewer Snake book and saying that the wheels can just stick out there and get all beat up, but they should still work even if the axle is bent at least for a little while. If they do get beat up I can just swap the axle out and be back in business. The exposed wheels should prevent the bot from being stuck on its side too.  I am a little concerned because I have always had double hung and armored internal wheels on every one of my bots but I'm ready to try the extreme other approach to see how it goes.

3. This is my first bot where the baseplate isn't parallel to the ground. I know that sounds like a small thing, but it makes it quite a bit different than other things I have made and it looks pretty cool. The blades aren't quite as big (because there are two of them) as the nightmare / backlash style, but that is kinda the look I'm going for. The two little forks sticking out do have me a little worried especially when it comes to Bushwhacker but I'm hoping the blades will take the brunt of the hits and the titanium forks will be able to absorb what's left over. If not, there are other bots to fight so I can always hope I don't fight gene until later :)

I'm really pressed for time on this bot because I procrastinated so badly. I'm going to order the metal tonight and it should ship out tomorrow. I'm getting it from mcmaster so I expect to have it wednesday. I still need to coordinate the cutting and heat treating of the blades but I think I'll have enough time, even with shipping. I will also be getting the weapon rails waterjet cut once the material comes in from ebay and I'll be making the drive axles and various mounts and framing for the bot. I'm not 100% sure how it will drive but I've looked at a few other bots with similar designs and they seem to drive ok. I guess we'll see.

-Zac




Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Harry Hills on June 14, 2015, 05:27:50 pm
It's different to say the least. I can't wait to see how you do... funny I was looking through your pictures the other day wondering what you were going to build next. I often flick through your photo albums because your documentation is flawless and I really love seeing your robots get built from scratch basically. Even though you're pressed for time I hope you can manage the same standard lol.


Best of luck now!
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on June 14, 2015, 10:36:48 pm
I like the idea, but it's going to be really unpredictable what will happen when you smack someone. Also, what are the weapon mounts made of? They look quite thin.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Infernaltank on June 15, 2015, 12:43:19 am
Aww yeah!
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 15, 2015, 07:05:24 am
The weapon mounts are .1" ti. It does seem a little thin but it is the thickness that I was able to find. I was shooting for .125 but could only find .1 and .22 at a reasonable price, and I didn't have weight for the .22"

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: RevRobots on June 15, 2015, 02:37:22 pm
Looking good Zac.

Adam
Revelation Robotics
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: ccy on June 16, 2015, 05:24:57 am
hi, I am new here. i am just thinking if you would replace the counter rotating disc with something that is actually destructive, for instance, a circular saw of similar mass and diameter with your blade, wouldn't that be better?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on June 16, 2015, 05:11:56 pm
They're both toothed disks, and otherwise identical. I'm an idiot.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: MikeNCR on June 16, 2015, 05:15:35 pm
hi, I am new here. i am just thinking if you would replace the counter rotating disc with something that is actually destructive, for instance, a circular saw of similar mass and diameter with your blade, wouldn't that be better?

I believe the idea is that the disk with the tooth is always going to be the one doing the hitting so the bot will be less prone to flipping itself on impact. It's technically less energy efficient as the second disk won't transfer all of its energy into the first disk on impact, but it should help get the whole system back up to speed faster and there likely will be some energy transfer.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Badnik96 on June 17, 2015, 12:36:45 am
Certainly looks different. Especially love the friction-driven blade, don't see a lot of vertical spinners try that. If we meet at Bot Blast, hopefully Landshark will be able to hold up to it.

Not sure if it'll stand up to Bushwhacker all that well though.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 28, 2015, 04:23:52 pm
Been busy getting machine shops organized lately so didn't have much to show but I think the weapon rails and blades are going to make the schedule so I started in on the frame. Here's what I have so far:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-DOd3X-eJ8-c/VZBXl19qGfI/AAAAAAAANN8/sLACTH_kNeU/s720/IMG_4544.JPG)

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/CounterStrykerBB2015#6165524090033344018

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Badnik96 on June 28, 2015, 05:57:31 pm
Looking good so far. You're actually further ahead on your mantis than I am on mine :V
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on June 29, 2015, 03:24:30 pm
looks cool. can wait to see how it behaves
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 29, 2015, 09:21:02 pm
Today was hub day. I made two, and will probably go back and make a third at some point as a spare for when Gene trashes them. They're not super exposed but they could take damage and should before a lot of the other parts. I'm really happy with how the assembly turned out, except maybe for the set screws on the big pulleys. I may replace them with keys at some point but it would be a lot more work to swap them out, and of course take more time to build them. We'll see if I have it.

Still no word from either shop on whether my parts are done. I expect to have the weapon rails this week because it's a close-by shop and they know I want them for this weekend. The other shop is going to have to ship tomorrow if I'm going to get it in time, and I doubt it will happen. Ah well, the blades will have to wait for next week.

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/CounterStrykerBB2015#6165971306274952786

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-FPy9SVd_S4Y/VZHuO_3FFlI/AAAAAAAANOY/s-Il7FzTeKE/s720/IMG_4545.JPG)
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 30, 2015, 09:10:53 pm
I got the blades from the heat treater tonight so I spent the evening making a hub for one of them. It came out great. I'm using sealed needle roller bearings (to keep crud out) but the seals are dragging on the shaft more than I'd like. They may wear in a little once I run it but if not I may switch to open bearings and just depend on the wind from the blade to keep the crud out... or figure the 15 minutes of total run time they are likely to get won't care so much.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-3R26Ahje69Q/VZM9VcI-umI/AAAAAAAANQU/jTWbtUyAejI/s720/IMG_4558.JPG)

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/CounterStrykerBB2015#6166339724939564898
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Badnik96 on June 30, 2015, 10:08:25 pm
Wait, so you're spinning one toothless disc and one toothed? That's freaking ingenious man! I thought you had two toothed discs on there.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 01, 2015, 07:31:58 am
Wait, so you're spinning one toothless disc and one toothed? That's freaking ingenious man!

Thanks, I'm not sure if this one qualifies as ingenious yet but I think it's worth a try.  A *really* clever person would have increased the MOI of the counterweight disks to exactly match that of the toothed disks so it offset more accurately but I think this will be close enough.  I don't know if I'll have weight to run both toothed disks and this way I should get a lot more bite, especially with the asymmetric disk.

I am a little concerned that having no teeth on the second disk means I'm wasting ~.75 lbs of weapon energy, but if I don't hit them with it because the friction roller slips on impact at least it will help me spin back up faster. I'm interested to see how fast the re-spinups are with this setup.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 03, 2015, 06:04:35 pm
working on weapon rails and blade hub.  Trying to get a mounted weapon done by the end of the day. I haven't done the weapon motor or any of the electronics yet, and still need to do the other drive axle, but it's a start!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--LmV6AvSvsg/VZcF-RNH6uI/AAAAAAAANRs/HYCzsZZSopM/s720/IMG_4569.JPG)

Pics:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/CounterStrykerBB2015#6167404764957044002

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 03, 2015, 09:03:55 pm
I didn't quite get the weapon assembly done tonight.  The longer shaft I'm using might be a tiny bit oversize because it doesn't want to slide through the weapon rails or blades very well, and I didn't have much trouble with the old one. I'll get it sorted out tomorrow but can't install it until I do.  I still have to make the spacer on the axle and the standoff that holds the two weapon rails apart at the bottom of the bot. I can't remember if I'll have weight for a matching one at the top but chances are not good :)

At least it is starting to look like a FIGHTING robot now that a weapon is involved.  I have to do the two weapon motor mounts, finish off the blade assembly, finish off the drive axles, and do all the electronics work.  I also need to make a hub and weapon roller. Then I have to do the top plate and make sure I'm under weight.  I don't think I'll get it all done tomorrow but we'll see how long it takes to get the weapon axle installed.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4ERgfy0P73k/VZcwAsmmNlI/AAAAAAAANSo/8PCcG-C3BPQ/s720/IMG_4573.JPG)

pics:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/CounterStrykerBB2015#6167450989813681218
-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 04, 2015, 08:28:36 pm
Well I didn't get it all done today (no chance of that) but I made decent progress. I ended up wasting some time on trying to adapt to a rookie mistake of using the manufacturer sizes instead of the actual sizes when designing. No big deal though, I got it all squared away in the end.  I got the weapon axle together, spare blade hub fixed up, switched to open bearings, weapon motor mounted, friction roller created with a hub, and drive axles keyed. I still need to do the wiring, find a better solution for blade tension, top plate, and weight check. Also some testing would be good.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-U9uRwgxark4/VZh4uHqIfkI/AAAAAAAANUc/Xwj63o5uJl8/s720/IMG_4586.JPG)

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/CounterStrykerBB2015#6167812339023150850

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Harry Hills on July 05, 2015, 02:59:41 am
You sure the motor shaft is going to be up to the stresses? Or has it been replaced with larger diameter/better material?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 05, 2015, 09:03:11 am
I'm not sure it is going to be up for it. It is the stock motor shaft.  It is double-supported with the rear bearing block and on this type of motor there is no e-clip groove on the side with the pulley. I also didn't file any flats on the shaft since the press fit is supposed to do most of the work and it is a friction roller to try to reduce torque spikes. I did get a spare shaft in case I nuke this one though :)

The other thing that will help the motor shaft some is that the blade on the side that isn't getting hit should also resist lateral motion of the weapon.  The bearing and axle setup is pretty stiff, which is one reason why tensioning is a bit of an issue.  When it gets bushwhacked I guess we'll see if it is man enough.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 08, 2015, 09:22:08 pm
Tonight was wedgelet night. I also got the lower standoff cut and installed. I think I'll use it to help tension the friction roller.  I still need to make the top plate and do the wiring before I can spin it up and see what happens.  Looks like that is going to be Saturday night. Cutting it a lot closer than I'd like but that's what procrastination gets you.

I think I'm going to be ok on weight. I won't be sure until I finish the wiring but with the old wiring harness it should make weight.  I might even have weight to beef up the weapon motor shaft (good suggestion by the way - I think I can set up a 5/16" bushing over the shaft through the roller-side bearing). Now it'll just be a question of whether I have time...

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Uy_zrMAdkq4/VZ3Kz8vzDEI/AAAAAAAANWE/3mUVJ6bZ5LY/s720/IMG_4593.JPG)

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/CounterStrykerBB2015#6169310042438185858

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on July 08, 2015, 09:31:23 pm
why spring them?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Badnik96 on July 08, 2015, 09:31:51 pm
I'm definitely going to have to file down Landshark's wedge some more then.

Everything's looking great Zac!
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 08, 2015, 10:23:59 pm
why spring them?

Chris had some little wedgelets on one of hits bots last year that were just about perfectly machined but they couldn't get under other wedges as well as his flat-ground steel plate.  The springs make it so if the bot wobbles left to right (which I know it will) the wedgelets will stay down a little better. I added hard stops so the wedgelets can't go too far up or down, just a little bit, and I think the springs will help them stay down.

The other benefit of making the wedgelets like this instead of just putting wedge shapes on the weapon rails is that now I can adjust how much they dig into the floor and stop me from moving forward. I can remove them if they are too troublesome and increase the tension if they aren't staying down enough.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 08, 2015, 10:24:45 pm
I don't expect to use them except against wedges though. Bushwhacker will whack them right outta the park.  They were supposed to be cut from the same ti as the weapon rails but I sorta... forgot to put them in the drawing before I sent it to the shop. Ah well.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 12, 2015, 08:51:34 pm
I got the wiring started Friday and wrapped up that and some other details today. I then did a test which promptly smoked the weapon motor. Well at least now I can't say I've never overheated an outrunner.  I was just asking way too much from it.  I swapped in a beefier spare that I had from Threecoil (which it didn't make weight with) and gave that a go. The first test went ok, spinning the whole 3 minutes. At the end I noticed my weapon roller was completely trashed even though it still seemed to work ok.  One drive side died on me too.

I swapped the weapon roller out and did another 30 second full-speed test, then let it stop and tried the other direction. The new roller promptly melted a chunk out and started smoking. At least I think it was the roller that smoked... the motor was a lot hotter too. Not terrible, but much hotter.  Now that I think about it the roller is going more like 22000 RPM instead of the ~10,000 RPM it went on Scurrie. Maybe the speed is just too much for it.

I ordered a replacement motor that is a little slower and hope that will help the rollers and motors survive. Maybe it won't be quite as killer as it could be but I'm trying to prove the concept... I will upgrade the weapon later if it works at all.  In the 3 minute test I did there were 2.5 minutes of working drive system to test how the counter rotation affected the turning. I think it worked great.  The bot turns a little slower than it drives but I think mostly that is from dragging the front end sideways.  There is absolutely no gyro even though the blades were theoretically going about 10krpm.  They were probably more like 8k but still, bad gyro city without the help.

edit: pics
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/CounterStrykerBB2015#6170786938775024114

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on July 12, 2015, 10:05:58 pm
Really looks like it's digging in somewhere to me. I think the rolling path is too narrow, and it's getting cut.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 13, 2015, 07:18:49 am
Do you think that is what happened to the thin roller too? It's .4125 and the rolling path is .5". The big one might have definitely suffered from that. The gouge is lined up with the rolling lip but also happens to be the crown of the wheel so it was doing all the work.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 13, 2015, 09:37:02 pm
Tonight I replaced the drive motor that was dead and ran another quick test on the weapon motor. The good news is the motor appears to be 100% ok. I'll probably still use it as a backup instead of a primary when the other motors get here because it has the shaft reversed but it seems to be ok. I guess the smoke I saw was from the chunk of rubber coming out of the wheel, jamming, then melting from the friction.  I guess it could have been a different order than that :)  After my quick test without spending hardly any time at full speed but doing a couple of spinups the motor was only 8 degrees above room temperature.

I did manage to get it to gyro up on its edge one time today after taking the dual rates off of the turning channel for the drive. I don't know if it was at 100% speed or not. I'll likely reduce the turning speed some to avoid oversteering anyway, just wanted to see what happened when I tried it.  I might be able to scrouge together one spare drive motor out of the ones I have but I just ordered a couple spares from Pete and should be able to get them set up if they get here in time.

The video is uploading now. Here's a 3 minute test that ended with the messed up roller and a dead drive motor:
http://youtu.be/IH7hue4-jJo

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 14, 2015, 09:18:51 pm
I beefed up the weapon motor mount position tonight because I noticed that it vibrated up and down quite a bit while in use and I haven't hit anything with it yet. Before doing impact testing I wanted that part to be a bit more solid. If it cracks the garolite off at the back of the weapon motor I'm in big trouble. I added a metal plate below it to distribute the forces and I'm happy with how it came out. I'm really running up against the weight limit now but I had a tiny bit of spare in the budget for stuff like this.

Tomorrow I have to do the other weapon rail standoff and make replacement weapon rollers. I'll probably do some impact testing too. The results of that will likely decide whether I'm going to work on Friday :)  Looks like the rest of my parts (besides the replacement rollers, which I got today) will be here Thursday.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 14, 2015, 09:20:00 pm
Oops, forgot the pics:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-VAG_6cKCsc0/VaW0TgLuCzI/AAAAAAAANYk/5F4B-TxJiOk/s720-Ic42/IMG_4608.JPG)

https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/CounterStrykerBB2015#6171537111530736434

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 15, 2015, 10:29:37 pm
Well... I got all my parts a day early. Good thing too, because I spent the whole day pretty much trying to get the weapon motor installed. My first plan fell short when the shaft wasn't quite the right length to make any of my mounting points work out. I made a replacement mount but ran out of time to get the roller hubs squared away.

To get it all done I think I'm going to need a whole extra day. I think I'll be taking Friday off to finish up the bot, do some quick testing, and get the packing all done. I could have just gone with the setup I had for the video but I don't think it would have lasted very long in a real fight.  This is why they give us vacation, right?

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 19, 2015, 08:12:27 pm
Well I'm back from bot blast and I had a great time. The event is super smooth and well run and everybody seems to enjoy it. Tearing the box down is a breeze and we had it disassembled and loaded onto the trailer in probably 45 minutes.

CounterStryker placed well but didn't perform that well. I was super rushed, after blowing up two more motors in testing on Friday and being forced to jam a bigger motor in and make space for it late in the day. I got the robot ready and all the stuff packed at about 10:30 on Friday night and we rolled out at 7 the next morning after a terrible lightning storm.

I got a first round bye, which kinda stinks because I really wanted to fight somebody in an arena, but at least it wasn't a first round bushwhacker.  In the second round I fought the only other spinner, a drum named Chibi Blackout.  Blackout was in its third competition of testing and tuning I think and so I was really nervous with my version-one-just-scraped-together-with-no-testing bot.  The tip speeds on the weapon were similar, with an advantage going to blackout. It went about as you would expect for the first minute with my bot popped up in the air and getting bounced around. It was invertable and at one point I went weapon to weapon with him which put a big dent in one of the teeth. After that my weapon rails were bend and nicked up enough that the bot could barely drive but blackout died from a receiver problem.  I didn't really "beat" it so much as not-quite-die long enough that the other bot stopped working. Win by ko.

In round two I think I had LandShark, a wedge bot. He ended up forfeiting because he lost a drive motor in his first fight and didn't have a spare. So now I was on to face Massive with the winner getting third place and the loser going to face Gene with Bushwhacker. I rigged up some silly rolling washer skid things to make it so the bot could kinda limp around but the traction on my bot was so bad that I couldn't go backwards and could barely go right. 

Next up was Massive, Kyle's giant wedge bot and with my bad driving I couldn't really get around the wedge. My wedgelets couldn't really get under him because when they did I just lost traction until he backed up and then pushed me some more, or just pushed me and the wedgelet just was used as a surface to push against. I did manage to drive over the wedge and end up behind Massive at one point but could't get any bite with my bad drive system so I didn't seem to do any damage. With only a little time left in the match though Kyle tapped out and I was on to the final with Bushwhacker.

The final was hilarious and brief. Basically my bot was barely limping around and so I could barely even get to my starting square. When the match started gene spun up and so did I. Neither bot moved for a second as we decided if the other was going to charge, then I tried to go around him a little bit. He dodged in and chopped off both of my wheels in about two seconds. At about the ten second mark I had a 100% functioning robot with no moving parts touching the ground. Loss by silly KO. The wheels pulled right over the 1.125" washers I had on the wheel hubs. I think I could probably have just put them back on because they were undamaged. The comp was modified DE though so gene got first. Realistically I could barely drive any better with wheels than without, so going again wasn't going to matter.

We went out to dinner and then drove home, arriving around 2 AM. It was a long, long day but a really fun one. CounterStryker's weapon worked the whole time, but the drive couldn't get any traction all the way at the back of the bot once the weapon rails were anything but perfect. I tried grinding the burrs off, adding a center skid, adding a center roller wheel, and eventually ended up with idler washers to get some mobility back. Next version won't have wheels only in the back. I may go back to wheels up front and hoops of shame.

The bot takes ~30 seconds to spin down, so having a reversible weapon wasn't that important. Driving was the #1 issue and I'll be addressing that. The gyro issue was completely mitigated in my tests at home, and even in the box when I would turn (because traction was random) the bot never gyro'd. I think it was spinning around 7000 RPM compared to the 8500 in Chop and the 6000 in Weakened Warrior so it was comparable, and these blades were 6.5" in diameter instead of ~5".

Jeremy and all who helped... you guys rock.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on July 27, 2015, 10:13:15 pm
break fluid says Charles skip to candy paints motor winding. http://www.etotheipiplusone.net/?cat=71&paged=2
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 29, 2015, 08:22:56 pm
break fluid says Charles skip to candy paints motor winding. http://www.etotheipiplusone.net/?cat=71&paged=2

I'm afraid I have no idea what this means.  Must be a little sleepy...

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on July 29, 2015, 08:46:19 pm
Cleaning off coated wire on brushless motors
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 29, 2015, 09:42:25 pm
Ah. Yeah, wire-brush-and-mapp-torch was eventually enough when I had to do it. Break fluid is something I never would have thought of.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on September 20, 2015, 07:37:03 pm
I haven't been very active on here because I was working on a new design for the sportsman for FI but I've decided that I just won't have time to do it right and I don't want to sacrifice my whole fall to just barely make it.  So instead I'm going to do small upgrades to Magneato from Moto 2015. I feel like the wings didn't get a chance to do their magic because of a couple of unforeseen circumstances at moto (like my anti-hammer shields making the bot barely self right).  I also had a design mistake that caused the arm to bend and never really work well after that.  I think I've fixed both of those issues now and need to think about the rope alignment issue a bit more.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-UmFiLJU9mvA/Vf8_cuOLe1I/AAAAAAAANhg/DY39EaJAwz4/s1024-Ic42/IMG_4646.JPG)

The Magneato upgrades so far:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/FI2015#6196741353586235810

And I finally wrapped up my Barn Battles pictures and commentary:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/BarnBattles#6196739078686969842

I am also planning some upgrades to Triggo for Franklin.  I have to replace the wheels as part of normal maintenance, and I have a spare set lying around here to swap in so that should be no biggie. I really did a number on the drive motors at motorama this year though.  Out of my nine fights, I think I had at least three drive motor failures. I was totally scrambling to make and swap in spares until Chris bailed me out.  I have now ordered three spare sets and will have them prepped (with pinions!) for Franklin. 

To fix the real problem though, I've got to devise a way to mount the drive motors to be more shock resistant. Part of the problem is that they are inside the weapon mount block at the center of the bot which is definitely a shock-heavy area. I have them wrapped in foam but I think with the rigid mounting to the base plate there was enough energy to cause the magnets to become powder.  The rest of the base is holding up great, so I don't want to mess with it much.  I think I can make rubber-mounted standoffs that go next to the drive motors and then suspend the gearboxes from mounting plates attached to them. This should allow the drive motors to float a lot more and isolate them from shock much better.  I am worried about the weapon motor magnets being the next weak link, and I don't have a good way to shock mount it because of the friction roller.

I think I am going to switch the drive system over to running on the 5S side of the battery instead of the 4S side. I'm sure the motors can do it (they're ~20:1 ratio to 1.625" wheels) but I'm not sure about the battery capacity. I was right at the very very edge (2150 mah out of 2300) in my fight against Whammo. I had a jammed drive motor so it was pulling lots of extra current and I was rubbing the shell on him the whole time because I couldn't really drive to get away, and that was also brutal on the battery.  I don't like being that close to the line but hopefully protecting the drive motors more will help both things.

I'm considering taking the three extra teeth on the bottom of the shell off. I added them to reduce my bite on the wall but I couldn't get a bite on whammy bar once it was having trouble driving. The higher drive speed (18v vs 14.4v) should help, but the bite should double if I take those off. Then again, I'm already breaking stuff in the bot so maybe that's not a good idea.  I could also blame the lack of bite on a crippled drive system since I was already having motor troubles in that fight.  I think the new super-braced shell just doesn't absorb any energy now and it instead transfers it to the base through the shaft. The shell is still flat and I took some major hits at this competition so the energy went somewhere it never went before.

-Zac

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on October 16, 2015, 10:30:20 pm
I know I haven't been updating as regularly as normal. I had a really busy summer and so haven't spent nearly as much time in the shop as I planned to. In fact, I was about 75% of the way through a total redesign of Magneato and ended up shelving it because I wouldn't have enough time to build it even if I got the design to make weight.

Instead, I'm bringing Magneato basically unchanged from Motorama 2015, but with a twist in presentation. You will have to be present to witness it.  In my tests tonight the self righting wasn't working quite like it did in all my tests before motorama, and I'm not sure why. I don't have time to burn up my other clutch rollers trying to figure it out so I'm just going with it. I wasn't even going to bring it but figured there was no down side if it was basically working. I did replace the bent weapon arm with a much sturdier setup so hopefully it won't bend this time. I think that was the root of most of my problems at moto this year.

I'm also bringing Triggo now with shock mounted drive motors to hopefully prevent breaking a drive motor in every fight like I did at Motorama.  I have a few spare drive motors made up (5, actually) so I hope to not run out if the shock mounting doesn't do the trick. I'm most worried about Glasgow Kiss and Cemetery Wind. Pete builds stout stuff and he's got a bit of an axe to grind with me, and a bar spinner that shuffles as well as pitter patter and weighs 45 pounds is going to be seriously

The shell on Triggo is currently being repainted. I'm going with a scheme unlike any other I've done before this time. I have a little help with the artsy skills this time but we'll see if it turns out.  Worst case there's always the old flat-black standby. Once I get that wrapped up tomorrow I will do final assembly.

Both machines make weight on my scale, and I checked the fail safes, weapon locks, and topped all the batteries off tonight. I plan to pack on Sunday. I kinda forgot to book the hotel this time, so I didn't get in at the Holiday Inn in King of Prussia this year (sorry Nate!) Instead I'm at the Best Western in King of Prussia. My brother and I are both looking forward to a weekend away. Hope everybody else's builds are going well.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Infernaltank on October 16, 2015, 11:08:08 pm
Why sorry me? I'm confused.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on October 17, 2015, 10:50:47 am
Aren't you normally staying there? No Sunday morning breakfast in the lobby for me this year. Then again, I may have hallucinated that... robot competitions are tough

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Infernaltank on October 17, 2015, 03:54:51 pm
I live like 25 minutes from the event :)
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on October 17, 2015, 08:25:12 pm
ha
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on October 17, 2015, 08:33:18 pm
Must be the paint fumes from this shell...

Not sure if it will turn out, but so far it is pretty great.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on October 21, 2015, 10:15:13 pm
I'm all packed and I think I should be good to go.  I am including my 30 pound flipper target and a halogen light so hopefully we can get some high speed video of the flipper actually working. So far we have either done it in the dark or done it with a broken robot and poor focus in the middle of the night.  This time I hope to have good light, a working brain, and a chance to take good video.

I can't wait to see everybody.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on October 21, 2015, 10:54:18 pm
yup ill see you there. hope to finally get a good video.

-Kyle
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on October 25, 2015, 06:45:12 pm
I think I'll wait for the videos to go up to give a full event report.  In short, Magneato exceeded my highest expectations by having the weapon work 100% in every fight. I had a dumb mistake that knocked a drive out in one fight (but it was against Uberclocker and I didn't expect to win anyway).  It got 2nd place with both losses to Uberclocker. Dang that is one cool bot.  I had some great flips and it never got stuck upside down or tangled the rope despite doing a lot of tumbling.  I was very happy with it.

Triggo faced a smaller field. I got a bot that hadn't had time to get finished before the event in the first round, then faced Glasgow Kiss three times I think.  Glasgow Kiss was basically Super Surgical Strike and it was very dangerous. We spun so that the teeth meshed together in the first match and I had the advantage, then in the second match Andrew flipped it around and obliterated my teeth until I tapped out. The third match was a bit of a rush because we were both competing in other classes so we basically just tossed them back in there and I think some leftover damage from the middle match caused his weapon motor wire to pull out. I got the win by snagging a wheel.

Triggo wobbles a bit more than I like and I have to figure out a better tooth solution for a big bar spinner. The shell isn't perfectly flat anymore but I'll see what I can do about it. Here are some pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/FI2015#6209718520484861458

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Ravi_B on October 26, 2015, 10:56:07 am
Great pictures. Sounds like you guys had some killer fights this weekend!
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on October 26, 2015, 08:17:40 pm
yo
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Li-9vicv8s
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: MarkHarrison on October 26, 2015, 08:31:40 pm
Hey Zac, nice meeting you at Franklin. I appreciate talking to you, and all the advice you gave me regarding my spinner motor issues. Hopefully I will have something a bit more competitive at Motorama, and last a bit longer than 10 seconds against Triggo  ;D.

I'm curious to see your conclusions from the high speed filming. Did you have something specifically you were looking at, or just trying to gather information in general?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on October 26, 2015, 09:34:41 pm
It was great to meet you too. We've all had builds go bad with no time left to react so I'm looking forward to what you come up with now that you do have some time to build.

I have a few things in particular that I'm interested in.  I want to see what is really happening down inside the clutch mechanism when I fire it, and whether the servos are able to re-engage to capture the clutch rollers in time or if the clutch is actually firing twice or more before I recapture it.  I am also very interested in the different angles the target takes based on how far I am under the center of gravity, and how long it is actually on the flipper tongue when I fire.  The last two are going to be tough to get from this video in a meaningful way because the clutch roller was so worn out after the last few fights (between which I didn't have time to replace it) that it could barely flip the test target. With a brand new clutch roller the flips are MUCH more powerful.

Here's a video Kyle took in the sunlight a couple years back at Bot Blast of my six pound prototype firing. It didn't have an automatically resetting clutch mechanism in this version so it isn't quite as interesting to watch:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAnrKgC1PFE

I see Kyle actually uploaded the high speed video already. AWESOME!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Li-9vicv8s

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on October 27, 2015, 08:45:35 pm
Zac, I feel like you really need solid teeth to fight a bar spinner, or maybe a thicker ring of metal at likely spinner height and teeth more like the ones on Megabyte. You could also try annealing the weld area, if it mostly shattered there.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: jamisong on October 28, 2015, 12:26:58 am
What about bolt on teeth? They can be hardened separate from the shell.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on October 28, 2015, 09:41:04 pm
The tricky part with bolt-on teeth is that you have to bolt them TO something, and the something you bolt them to is going to be a lot like the weight of the teeth right now. 

I could make large, thick, low bladed teeth but the boxes were designed to fight off my major nemesis - Shaka.  The high corner of the box should hit across his blade like a low blade tooth would not. Keeping the angled outer face also makes it harder for a vertical spinner to rip them off.  I know it can't take on a bar spinner tooth-to-tooth though, that's why I try to spin so the teeth are chasing the shell.  In the first fight against Glasgow Kiss it wasn't an issue because the weapons were "meshing" and the teeth held up fine.

So... I'm in the market for a reversible brushless speed controller that can handle 34v @ 100A.  Anybody have any leads? I've been using Castle stuff for a while and I really like it, but the reversing car/boat ESCs don't do 34v and the plane escs don't reverse.  I thought Shaka was using a reversing controller for that terrifying blade at 47v... does anybody know which one?

Failing that I could go with two or three low, wide teeth that stick out far enough to fight off a vertical spinner that should hold up ok to a bar spinner.  These ones all got obliterated but I noticed after the fact that the middle support in the tooth box wasn't welded to the shell like it was supposed to be. Without that the bar was hitting in the very weakest part of the tooth, so no wonder they broke off.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on October 28, 2015, 10:12:54 pm
http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__24754__Turnigy_TrackStar_1_5th_Scale_Sensorless_200amp_8s_Opto_Car_ESC.html (http://hobbyking.com/hobbyking/store/__24754__Turnigy_TrackStar_1_5th_Scale_Sensorless_200amp_8s_Opto_Car_ESC.html)
This one will do up to 8s Lipo, ~30v, if that's an option. Wouldn't have quite as much power but hey.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 03, 2016, 09:43:16 pm
Ok, I know it's been a LOOONG time since I was on here. I've been super busy with lots of projects, travel, work, ya know, the usual excuses.  I am still planning to do a rebuild of Magneato for Moto 2016.  I've got the machining part orders in and I have about half of the materials/parts I need to work with locally in hand. The others will arrive this week.

It's going to be a tight build, so I hope all my crazy ideas work because I won't have much time to test it. I anticipate some teething issues but I hope it will show me which of the ideas work and which don't. It could be awesome.  I'm planning to be more mobile, more compact, faster response time on the weapon, more reliable bump sensors, and more efficient on the flipper. We'll see if any of that happens :)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mo12SxsNIss/Vonbi_03WAI/AAAAAAAAN9k/Fyk3intAJPE/s576-Ic42/top%252520trimetric%252520arm%252520retracted%252520all%252520visible.jpg)

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/MagneatoMoto2016


-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: MikeNCR on January 03, 2016, 11:31:50 pm
New design looks nice. Good luck with the build.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 04, 2016, 09:38:44 pm
Tonight was drive pulley night.  I got the pulleys all bored out, keyed, and removed the hubs. Then I ran into some trouble when removing the pulley from the weapon motor - the keyway is broken!  I'm not sure if it happened by using it to death or if I nudged it over the edge by prying it apart today but either way it's no good.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-ekyogcjKB4o/VossTeheMuI/AAAAAAAAOAY/DwPcoZJvn5A/s720-Ic42/IMG_4711.JPG)

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/MagneatoMoto2016#6236126822147175138

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 06, 2016, 09:27:16 pm
Today I heard from one of the shops that the coil drum, flywheel, baseplate, top plates, and weapon motor mounts are all done.  I'll be picking them up tomorrow before work. That's awesome news because when combined with my mcmaster order(s) it means I should have everything on hand to finish the entire base this weekend.  That doesn't mean I'll actually have time to do that of course, but now I'm not waiting on anything to have a driving bot.  Because I'm trying to make the weapon assembly completely modular anyway, I should be able to actually complete the entire base even if the weapon parts don't come for a little while.  I think they will probably be here by next weekend, though I'm not sure. That would be great timing.

When I pick those parts up I will also be dropping off the shell for a little dental work.  Tonight I ground the paint and remnants of the old teeth off. I will be bringing the shell and some stock for them to cut and attach new teeth to the shell and I'll trade them.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-A2_CvVTn0DI/Vo3LhohLsBI/AAAAAAAAOBc/R3VPNYPnuJU/s640-Ic42/IMG_4715.JPG)

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/MagneatoMoto2016#6236864837650722834

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: RevRobots on January 07, 2016, 06:44:30 am
Cool, good luck Zac. FYI it's supposed to be this for the picture [img width=600], not with 600 in quotes. :)

Adam
Revelation Robotics
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: MikeNCR on January 07, 2016, 08:42:58 am
Cool, goo luck Zac. FYI it's supposed to bie this for the picture [img width=600], not with 600 in quotes. :)

Adam
Revelation Robotics

Admin powers activate. (Fixed image tag)
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 08, 2016, 05:51:52 pm
Thanks guys.  Too much time working on web pages at work trained my fingers to type the quotes even though the markdown here doesn't want them.

I picked up the flywheel, coil drum, baseplate, top plates, and motor mounts from the shop yesterday. I'm hoping to do the full assembly of the base this weekend.  I also heard from another shop that the weapon assembly parts have shipped, so they should arrive before I'm ready to work on them. That means the two biggest things standing between me and a working bot are (A) time and (B) whether the design actually works.  The first one is going to get some attention this weekend, and the second is just a finger-crosser. 

The new flywheel does look/feel small in my hands. If I get the energy I'm hoping out of that tiny package I'll be surprised. The flips might be a little lackluster at motorama but I have space in the design for a 25% wider flywheel so if I can find weight for it I should be able to replace only that part.  We'll see, it's tough to "feel" how powerful it will be by looking at it. Even the old one looks puny compared to the shell on Triggo...

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 09, 2016, 07:58:55 pm
Made quite a bit of progress on the drive platform and frame today. Looks like I should be able to mechanically finish it tomorrow. Probably won't get to the wiring though...

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5H4_YSS_164/VpGskXL0ZdI/AAAAAAAAOFY/NZAK283qIMg/s720-Ic42/IMG_4745.JPG)

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/MagneatoMoto2016#6237956580892751506

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 10, 2016, 09:28:53 pm
Today I finished off the rest of the frame. It came together pretty well and I'm very happy with how smooth and well aligned the drivetrain is.  I didn't get to the wiring, but I didn't really expect to anyway.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_kIUHu6N0Kk/VpMTJqSa0_I/AAAAAAAAOHM/GlLwa1y-fKA/s720-Ic42/IMG_4759.JPG)

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/MagneatoMoto2016#6238350901890512578

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: MikeNCR on January 10, 2016, 09:40:41 pm
Looking good. With the wheelbase you've got I suspect it'll be pretty nimble.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 10, 2016, 09:44:50 pm
That's what I'm hoping. It should pretty much drive like a monster truck, better than any bot I've ever belt. Tetanus was a very stable base even with the limited ground clearance, with a very long, wide wheel base (relatively speaking).  This is a whole lot wider and longer, with bigger wheels and more ground clearance. I'm also running the drive at 18v instead of 14.4.  I think the motors and controllers should do it fine, but I won't really know until I load it down to 30 pounds and try to drive it around in the test box. The length/width ratio should be fairly conducive to turning, at least that's what I'm hoping. Gotta keep the front facing them in a flipper.  With Tetanus I made it much longer/narrower so that it held a heading better, rather than being able to turn well.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 13, 2016, 10:12:39 pm
I got most of the electrical system wrapped up tonight. I still need to add the bump sensors and wire them in, as well as wire in the weapon latches but I have empty connectors waiting for all three points so when I get to that I just need to run to those connectors.  I've tested each of the connections and they are all working as expected.

The drive system was all correct polarity the first time, miraculously.  As expected it is very powerful and I think it will be fun to drive. It doesn't have any troubles driving up over the lip on my test box.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GBa_NRYnv50/VpcR3FY4RYI/AAAAAAAAOJk/5RpeTF_9B3o/s1024-Ic42/IMG_4775.JPG)

Video: Magneato's First Steps. Now in HD!
https://youtu.be/qBJgEGGlgi8

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/MagneatoMoto2016#6239475362326410130

-Zac

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 15, 2016, 09:28:22 pm
I picked the shell up from the shop this morning. Everything looks good, and they actually made me a spare tooth.  I probably should have had them make a whole spare set, so I can just get it re-welded locally next time they get trashed. It's unlikely only one will get broken with a field of 27 bots! Then again, the shell might be toast after this anyway.

I also got started on the weapon assembly for Magneato. I got all the waterjet holes bored out to the correct size except the bearing holes on the rear bars. I also got all the threaded holes tapped... except for two that I accidentally drilled out instead of tapping. I will have to decide whether I just put a nut on that one (the way I'm leaning now) or use a 1/4" bolt instead of a #10 bolt.

I've got a fair bit of work to do tomorrow, but if all goes well I might be able to test the weapon out on Sunday.  No idea what's going to happen...

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 17, 2016, 09:44:17 pm
Well this weekend wasn't as productive as I dreamed, but I'm not too bummed about it. The weapon assembly is coming together, but everything is just a tiny bit different on this bot than the old one so I'm having to remake all the shafting, spacers, standoffs, etc.  That's taking longer than expected but it's going to be cool when it's done.

The flywheel axle, rear bar, middle hinge pin, front bar, front bar axle, coil drum, and coil drum axle are all done.  I need to finish the two clutch slide plates, rework a clearance issue with one of the spring standoffs, make the clutch roller hub, and add the clutch capture plates.  Then I need to mount and wire the solenoids and mount the weapon motor. Still need to do the weapon motor pulley and flywheel axle pulley too.  Not sure what made me think I could get all that done this weekend!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-V5jb8LXxulM/VpxQXHQEKBI/AAAAAAAAOOE/iCONAqprz2I/s720-Ic42/IMG_4811.JPG)

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/MagneatoMoto2016#6240951339045415778

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 24, 2016, 09:45:57 pm
I didn't do a very good job designing this clutch. Everything is too tight. The posts I put in to attach springs to are so close to the sliding portion of the clutch that it kinda runs into them, and the flywheel and coil drum are an extra .125" closer together than before to give me more runtime out of a clutch roller, but that is defeating the cam action a little bit.  The clutch only has about .125" of slide space where it isn't bottomed out and it isn't engaged, which requires a lot of precision on the capturing parts.  I really should have just made the whole thing a bit bigger.

With all that, I didn't get it finished this weekend. I did add extenders to one side of the clutch rail so it will disengage properly, and will have to do the other side tomorrow. I made one of the capture plates but didn't have time to install it. I'll do that tomorrow too. Then I'll see if I can mount the latches in a way that will work. I'm feeling a little sketchy on that setup too, but want to try it first.

I can make the flywheel/coil drum each .0625" smaller to increase the cam lock action, but I want to try the whole thing before I go that far. They're at the very limit of what my lathe can handle I think.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 30, 2016, 10:04:00 pm
I made some more progress today and yesterday. Not as much as I wanted, but some.  I hit a snag with the "new" solenoid latch setup and have decided to abandon it. I didn't feel very comfortable with it anyway and the mechanical latches I was using before were 100% reliable, if a bit slow. I'm working on going back to that style of latch (but hopefully faster release) but of course fitting it into an existing design is a lot more time consuming.

Why oh WHY did I have to optimize EVERYTHING in this bot? I turned out to be a pound underweight, and an extra quarter inch in a couple of key places sure would have saved me some effort here!

[img width=600]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-mgyqFyDOiHk/Vq14tkjiVDI/AAAAAAAAOQw/r-vSZt-QEOQ/s1024-Ic42/IMG_4832.JPG[/img\

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/MagneatoMoto2016#6245780887599256930

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 31, 2016, 09:38:56 pm
Got the latches going today. I haven't tried triggering them electrically yet but mechanically they look good to me. Finally some real progress!

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/MagneatoMoto2016#6246146395855917570

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 04, 2016, 10:09:54 pm
I got the latches wired up tonight with a tiny ESC and everything seems to work properly. I wrote a small demo program to just trigger the latches every 10 seconds or so to allow me to tune the trigger delays. So far I've triggered it 10 or so times with zero failures and no noticeable motor heating or wear on the parts. I'm hopeful it will work once I install the weapon motor and fire it for real.  The parts sure did end up pretty snug in there! The clearance on the coil drum was tighter than I wanted so I rerouted the wires to get away from it. I'm happy with how it turned out.

I think the bot is electrically ready to compete I think, with only the optional stuff like LEDs and the bump sensors to add in. I have connectors for those already installed though so should be no biggie.

Now I just need to install the weapon motor and pulley and then it is "cross your fingers" time.  I am a little concerned that the latches will hold when the bot is being jostled/vibrated by the flywheel. I think I can file the notches a bit deeper to help this though so the hard part is over with them I think.

I keyed the weapon motor shaft tonight and added some shoe goo and loctite to get it ready to go.  That carbide end mill I got cuts through the hardened shafting like butter. What a good investment. I even managed not to break it on the first time out!

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-_JYSxOoT5gY/VrQRaWTBVLI/AAAAAAAAOU8/3vLam9HKOJ4/s640-Ic42/IMG_4858.JPG)

Pictures:
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/MagneatoMoto2016#6246146476620656562
-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 07, 2016, 10:09:01 pm
Well... this weekend wasn't as productive as I hoped. Don't get me wrong, I spend about 28 hours working on the bot... but it still doesn't work.  I have uncovered a flaw in my plan - at the speeds the flywheel is turning, when it engages the polyurethane rollers stretch enough that they are more like "wobblers" than "rollers".  They totally ruin the transfer from the flywheel to the coil drum and then promptly derail and jam the whole thing.  I have a couple of hardnesses here but even the hardest one I got (80A) stretches enough to go over the washers I am using to retain it. 

I'm working on a solution where I pass bolts through the roller tread itself to keep it from expanding. The harder roller helped a lot, but still not quite enough. I think that combined with the through-bolts could be enough. Unfortunately the roller stock I have is only .375" wall, so there isn't a lot of meat for the through-bolts if the flanges don't touch the flywheel / coil drum.  I'm ordering in some more stock that is a .5" wall to give me a bit more meat to work with, but I spent the afternoon making hubs that will work with the stock I have. It took longer than expected and I didn't quite finish in time to test my theory. I ordered the new stock (including a 90A durometer  batch) from mcmaster tonight, so I should have it by Tuesday

I captured this with my high speed camera which pretty much says it all:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/--jVBwLh7tIY/VrgDqyek0EI/AAAAAAAAOVU/TuHW5kkesOs/s912-Ic42/vlcsnap-2016-02-07-13h37m48s504.jpg)

The camera does 1000 FPS and pretty high resolution... but only for 2 seconds.  So I have to time it just right to capture it properly. No big deal when trying to capture a flip in the test box, but a lot harder in the arena. For this test I took the arm off so I could see clearly what was happening in the clutch. I added bungees to create resistance, and it actually worked really well for testing purposes.

test video (1000 FPS = 1/40 normal speed - ~80sec)
https://youtu.be/Yd-M19XEerU

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 10, 2016, 10:06:46 pm
Well, plans A through E have failed. Now we're on to plan F
(http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0535/6917/products/failuredemotivator_grande.jpeg?v=1403275992)

Plan F is to rebuild Magneato from Franklin. I won't have time for any kind of tuning or changes, though the motor I have is a bit faster than the one that was there. With the way my luck is going that means it will overheat or break something at the show.  I might be able to use the old windings with the new can, since it's the shaft on the old one that is messed up.  I'm not sure I will even be able to get it back together but I think it's possible. It sure is a pity to leave such a solid drive platform at home...

In other news, I spun the shell up on Triggo tonight for the first time since the dental work. It spins NICE.  Always good to see something work like it is supposed to. I forgot the wheels were in such bad shape though - I'll have to replace them and do some other tune-up maintenance on the bot to get ready for the show. I will be painting it too

I hope everybody else is making progress. The event is coming up!

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: TeamAstroBot on February 11, 2016, 12:35:36 pm
Zac,

I'm sorry to hear your plans didn't work out the way you hoped. I was really hoping you'd be able to get the version going.

Just keep in mind Thomas Edison's quote; "I haven't failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." (or something like that)


Really wish we could make it to Moto this year, sadly time is just not very forgiving.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 11, 2016, 09:52:43 pm
>> sadly time is just not very forgiving

That is part of the problem!  Sorry to hear you guys won't make it up this time too.  Hopefully see you at Bot Blast

Tonight I got Triggo all tuned up. The wheels sure were in bad shape after trying to spin through the damage I took against Glasgow Kiss. That thing is terrifying, and I really hope it faces Kyle or somebody like that before I have to face it again.  The shell spins pretty well, and I'm happy with the drive system on this bot too, although the 540 motors I had to switch to when Banebots dropped the 550s are a bit weaker than I'd like.  On a related note, I see BB just brought back the 550 motors, so I ordered a set. I don't think I'll have time to install them for Moto, but I should be able to switch back to them afterward.

Tomorrow and this weekend will be mostly about reassembling Magneato from FI 2015 (which, incidentally is also Magneato from FI 2014 and Moto 2015)

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 14, 2016, 10:45:30 pm
Magneato is back. I still need to replace the bump sensor plate that got broken at Franklin, but it drives, makes weight, and flips. Oh does it flip... I'll call it 98%. It is legal if I packed up right now, but I have a few more tweaks to do.

Triggo is also done and painted and reassembled. It's 100%

Pictures (including lots of catch up on the old one):
https://picasaweb.google.com/107279152885550274671/MagneatoMoto2016#6251358462486087538

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Ravi_B on February 16, 2016, 11:20:28 am
Thats a real shame Zac, but sometimes thats how it goes.

As always thanks for taking pictures of the process.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 18, 2016, 10:40:07 pm
All packed up and ready to rock. I'm planning to be there around 9 AM tomorrow. I will try to walk around and help anybody who looks like they are having trouble getting through safety, then spend most of the day putting the big arena together hopefully.

The bots are in decent shape. I was feeling super under-prepared on Sunday but after doing some testing on the sportsman and making some spare clutch rollers I think it's in better shape than it was at Franklin. I also added some guards to discourage the rope from getting hooked on things it shouldn't. Not foolproof by any stretch, but hopefully helpful.

The shell spinner spins well. It has the shock mounted drive motors I used at Franklin and we'll see how they hold up to the scary moto kick plates.  Hope everybody else is 100% too

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 24, 2016, 10:14:48 pm
My videos aren't all up yet, but I figured I'd post a little info about how the event went.  Overall this was the first time I didn't take home any prizes in a long time, but that wasn't much of a surprise to me. I expected Styx, Big Ripto, and Megatron to be the top three but Riptoff surprised me. I also expected Glasgow Kiss to mop the floor with me again but got surprised there too.  Magneato was never intended to win much, and with a last-minute rebuild I didn't have very high hopes.  The fight with Swordfish II greatly exceeded my expectations.

Here's the rundown:
Fight #1 Triggo vs SS Impact
https://youtu.be/VPXtLBteAX0?t=1m43s

For those of you that don't know, SS Impact was a ~42 pound shuffler with a blade as big in diameter as my shell. I was not real sure what was going to happen when it hit the bot, and the last two shells were destroyed by Shaka with a vertical disk smaller than this one. In the end I was able to topple the bot over on my first hit.  I asked the other builder if he wanted me to try to hit it to see if it would stand back up (which was dumb, I know) and he said yes once. I crashed into it and managed to trash one of my top plates, bend a top fin, and scratch the weapon motor.  Not my brightest move ever.  Win by KO

Fight #2 Magneato vs Spanky
https://youtu.be/N7SNi_9lQ7Y?t=1m9s

This was a good draw for me. Spanky is a very dense bot, which makes for better flips because I can get closer to the center of gravity. Of course, as fate would have it, I fired the flipper one time and it immediately jammed.  The plastic striker block on top of the clutch slide rails folded over and pinched between the rear bar stopper and the weapon rail.  This caused the clutch to stay engaged, which meant the arm wouldn't retract. I got stuck on my back because the position of the arm shifted the weight back onto the wings. UGH. Spanky wins by KO. I said it at the event - those blocks had ~100 fires in them with no jamming. I guess they don't have 101...  I ended up replacing them with aluminum blocks I made at the show. I borrowed Jim's porta-band and did some pretty ghetto drilling and tapping in the pits but I got them going.

Fight #3
Triggo vs Glasgow Kiss
https://youtu.be/KhjXp6jRhE4?t=1m50s

Glasgow Kiss kicked my but at Franklin by blowing off all of the teeth on the shell. I told the welder this when I dropped the shell off, and I don't know what he did this time but they sure didn't come off.  Instead GK got the bad end of most of the hits and eventually the weld holding the cross in the frame broke apart and the robot split in half.  Looking at the break after the fight you can tell the weld was pretty poor.  The LED is still on in the upper tube after the split.  The bot is basically one weld away from being back in shape. Triggo win by KO. GK got the "Most Destroyed" award for this, even though it was actually just a single failure that could probably have been repaired in an hour with an aluminum welding setup. It sure looked spectacular and the hits were ginormous.  He installed a reversible controller so he could intentionally go tooth-to-tooth with me.... ugh.  The shell actually took only minor damage from the whole thing. I did manage to crush the balance connector on the battery pack from the recoil though. I had to rig something up to get it to balance at the event and then I put that pack aside for emergencies in favor of the other pack.

Fight #3 Triggo vs Styx (fisheye, with audio)
https://youtu.be/uMkmfI2cLPY?t=11s

I pretty much got my butt kicked the whole time in this fight. Mike played it cool and just kept me in the middle of the wedge the whole fight, just like I expected him to. The drive was too slow to let me make it hard for him and I just never got free. It turns out the vibration from slamming into the wall over and over broke the press fit on the weapon roller outboard bearing and it allowed the roller to slide out and rub against the bearing mount. At the end of this fight I had only half a roller, ground down across the width, and a bunch of melted polyurethane and polyefin in my robot.  The extra drag slowed the shell down enough that Styx was able to flip me over right at the end for a win by KO, but it was a no-brainer judges' decision.  This was the first time one of my shell spinners has been flipped since Steel Shadow's break dancing reign ended.  After the fight I found that I had a wire pull out of the connector on one side of my drive, so even if he had given me a chance I was going to be cripple walking pretty badly.  The weapon motor and batteries were 140 degrees F at the end of the fight and I put 2660 mah back into my 2300 mah pack.... That pack might be dead now. It took a very long time to charge, although I set it to a 3A rate instead of a 5A rate to cut down on the heat in the cells. I'm not sure if its ok or not.  Kyle helped me replace one of the drive wheels that got chewed up by being on top of Styx and I worked on the weapon roller. He gave me a thrust bearing to brace the roller on the bearing mount instead of the bearing itself and it increased my spindown time tremendously. Much more efficient now and I'm interested to see if the cruise current dropped as well. I bet it did. Thanks Kyle!  I think he was just buttering me up so he could kill me in the next fight :)

Saturday night Jim helped me test Magneato with the aluminum clutch top blocks. Some guys were hanging out by the rail and were interested in the lights and noise. We ended up talking to them for quite a while about how the whole robot fighting thing works and how our two bots worked. It was cool to see people interested in the whole thing.

Sunday
Fight #4 Magneato vs This One (no audio)
https://youtu.be/LKFZ8CuXf2Q?t=1m37s

We didn't quite have time to fight at the end of Saturday so we were up early on Sunday.  This One was a rookie bot that was made of wood and weighed 12.5 pounds. I meant to stop by his pit table and go through the normal things that everbody's first bot fails from, but I was too busy trying to fix Triggo. In the end the fight only went a couple of flips and he had a powerpole link pop out. Doh! taping connectors would have been on my list!  Also set screws, bare wires, and loctite of course.  It would have been better for us and the audience if I had done it. Ah well.

Fight #5 Magneato vs Swordfish II
No video yet

This was by far the best fight Magneato had at the event. It was 3 minutes of me hurling an invincible robot off of different parts of the arena. The judges' wall, the camera, the stands on both sides... it was great.  I was in full Magneto costume and Swordfish II worked fine the whole time so he could keep coming back for more.  I can't wait to see the video.  As an added bonus, Swordfish II is a big T shape with easy access to the center of gravity so the flips were particularly good.

Fight #6 Triggo vs Big Ripto (High Speed only available so far)
https://youtu.be/E21wTkaMJCI

After helping me fix Triggo, Kyle decided to give me some flying lessons and trash a tooth or two in the process.  This whole fight felt like me getting my butt kicked but it was much more violent than the Styx fight. In fact, it was only 3.5 hits and in real time probably only 30 seconds or so. One of the hits actually hit the wall so hard that a broom leaning on it flew off and hit me while I was driving, and the tap out button popped off the steel arena post.  The robot kicked off the wall so hard into the other side of the corner that it cracked the inner lexan panel (probably a good 12 inches long).  After that it was spinning slowly enough that one more good crash from Ripto caused the bot to fly across the arena and flip over against the far wall right in front of the video camera.  It was epic. It was terrifying, and it was over FAST.  After seeing how Big Ripto is built I don't really have a solution. It's made of 50% thicker metal than my bot, all slanted, and drives about 3X as fast. I was toast and he showed it.

Fight #... oh nevermind
I hit a time where Magneato and Triggo were both damaged, and both coming up soon.  At the end of the Swordfish fight I had a drive motor out and when I got back to the pit I found the motor itself was jammed. I made up a spare and was soldering it in when I did a wheels up test and found that that side still didn't work, the other side worked for about 10 seconds, then got all jittery and the power light blinked out.  I did a couple more flavors of test and it wasn't apparent what was going on.  I decided I didn't have time to troubleshoot a strange problem like that and decided to focus on the shell spinner for the Big Ripto fight. Unfortunately I never got back to the sportsman in time and I had to forfeit my second fight against Spanky, meaning I was out at 2-2 with both losses to the same bot.  It made me sad, but sometimes you have to make the call.

I didn't fix the gremlin for the rumble, and with two wonky batteries and the butt kicking I got from Big Ripto I decided not to enter Triggo in the rumble either.  I grabbed some lunch (it was like 4:00 at this point) and sat down to watch the rest of the competition.  When it was all over we tore the arena down and went to dinner. It was strange not having the Canadians around for this part, as they almost always help and then help us party it up afterward.  I missed hanging out with them, but had a great time nonetheless.

Thanks to Ed, Beth, Dude, Joe P, Jim, the judges, Rob, and everybody else that made this event happen. We wouldn't have anywhere to play without you guys.

-Zac


Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Ravi_B on February 26, 2016, 09:15:17 am
Nice build report, sounds like Magneto had all kinds of little issues.

Sometimes that just how it is. Also looks like Triggo got an a** whooping from Ripto!

Wow.

Missed being there, next year.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: excello602 on February 26, 2016, 05:23:48 pm
The full speed video vs. Big Ripto is now up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1LTCX8x5iHE
Definitely the scariest fight to watch, even though I was standing like 20 ft away!

I hope you get all the kinks worked out of the new version of Magneato by Franklin, I was really looking forward to seeing it. It should be a blast to watch.

Yeah you definitely got the better of me this time with Triggo, the welds on your teeth were so much stronger than they were before! I'm looking forward to the inevitable rematch at Franklin, I'll think twice about trying to go tooth to tooth next time :) Not sure if I'll just get the old chassis re-welded by a new welder, or redesign for a 4130 frame... we shall see.

- Andrew
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 27, 2016, 08:52:50 am
Those were some devastating hits, in both the Glasgow Kiss fight and the Big Ripto fight. Tooth to tooth is a scary deal...
Here's the whole set of videos:

Triggo vs SS Impact
https://youtu.be/VPXtLBteAX0?t=1m43s

Triggo vs Glasgow Kiss
https://youtu.be/KhjXp6jRhE4?t=1m50s

Triggo vs Styx (no audio)
https://youtu.be/yDEBSY6qo_I?t=1m35s

Triggo vs Styx (fisheye, with audio)
https://youtu.be/uMkmfI2cLPY?t=11s

Triggo vs megatRON
https://youtu.be/A9JzPRHBpA8?t=14s

Triggo vs Big Ripto High Speed
https://youtu.be/E21wTkaMJCI

Triggo vs Big Ripto
https://youtu.be/1LTCX8x5iHE?t=19s

Magneato vs Spanky
https://youtu.be/N7SNi_9lQ7Y?t=1m9s

Magneato vs This One (no audio)
https://youtu.be/LKFZ8CuXf2Q?t=1m37s

Magneato vs Swordfish (no audio)
https://youtu.be/J34ExL4Hwlc

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 16, 2016, 06:07:56 am
Hey everybody,

(http://i.imgur.com/TiJhyrn.png)
This makes me sad.  This spring was crazy because I did the whole BattleBots thing with a Canadian team. The team was spread across three time zones and had lots of different people involved.  We worked on the bot Lucky:
http://www.luckycanucky.com/

Honestly, that took enough effort that I wasn't motivated to build as much as I have been in previous years so my entry for bot blast this year isn't really up to the normal standards.  The weapon works (quite dangerous, actually), it makes weight, it has decent armor and good mobility, but it's not as stable as I wanted.  It turned out looking pretty cool I think:
(http://i.imgur.com/Yq7agiu.png)

I'm headed to bot blast in about 20 minutes.  I'm bringing my scale and looking forward to seeing everybody again.

-Zac



Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 17, 2016, 06:28:51 pm
Well we went 2-2, got third place, got Best Engineered, and had a great time at Bot Blast this year. The turnout was excellent with 6 out of 6 mantis bots showing up. We also had a bonus beetle or two make it into the bracket without originally registering.  It was fun to spend the whole day with my friends again and Jeremy and his crew put on a smooth, relaxed show.

Here's a playlist of my fights:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij7CI2Wu_x8&list=PLATw5d_vDtZlYks3VU0v0Mvk3jQ49ojfk

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on September 19, 2016, 08:08:08 pm
So, it's been a long time since I did a real build report. I'm sure this won't be up to my original standards but I do have a little bit to show today. I'm under a serious crunch though, and I don't know if Triggo even works right now so I'll keep it short.

Pictures:
https://goo.gl/photos/SUu12BvBf2KnzFMk8

Also, to make up for the lack of words I've written this year, and factoring in that a picture is worth 1000 words... how many words is this video of the robot flipping at 1000FPS worth??
https://youtu.be/dBy9sNxt3QM

-Zac


-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: TeamAstroBot on September 21, 2016, 12:09:53 pm
Zac, I love that Magneto has Magnets now!! That is PERFECT!!!!

Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on October 01, 2016, 09:20:32 pm
I made a bit more progress today in my adventures with the flipper. Now that I'm happy with the magnet latches it's on to the next problem: the rollers wearing out.  I had a lofty goal of replacing the colson wheel rollers with a polyurethane roller-and-hub assembly but I just don't have the weight to make it happen. Instead I spent some time today making new hubs for the colson wheels that lets me use the stock ones. I made two so that I can swap an already-assembled pair of wheels into the bot between fights which should cut down on the risk of trying to swap when time is short.

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6332193259862946913/6336669661746415202

Unfortunately I was too much of a slacker to get the shell spinner working for FI. I've withdrawn Triggo and look forward to watching Kyle kick everybody else's bot the way he did mine at Motorama this year...  Good luck!

-Zac

Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on October 01, 2016, 09:31:51 pm
One more thing:

At Kyle's Barn Battles event Monster Jam performed very well. The weakest link in the whole system was the transmitter battery. For real - the robot could run about 30 minutes without a charge, but the tx could last about 8.  The tiny and old NiCd pack that came with my spektrum is garbage, and the linear regulator drains it super fast.

Soo... I went looking for a replacement. I found this:
http://www.valuehobby.com/gforce-5c-1800mah-3s-life.html

After charging it all the way up, putting it in the transmitter and leaving it on I found that it was at 9.9v after 2 hours of run time. It was at 9.9v for the last 60 minutes of that 2 hours too...  I don't think I'll even charge it at the event.

It fits in the battery box and comes with a standard PWM connector attached in addition to the balance lead and the plug that fits the spektrum battery socket.  I just made an adapter for my charger and couldn't be happier.  Didn't even have to just tape it to the back of the tx. I highly recommend it.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 04, 2016, 12:45:57 pm
I've been slacking on my build reports for a while now. Partly that's because I hadn't created a new robot in a long time and partly it's because I've been super busy with other projects. Magneato had a pretty poor showing at Moto and Franklin this year and Triggo got beat pretty hard at Moto too. I was shocked to find that I had almost been unable to register for Motorama this year because of the giant increase in interest and hitting the caps in all the classes. I did notice *just* in time so both bots are registered.

Triggo is getting some dental work now. I took the old smashed teeth off and sent stock to the machine shop to make some more and weld them on. The teeth did just what they were supposed to do this year - take the hits from giant vertical spinners (Big Ripto in this case) and protect the much-harder-to-repair shell walls in the process. Two of the three teeth gave their lives in this endeavor this year so I'm cutting all of them off and putting on new ones. I still don't think my bot can beat Kyle's but the audience likes it so I'll bring it back. I did have the shop make two sets of teeth this time so hopefully I will be able to cut the newly destroyed ones off and just weld new one son. Hopefully I don't have to do that at the event though :)

One big problem that bit me last year was that the bot was TOOOOO SLOOOWWW. BaneBots stopped selling the 550 motors so I had to shift down to 545's. On paper it didn't sound like that big of a deal but in practice going from "pretty slow" to "horribly pathetically slow" was I big factor in my fight against Styx for sure. Because I was so slow Mike could just take his time keeping me on the plow and bashing me around. He's a great driver so I'm not sure it would have turned out any different, but if my bot was faster at least he would have had a chance of messing up.  With the way the gearing is set up in Triggo and with the success Kyle had with his brushless drive setup I think I'm willing to take a stab at it.

I ordered in a couple of the Tacon brushless motors that Andrew and Pete are using (different KV though) and I think they may JUUUUST fit in the bot. I can fit a couple of the HK reversible 60A esc's in there and I have them on hand. I'm not sure how they'll behave in the bot but since I already have them I might as well try it.  I've heard a lot about people flashing esc's and changing the firmware to make them work for driving bots but I haven't been able to find much in the way of clear documentation on it. I've seen a few different posts on that book face thingy but I can never find them after I read them, and I usually only get the second or third in the series. Any help people are willing to offer would be great.

Magneato is getting a total redesign. Remember CLOMP!!! from Franklin this year? That was a FIRST robotics team from state college that I worked with a little while they were designing and building the machine. While I was talking to them about my machines and how they work, one of the other mentors said "have you considered a magnetic clutch from a car AC compressor?"  I hadn't, so I went to check them out. I found that I could get one from amazon for $40 or so, and decided that it was worth that to figure out how it worked and whether I could use it.  I think it might be, so I'm going to try it.

The clutch parts (magnet on right):
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-OUvmJGE9J3xJwtz-SepOnEqOhu5WsQo5-2OyLFatFImWnsDdEwxQWf6XcHorwc4THCdJPT7Og=w1440-h900-rw-no)

I did some tests by powering up the magnet, locking it to a piece of 1/8" 4130 I had, and hanging some weight off of it. It creates enough friction to hold more than 65 pounds up without sliding across the plate. I think that might work out to be enough friction for me to use as a clutch mechanism in the robot if I can fit it.  My plan is to take the magnet out of the assembly and kind of flip the roles of the other two parts to make it fit in the robot a little better.

The new clutch in the robot weapon assembly:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/pqFITJ3PAyqMX7Jzgk_lvXwJS771kq41NFPHn6cpLE2Ykq5ZDf2FZw4Uy7FQCRNtPFSULeu_bQ=w1440-h900-rw-no)

The whole bot render
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/1XJD742Cwym-xhwRpRDgSA6GjUan5cYGiHcLBayQL8aoC6NoArwpLnFsoJu5HOsLFLxPSRfKKw=w1440-h900-rw-no)

And with the top off and arm extended:
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/EoXOJn4KCDtRegxcMc_0h8ZVit-j-dDt3lI29MdgEFwRB-ql0nTUZeRYGkOLlEK1IxPzahQrmw=w1440-h900-rw-no)

I'm hoping the new design will be more mobile, more reliable, more maintainable, and of course MOAR POWERFUL.  All of these things remain to be seen and I might get stuck like I did last year with a cool idea that didn't quite work, but I hope not! I'm leaving a bit more time in the schedule to deal with it if it happens this time too. The materials are on the way to the machine shop for the clutch and weapon rails. The new baseplate and top plates have been cut and I have the UHMW stock and all the parts to make the rest of the frame. I have the new drive motors and spare wheels on hand for Triggo as well. Now all I need is some time to work.

The rest of the pictures and design notes are here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/albums/6360295586227915169

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 06, 2016, 10:22:37 pm
Made some progress over the last couple of days. Set up a better test rig for the clutch and determined that it should transfer significantly more torque than the old roller setup. Of course I only did static loading and not the full-speed impact version that will happen in real life, so we'll see.

The frame is coming along. I think with a couple more hours of work I can have the drive system and battery box dropped in. I should be able to wrap up much of the base before the weapon assembly is ready from the machine shop.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/VwUyHh7mcKTfAtZVAb_dRUK09e_DifQYUaEmcEHse0ztIyViCGYy43c4utdj-MFTrBG6u3YcRHqHuw=w1440-h900-rw-no)

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6360295586227915169/6361193481938411474


-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: excello602 on December 06, 2016, 10:38:34 pm
What are the Tacon motors you're planning on using, and with what P60 gearbox? I was using the 3660 (1100 KV in GK, 1200 KV in Translationally Inconsistent) series and they should just be straight drop ins to replace a 550.

For ESC I'm assuming you meant the XCar series 60A? The brake settings in the XCar ESCs are pretty crappy. That's what I was running in GK at Franklin in 2015 and it was nearly impossible to drive. I would recommend looking into the ZTW Spider 60A's, and they can be flashed using the AFRO USB Flashing tool. Have you seen Lucas Grell's guide to flashing?

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1m5izv6gzFoWk-8pS96Rfv9UoiWpTZ8kr1d-6uXDNpU8/edit

Magneato is looking good!

Andrew 
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 06, 2016, 10:46:25 pm
I hadn't seen the guide. I thought it existed and had heard about it but missed the original link. I'll definitely check it out - Thanks a lot (to you and Lucas)

I'm planning to run the 3000kv motors in Triggo. The drive is ~20:1 to 1.625" wheels so it should have GOBS of torque if you can run the 1800's at 16:1 on 4" wheels.  It's only a bit over 10 mph but that's twice what it is now. 

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: excello602 on December 06, 2016, 10:51:10 pm
Yeah that should be plenty fast enough within the NERC box. You may want to order quite a few extras of the Tacons; I've noticed that they go out of stock pretty quick and rarely get restocked in any timely fashion. Then you have to start trying the find equivalent motors that are close enough to what you were originally using and it is a PITA.

Andrew
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on December 07, 2016, 12:12:55 am
If you get the ztw spider 60a esc's I can send you the firmware I've been using in mine with success, just gotta follow the how to Lucas made then instead of changing the line items that need to be done, just copy and paste the file I have. It's awesome you got in, your bots are far too cool and entertaining to not be there ;) 10mph should be plenty to zip around.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: BranYoung on December 09, 2016, 10:33:15 am
When I am trying to read the descriptions of the photos in Google +, part of it is cut off. Is that a limit placed on the amount of text or some other issue?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 09, 2016, 07:07:26 pm
Sorry Brandon, looks like there's no way to see the full captions with the new google photos. That sucks a little. I'll have to make them smaller going forward.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 13, 2016, 09:42:54 pm
I got the frame pretty much wrapped up tonight. My parts are done at the machine shop too. They were a bit pricey so I really hope it actually works! This time I needed some actual CNC work done instead of just laser/waterjet, and that costs quite a bit more. Weather permitting I'm going to pick them up tomorrow. I won't actually get to work on them until this weekend probably though...

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Ha2WWW1KC3hPp9Wjq3VqQCY7NY3zLDQvn7kJ0WzzaOE0df33nITFKUTGUwpVUAveafFnaJzoJSxNjw=w1440-h900-rw-no)

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6360295586227915169/6363780800724172274

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on December 14, 2016, 08:56:45 pm
frame looks very tidy as usual, I look forward to the rest of it.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on December 15, 2016, 11:34:43 pm
You can't put a price on having the coolest bots at the event though ;) looks good so far
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 16, 2016, 09:33:33 pm
I got all of my parts in from the shop on Wednesday and finally had a chance to play with them a little.

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/NIEeQo-1XbUPdpAtWIroqMwOcJMWhY4bOEHHOasVL6Q835x5S6oRy6lBIAHJYg2cqER6wPkS75e8yQ=w1920-h1080-rw-no)

The cool parts are definitely the clutch pieces. To actually see if the idea can work I still have a lot of work to do. I did the first step tonight in preparing the shaft that everything will ride on. Next up will be the weapon pulley, then milling down the giant connector on the magnet and adding bolt holes to it. I'll then need to do some countersinking and mounting / standoffs for the weapon rails to get the whole thing together. I'm hoping to be able to assemble it tomorrow. I should have most of the day to work on it.

In other news: Today was my last day at the job I've been doing for 8 years. I start a new one Jan 4th. Factoring in the time I'll be travelling over the holidays I should still have almost a whole week of time to dedicate to this build. I sure hope it works!

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on December 17, 2016, 01:13:18 am
Gotta love it when you can time it to get some time off between jobs. What kind of work do ya do?

Those parts look good, I'm sure they weren't cheap, but will be super cool if it all works well
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 17, 2016, 10:13:12 pm
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/yU8hznxSlHcAMLAysYSyyI-5vPwIILV-g9R3bG4JlN7a8w9yGl6vY49cnkQogctORdryUdeXN05bwQ=w1920-h1080-rw-no)


I didn't get to spend the whole day in the shop, but I did get 5 or 6 hours.  I got the flywheel pulley/hub finished, and the magnet modified, wired, and mounted.  I ran out of time to do a proper test of the system but preliminary tests indicate a problem with the clutch lock plate. With the current setup the torque transfer is pretty small, but if I replace the lock plate with the stock pulley from the original clutch it's much, much stronger.  It might be just the missing relief on the face of the lock plate so I'll add that tomorrow.  If that's not the only problem then I'm going to start thinking of ways to modify the existing pulley into a lock plate. After looking closely at it the hardest part will be getting the existing bearing out of there. The steel is stamped to retain the bearing in addition to the press fit so I may need to turn that part down before getting somebody to press out the bearing.

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6360295586227915169/6365272254137629938
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 18, 2016, 10:24:30 am
@RCJunky
I'm a software engineer. Used to work for a company named Minitab that makes statistical analysis and project management software. Now I'll be working for a company that makes energy resource management software named EnergyCAP. But first I'm going to mis-manage some energy into a robot :)

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 18, 2016, 08:41:08 pm
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/SBFXwJpiQQmuW3jeZQMSn_gQ8wPZbBZCJAmpi_YEZU25vxOrrAhTWefc63gXvdz1tSHDket-SfdT3Q=w1920-h1080-rw-no)

More progress today. The lock plate never did end up working, but I realized I could modify the existing pulley into a replacement using only the tools and materials I have on hand. I spent pretty much the whole day doing that and the results were better... but there's still something weird going on. Sometimes the whole assembly seems to work fine, and other times it doesn't work at all. I'm starting to wonder if it is the switch I'm using getting beat up by the constantly-collapsing giant magnetic field causing arcing.  It's just a little wimpy toggle switch.  Unlike yesterday sometimes this setup seems to work well.  I don't have it all assembled yet so I haven't been able to do a real torque test, but when I turn the magnet on I can't slide the assembly with my hands anymore. Naturally that's a poor test, but it's progress at least! 

I bet I had 6 hours of time on my lathe today. That thing is awesome. I sure am glad I paid the extra for the deluxe tooling and DRO - today would have really sucked without it. LittleMachineShop for the win.

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6360295586227915169/6365619644844537522

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on December 18, 2016, 10:53:08 pm
Looks like you're making good progress. You take good pics and great descriptions, yet I still can't figure out how it all works :P I look forward to seeing some test videos of it. I wonder if you could find some kind of material thats got more iron in it for the flywheel for more magnetic grab when the magnet engages.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on December 20, 2016, 02:30:02 am
Looks excellent! I love how many pictures you take, it's very much appreciated. Really need to get to updating my build thread. Hopefully when I start on MT3 I'll have time to do that as well.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 24, 2016, 09:00:18 pm
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/W5u4iSsdAcJ3YobTlIIBDJLDFENZFsr7Ouaul08Hg9NpqBb5cSxbmeT9sFNAEG8b3UKUxoSaCK1d4g=w1920-h1080-rw-no)

I was out on a trip for the first part of the week but after getting caught up I spent some time in the shop today. Unfortunately right before I left for my trip I found a problem with the magnetic coil I was using. Still not totally sure what caused it, but it definitely sizzles when I plug it in and the connector on the coil gets really hot. Something seems to be shorted internally so I'm going to trash it.  I caused it / noticed right before I left for my trip so I ordered a replacement so I could start in on it when I got back. I spent the day fixing up the replacement to work in the bot and so far I'm happy with the results.

I did an on-the-bench torque test and the new setup is producing about 120 in-lb of torque at the clutch.  It might be down because of the messed up hole pattern in the flywheel, or maybe the surface needs to be worn down a little more to get a better grip, or something else. Either way that's an improvement over the old version and good enough that I can go forward. I'm going to move on to finishing the rest of the system so I can see if this crazy idea even has a chance.

I probably won't get anything done tomorrow, but should make some more progress Monday. Next up will be making the part that coils the rope, the rest of the axles and idlers on the weapon assembly, and installation.  After that I need to make and install the weapon motor pulley and weapon motor and do some wiring before I can test the thing. Progress is slow but steady.

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6360295586227915169/6367849120963926386

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 28, 2016, 09:30:51 pm
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/wFv5qTIvBUc1pw2Ym8OxshXwUj81oGu7q_7NVya20Ia1ME_2pCZCG4MLcSqK7Vc8jdovB_-SXWW7Iw=w1440-h900-rw-no)

Today I finished up the mechanical portion of the weapon assembly. I still need to run the rope and make sure it stays aligned properly but all the parts move pretty smoothly. It looks like the angle of the arm, the start and end positions, and the height of the tongue are all on track. The mounting holes all line up with the base too so we're almost there.

I need to finish the weapon motor pulley and rig up an electrical system to be able to actually test it.  That'll be at least another day of work, depending on how "final" I try to make the wiring and component mounting.

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6360295586227915169/6369343830413266610

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 29, 2016, 08:03:29 pm
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/eZmZRVaxpZ0CkZWGR32WUmQJpZNm--a2dGdCWzIkhPMeI-w6NmfeqLMBssUIH2NakPxJ-dB531mimQ=w1440-h900-rw-no)

Quite a bit more progress today. I got the top plates shock mounted, flywheel cover plate, and wiring guard done. I also mounted the weapon motor and did a test fit of the rope path. Everything checks out so tomorrow will be all about the electrical work.  I'm intentionally using rope that is likely not strong enough as a "shear pin" of sorts. I just checked the ratings for it though and it probably is strong enough after all. I guess only the ultimate test will show us. With any luck, that'll be tomorrow.

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6360295586227915169/6369691929810870466

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Team whanton2 on December 29, 2016, 10:15:18 pm
Holy cow that's a lot of shaft collars. Really exciting watching this construction zack, hoping for that video soon  :P.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 30, 2016, 10:21:33 am
As promised, here's a video walkthrough of how the weapon assembly goes together and functions:
https://youtu.be/mNa3g6cWtzE

Now I guess I'd better finish building it so we can see if it actually works at full speed. The one I made for motorama last year looked like it was going to work until I did full power testing with it, so I'll reserve judgement until I do some real tests.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 30, 2016, 10:35:06 pm
I didn't make as much progress as I wanted today. I decided to install the drive motors before doing the wiring because they are part of the path for the wires around the back of the bot and I didn't want to get stuck in a situation where I couldn't fit them around the wires I added without them.  That meant I had to swap to the longer drive axles and make the rear motor mounts too, which took longer than I wanted.

I then moved on to mounting the master power switch, which I messed up a few times. In the end I got it installed ok but definitely not my best work. Ah well, tomorrow is a new day and I can work on the wiring with fresh eyes.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on December 31, 2016, 07:28:00 pm
Looks excellent, and that video explains it a lot. It's a unique concept how the magnetism basically goes through 2 parts but clearly does work at least a bit, hopefully enough. If not, do you have plans how to make the magnet grab harder? I'm sure hardened serrated faces would but would cost a mint to do right...
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 01, 2017, 10:30:17 pm
I haven't updated in a couple of days but I have been working.  The wiring is done, the bot is underweight, and it is time for the testing. I took some pictures to help me remember/diagnose problems so the picture update today is a little boring. What I did wasn't though - I got everything up and running and came up with a way to use my high speed camera to help me tune the clutch engagement time for maximum effectiveness with minimal wasted energy (and clutch abuse). 

I started with a 30ms engage time knowing that was the fastest I could ever wind in the rope at full speed.  It was barely enough to do anything but "bounce" the flywheel off of the clutch plate, so the flips were weak and intermittent.  I used an LED to time the gap between the magnet coming on and the rope going tight on my high speed video to increase the magnet "on" time to 85ms and get a much better result. I haven't tried to flip a target yet because this second test broke my small test rope. I'll replace it with some heavier stuff tomorrow and do a real test.

I did notice something cool though. The stroke only took 28ms. Remember how I said it could only wind the rope in 30ms at full speed? How am I getting the full stroke in 28ms at half throttle then?  If you look closely at the rope tension, the arm actually overruns the rope for the last quarter of the stroke. The force accelerated the arm faster than the rope could get coiled in. This is likely not the case if the flywheel is at full speed and there is weight on the flipper, but I thought it was cool.

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6360295586227915169/6370831840473330354

Summary Video of the last test I did:
https://youtu.be/rYiapKJcoFw

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 02, 2017, 10:16:28 pm
Long day today, mostly spent upgrading my test box because the first test I did had an escaping robot (not good!). Here's a quick vid of the flip test:
https://youtu.be/Bg2k91ka73c

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: jamisong on January 03, 2017, 12:21:24 am
looks good to me! maybe some outriggers on the front nyx style for stability and sportsman legal
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: jamisong on January 03, 2017, 12:23:09 am
also, i see 4 wheel drive. are the front axles live? they are going to be pretty unhappy with the amount of radial force over the front wheels.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 03, 2017, 07:04:47 am
Yep, it's four wheel drive. To combat the radial force on the front wheels I'm adding a brace under the tongue that will hit the ground as soon as the bot starts to tilt forward. This way the majority of the force is not shared by the wheels.  Making that part is one reason why I've been doing these tests without the wheels - wanted to see if the clutch worked at all first. I'm hoping that will be enough.

Outriggers are an option. I knew the old version had a much better center of gravity for flipping but wanted to keep the rope path as simple as possible for this version which meant the flywheel ended up in the front. I figured if it fires and self rights reliably then some toppling over would be a good upgrade for version 2.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 03, 2017, 08:26:03 pm
that thing is terrifying :P I presume that box is weighted to 30lb? looks like the clutch is doing its job well, hopefully reliability is good.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 03, 2017, 08:55:16 pm
 I spent a lot of time yesterday and today trying to beef the box up a little bit so that I could do the testing safely. It was not sealed well enough to do a safe job before. It's definitely not rated for full combat, but works OK for testing sportsman bots.  I also test the spin on my shell spinners in there but definitely don't hit anything.

 I got the wheels installed today and did some Drive testing. The drive is much better now that I reset the throes on the radio. Unfortunately, one of my worries has come true: when I turn the gyroscopic forces cause enough pressure on the clutch to make the arm rise. I knew this was likely  and I can add Springs to the clutch to stop that I think. I started tonight trying to fix it with bungees holding the arm back down, but I think I may need to do a combination.

 I uncovered another issue that I hadn't really considered. I set the arm stroke up to be about 90
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 03, 2017, 09:27:32 pm
Does the magnet repel with reverse polarity? Might be valid option to prevent the gyro issue if that's the case.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 03, 2017, 10:04:14 pm
 That is a neat idea, but no magnets only repel other magnets when the polarities don't match, and the clutch lock plate is just a fixed piece of steel.   There might be a way to incorporate a similar idea, but I will try the springs first. That would be pretty cool though.

Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Badnik96 on January 04, 2017, 07:20:52 pm
Hey Zac, how did you make the shell on Triggo? Asking for my beetle
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 04, 2017, 09:27:29 pm
For the original steel shadow shell I messed with paper models and excel sheets before just writing a little javascript calculator to do it. You can use it here if you want to:
http://therobotdesigner.com/tools/shell-calc.aspx

The shell itself was made by a local machine shop in Huntingdon, PA named NE Reihart and Sons.  They did a great job and were easy to work with. I basically gave them the drawings and a 48 x 18 sheet of steel and they cut everything but the center post out. They turned that out of a piece of round bar and welded it all up. It takes a ton of welding so it gets pretty expensive. If you can weld then you could do it way cheaper. A little shell would be way cheaper too. There will be a minimum bend radius they can do on the roller to do a cone, but it's pretty small. They also prefer to do it as two slightly-too-long rainbow shapes so the ends that don't fit in the machine can be cut off for a nice smooth bend.

Hope that helps

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 06, 2017, 10:16:20 pm
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/lheM5PQz29cUyE-R-3YvlCZ69Um4lZji3XbEnvVBwRPbFXYd_BWe4KpZyVhajhLeCl1VcC996wzv0g=w1920-h1080-rw-no)


I made some more progress earlier this week and tonight but the new job pretty much wiped out my free time since Wednesday.  It drives well and testing tonight indicates two more wave springs in the clutch will prevent the self-rising arm when I turn with the flywheel at full speed. That's good news but I may need to increase the clutch time to account for the extra resistance when engaging.

The arm getting stuck "out" when I dry fire and land upside down is a big issue.  I'm considering adding in some ~3" tall wings on the back of the bot which I'm pretty sure will fix the problem. By lifting the back up a little it tilts the bot forward which causes it to "slide down" the extended arm and close it. The wings wouldn't weigh much and I think I could get most of it by milling out the sides and back. I'm planning to just clamp on a temporary piece of material to make sure it will work first.

I'm hoping to extend the side rails forward as outriggers too, which will require remaking them from scratch. Not a big deal, really, but it will take a bit of time. Kinda thinking that will wipe out the remaining 13 ounces I have.

Video of drive testing and the self-righting issue (before adding in the extra springs)
https://youtu.be/v55fezkYcPg

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6360295586227915169/6372695675641440146

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 06, 2017, 11:18:37 pm
dat backflip dough :P looks good though

I wonder if something like this would help self righting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox3cJnmpfWI
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 07, 2017, 07:29:23 am
That's pretty cool, but would require a whole extra mechanical system to roll the bot over. I didn't realize this last night, but I never put up the video of self righting working while the arm is retracted:
https://youtu.be/DPCz5twPvhs

It actually self rights beautifully if everything is in a stable state, the problem is only when the arm is stuck "out" when I land upside down.  I'm going to fix that with wings and a return bungee. Still need to play with outriggers today too.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 07, 2017, 09:02:10 pm
I added the wings on and started working on the outriggers a little tonight. With the wings the bot self rights reliably and I have about 7 ounces remaining for outriggers. I'm currently working on ways to maximize the usefulness of those 7 ounces. I have a few possibilities in mind and will spend some time tomorrow working on it.

I also installed the third wave spring in the clutch assembly and increased the clutch time to ensure proper engagement. I made it too high though and have since backed it off a little bit. The extra spring helps a lot with the arm rising when I turn, though fast enough turns still cause a little bit. The return bungee setup I have is pretty lackluster. I'm going to work on something better there too. I think even with that little bit of rise it should still be competition ready.

And now for the main event: a 1 minute video showing flipping (both while braced and not) as well as getting myself out of sticky situations:
https://youtu.be/l4CTR3DVLY8

-Zac

Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 08, 2017, 10:18:06 am
Little feet like what  bombshell with the horizontal spinner module used would probably work well. The other option is to add the 7oz as weight as far back as you can, may or may not be as effective. Looks really good as it though, certainly will be fun to watch.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: satacoy on January 08, 2017, 12:50:18 pm
Very cool stuff, Zac!

Pete - Team Cosmos
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 08, 2017, 06:38:15 pm
Well I have good news and bad news.  The good news is that I think the outriggers and cleats I added fixed the face plant issue and made the energy transfer during the flips even more powerful.  In fact, in one of my tests I launched the target hard enough to hit the wall 6 feet away and bounce back and land on top of the bot.  I started with the bot about 8 inches from the door to see if the cleats could stop it from kicking back and they did. It never hit the door at all.

Video:
https://youtu.be/mpSQVdDvIlQ

Now for the bad news: The coil plate I'm using isn't man enough to do the job. I think the problem is that the set screw worked loose allowing it to slip sideways and only get partial engagement on the keys.  This destroyed the keyways in the 3/8" 6061 part and threw both keys out of the bot. I'm going to remake the part in 7075 (stock on order from mcmaster) and use some thin tubes to align it instead of the stupid set screw I never trusted. I'll be making the tubes out of 7075 so they don't get crushed around the shaft also. This will make the tip of the flipper move faster but will reduce the amount of force I can apply (reducing my geardown).  I'll have to re-tune the magnet "on" time to account for it.

The bot is currently 1 ounce underweight.  I didn't add in a bump sensor or led strips yet, but I know where I can dig up another 5 ounces or so if I need to. The way the outriggers are will likely make a bump sensor useless so I may just do the LED strips and then work on the shell spinner. I'm considering shortening up the outriggers too to help with engagement.

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6360295586227915169/6373380825752222226
-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 15, 2017, 09:43:49 pm
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/Dn3dzi5K9BWjaYbHIH5v6rk6RkLpz8cyL3bY4LB1nGUzJbCm8VQfQh53HQgjPC953r_2qReJDd9lGQ=w1920-h1080-rw-no)

I didn't spend quite as much time in the shop as I wanted this weekend, but probably logged 10 hours or so.  The first stab I took at making the new coil plate was eventually successful, but the finished part ended up being the same thickness as the old one because of some issues with a bad saw blade on the bandsaw.  I decided to remake it to give me the maximum engagement on the keys because I don't have much time left to mess with it. The third try was much more successful. I haven't actually tested it out yet but everything looks and feels just like I envisioned it. The real test will have to wait until tomorrow.

When I had the thing apart to replace the coil plate I found that the clutch lock plate is stuck. It has a single keyway that is about 1.25" long and made of 6061.  I think the repeated shock loading when I fire the flipper has caused the key to dig into the hub enough that it isn't really lined up with the entry and exit points anymore.  This isn't a huge problem in that I don't need to take it off the shaft to get the assembly apart, but it indicates that I need a different solution for that hub in the future. I don't think it will force its way to a complete circle and strip the bore so I should be ok for Motorama.  I may have to remake that part out of 7075, or better yet incorporate a steel hub to transfer the torque if I can figure out how to do it without weighing a ton.

I was hoping to get on to the drive system on the shell spinner tonight but I didn't.  It needs a lot of TLC and will likely absorb a lot of the remaining shop time I have before motorama.  I have a crushed balance lead on a battery pack, power switch and receivers that were taken out to go into Lucky at BattleBots, a bearing I blew in weapon roller against Nyx at Motorama last year, and the drive motor and controller upgrade which require rewiring a bit. I also have to put the top window covers back on the shell before I can test it.

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6360295586227915169/6376024969449844626

-Zac

edit: added image
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 15, 2017, 09:47:29 pm
Very cool stuff, Zac!

Pete - Team Cosmos

Hey Pete! I have to say that one of the reasons I do these build reports is how much I enjoyed reading through the ones you and Toni did back in the day. Your work was an inspiration to me and a host of other builders. With all the people coming out of the woodwork for Motorama this year I was hoping to see you guys up again too, but it is quite a trip. Hope the snowboarding is great this year.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: satacoy on January 16, 2017, 12:03:13 am
Hey Pete! I have to say that one of the reasons I do these build reports is how much I enjoyed reading through the ones you and Toni did back in the day. Your work was an inspiration to me and a host of other builders. With all the people coming out of the woodwork for Motorama this year I was hoping to see you guys up again too, but it is quite a trip. Hope the snowboarding is great this year.

-Zac

Thanks for the kind words! 

The snowboarding is great this year, we're getting crazy snowy weather, like a lot of the country.  On the other hand, I am spending a lot more time in the garage and am enjoying making the chips fly.

I'm trying for Motorama, the main challenge there is more work related than snow related.  It'd be a lot of fun to be back in the thick of things, even as a spectator.

Pete - Team Cosmos
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 28, 2017, 07:03:05 pm
The new job has been draining my extra time but I finally got back in the shop today. Unfortunately I think I caused more damage than anything, but I suppose it's better now than during my first fight.  Rather than working on Triggo like I planned, I spent the whole day trying to rework the coil setup again because I keep testing it to the failure point.

The thicker rope takes up too much space so it can cause a jam if it doesn't coil properly, especially on a dry fire at full power. I decided to try some 3/16" rope which takes up less space but isn't as strong as the .25" I'm using. Unfortunately it isn't quite strong enough and I broke that during my testing too. To fit the .25" rope in I need a way to keep it from spreading out on the coil shaft and jamming the whole thing up. The new strategy is similar to what I did on the old version but is a hassle to implement. I should be able to test it out tomorrow though.

Google photos appears to be having trouble accepting uploads so the pics will have to come later.

Hope everybody else is almost ready!

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 29, 2017, 09:28:46 pm
basically 2 1/2 weeks to go, I'm got 2 bots that need a bit of work (one is critical, the other just needs a ballast made) but the 3rd s nothing but a chassis in progress 20 hours away and a box of electronics at this point :P Looking forward to seeing both your bots in action again, the new magneto is looking really good so far
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 29, 2017, 09:41:25 pm
It was a productive and successful day. The new rope coil plates work great. My testing showed that the bumpers were the next failure point in the chain so I upgraded them as well. Everything is in and underweight, and at this point testing is just breaking the bot more and more so I'm going to call it for now. I never did get to the shell spinner this weekend but the flipper is definitely the thing I care most about.

Google+ photos is still screwed up but I did take a video of some testing:
https://youtu.be/CE8gpAjrMTI

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 01, 2017, 10:00:03 pm
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/vx0abuGAZekwCHsXBjY5iAahQcf0JE_JklOOhwGnuzSTzSDoNEqy_3QAkWtOsUp_X6q1EXlRBhYnQg=w1440-h900-rw-no)

Two nights ago I replaced the balance lead that was smashed on one of Triggo's packs. The cells are a little out of whack so I'm going to spend some more time balancing and cycling them so it's all nice and happy.

Last night I got the plastic windows on the top of the shell reinstalled. I may have to remove them if I want to repaint the thing but I had a good setup this time that makes that much easier than the way I used to do it. Basically I had a piece of shafting clamped in the vise to hold the shell sideways so I could get to the screw and nut without having the shell fall on my hands. I had to replace two of the plates which were cracked from motorama last year. I kept them as backups but they're pretty easy to make.

Tonight I prepped four new 550 brushed motors to go in Triggo. That's right: no brushless drive this year. I don't have the time to spend on figuring out the new controller firmware and settings and do enough testing to make me happy. Instead I'm going to go with the middle of the road solution that should be faster than last year (with the 540 motors) but I'm sure it will work. If I don't hit any surprises on the rest of the reassembly then I might have a little time left over to try to do cool stuff on the flipper I want to get to.

The pictures started uploading correctly again, so here's a catch-up link
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6360295586227915169/6382335753824838610

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on February 02, 2017, 02:46:28 am
Tapping ti, not my idea of a good time :P For future reference, drill it bigger then ya normally would if the screw isn't taking any load. Ti is pretty tough stuff, so I went 14 thou over the normal tap drill size for 10-32 screws (so like 40% thread instead of 75%) and it was still no fun. Needless to say I made no spares of that part :P In my case it was end tapping a 3/8" weapon shaft that shouldn't see any side load. That said, with ti being as strong as it is, it'll still take a lot to damage those threads.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 08, 2017, 10:14:05 pm
Well I have bad news and I have good news. The bad news is the baseplate is bent enough that the weapon motor just barely touches the shell when it is spinning.  The good news is that NE Reihart & Sons machine shop is awesome, and they turned a new baseplate around (and shipped it out) in 5 hours.  I spent the night tonight transplanting all the guts and got everything done except the outboard weapon roller bearing support. That'll be a job for tomorrow, then I can do some testing.

After the reinstall everything is looking pretty good. I even managed to clean up the wiring a little bit by re-routing things while I had the center weapon mount apart. Almost out of time but I'm at 29lb 14.5 oz now and it's looking pretty good.

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6384940566871720993/6384940613226993394

-Zac

edit: removed image and fixed link permissions. Stupid Google Plus
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on February 08, 2017, 11:03:03 pm
pic link doesn't work :( The bent base plate, that the arenas revenge from Moto2017 or did it fight since then?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 09, 2017, 09:46:25 pm
Triggo is ready to go. It is 1.5 oz underweight and running pretty well. I'm not ecstatic about the clearance on the weapon motor but it's going to have to do.  Nothing could possibly get bent, right?  Failsafes and spin up / down and drive all work. I took some high speed video of the shell on triggo and it is actually going 1945 RPM. I wanted more like 2500 out of it but I was afraid it was more like 1400.

I'm going to switch back to the sportsman tomorrow / this weekend. I want to add a sensor to help me turn the magnet off when the arm is at the end of the stroke regardless of how long it takes to get there. It can vary by as much as 500% depending on whether there is weight on the flipper and how tightly I mount the flywheel against the clutch wave springs.

Regular video of my testing:
https://youtu.be/jxex2Ez--Qo

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: BranYoung on February 10, 2017, 10:40:36 am
I think for the link he has to switch it to "public" for us to see. Right now it says no access
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 10, 2017, 06:11:39 pm
You should be able to see the album now. I'm having trouble scraping the image anonymously but I'll deal with it after motorama. Freaking google+

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 12, 2017, 09:51:06 pm
I have good news to report:
Both bots are done and currently being painted. The replacement battery for Triggo is in and I inspected and hardened it tonight. I have included some close up shots and details in the build report for anybody interested in ordering made-to-order packs of A123 cells. I got it from a place named Radical RC in Dayton, OH and it appears to be solid quality. I haven't pulled 100 amps continuous from the pack yet but talk to me after motorama.

Because I got Triggo squared away Friday I decided to attempt my stretch goal on Magneato this weekend. I know it's a bad practice to run it right up to the wire and I'm asking for a silly mistake to bite me at the show... but I built the robot to be cool and I can't stop myself from trying something else out.  To explain what I did I'm going to tell a long boring story about my testing escapades with this bot. Now would be a good time for you to just click on the picture links if you want the short version.

One thing that's been bothering me on Magneato's electromagnetic clutch is that the amount of time the magnet should be on varies a lot situation to situation.  When I started I had the trigger time set to 30ms, which barely flipped at all. I eventually upped it to 85ms which dramatically improved the flips, but then I realized that when I was turning the gyro forces were causing the arm to go up because the flywheel was rubbing on the clutch plate. I added some more springs between the two which helped, but if I put it together too tightly it will overheat one of the springs and then have the same problem. So I separated the two a little when I put the assembly back together but now 85ms wasn't doing it anymore. Like with the other changes I was able to use high speed video to measure how long it should be and I pushed it up to 120ms which made the flips pretty strong.

Unfortunately then I started doing some tests where I simulated missing completely (no target on the flipper at all) and I found that the arm goes much faster in that case. So much faster that I spend a lot of my 120ms of "on" time with the arm already extended. That meant I was applying full force directly to the rubber stoppers and trying to crush my own bot. I was slicing through the rubber stoppers on the rear bar and the pressure actually dented in the aluminum weapon rails a little bit. I beefed the stoppers up with metal bushings and switched to a harder polyurethane but even though I made the system not actually break in this situation it was really hard on everything involved.

Enter my proposed solution: if I could know the position of the arm while I'm firing it, I could keep the magnet it for only the time that mattered.  So on a dry-fire with no target it would be on a short time and if I'm trying to flip a bot that has the center of gravity right on the flipper or is stuck under the wall I will try to flip for much longer because the motion will be slower. It also meant when I'm self righting I don't smash my own robot just because there's very little resistance on the arm. How should I do this with 1.5 ounces available and only a weekend? I decided to try out some pololu QT1RC reflectance sensors I got for a project a long time ago. 

The idea was that I could point the sensor at the rear bar and make it go from "high reflectance" to "low reflectance" right when the arm gets to 80% stroke or so. That way I could turn the magnet off and only the momentum of the arm would be in play at the end of the stroke.  I would have to toy with where the line was to get a good balance of flipping power and robot protection, but the idea was the same.

I soldered some leads on the sensor board, ran the cable around the bot to the arduino controller, and rewrote the software to use the data. I also added a reflector plate to the rear bar so I could control the sensing environment through the whole stroke and never depend on open space to give me a reliable reading. This should help avoid problems with ambient light looking like high reflectance when it should look like low reflectance.

After working through some bonehead wiring mistakes and a few minor software glitches I got the system working. I spent the rest of the time up through lunch today testing it out in various situations and I'm happy with the results. I added some code to make it so I can switch back to timing-based flips like I had last week if something goes wrong, and if the onboard sensing starts giving me readings that seem wrong it will actually change the LED color to indicate a problem and suggest that I disable the sensor. All in all I'm excited about the whole thing. If I have time I might make a little walk through about it before I pack everything up.

I'm pumped for Moto and I hope everybody else is almost done too.

Triggo report:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6384940566871720993/6386411504161012546

Magneato report:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6360295586227915169/6386409005379959058

Magneato regular speed testing video:
https://youtu.be/ydIEyZAMQ9g
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: anarchydude on February 16, 2017, 09:37:45 am
I did like that the Radical RC guys put the shrink tubing inside the pack to tidy it up. I'll remember that when I re-do the M1B packs I made for the sportsman after Moto.. I forgot to take the disc tabs off the + side on those! I may have missed this reasoning in an earlier post, but why did you choose to buy a premade pack?

Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 16, 2017, 03:15:24 pm
I went premade because making packs is time consuming and this way it could be done in parallel with my other work. I don't have the battery bars or a good jig set up right now either.

Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 19, 2017, 10:08:48 pm
After a 120 day hiatus I'm back to the boards here.  Bot Blast is coming up fast and after a lot of messing around I finally settled on a design I'm excited about.  I don't know if it will work, and I don't know if I can build it in time, but it has the potential to be pretty cool. It is a totally different flywheel powered flipper design that is based on a concept that I first saw from Dale Heatherington: http://www.wa4dsy.com/robot/slow-motion-video (check out the last video about the exponential lead screw).  When I saw this the part that amazed me wasn't the constant tip acceleration. The part that was intriguing to me was that he was able to engage and disengage with the mechanism at 8500 RPM with no significant effort to increase the bite in the clutch. The freewheeling at the end means no super-special timing and horrible abuse on the components if the arm gets there much faster or slower than anticipated based on load, and the whole mechanism provides potential for a very compact and lightweight gear reduction to boot.  These are all problems I've faced in one form or enough with each of my flywheel powered flipper designs.  Obviously the proof of concept he created here isn't combat ready, but with some tweaking I thought I might be able to build a bot around it.

So I set off to do that, integrating the freewheeling concept, lead screw, and clutching mechanism. I opted for a more internalized trigger mechanism and for using off-the-shelf parts for the lead screw and nut instead of the custom exponential screw he made (I don't have a 4 axis CNC mill yet!) and the single pin he used to engage with it.  I then jammed it all into the smallest space possible and started doing some math with various motors to see what I could get out of it.  As an added bonus I was able to make the powertrain all keyway driven with no belts or gears to steal efficiency and provide a point of failure by being between the flywheel and the heavy resistance of the clutch. The whole thing ended up very compact and if the clutching part works it could be really cool.  I was even able to jam the same weapon motor from Magneato into it...

For a rundown on how it looks and works I put together the beginning of the build report album here:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/albums/6433529956027270705

I have most of the electronics on hand, although I had to order a 70A red brick and programmer interface from HK so I can set up a heavy-duty reversible system with SimonK. I've never flashed an ESC before so I will likely need some pointers from you folks on the best tools / configuration settings etc. to get what I want.  I think that controller should be able to handle the brief spikes for the flips and I know it's already listed as compatible with SimonK.  My 100A Phoenix log in the sportsman shows the motor drawing 140A and dragging my 5S2P A123 pack down to 10v during spinup so I know the motor can handle whatever battery I can put in the bot. I settled on 7S 1300mah 70C lipos.  They should be able to put out the 140A burst I want for the 100ms or so it takes to flip. I can't wait to get the high speed camera involved...

The aluminum framing is on order and I just dropped the stock at the machine shop this morning. It would have been there Friday but I screwed up and shipped it to my house. It's ok though, they screwed up and cut it out of 6061 they had on hand while they were waiting so now I have two sets :)

The steel for the flywheel and wedgelets is 3/16" AR400 that I just ordered from discount steel today. It's my first time using them so I'm interested to see how it works out. The prices seem good and the service so far has been decent. We'll see.

Hope everybody else is getting their builds going!

-Zac

Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: BranYoung on June 20, 2017, 02:31:42 pm
It's good to hear about another wild and crazy build of yours! I'm interested though as to how there is so little torque required? Does the screw's geometry already create an amount of torque in it? In your pictures I noticed the small servo arm to disengage things and you mentioning keyway connections; is the plan to have the other robot run into it and that forces the screw down onto the keyway and engage the flip and then the servo push it off soon after?

I won't be going to Bot Blast this year unfortunately as I'm taking summer classes, but I'm planning a wicked 12 for Franklin!
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Headbanger142 on June 20, 2017, 03:53:32 pm
I look forward to seeing this beast in action!
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Infernaltank on June 20, 2017, 10:06:04 pm
Hey Zac, hope your birthday went well.

I'm looking forward to seeing the rest of the build diary (and of course seeing it in person).
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 20, 2017, 10:27:10 pm
@BranYoung - The servo is used to engage the weapon, not disengage it. The return springs hold it disengaged until I want to fire, then the servo pushes the little shuttle forward until the nut hits the already-moving screw threads.  The reason very little torque is required is that the shuttle can slide forward and back in the slot on the arm bars without moving the arm itself. That means the servo just needs to move the shuttle against the return springs which should be a fairly small amount of force. Once the threads hit the nut the expectation is that they will draw it forward using the big motor and the servo won't be involved anymore.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: MDBuswell on June 21, 2017, 12:59:18 pm
You have such awesome builds. Makes me really want to get going on my disc powered hammer idea.

Question though, are you afraid the nut may start to strip out over time? I doubt it would strip out with a single use, or even several. But I wonder how long it'll survive being shoved into a rotating mass. Will be awesome to find out!
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on June 21, 2017, 08:19:52 pm
Man, I wish I had half your talent. I think its awesome how you're always doing very unique designs, and you make them good. I wish I had access to something 4 axis to help ya out with a custom leadscrew...
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 22, 2017, 12:46:33 pm
Re: The nut stripping out - I am worried about this a little bit. I think a 3/8" steel nut in a 6 pound bot will survive as many iterations as I put through it in a competition before really stripping but it is a concern.  I think if I keep the alignment right it should help a lot, but since the screw block is on a single pivot point, I am a little worried it will tilt enough to mess up the thread alignment right when I need it to match.  I'm considering adding in a little plastic block that keeps the shuttle flat on the rail, but I want to see if it is an issue first.  When I take the threads off the lead screw I may also turn down the first thread or so a little so that it is a bit more fault-tolerant, kinda like the starter threads on a taper tap.  Not 100% sure if that will make it better or worse yet :)

The flat parts for the weapon mechanism came in last night so I should be able to put them together if the servocity bearings come in in time for the weekend too.  I have to modify the lead screw and make the adapter plug, as well as get the weapon motor out of Magneato so I have a bit of work to do if they don't come in until Saturday afternoon.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: MDBuswell on June 22, 2017, 02:30:06 pm
A little compliance will most likely go a very long way. I agree that the forces are small enough that I wouldn't be deathly worried about them. Can't wait to see it functioning, especially if you can get the High FPS camera to slow it down. Will be awesome!
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 22, 2017, 09:36:45 pm
The bearings are in! Now I just have to whip the shop back into shape and hopefully get the weapon mechanically together this weekend.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 24, 2017, 10:15:09 pm
Lots of work in the shop today, but between the chores I've been neglecting and the rain finally stopping long enough for me to mow I didn't get quite as far as I wanted. Still, it's really happening. I ended up having to custom-grind a boring bar for the lathe that could do a 3/8" diameter hole to get the lead screw tight enough on the second try of the motor adapter. I'm happy with how it turned out in the end (if you get my pun then you are as much of a robot geek as me)

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6433529956027270705/6435393030271794178

More buliding to come tomorrow.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 25, 2017, 09:35:36 pm
More progress today, though I didn't quite reach my goal of getting the weapon assembly finished this weekend. I didn't really expect to, but you've got to aim high, right?  I got the rails, motor, adapter hub, lead screw, and bearings all completely finished. I might rework the coupling between the lead screw and adapter hub but I'll go with this until I can test the whole thing.  I also got the shuttle about 80% of the way there. I still need to tap and install the hinge bolts on the ends. I'm one bolt and one 10-24 tap short on that project. The bolt is in the mail (probably coming in Tuesday but I've been surprised by Mcmaster before. I'll pick the tap up at Home Depot tomorrow. Not worth ordering just a single 10-24 tap when I almost never use it anyway.

I'm really looking forward to testing the engagement stuff. The lead screw feels very smooth and the nut goes on and off very easily by hand.

Pictures
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6433529956027270705/6435752470254798770

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on June 26, 2017, 04:27:39 am
do ya think that much weapon motor is needed or is that just what ya had on hand?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 26, 2017, 06:49:57 am
To quote my high school calculus teacher:
     
"If some is good, more is better"

Now if
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 26, 2017, 06:52:13 am
To quote my high school calculus teacher:
     
     "If some is good, more is better"

I'm pretty sure he was talking about homework though.  In this case The dimensions of the system just worked out that I could add a big motor that I had on hand so I figured why not.  If I put a little motor in there and swapped the screw for a slower one I'm sure it would make a decent lifter, but I'm trying to hurl robots to the ceiling so more motor is better.  If I blow up the weapon controller with it then maybe I'll reconsider, but for now I think it'll be fun!

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 26, 2017, 10:32:46 pm
I made a little more progress tonight. I got the holes on the end of the shuttle tapped and the screws installed. I also made a couple little pockets on the nut that the tips of the shoulder bolts sink into so that it can't get misaligned. I'm happy with how the whole mess turned out.  It lines up great in the bot and runs very smoothly. I added the return springs quickly with some zipties just to see how well it picks up the last thread if I reverse the motor by hand. No problem at all - even with the maximum misalignment from the springs it picks it up easily. I hope that means the trigger side will work well at high speed too. The trigger side alignment should be much better because the trigger arms push evenly on both sides of the shuttle.

I probably won't get back to it until Wednesday. Next up is the arm standoffs and hinge pins, then I'm ready to rig it up to a test baseplate and controller and give it a shot. I'll need to make an adapter for the connector on my 60A controller because it has 3mm bullets and this motor uses 4 or 5mm (can't remember, but they're way bigger) Fingers crossed!

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 27, 2017, 07:46:29 am
Pictures from yesterday are up:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6433529956027270705/6436283132416464914

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 28, 2017, 10:23:36 pm
Tonight I got the weapon assembly almost mechanically complete. The springs, arm, shuttle bolts, and hinge pins are all in.  I started on the trigger mechanism but didn't quite get to finish bolting the trigger arms to the shaft and cutting it to length. I will probably need to remake the garolite crank arm too but that should be a piece of cake. After that I have to rig up the electrical system for a test and see how it goes. All signs point toward it working well as a standard lifter. We'll see about the triggering while already spinning part :)

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6433529956027270705/6436879592189194178

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 30, 2017, 09:56:17 pm
Tonight I wrapped up the trigger and bolted everything down to an old baseplate so I could do a functional test.  I wasn't trying to flip anything and was intentionally running at very low power to see how things went. It feels slower than I expected but I have no idea what RPM I was running at or what the battery voltage was. Mechanically it seems to work ok so I'm going to go ahead and make the baseplate tomorrow.

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6433529956027270705/6437614651436605746

And, for the first time ever, VIDEO of the mechanism in action:

Top View
https://youtu.be/c_Ynf1RbVPI

Side View
https://youtu.be/UrDq0DTvyy4

I hope tomorrow is productive!
-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on June 30, 2017, 10:04:10 pm
Ok, it was bothering me so I broke out the tachometer. In the video it was going approximately 5900 RPM, which is 2.7 times slower than it will be at full power in the real bot. I'm interested to see if that's fast enough. Once I get it all together I can do high speed video to see how long the arm travel takes. Quick video analysis on the regular-speed video indicates the travel time in the video is about 233ms.  Because I shot it at regular speed the resolution on that isn't great but It's still a hair under .25 seconds. That puts the no-load flip time at about 86ms at full speed. My calculations said I was shooting for about 60ms at full speed no load, so the difference is in frictional and electrical losses. I can deal with that.

It sure does sound angry at the end of the stroke as the nut leaves the last thread and starts to freewheel...

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 02, 2017, 10:15:47 pm
The last couple of days were productive, but now I need your help.  I was able to get the baseplate, frame, drive motors, and weapon assembly all installed. I did that test run with the HK 60A car escs, but they only go to 4S. The real bot is going to be running 70A red bricks with SimonK firmware so the motor is reversible and so I can push it up to 7S.  I spent pretty much the whole afternoon today messing with it only to find out that the reason it wouldn't connect was that I had to put windows into "allow untrusted drivers" mode before it would actually honor the USB ASP driver I was using. It said everything was working correctly but the kkflash tool / AVR Dude couldn't talk to the USBASP. 

After I got it working I was able to update the controllers pretty easily. Unfortunately I think I need more tuning on the settings as the motor just jitters and cogs with no load and it won't turn over and start. I did have one successful test when I had a 5A fuse in the system and I was very very soft on the throttle. I popped the 5A fuse by reversing before it was stopped and then moved up to a 15A fuse. When I did the second controller I noticed the cogging thing, and then switched back to the first one I did and it had it too. I'm not sure what the problem is so I could use help with suggested settings anybody has.

I'm using this motor: http://www.bphobbies.com/view.asp?id=V450327&pid=I2290454
currently running on a 4S lipo that measures 16v
Using the rb70a2 firmware because my board is blue.
I changed the min cell voltage to 30 (3.0 volts) and set the RC_PULS_REVERSE to 1 to allow reversing the controller. All other settings remain the default (posted below). I need to read through the rest of the settings to see what's what.

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6433529956027270705/6438359227407730546

Video of the issue:
https://youtu.be/RL0FH54wvns (still going up now)

Settings:
.equ   CPU_MHZ      = F_CPU / 1000000

.equ   BOOT_LOADER   = 1   ; Include Turnigy USB linker STK500v2 boot loader on PWM input pin
.equ   BOOT_JUMP   = 1   ; Jump to any boot loader when PWM input stays high
.equ   BOOT_START   = THIRDBOOTSTART

.if !defined(COMP_PWM)
.equ   COMP_PWM   = 0   ; During PWM off, switch high side on (unsafe on some boards!)
.endif
.if !defined(DEAD_LOW_NS)
.equ   DEAD_LOW_NS   = 300   ; Low-side dead time w/COMP_PWM (62.5ns steps @ 16MHz, max 2437ns)
.equ   DEAD_HIGH_NS   = 300   ; High-side dead time w/COMP_PWM (62.5ns steps @ 16MHz, max roughly PWM period)
.endif
.equ   DEAD_TIME_LOW   = DEAD_LOW_NS * CPU_MHZ / 1000
.equ   DEAD_TIME_HIGH   = DEAD_HIGH_NS * CPU_MHZ / 1000

.if !defined(MOTOR_ADVANCE)
.equ   MOTOR_ADVANCE   = 18   ; Degrees of timing advance (0 - 30, 30 meaning no delay)
.endif
.if !defined(TIMING_OFFSET)
.equ   TIMING_OFFSET   = 0   ; Motor timing offset in microseconds
.endif
.equ   MOTOR_BRAKE   = 0   ; Enable brake during neutral/idle ("motor drag" brake)
.equ   LOW_BRAKE   = 0   ; Enable brake on very short RC pulse ("thumb" brake like on Airtronics XL2P)
.if !defined(MOTOR_REVERSE)
.equ   MOTOR_REVERSE   = 0   ; Reverse normal commutation direction
.endif
.equ   RC_PULS_REVERSE   = 1   ; Enable RC-car style forward/reverse throttle
.equ   RC_CALIBRATION   = 1   ; Support run-time calibration of min/max pulse lengths
.equ   SLOW_THROTTLE   = 0   ; Limit maximum throttle jump to try to prevent overcurrent
.equ   BEACON      = 1   ; Beep periodically when RC signal is lost
.equ   BEACON_IDLE   = 0   ; Beep periodically if idle for a long period
.if !defined(CHECK_HARDWARE)
.equ   CHECK_HARDWARE   = 0   ; Check for correct pin configuration, sense inputs, and functioning MOSFETs
.endif
.equ   CELL_MAX_DV   = 43   ; Maximum battery cell deciV
.equ   CELL_MIN_DV   = 30   ; Minimum battery cell deciV
.equ   CELL_COUNT   = 0   ; 0: auto, >0: hard-coded number of cells (for reliable LVC > ~4S)
.equ   BLIP_CELL_COUNT   = 0   ; Blip out cell count before arming
.equ   DEBUG_ADC_DUMP   = 0   ; Output an endless loop of all ADC values (no normal operation)
.equ   MOTOR_DEBUG   = 0   ; Output sync pulses on MOSI or SCK, debug flag on MISO

.equ   I2C_ADDR   = 0x50   ; MK-style I2C address
.equ   MOTOR_ID   = 1   ; MK-style I2C motor ID, or UART motor number

.equ   RCP_TOT      = 2   ; Number of 65536us periods before considering rc pulse lost

; These are now defaults which can be adjusted via throttle calibration
; (stick high, stick low, (stick neutral) at start).
; These might be a bit wide for most radios, but lines up with POWER_RANGE.
.equ   STOP_RC_PULS   = 1060   ; Stop motor at or below this pulse length
.equ   FULL_RC_PULS   = 1860   ; Full speed at or above this pulse length
.equ   MAX_RC_PULS   = 2400   ; Throw away any pulses longer than this
.equ   MIN_RC_PULS   = 768   ; Throw away any pulses shorter than this
.equ   MID_RC_PULS   = (STOP_RC_PULS + FULL_RC_PULS) / 2   ; Neutral when RC_PULS_REVERSE = 1
.equ   RCP_ALIAS_SHIFT   = 3   ; Enable 1/8th PWM input alias ("oneshot125")
.equ   BEEP_RCP_ERROR   = 0   ; Beep at stop if invalid PWM pulses were received


Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on July 03, 2017, 01:42:48 am
If its cogging really bad under no load sounds like theres a short somewhere or you have the wrong firmware. Kyle or Lucas might be able to help you there. I also find the Rapidflash GUI easier to use for tweaking settings, but the KK program is more tunable if you know what you're doing. To help cogging typically less timing helps, but it should still start without issues under no load. Keep up the excellent work, anxiously looking forward to full speed testing videos
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on July 03, 2017, 01:39:38 pm
just seen the video, thats cogging real bad, I'm sure its gotta be firmware of motor issue. Does it still work with the smaller car esc just fine?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 03, 2017, 08:03:39 pm
I swapped the car ESC back in to make sure I wasn't crazy.  It works fine (but only up to 4S)
https://youtu.be/vIWPr5Ekg3s

I also tried turning on COMP_PWM=1 as Kyle suggested. It did make it better, so now it can go forward and back (very softly) for about 20 seconds before it falls back to the same behavior in the video.  Could they be on a new, different circuit board design? This is already v2, but the firmware says they switched to v2 in 2015... seems unlikely they'd mess with it now. Does anybody have a red brick that worked with simonk rb70a2 they can snap a picture of?

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 04, 2017, 10:25:26 pm
Well, I didn't get any further with the red bricks. I did remember that I had a 6S Novak RX8 Gen 2 that I think might be up to the task. I installed the leads on it and changed the settings to work for me and verified that it fits in the bot. It's not the right size/shape so I'll have to shuffle some stuff but I think I can make it work. I did a quick bench test with a tachometer and a 16v 4S pack. It read right around the 620 kv the motor should.

I wired the rest of the bot up today and got the drive all squared away. I think everything will fit ok.  I took some pictures but I'm too tired to go get the camera from the shop now :).  Kyle got back to me and said there was a pin change on the newest (v3) flavor of the red bricks and that I need to change the firmware file slightly to get it to work. I didn't try it yet but I hope to eventually. For now I'm going to get the bot working with the RX8 so I know I have something. More power is good, but a working flipper is much more important and I'm in the final stretch on my time now. I have to make the top plate, program the microcontroller for the triggering, and give it a shot. We'll see what the rest of the list is after that...

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 05, 2017, 10:03:30 pm
I started working on the flip software tonight but it looks like my controller board is screwed up too. This project is just destined for issues I guess.  The controller board came out of Magneato, which had some electrical gremlin that made the weapon controller not spin up at Moto that I never fixed. I think the gremlin is in this board as it is providing very strange results in my testing.  Not sure yet if I'm going to go old-school manual or pull the board apart and replace it with an alternative nano that I have.  We'll see.

Pictures from the last couple of days:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6433529956027270705/6439472194606700242

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on July 05, 2017, 11:40:52 pm
Tekin rx8* ;)

With the big esc the bonus is it should have 0 issues driving that motor as they can take like 200a peak and are made for the more peaky current draw unlike plane esc's typically see slower changes in draw. You also don't need the fan and can chop the top off the case to make it like 1/4" shorter if you haven't already (new cases are pretty cheap if you wanted to use the fan in the future as well)

2, 22/25mm motors on 4s (so typical beetle drive) is enough power for 6lb bots as well? Its good to know the twin battery set up works to give drive only the voltage of one pack, never knew if that would work or create issues.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 06, 2017, 07:07:47 am
 I think the controller will be fine. Unfortunately with the goofy terminals cutting the case down won't save me much space. I definitely question a claim of 200 g, since my Phoenix controller is rated for 100 and is three times as much thermal Mass.  either way it should work fine for this application. I think my problems with the control board are from electrical issues caused by the giant magnet in magneto.  I was using a mechanical relay to try to isolate the electronics from it, but I'm not sure if it worked. My current Plan B is to have Jasmine run the weapons throttle during the fight.

Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 08, 2017, 08:32:29 pm
Well I have good news and bad news. The good news is that thanks to Kyle I have been able to successfully flash my red  brick 70A controllers with SimonK and set them up to be reversible.  It turns out these are third, newer version of the board and they swapped CpFET and BpFET in this version.  The entire mapping file for these new controllers (from Kyle Singer) is below. My boards had the 500403-1040-02 markings on them just like the comment says. The red bricks can take 8S A123 which is super-duper close to 7S Lipo. Because ThunderPower took so long to get my batteries out I won't have them until Monday so I had to improvise and use an 8S A123 pack to do my testing today. I'll post the rest of my progress in another entry


;********************************************
;* Red Brick 70A first seen November 2016  *
;* Blue circuit board labeled 500403-1040-02  *
;********************************************
.equ    F_CPU           = 16000000
.equ    USE_INT0        = 1
.equ    USE_I2C         = 0
.equ    USE_UART        = 0
.equ    USE_ICP         = 0
;*********************
; PORT D definitions *
;*********************
.equ    c_comp          = 6     ;10 i common comparator input (AIN0)
.equ    AnFET           = 5     ;30 o
.equ    ApFET           = 4     ;31 o
.equ    rcp_in          = 2     ;32 i r/c pulse input
.equ    INIT_PD         = 0
.equ    DIR_PD          = (1<<ApFET)+(1<<AnFET)
.equ    ApFET_port      = PORTD
.equ    AnFET_port      = PORTD
;*********************
; PORT C definitions *
;*********************
.equ    mux_c           = 7     ; ADC7 voltage input (47k from Vbat, 2.0k to gnd, 10.10V in -> .402V at ADC7)
.equ    mux_a           = 6     ; ADC6
.equ    CpFET           = 5     ; ADC5
.equ    CnFET           = 4     ; ADC4
.equ    BpFET           = 3     ; ADC3
.equ    mux_voltage     = 2     ; ADC2
;.equ                   = 1     ; ADC1
.equ    mux_b           = 0     ; ADC0
.equ    BpFET_port      = PORTC
.equ    CpFET_port      = PORTC
.equ    CnFET_port      = PORTC
.equ    O_POWER         = 47
.equ    O_GROUND        = 2
.equ    INIT_PC         = 0
.equ    DIR_PC          = (1<<BpFET)+(1<<CpFET)+(1<<CnFET)
;*********************
; PORT B definitions *
;*********************
;.equ                   = 7
;.equ                   = 6
;.equ                   = 5     (sck stk200 interface)
;.equ                   = 4     (miso stk200 interface)
;.equ                   = 3     (mosi stk200 interface)
;.equ                   = 2
;.equ                   = 1
.equ   BnFET            = 0
.equ    BnFET_port      = PORTB
.equ    INIT_PB         = 0
.equ    DIR_PB          = (1<<BnFET)
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 08, 2017, 08:41:04 pm
Ok, now for the bad news.  I managed to rig up a test at 28v with the new controllers, but like somebody suggested here I'm having troubles with the screw stripping / getting misaligned when I initially engage the nut at very high speeds.  It was fine at 16v, but at 28v everything is moving so much faster that I've done 3 tests and two of them have had the problem.  I took some video of it flipping at 4S and firing with no target at 7S. 

The 4S flips are reliable, but pretty lame as I expected. The 7S flip wasn't as fast as I hoped, but the reliability is a much bigger deal. I think what is happening is the nut is just getting part way onto the first thread and then the screw is coming around and instead of grabbing the first thread it's getting crooked and then the whole thing cross threads and jams.  I tried to fix the problem by getting rid of any partial-height threads I made with the lathe and grinding a counter-ramp into the first thread to encourage engaging or retrying without getting "half way".  That seemed to help but still failed on my second try. I am going to remake the screw tomorrow and start with a nice sharp counter ramp first thread to see if that helps. My description stinks but I tried to show it in the pictures.

I'm open to suggestions on ways to improve the engagement. The most obvious is to make it happen faster (higher speed servo, solenoid, etc) but I'm not sure I can fit that in the design in time. I will think on it some more.

4S lackluster flip @480 FPS
https://youtu.be/4Z68djhGX5I

7S only working flip (no target)
https://youtu.be/DTqQIJ5_GlY

7S Jammed flip (still uploading)
https://youtu.be/0-aiZcbHWTY

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6433529956027270705/6440560546237723762

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 10, 2017, 10:52:40 pm
Well... I spent the last two days, in their entirety, on the robot.  I have decided to officially call the experiment "unsuccessful within timeline". I prefer to avoid the word "failure".  I have two build days left before one night to pack and the show on Satureday, and it just doesn't work.  I didn't leave enough time in the schedule to deal with "stuff" that comes up.

I'm still planning to have a bot, but it'll be something thrown together at the last minute out of spare parts.  Not sure WHICH spare parts yet...  I'll bring the weapon assembly to show around.

See you all Saturday!

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: MDBuswell on July 11, 2017, 07:56:30 pm
I wonder if in a future revision, if you made the nut able to rotate in the housing, if you could make this work easier. Add some clutch material as a cone on the far end so that it will spin at about the same speed as the shaft when at rest. Without being on the threads, it won't be pulled forward. All you'd have to do is have clutch material in the housing in the front so that as you shove it forward, it begins to slow as it catches the threaded portion. The resulting yank should set it on the housing's clutch material and hopefully hold it relatively still and pull itself forward as you need. You may need a spring to retract at that point though, I don't know what would help pull you backwards. My only thought there would be to create a pinch for the housing so it engages by squeezing the nut and then you can back if off in a similar fashion. Of course, a spring retraction with a free spinning nut might also allow you to not stop the rotation of the weapon motor, meaning your ready time to flip becomes non-existant as well. I don't know how well the friction material can hold though, so this might not work at all.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: MarkHarrison on July 11, 2017, 08:31:25 pm
Damn Zac, that sucks. I was really looking forward to seeing this thing in action. I'm in a similar boat myself, having spent several weekends hand winding my own solenoids, trying to get something at least marginally adequate for Dynamo, but it just isn't happening.

Even if you can't get it working for the event, the concept you have is super intriguing, and I really hope you come up with a solution that allows you to pursue it some more in the future.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 11, 2017, 10:14:40 pm
Thanks, I agree that the concept has a chance to be very cool. I spent most of this project trying to get it to spin faster because of the small size of the linkage I was using. In a bigger robot, with significantly more travel on the arm, the RPM required might be much lower to get the target tip speed out of the flipper. I think a lower RPM combined with a more reliable trigger mechanism than the silly servo-crank setup I have here could be a winning combination.  I have some even crazier ideas with it long-term but for now I'm a little worn out on the whole thing so they'll have to wait.

I spent tonight retrofitting the frame with an alternative weapon. I toyed with several different flavors of what I could do in 8 hours of build time with the parts I have on hand. Fortunately for me "the parts I have on hand" is a fairly extensive list, including twenty or so timing belt lengths, a half dozen pulleys, three or so spinning weapons in the right size range, and lots of motors and controllers to choose from.  With the lathe, mill, and random material stock I have on hand it was a question of what I could attach to the current frame.  I really wanted to do a horizontal midcutter with Devour's blade but I'm pretty sure the 1000 RPM drive gearboxes would explode from the recoil forces.  I opted to set devour's blade up in a vertical configuration because I already had it mounted to a hub/pulley assembly and had the motor, belts, and pulleys in the right lengths to fit it.  All I had to do was make a pair of weapon rails to support it and steal a hinge pin from Magneato for the blade axle. 

I'm going to remake the top plate tomorrow and move some of the guts around to be as protected as possible then I'm done.  Hopefully it has enough oomph to self right the bot (I bet it will with the simonk software).  If not, then I'll just try to keep it running and hope for the best.  I'm reasonably happy with how it fits in for this late in the game and it looks like the weight will be right on. I might have to take a little of the frame material out but it's going to be very close. I forgot how much simpler regular spinners are when you just ignore all the hard details :)

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on July 11, 2017, 11:51:24 pm
I'd think a lower rpm with weighted flywheel and coarser leadscrew would help reliability, but thats certainly a ton of work as you might be looking at a lot of one off goodies. Its unfortunate ya couldn't get it working, but I'm sure its safe to say its not your last cool idea so hopefully you don't enjoy it as a spinner a bit too much :P
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 12, 2017, 10:50:42 pm
I'm already using the coarse-est screw I could find in the 3/8" range without getting into the multiple-thread-start or ultra-preci$ion version. The larger diameter screws offer additional options but I'm not sure if coarse is better for that first start or not.  I may toy with the idea some more in the future, but for Bot Blast I'm definitely not looking to do anything else that might not work. I've got to have a bot that can at least enter, and a barely-adequate drive system with no weapon is too lame for me to stomach unless I have to.

Sooo... In the last two nights I added a weapon to the platform and it actually came out super well.  There's a ton of empty space in the frame so I moved all the guts to the back and added a bunch of padding. The weapon mount is pretty weak but otherwise everything is actually well beyond me expectations for a two-night retrofit. Here is the catch-up build report
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6433529956027270705/6442082293372338194

And some videos of the final version of the bot. Tomorrow is a frisbee game then packing on Friday. I'm getting pumped!
spin / drive
https://youtu.be/cKtuQWrxn50

self-right (that's a lot of motor!)
https://youtu.be/vDUzSqNpyi8
-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on July 13, 2017, 12:11:39 am
How think are the weapon bulkheads? looks kinda thin. That wedgelet is pretty trick though, it would probably work really good on a seamless steel floor like SCRC
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 13, 2017, 07:19:33 am
Yeah, they're only 1/8". It's what I had weight and material on hand for. Because of the way I packed all the guts in foam I'll probably feed my back end to a horizontal spinner instead of the blade, at least until I can get it slowed down a bit. 

The wedgelet is pretty great, but it bites into my rough OSB floor pretty badly and makes it hard to drive the bot forward. On Jeremy's floor (at least at the beginning of the competition) it should be ok. I can always take it off if it is too annoying.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 16, 2017, 06:23:24 pm
I don't have time for a full write-up for now, but I'll give a quick summary. Jeremy and the Campbells are awesome. The event was a blast (heh) as always and I think pretty much everybody had fun. I was pleasantly surprised to get first place with my bot, which I did end up naming "Plan F".  There was a wedge multibot that ended up doing unexpectedly well by making it to the final in the winners bracket. They schooled me pretty well in my first fight but I managed to beat them in the final. I got a lucky hit on the battery pack against Super Kamikaze the first time I fought him but fared better on the second try. Seven fights in a day with one bot is a lot, but other than a couple of drive motors and a dinged up weapon shaft I took very little damage.

Here are the videos:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN2h_o1lyNc&list=PLATw5d_vDtZkTdW2VN-Zw1S2WzlQMNzRp

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 16, 2017, 06:24:00 pm
I also had some other videos from the event added to my channel for other bots:

https://www.youtube.com/user/robotdesigner/videos

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 17, 2017, 08:14:08 pm
Ok, we're going to do these one or two at a time as I have spare time:

Fight #1 - Plan F vs Super Kamikaze - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BN2h_o1lyNc
This was a tough first round draw for me. Super Kamikaze bashed me up pretty badly last year and I expected nothing less this year.  His wedge also made it tough for my blade to get a bite and my little wedgelet made it tough to drive.  About 45 seconds in I ended up upside down in the corner and I thought I was in big trouble. Then he charged in and accidentally rolled over his own wedge. This left both of us with pretty limited mobility. The damage to the weapon axle caused the bearings to jam up a little bit which made self righting using my blade very difficult. The motor and controller are so over-spec that they managed it, but there's a little burn mark on the ti shaft where the housing of the bearing was rubbing on it.   I managed to get myself upright but lost a drive motor in the process. SK was bouncing around trying to self right too and I happened to get a lucky strike on his battery pack (despite being unable to really attack on my own) that knocked him out.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 18, 2017, 07:38:55 am
Fight 2: Plan F vs Driving Practice - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYXpeNEpCdo

Fights like this are the reason I tried the wedgelet. The blade I'm using doesn't get much bite unless it can get under somebody, and a smooth wedge is a problem. Right off the bat they teamed up and rolled me over, but since I fixed the blade binding thing I had no problem powering the weapon up to self right. It took some slamming but the motor is very powerful.  Naturally they immediately "jammed me up" again and then in all the pounding I lost a drive motor.  At this point I wasn't feeling very hopeful about the fight.  At the end I decided to spin down so that if they pushed me into the wall I'd bunny hop out, and the gambit worked. I flipped over and took off a tire. Then the other bot came after me and I popped a tire off there too. Still, I wasn't in control at all during this fight and the judges knew it - loss by decision.

At this point I was pretty down on the Kitbots 1000 RPM drive motors I was using. I lost one in each fight (left first, then right). The motors themselves are very electrically noisy, such that even with the caps on them driving around was causing the blade to kick on and off, and when I drive forward it messes with the throttle and I can hear the blade speeding up and slowing down. Mix in the busted gearbox from this second fight and I'm gonig to be looking elsewhere in the future. Kyle pointed me toward some of the ServoCity planetary motors (14:1 and 19:1 ratios) and the boxes themselves look much nicer. I'll probably give them a shot.

Fight #3 vs Land Shark - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4m7H5ZDAdY
I figured I was in big trouble here. I just got beat up pretty bad by a pair of plastic-wedge beetles, so going against the low slung metal wedge of Land Shark was not looking good. I had to leave the wedgelet on, which made the bot drive poorly, but if I didn't get a bite on the wedge I was toast.

Miraculously I managed to get under the lip early on in the fight and then it wasn't nearly as effective as a wedge. That let me go on the offensive until I skiped over the dent and got hung up on the damage. I think he must have been having some battery or drive troubles because he never really pushed me much even when I was stuck on top. We had to be separated twice, but in this fight my drive motors held up the whole time and I was able to gnaw at the sides and back of the bot until time ran out. Win by judges' decision.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on July 18, 2017, 02:27:58 pm
I believe the 22mm planetary gearboxes are stronger then the 25mm spur gearboxes as well. What do other bots run for 6lb drive?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Badnik96 on July 19, 2017, 03:19:40 pm
I think he must have been having some battery or drive troubles because he never really pushed me much even when I was stuck on top.

your first big hit knocked loose one of the wires on one motor, so i only had one side of drive for about half the match. the motors i was using don't seem to be too happy on 3s either. looking at converting Landshark to brushless for next year to fix that.

was a good match though! i'm just glad you didn't do any super serious damage :P
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on August 12, 2017, 12:13:38 am
With franklin fast approaching, any plans for magneto beyond make it spin again?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on August 12, 2017, 11:09:56 am
I don't think I'll have any major mechanical upgrades to Magneato for Franklin. In the two fights where the control system was working properly it performed great. It self-righted reliably, was very mobile, and the trigger worked well.  The only thing I'd like to investigate more in the trigger is the arm position sensor. I would like to polish up the light-sensor mount (instead of the ghetto ziptie setup I did the day before the show) or maybe add an encoder or magnetic switch to the arm so I know when to disengage. I'm thinking something like this might work:
http://www.kr4.us/Magnetic-Door-Switch-Set.html?gclid=CjwKCAjwzrrMBRByEiwArXcw28uN1OJMyRSMGHK-B3yOiD8W8U8roYkwd5VdBZ269X5qd9d7WHPIyBoCNIIQAvD_BwE

As far as the problems getting the flywheel to work reliably, I'm 99% sure that is an issue with the Arduino nano control board. When I was trying to get it to work for Shuttle Launch I spent a few hours trying to debug a complicated failure behavior where it would work if only the throttle was plugged in, but as soon as I plugged the trigger channel into the receiver the throttle would go to zero.  I think something happened to the circuits inside the controller that's causing a bad connection somewhere.  I can just swap the nano out, but I need to figure out what happened. I doubt it was shock loading but it is possible.

My best guess is that it has something to do with electrical feedback from the giant magnet running the clutch. I think it might have eventually toasted my flyback diode and then proceeded to damage the rest of the control hardware.  I don't know enough about electrical engineering to even know how to test something like that. Anybody have any suggestions?  The magnet draws ~5A @ 18v when it is on, and is about a pound of copper windings. I'm guessing there is a very large voltage spike when I turn it off. It damaged one of the little toggle switches I was using during my tests before I put a little diode on the leads. Can somebody recommend a specific diode for this?

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on August 13, 2017, 12:32:06 pm
Spec'ing components is something I'd ask Charles about, he can probably guide you in the right direction. Sounds like you're on the right track though if the same board had similar issues in Shuttle as it did at the end of moto.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on August 13, 2017, 12:37:00 pm
 The board is definitely damaged. That is almost definitely the cause of the symptoms that I experienced. My trouble is figuring out how it happened and how to make that particular thing not happen again so I can find whatever the next failure in the system is.  Either way it should be fun, and I have a feeling Jerry Clark and it's gonna show me why pneumatic flippers driven by someone with a clue dominate silly fly wheel powered flippers driven by an old-school spinner builder.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on August 18, 2017, 03:01:52 am
Zac, you coming? http://www.buildersdb.com/eventdetail.asp?eventid=480
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on August 18, 2017, 06:36:50 pm
I'm in now. Thanks for the reminder!

Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on August 18, 2017, 09:31:41 pm
you had me worried there for a bit
-Kyle
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on August 26, 2017, 10:02:34 am
Got my tickets in the mail. Looking forward to the event.

I don't think I'll have time to do anything especially interesting this year, unfortunately. Spare time has just not been widely available lately. It's still going to be fun though!

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: mman1506 on September 29, 2017, 08:35:23 pm
If you don't mind me asking what material do you use to make the L bracket on the end of the flipper?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on September 29, 2017, 10:42:04 pm
It is .25 inch titanium. I was bending the .25 6061 aluminum angle I used on the much less powerful first version. It was formed by whyachi. A well braced .25 aluminum could work I think.

Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on October 29, 2017, 10:54:38 pm
How'd Franklin go? I think I seen you had a beetle?

I also seen ya didn't get in on the first round of Moto spots, was this intentional or did someone not fill you in since it appears to only been posted on Facebook? It won't be the same without you and your cool bots ;)
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on October 30, 2017, 06:13:52 am
I only had Magneato at Franklin. It went about as well as I expected. At the last minute I had to pull out the microcontroller and run everything manually right off of the transmitter. This meant that after flipping the weapon motor didn't have any of the ramp-up time or built in pause to let the clutch disengage so it was pounding the motor pretty hard. In my third fight the shaft press fit / grub screws failed and in the fourth fight the hasty repair job gave up about half way through.  The rest of it worked decently well and many flips were had for a final 2-2 record.
Magneato vs Bot-a-rang
https://youtu.be/5GXj-AV_Ihg

Magneato vs Dorno
https://youtu.be/aYujS5Y573k

Magneato vs True Grit (should have won, got stuck upside down at the end because of the motor)
https://youtu.be/Ff4rUt550Yo

Magneato vs Uberclocker
https://youtu.be/0uv3AAgV4fo

I also got to help kyle with Congo, the chair-swinging sportsman bot. He helped me keep Magneato working so I figured I'd pitch in as a guest driver. I forgot to hit record on one of the Congo fights, and on another one there was no videographer, just a tripod and my camera, so the footage is pretty weak.

Congo vs Uberclocker (note the extra chair in the arena for Uberclocker to use)
https://youtu.be/VQwOQtN1LZQ

Congo vs Iron Golem (old fashioned slug fest)
https://youtu.be/9tKcuEv80Gc

As for motorama - I totally didn't realize the registration was already up. Life's been pretty busy lately and I just spaced out. I put a reminder on my calendar for round 2, so I'm still hoping I can get the sportsman in. Triggo is trashed after last year so I probably won't have a full combat 30. Thanks for the interest :)

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on October 30, 2017, 11:35:54 am
Send in paperwork to get on the wait list now to help your odds of getting in :)
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on November 29, 2017, 06:53:20 pm
1 hour to go till moto reg ;)
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 14, 2018, 09:00:23 am
So... I missed the Motorama registration window. You people and your facebook... I'm going to have to get used to this whole "more competitors than we can handle" thing.  Fortunately, I was able to get in on the wait list, and even though Magneato doesn't appear on the BDB, it will be there unless I blow it up on the bench or in my test box. Triggo is dead, with a couple of huge dents in the shell from last year and a warped baseplate / smashed front axle. Rather than rebuild it and continue to cause box breaches when I fight Big Ripto, I'm focusing on the Sportsman for now. It's a hard thing to say, since I've never gone to Motorama without a shell spinner since 2004, but life... happens. 

With that, I've started making updates for Moto this year. At Franklin I had to "kick it old school" and run without an onboard microcontroller. That was pretty rough on the guts of the bot, and eventually having the robot try to spin the flywheel up the second the clutch was turned off (but not necessarily disengaged) was too much for the weapon motor. Kyle pointed out I should just switch the motor to an inrunner to avoid the silly grub screw / press fit problem but the better solution is to coordinate the throttle better using a microcontroller.

I pulled the old control board out, popped the Arduino Nano off of the socket I made, and installed a new one I got here:
https://www.amazon.com/Arduino-Elegoo-ATmega328P-without-compatible/dp/B0713XK923/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1515938156&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=elegoo+arduino+nano+3+pack

I skipped the ICSP headers this time and used a real soldering iron and popped three of them out pretty quick. After some bench testing I put the real software on there and went to work on the new breakbeam sensors. I'm using these: https://www.adafruit.com/product/2168  The sensors are used to detect when the arm is past the useful point in time for me to disable the clutch. Still need to test it at speed but I'm hopeful it will save my rear bar, rope, and flywheel energy when I miss.

I still need to wrap up the wiring, replace the damaged weapon motor, and do some testing. Stay tuned

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/albums/6510901572747399649

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on January 14, 2018, 04:33:05 pm
I'll be awaiting the high speed tuning video. Are you going to get the bumb sensor up and running again?

-Kyle
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 14, 2018, 09:23:35 pm
Only if the weight faires show up. I spent today cutting down and prepping an alternative clutch plate that didn't have the steel outer ring, and it provides a significantly reduced amount of torque at the clutch. Just another indication I don't really have a good sense of how the magnetic fields are set up / what is affecting the effectiveness of the clutch. I'm right up against it on the weight.

I do have one additional pin available on the octopus though, so it could happen.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 15, 2018, 10:10:08 pm
Some slow progress this weekend. I decided to try to see if I could steel (heh) some weight out of the steel in the clutch. It turns out that I can't, without weakening it tremendously. Once I took the outer pulley ring completely off I got about 8.5 lbs on the scale (vs ~18 lbs on the raw pulley). My tests with the one in the bot (which is part way between them) is about 13 lbs on the scale for this test.

Tonight I spent some time hunting for weight reduction measures now that plan A failed. I found a couple, so I think it'll be ok. We'll see I guess. Since I have to redo the entire wiring harness to replace the drive motors and controllers I decided to just go for it and find the weight later. That's delaying the time to test a little bit, but will save time in the long run because I won't have to take it all apart

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6510901572747399649/6511476831480104274

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 18, 2018, 10:33:15 pm
Today involved a little work on my house instead of my robot. It is all squared away now, and I managed to get the keyway cut on the new weapon motor too. The glue set nicely on the drive motors so I'll be pulling the old ones out and replacing them, as well as installing the new weapon motor this weekend. I did break an endmill but I had a spare (thankfully)

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6510901572747399649/6512596638728282226

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on January 19, 2018, 08:05:07 pm
how do you feel about the brushless drive? have you tested it yet?

-Kyle
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 20, 2018, 08:58:22 am
I haven't tried the brushless drive yet. The torquecalc says it should slip the wheels around 36A, which should be right at the peak efficiency of the motors and right in the wheelhouse of the 70A red bricks (I hope). I haven't done any real tuning on the simonk firmware so we'll see what happens. Did you use any kind of retaining compound on the pinions on your motor? I'm not sure the press fit is going to be man enough for the bigger motors. I was thinking something like Loctite 641. I'll try without and see if slamming the sticks back and forth can throw the pinions.

Backdriving the assembly by hand sure feels smooth compared to the 550 motors, and the build quality on these is WAY higher, obviously.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on January 21, 2018, 01:16:10 pm
I used loctite 609 for retaining my pinions. If you go that route make sure they are where you want them.

-Kyle
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 21, 2018, 02:20:01 pm
Thanks. I got it all installed and have done just a couple of tests. I didn't put any retaining compound on it yet, but I added it to my next order. Might be a little tricky to get the gearbox grease off of the parts before I use it - any pointers there?

They are WAAAY faster than the old setup, but I think I need to increase the deadband in the middle of the controls because it is tricky to get them to zero out and arm. It also seems like they don't both do it at the same point so I have to mess with trims a bit. When I set a dual rate on the steering channel it made the problem worse, and I am also seeing some jitters from electrical noise when I push the weapon throttle up. I'm hoping a wider deadband and some calibration will help all the problems.

I'm going to mess with some settings and put the little noise filters back on the wires and see if that helps, but the way it is now isn't workable for the competition. Slow and steady is way better than fast and unreliable for me. I've spent most of the day testing the weapon sensors and timing. I have a lot of high speed video that I'm using for analysis. I'm going to keep messing with it for a bit but I'll publish out a quick rundown once I make some more progress.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 21, 2018, 08:45:51 pm
Ok, initial flip and drive testing is done. The flips are a little weaker than I want, but I think that's because of the cleats and frame being messed up. I have to replace the side frame rails to fix the damage done by the Balhogs saw bot last year.  The sensors work well and turn the magnet off ~11ms before the arm strikes the rubber stoppers on the frame. I've done a little more tuning since I made the video to make that window as small as possible. I put a white stripe on the flywheel so I could see how fast it's going. Mostly for academic and efficiency reasons - no practical implications yet. Someday I'll actually use the info probably.

The robot also self rights reliably, even at very low speeds, which is great. The sensor should reduce the over-throw on the self right attempts and prevent wasting the entire flywheel when I do it.

Now the bad news:
The drive system is flaky. The left drive motor seems to lose track of the signal and stop working intermittently. Sometimes a power reset fixes it, sometimes not. Sometimes it never connects, and other times it is working for a while and then stops. Could be a loose wire, but I'm betting it's an issue with the radio signal and the controller being picky about arming. I also have witnessed a few "runaway jitter" scenarios where the motors start jerking forward and back semi-randomly. They seem to come when spinning up the flywheel most often, but not always. It could be some kind of electrical noise but it is really bugging me. I'll play with the signal leads and extend the deadbands on the controllers to try to fix it. If I can't in pretty short order, out they come and back in go the old 550 motors. When the drive is working it is WAY FAST though. My little 4x8 test box with a dusty floor doesn't let me really see though.

I'm also about 5 ounces overweight right now. I knew it would be over, but I was thinking 3 or 4. I think I can still find the weight, but yuck. Worst case I could go to lipo batteries for moto, but I want to make sure the new drive motors work out before I do anything drastic.

Walkthrough video of some of my testing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Izz1zTKJPUk&feature=youtu.be

And self righting:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=At8CjyNKJIw

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on January 21, 2018, 10:55:49 pm
I have had some issues with mixing and brushless drive.  For some reason it tends to not get along very well for me. What are your settings for the redbricks?

-Kyle
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 23, 2018, 08:37:58 pm
I decided to try calibrating the drive speed controllers with my transmitter stick to see if that would help before I rip them out of the bot and redo the settings. I'll still probably have to do that because I didn't change the low voltage cutoff and I'm running 5S A123, which might look like a really tired 5S lipo or a healthy 4S lipo to the controller. I don't want it "saving me" and costing me the fight.

The calibration made a huge difference. Before I did it I could easily get the left side drive to stop working. It was like it lost the signal from the rx and wouldn't pick it back up. Even turning the bot off and back on didn't always bring it back. I think the neutral signal from the tx was on the very limit of the arming line for the controller, so it didn't spend much time "in the window" to re-arm it. Playing with trims and the like didn't help much, though I could sometimes get it to start going and then stop.

Once I redid the calibration (one side at a time, still with mixing turned on in the TX) it seemed to fix the problem. I did a 2-3 minute test with the weapon pod out of the bot and it performed fine. My little wimpy test box isn't big enough to actually test it, but I could drive back and forth trying to not hit the walls or the end. I'll need to practice more to get used to it. I turned the steering channel down to 50% to avoid oversteering and that helped a lot. Spinning in place with the flywheel going and the steering channel all the way up will be some kind of silly gyro dance I'll bet.

video:
https://youtu.be/UE2u8fXp_nU

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 23, 2018, 09:47:22 pm
A little more fun with programming the drive controllers tonight. Need to actually make a change that I can verify as it seems like the tool reports success even if I don't attach a controller.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 28, 2018, 07:45:05 pm
I tracked the issues down. It was painful and time consuming, but eventually I was able to get one-wire programming of the controllers to work from my laptop. There was some wrestling with the drivers and settings involved but in the end I'm happy with it. I still need to prep the other two controllers I got as spares since I'm sure the motors could do bad things to the controllers if they get jammed up.

I did some more weight reduction this weekend too. Hollow front axles, shorter drive axles, and remade the side rails with more pockets. I even put a 1" hole in the outriggers now that I know 1.5" thick outriggers were *almost* enough (after balhogs chopped my existing ones in half)

Adding up all the bits of the bot (didn't have time to assemble it) shows 29.996 lbs.  Not too shabby!

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 29, 2018, 01:25:22 am
And the Moto scale historically has been in 0.5lb steps so you have 4oz grace ;) 3 weeks till Moto
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 29, 2018, 10:19:26 pm
More work on the bot tonight. The left side drive system is still giving me fits though. The right side has worked this entire time, so I'm starting to suspect it's specific to either the wiring harness for the left side or the controller. I have a couple of backup controllers to try, so I'm going to swap one of them in and replace all of the signal wiring between the controller and the receiver for good measure. I prepped the backup controllers tonight and the glue is drying now. Here's a testing video with some comentary. Toward the end I started to think it was mechanical instead of straight electrical noise...
https://youtu.be/Xd7sWcAbFAs


The outriggers are bending already, so maybe that weight reduction hole in the front was a dumb idea. I'm going to try to remake the cleats as pieces of angle tucked in the front corners to try to take some of the leverage off of the outriggers. I tried a flip without cleats but that was pretty scary. All I can say is Hooray for Lexan! This is the reason I have a door on my test box :)
https://youtu.be/miDasiB7Heg

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on January 30, 2018, 10:19:31 pm
Looks like the drive is being pretty fickle. That's annoying for sure. When it does work, it works great. When it doesn't, nothing is more frustrating.

-Kyle
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 05, 2018, 08:57:39 pm
I agree, it is being a bit frustrating. I didn't have any time to work on it last week either. If I can't get it to be pretty reliable before the show I'll swap the old setup back in and try again next time. My biggest fear is thinking it is working and having it flake out on me during a fight.

Hopefully more to come on this tomorrow night.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 06, 2018, 09:45:57 pm
I think I traced the drive issues to a loose receiver wire on that drive controller. I was able to reproduce it by tapping on the wiring harness / controller while trying to drive. At first I thought it was something internal to the controller, but when I went to swap the controller out I found an untaped rx wire extension in the chain that had the connector mostly pulled out. My extensions have a little plastic clip that is supposed to hold the parts together, but I always tape them anyway. Looks like that's a good plan as this one appears to have separated just from my test flips. I got it put back together and could no longer reproduce the problem on the bench.

I moved on to planning out the updated cleats that will hopefully not bend the frame as much. They're going to be angle brackets that share the load between the front and side rails and extend much less far from the robot. I'm hoping that with good cleats I can actually cut the outriggers way down, which would give me better reach on the opponents as well as providing the weight for the beefier cleats. I'll work on that tomorrow or Thursday. With any luck the snow will force work to cancel :)

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 07, 2018, 10:12:21 pm
I got the new cleats cut out and mounted tonight. They came out ok, although I didn't have time to test them yet. There are a couple of things that might make them more effective but I want to watch the video before I try anything else. I took some pictures and also uploaded a few of the frame modifications I did before.

https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6510901572747399649/6520015569117808946

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on February 08, 2018, 09:18:41 am
Looks like it should work. It will defiantly help you get under opponents.

-Kyle 
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 08, 2018, 10:22:14 pm
More fun with cleats tonight. The shorter cleats work fine once I cut the outriggers off. In fact, in one of the tests the robot actually leaps forward after flipping the target. I'm not sure where that reactive force came from unless it was spring tension built up in the frame... Any thoughts? It makes for a cool flip though :)

Video
https://youtu.be/7al5lmLHymM

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6510901572747399649/6520388756132149346

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on February 08, 2018, 11:26:51 pm
that frame flex is pretty intense.

-Kyle
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 10, 2018, 07:39:27 pm
(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/V_BvxwLidFSq6bAlulekxAU-rEAr2vRyHgudooMzwS9O0DAcaOFD9ziOTg-6tgYg2oP7G2l4xvZ63Ok=w2048-h1536-rw-no)

I did the last bits of maintenance on the bot today. Replaced the rope, cleats, return bungee, and bumpers. I also made spare bumpers (I have lots now). I'm hoping the sensors drammatically reduce the need for me to swap bumpers every match, but they're not that expensive or difficult so I figured I'd have extra. I still need to swap the new wheels in. These are looking pretty rough after my testing. My plan is to organize my stuff and paint stuff tomorrow morning, then pack it all up in the evening.

I'm very satisfied with the self righting even at low flywheel speeds. I think the sensors are the big difference maker there because they ensure it goes to full extension regardless of how long the magnet has to be on. The flips in the video are so-so but the target is backed right up against the test box wall so there isn't really anywhere for it to go. The angle of the flips is definitely more forward than up, but it makes for some good shots into the plastic in front of the judges :)

Pictures:
https://plus.google.com/photos/107279152885550274671/album/6510901572747399649/6521088089889470914

Video:
https://youtu.be/uZRkuOkTNMA

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 22, 2018, 08:24:44 pm
Motorama was a great time. As far as I know pretty much everybody who was there had a blast. There weren't any arena breaches this year and there were a few surprises from some new machines - especially the rookie bot BEAM.

Magneato did better than it ever has before. The large ground clearance and exposed wheels helped it get out of a few sticky situations and the clutch worked flawlessly in all but one fight. In that fight the issue was a bearing slipping out of the press fit inside the flywheel assembly and holding the clutch plate away from the flywheel. That made me not be able to flip so when I gyro'd over I was dead against Brutalizer.

Playlist of all the fights:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xKgZECBte_0&list=PLATw5d_vDtZlo3eKnj8lYY-IAC4PkZq3X&index=8&t=0s

Some notes on the fights: I haven't actually had time to watch them yet. There is a little profanity in at least one when I end up upside down and I think the bot won't be able to flip back. Turns out the failure to flip earlier in the fight was the flywheel not being up to speed so it did work, but I thought I had just lost the fight like I did against Brutalizer.

Here's are some thoughts on the overall performance of the machine:
1. The ground clearance and brushless drive setup were fantastic. This was the most mobile bot I've ever had, and it was a blast to drive.
2. The gyro effect from the flywheel was much more pronounced at this tournament than ever before. This bot is about 10 inches narrower than the friction roller clutch version, and with the extra drive speed I gyro'd over frequently. I have the steering turned down to 30%, but bouncing off of other bots was a big issue. This seriously hampered my ability to be aggressive and will be something I need to fix in the next version
3. The sensors on the arm worked great. The soft 40A bumpers I'm using survived every fight (though I replaced them each fight). They prevented the rear bar from becoming too bent to be usable and stopped the robot from ending up upside down on a missed flip. This helped a ton for me to go back after the opponent if I missed. It also made the self righting super reliable and kept enough energy in the flywheel that I got 2.5 attempts to self right without spinning the flywheel back up. 
4. The LED feedback was useful. I could see when the arm was having troubles (flashing red) and get a little more patient on my triggering.
5. I can probably shorten the soft-start window on the throttle after flipping. It's a linear 4 second ramp-up right now after a half-second delay. I think I could cut that in half and flip faster without overloading the motor.
6. 4600 mah is a little more battery than I need, but not a LOT more. In the highest fight I put about 4000 back into the packs. I think it's the right amount of margin - if I bound up a drive side I would have eaten the difference for sure.
7. Shock mounted, compliant armor works great against hammers and saws. I think I'll thin out the top armor and do some flexibly-mounted super thin ti as a standard setup next time. Pitter Patter hacked straight through the hard-mounted 6061 baseplate in about a half second, but barely scratched the spongy ti over my batteries.  He did peel the insulation off of the weapon motor wires though... Man was that close
8. I'm wasting a lot of energy in the flywheel by having the frame flex enough when I fire that the flywheel scrapes the baseplate. I have the scratches and high speed video to prove it. The next version will include some way to prevent that, and I think it'll provide even faster flip timing and self-righting.

Future thoughts:
1. Being dead when I'm upside down until I can spin up sucks. If I can swing it I'd like to include full invertability in the next version. Not sure yet whether that will be a stack of wheels, a couple of big wheels, or something else.
2. I am toying with some ideas on ways to make the flywheel be horizontal to avoid the gyro problem altogether, and I think that could be totally awesome. It will be more complicated though.
3. Being under the other bot's center of gravity makes the flips more spectacular. With the change to the sportsman rules to allow limited wedge shapes I'd like to be able to do a better job with this.
4. There are a few things that I think the onboard controller could help with, like some kind of sensor to tell it when to flip and maybe some kind of internal rpm sensing on the flywheel. I've toyed with each in the past but want to do a bit more in the future.

Thanks to all who made the event so awesome
-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 16, 2018, 11:22:43 pm
Bot Blast is coming...

I have been too busy to do much building or build-reporting lately. The work on the bot has pretty much been just this weekend and today. I think I have it working well enough to compete though. Shuttle Launch v2 uses a crank assembly and a very big motor to run the flipper arm. It uses a break-beam sensor and a microcontroller ot help it reset (since it rotates continuously). It doesn't flip quite as hard as threecoil did, but that's mostly because it is designed for a 1200kv motor and 7S, and all I have is an 1800kv motor and 4S. BOTH of my 3S packs have a dead cell after sitting in storage. (It's ~2v when the others are 4.2 and my charger won't deal with it).  My biggest regret is that it doesn't self-right yet, though I think I might be able to get it to with some tweaks. I'll try software first, then hardware. I have ~.9lbs to add so that shouldn't be an issue.  Still lost to clean up and I need to add a top plate, but it's legal at least.

Bulid Report:
https://imgur.com/a/dpctmFI?

Video:
https://youtu.be/IylNuGCx0XI

See you all at Bot Blast!

-Zac

Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Don Doerfler on July 16, 2018, 11:50:51 pm
So I had the same issue with one of the 4 3s battery packs that runs the drive for my 30..... so what I did was I put my charger on the 2s. That raised the voltage of the 2v cell so the charger wouldn’t get angry on 3s setting.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 17, 2018, 03:54:56 pm
Isn’t that pretty dangerous?  You’re risking over charging the other two cells aren’t you? How sensitive are they likely to be?

Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Don Doerfler on July 17, 2018, 08:04:28 pm
I watched the voltage of each cell as they were charging and the temp Incase something were to happen.... but I think I just charged it for 5 mins on 2s and then switched it to 3s with balancing.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on July 18, 2018, 02:20:33 am
When a single cell drops like that its pretty sketch IMO (and working at a hobby shop for a couple years I've bumped many packs) as its usually a sign of an issue with a cell, where as just over discharging a whole pack is less likely to have actual cell damage. Its best practice to cycle your packs monthly to help prevent this but we all know that isn't always practical. I actually acquired a 200w discharger to help speed up the process when I cycle my big packs.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 18, 2018, 11:15:32 pm
Sooo... After toying with a couple of afterthought self righting ideas tonight, I decided to try the battery bump after all. When I went to throw them on the charger.... the cells looked fine.  This time instead of trusting my charger I pulled out my meter and... they still looked fine.  I wiggled the wires around a little bit to make sure I don't have intermittent contact and they still check out.  I then put one of the packs on the charger and watched it closely as it charged. Everything went fine.

So... I think I'm going to chalk that up to me being way too tired from working way too late too many nights in a row.  It might die and bite me in a blaze of glory at Bot Blast but... I hope not.

The good news is that once I charged it up and ran it on 7S, the robot now flips better and IT SELF RIGHTS.  That was the last milestone as far as I'm concerned. I may add a little extra armor on there with the extra weight but I'm going to spend a few hours grinding edges and making spares tomorrow and call it a robot.

See you all Saturday!
-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: BranYoung on July 22, 2018, 07:18:45 pm
I wasn't there to see it in person but it looks very cool! I like how there is so little in the mechanism but still works out! I'm not sure how well this would translate to the heavier classes since eventually the weight needed to get a beefier gearbox and motor would start outweighing the benefits.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 22, 2018, 08:48:03 pm
Yeah, it worked ok against dynamo but I broke it against blackout. It probably won’t scale too well in its current form, but it was fun. If I did it again I’d include an encoder but for the short time I had I was happy enough.  Fun was had by all and Jeremy and the family do a great job. The floor held up great this year. You missed a good time

Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: BranYoung on July 25, 2018, 10:03:39 am
This year was a bit difficult since I went up to Robogames, but I do plan to return maybe next year with a Mantis and some other small machines. From what I could tell from pictures the build space was much nicer; I assume you guys were able to use some of the storefronts?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on July 25, 2018, 08:24:00 pm
The build space was great. Lots of space, good lighting, and even a bathroom close by. We were in one of the storefronts. I think somebody said it use to be The Gap.  It was much quieter in there, and separate from the main arena, so you couldn't hear what was going on very well. In some ways that made working much easier, but in other ways it would have been nice to hear the announcements.  Next year I'll be bringing my wireless speaker so we can get a feed from the mic back there.

It was nice to not have to worry about people walking off with your tools, though that has only been a theoretical concern in the past I think - I can't remember anybody actually having problems with it. Hope you had fun at Robogames!

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on October 31, 2018, 11:29:38 pm
So how'd Franklin go?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on November 02, 2018, 08:57:56 pm
I had a great time at Franklin and have been pretty busy since. I expect to have some time next week to catch up here, but until then here's a video of Roger Lord Mortimer vs Heracross. This might have been the sportsman final
https://youtu.be/pVMRiwh3CRY

I have videos of my one win and two losses somewhere here too. It's on the list :)

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on November 02, 2018, 09:20:38 pm
Ok, maybe I have time after all...

Magneato had a pretty mediocre showing record-wise at Franklin, despite getting a few upgrades before the show. I added an outboard support bearing to the weapon shaft to stop the flywheel from skipping off of the baseplate, and replaced the weapon shaft itself that had become pretty bent over the last few years. I also replaced the rear shaft and the baseplate from the giant gash that Pitter Patter put in it at Moto.

The bot still gets stuck upside down way too easily, takes too long to power up between flips, and has issues with gyroscopic precession (see #1). I was more careful with the drive system this time to avoid flipping myself over, but of course it happens in every fight.  I also had some flakiness with the weapon throttle for some reason. I'm starting to think I have a bad connection on the weapon ESC signal wire somewhere. That happens to also be the 5v supply for the rest of the bot, so it is actually a single point of failure for the entire weapon system. I should probably fix that.

I did manage to beat Clomp this year, which is great because they are a team I mentored a little bit and they put me out of the tournament two years back. I needed some payback. Now we're 1-1 so I guess next year will be the rubber match.

I'm uploading some videos now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NlQQrvrc-Hk&list=PLATw5d_vDtZlY1GT1elcCKjEASIgN4B9t&index=1

I think the most fun I had was the Sportsman rumble. Ed, Jim, Kathy, Beth (and the gang) managed to jam time in for it right at the end of the show despite some pretty heavy pressure from the FI folks. It was super fun and chaotic... everything we thought it could be. All I can say is.... TO THE DOOOORR!

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on November 03, 2018, 06:15:39 am
Here is the build album for Magneato before FI 2018. Not quite as much as a fresh build but still some interesting stuff in there.

https://imgur.com/a/OoX3vXH

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on November 11, 2018, 10:11:39 pm
I see ya didn't get in on moto reg round 1, but you plan on going?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on November 12, 2018, 11:34:18 am
Yeah, I'll be there. Not sure yet if I'll be able to register both, but I'm planning to bring Magneato and hopefully a full combat 30. The design stuff is already in the works on the latter and fabrication will likely start a little after Thanksgiving. Looking forward to seeing everybody.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 20, 2018, 09:59:53 pm
Thanks to a timely reminder from one of the folks on here I made it into Motorama registration with both a 30 and a sportsman bot. The sportsman is likely to be the same one I brought to Franklin with very few changes. I may reduce the gear ratio so it spins up a bit faster but that's probably it. I have a total redesign in the concept phase but won't have time to implement it for sure.

My time is instead going to be focused on the 30 pounder, which is yet another shell spinner. I believe this is the 7th generation of shell spinner and I'm hoping it will combine the best parts of the last couple. I'm trying some new stuff, and there are some spots that are maybe a little questionable. i don't expect it to do amazingly well at the first show, but I'm hoping to work some of the kinks out and smash some stuff in the process. Parts started arriving yesterday so it's getting real.

I was going to get the base cut out of 7075 by big blue saw but I procrastinated too long on getting the drawings done and now they're all backed up from you guys. I ended up falling back to the local shop and just lletting them use the 6061 they had on hand. They're a lot less busy this time of year than BBS, so they turned it around in two days and shipped it today. I hope it will be strong enough.

More details on the design will come along as I work through the final parts and the build. I hope to have a little time between Christmas and New Years with little else on the agenda. There are a lot of bots registered for Motorama, and I'm afraid of quite a few. Big Ripto isn't registered which is good since he's retired the last two shells... at least I might make it through one show without taking that hit. The other vertical bots are scary too of course, but the history isn't quite there.

Happy building!
-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 20, 2018, 10:44:23 pm
I got myself a SpaceMouse for Christmas, which I just installed tonight. It's going to take some geting used to but I can already tell it will make working with my 3D models a completely different thing. The 3DConnexion space mouse works fine with my version of Alibre Design out of the box, though I did have to turn down the sensitivity because I'm too clumsy for the default.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on December 21, 2018, 12:02:51 pm
I look forward to seeing what ya come up with. I think basically all the classes are pretty stacked so it should be a good event.

With more reduction in magneto, will that reduce the flipping power by any real amount? A cvt set up would make it that much more impressive to me :P
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 21, 2018, 12:34:55 pm
Yes, it will likely reduce the flipping power somewhat. The redesign I have in mind should improve flipping power and stability significantly but alas, only so many hours in a month :)

A CVT would be cool, but seriously, this bot doesn't need *more* complexity. It's hard enough keeping it working as is

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Team haciM on December 21, 2018, 01:28:40 pm
I was a bit dissapointed triggo wasn't there last year and I am glad you are making a new one! I am planning on getting there on friday again to help set up.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Infernaltank on December 21, 2018, 01:51:39 pm
Really excited to see your new featherweight. Alex is helping me with a 30 so we might finally get to fight each other.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 24, 2018, 05:19:34 pm
McMaster order went in today. I ordered the wrong belts and pulleys initially so I’m swapping for the right size.

I also rushed the laser drawing through before the holidays so I missed a part I’ll have to remake. Ah well the other parts look ok so far. I’ll be working on them in earnest on Wednesday

Glad to hear there are a couple people following along. I’m hoping to do regular ish build reports again. I sure hope it works!
Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 29, 2018, 10:30:04 pm
Ok, as promised here's the beginning of the build report for Hyperpolarized for Moto 2019. I switched to imgur because Picasa was abandoned by Google. We'll see how it works. So far I think the Imgur UI is buggy and mediocre, but it works ok for now.

I've probably got 15 hours into the assembly work at this point. I don't have anything else really planned for the next three days either, so here's hoping I can keep making progress. My weapon belts won't be here until after the holiday because I ordered the wrong ones initially and SDP-SI is off until 1/2. I should be able to get everything assembled and wired up before then. The shell fab starts after the holiday too.

If anybody knows of a reversible ~10S x ~100-120A controller I'd love to hear about it. I have a 4 x 1.75 x 1.625" space to fit it in, longer if it is less wide.

Comments welcome:
https://imgur.com/a/5fndlb9

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 31, 2018, 11:13:30 am
Lots more progress yesterday. I got all the drive motors and controllers finished and added glue to them as strain relief. I also finished all the drive pods. Today I'll be working on the weapon center post

Pictures: (whole album, it doesn't let me link to a specific starting point. Check out about half way down)
https://imgur.com/a/5fndlb9

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: ccy on December 31, 2018, 12:45:57 pm
as a RC enthusiast, I'd say most reversible ESCs are the exact opposite to your requirements (HV, low amp).
Some of the ones that allow 10s+ are:
ztw beast 300a (might be too large)
mgm
alienpower (not known to be the most reliable esc...).

However, if you could do 8s, then there are more proven options (as most 1/5 rc cars run them):
Castle xl
Sky toro beast 200a
Hobbywing Max5

hope this helps.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 31, 2018, 07:00:49 pm
Thanks for the info. I'd never heard of MGM motor controllers before. It looks like they do have something that fits physically and electrically. They have a lot of data on their controllers on the site too, and it looks like it even comes stock with forward/stop/reverse set up on it. The only downside is the hefty price tag. I'll have to decide if the feature is worth it. I may just run 7S reversible to start, and once I get the other issues worked out look into pushing it to 10S unidirectional except when it matters.

I hit a snag working in the shop today. The steel ring I'm using for the bearing inner race is too hard for even my carbide inserts to do anything meaningful to. That means I need to rework the bolt holes in the center post to avoid the thicker wall of the steel ring. That has me eyeballing another run of .125" aluminum parts with several small design improvements I've identified as I'm putting the thing together. The darn shop just makes it so *easy* to re-run the parts... This and a few other small things make me want to spend a little more time on the design on the compter before commiting to fab work. I normally would, but wanted to use my time off wisely.


-Zac

Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 01, 2019, 03:31:50 pm
The other esc option would be a vesc. I believe they can do sensorless and have reversing, along with current limiting. I'm not sure how much current you'll actually be drawing to avoid the chassis spinning so the regular $100 v4.12 might be all ya need. If not a vesc6 should be plenty. They can do up to 12s but are erpm limited depending on motor kv. Otherwise you'll be looking at single direction plane escs. In this case whats the advantage to having reverse on the radio?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 05, 2019, 06:51:57 pm
Actually, I think the VESC is what 60 Seconds of Glory was running last year. I know they did melt it down in one of the fights but that might not have been the controllers fault. Pete, care to chime in on what happened and how your experience with the VESC has been? Where did you get yours? It looks like there are quite a few "VESC Compatible" models out there but some look pretty shady.

The reversibility is the difference between this fight in which all of the teeth were broken off of the shell and I took major damage:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3NkZAov2NLU

And this fight in which the two weapons meshed with each other and I was at a huge advantage the whole time:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylyAUjbmia0

With a shell spinner I don't have a weak side, but the teeth are not as strong as the teeth on a solid bar spinner. By making the two weapons mesh, I reduce the forces in the weapon-to-weapon impacts, which allows there to be more weapon-to-frame impacts. Since my shell is all weapon, the only weapon-to-frame impacts are the opponent's frame. This is a good thing for me. It is so lopsided in fact that Andrew added a reversible controller to Glasgow Kiss so he could avoid it in the future.

The reversibility is only required against a horizontal spinner that could run in either direction like GK. Many are unidirectional, with a tooth that is raked in a specific direction or a steel tip on only one side of an aluminum bar.  Because of this my plan is to run a high-power airplane ESC most of the time, and drop to a reversible 7S ESC for fights like GK... at least that's my current plan. Otherwise I have to decide before the fight and hope I guess right. The angled shell was much better against a solid horizontal than the cylinder is, so I need to offset that disadvantage somehow.

I reworked my aluminum drawing this weekend and I'm spending more time on the 3D design part to make sure it's right before getting excited and ordering another run of parts. So far I've caught a few mistakes so it has been useful, but it is time consuming. All part of the fun though. Tomorrow I should wrap up the 3D part and hopefully start working on the weapon roller assembly and drive wheel hubs. If I have more time than I expect I might work on a wiring harness to see how the drive motors work, but we'll see.

-Zac


Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 06, 2019, 01:38:34 am
Thats fair.

From my vesc research (running on in my new sportsman to run 8s) those made by Maytech are the best, the hobbyking ones (what I went with) also seem good, I think its those sold by diyskateboards that are questionable at best. If ya need more firepower the vesc6 can handle more current and I think Maytech has something else either almost on the market or just hit the market (and they have a good name in all there big sensored type stuff) so thats another option if you have the space/weight. When I contacted them direct for pricing shipping is only about $25 so reasonable as well.

Sounds like Brian Nave is going to be distributing maytech as well now and can be reached on Facebook.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 06, 2019, 02:42:17 am
The other esc option I totally forgot about is the brushless ragebridge. I think Pete cooked a couple as well but don't know if that was a software issue. Out of the box they're made for drive and I'm sure would be sad spinning a shell with full drag brake.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Team haciM on January 06, 2019, 09:10:45 pm
If I remember correctly when I was talking to pete at avc he was still running the vesc, but he had troubles with a certain branfmd. The build is looking good. Thanks for taking the time to post everything.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 06, 2019, 09:16:18 pm
Thanks to the suggestions here I'm looking at brushless rage (the smaller one) which has ratings very close to the ones on my motor. It fits well into the bot too. The other option is something like the Castle Edge HV120 which leaves a ton of headroom over what my system would produce and still fits in the bot. I like the castle for the data logging and I've been very happy with the ICE 100 I'm using in both bots for years. I'm thinking In-fight reversing may be more trouble than it's worth but I'll have to keep thinking about it. I still have a couple weeks until I have to commit, and I can run 8S with what I have on hand for initial testing.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 10, 2019, 07:36:15 am
More updates added to the album. I redesigned the base to add more shock compliance and optimized for 12S Lipo. I'm happy with how it came out. The drawings for the shell and the new frame all went out to the shop. Now I just need to do the wiring and the finish machining on some of the parts I'm making.

(last four pics)
https://imgur.com/a/5fndlb9

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 12, 2019, 06:01:47 pm
I made some good progress today. I got the center shaft good to go except for the mounting screw holes. Those will wait until my aluminum order comes in (probably Monday) because I included a drawing of a dril guide with the rest of my laser cut parts. It helps all the holes line up, which makes spares easier. These screws go through a lot of layers so good alignment is important.

I also made the weapon motor pulley and the steel ring that goes on the weapon shaft. Both turned out pretty well. Next up will be the weapon roller axle and pulleys, then the roller hub/washer setup. Hoping to get to the axle tonight.

Pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/5fndlb9

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 12, 2019, 10:31:26 pm
I got the weapon roller shaft and pulleys done this evening. I didn't get to the roller hub itself so that'll be tomorrow morning's project.  The belt is a little too loose so I'm going to play with the pulley and belt sizes and see if I can get it to be tighter.

(https://i.imgur.com/MFxqW6i.jpg)

Pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/5fndlb9

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: BranYoung on January 13, 2019, 01:26:53 am
So if I'm reading this right the weapon mount is mounted into the mid-plate via a nub and the bolt pattern? Are you hoping to distribute the load over such a wide area that it won't warp it? It just seems like a lot of force to put into one sheet.

It's looking good and I'm curious to see how it all works out! I'm making my own feather this year so we may meet in the ring.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 13, 2019, 10:06:51 am
Yeah, it is a lot of force to put into a single sheet. I made the inside washer plate pretty big to offset it a little bit, but the reason I had to recut all the parts is that I was pushing the bolt pattern out as wide as possible specifically to offset the warping problem. While I agree it is an area of concern, I think this frame is significantly better suited for carrying that load than any other I've created.

The previous base, for example, still used a .125" 6061 plate as the bottom plate.  The lowest part of the shell was 3.25" away from the top of that plate. Attached to the base was a 4.25 x 3" footprint made up of two .5" thick rails working like standoffs. This setup never bent, even though at its strongest geometry (horizontally) it was 2.125" over and 3.25" up, a ratio of .65 : 1

The new base puts the supporting plate WAY closer to the load, only .25".  The washer plate that holds the center post in is 3" wide. So that means I have 1.5" over and .25" up, a ratio of 6:1. Add to that the fact that it only takes 2 degrees of deflection in the joint for the mid plate to skip off of the inner ring of the top and I don't think the aluminum will form a bend even when it does flex enough. I drew in places to add bolt heads that stick up around the edge to cut that deflection in half, but I may not bother.

What did happen on the last version on both copies of the base plate I used was that the weapon roller assembly was pushed down hard enough to warp the bottom plate and tilt the weapon motor downward. This eventually caused the shell to scrape on the back of the weapon motor (the highest point in the bot). The extra framing was mostly to combat that problem, and in the most recent iteration I added two additional standoffs to the weapon roller plate to help.

I look forward to seeing what you bring to the show. I don't think I've had to fight you before have I? I changed so many things on this bot from the last several versions that I'm sure some of my assumptions are wrong and will need to be tuned.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 13, 2019, 11:46:25 am
to tension the belt a bit could you put a tiny little roller through the face tapped holes on the bearing blocks and gain a bit of belt wrap on the big pulley? Certainly not much space in there otherwise.

It looks like thers going to be a lot of new 30lb bots between the 2 classes which is excellent to see.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 13, 2019, 11:50:24 am
My current leading idea is to put little plugs in the weapon motor mounting holes with offset screw holes in them. They'll be a little annoying to make, but since I was planning to have the motor free-float in those holes anyway it doesn't actually risk much to do it. Plan B is to just leave it and see how it goes, and Plan C is to order in a bigger weapon motor pulley, though a 22T 3mm HTD x 15mm wide pulley is something I haven't been able to find so far. I found a piece of steel pulley stock that I could use, but it's heavy and a pain to work with. It *would* work though.

I shall continue to experiment

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 13, 2019, 11:46:53 pm
in the future you could have like 3 sets of motor mounting holes to fine tune the tension as well.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 14, 2019, 09:55:07 pm
Some more small updates last night. I got the weapon roller hub and washer done, and made a spare as well. I'm happy with how they came out and having two will make swapping rollers between fights easier if they are wearing fast. I won't know that until I get the shell and try it but it can't hurt to be ready.

(https://i.imgur.com/4gLC0jW.jpg)

Pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/5fndlb9

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 17, 2019, 09:18:42 pm
Well... I finally got back into the shop. I've been busy with work stuff the last couple of days, and working on some event management stuff with the NERC crew. My batteries came in today so I decided to give them a quick check when I pulled them out. Turns out that was a good idea... a quarter of them appear to be damaged in some way.

Two of the packs have at least half of the cells at 2v or less. The third has three cells at 3.6-3.7v and one at 2.5v.  I admit, I haven't spent much time with lipo packs because I was trying to keep my bots eligible for Franklin... Are these packs junk? Is this a sign that I should ship the whole lot back and get different, potentially higher quality packs? What brands / sources would you guys recommend? I used ThunderPower for the ones in my 6lber and they have slow shipping, bad service, and the packs vary quite a bit from the sizes on their site. I'd like to steer clear of them if I can help it. I need 12 packs, so I don't want to pay a ridiculous amount per, but I'm willing to spend a little cash to get a quality product. Yes, I know, that's not what I did for these.... I'm already regretting it.

The packs I ordered are the Turnigy Nanotech 1300mah. They are 35mm x 33mm x 75mm @4S.  I can go as big as ~40mm x 36mm x 80mm without too much trouble. After that I start to run out of padding or have to fit them in around stuff a different way. I'm shooting for 70C, but could probably settle for 50-60C if I had to.
https://hobbyking.com/en_us/turnigy-nano-tech-1300mah-4s-70c-lipo-pack-xt60-hr-tech.html

(https://imgur.com/NP2ibQx.jpg)

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 17, 2019, 09:24:02 pm
It's not a good sign when the battery has a "warranty return" barcode right on it. Seriously, what did I get myself into? Apparently they have so many batteries returned that they have a whole separate process for it.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 18, 2019, 10:28:36 am
Yes those packs are no good. They've have very good service when I've dealt with them in the past. Does your charger show cell ir? If so check the good ones, they should be pretty even across all cells, then go through there process, they'll ship you new ones fast.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 18, 2019, 06:09:39 pm
I can get replacements for these packs, but I'm worried that this 25% failure rate indicates a fundamental quality problem that's going to bite me in the box. How worried should I be about that?

I could just return all the packs (within 30 days) and just run the old reliable A123's instead, or I could ship these busted ones back and get replacements, and hope they don't die in the box from some other quality problem that I can't easily see now. What do you guys think? Currently I'm leaning towards returning these and just running A123 for moto, then maybe upgrading for next year. The other option is to run the Lipo now, and if they fail switch back. That assumes that they fail without melting everything in the bot of course...

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 18, 2019, 08:08:17 pm
I'm surprised you've gotten that many bad cells, it certainly isn't common. I've had success with the bolthv series of packs. I did have one with one cell that had a pretty high resistance and they sent me a replacement free of charge (complain to new pack was a week, thats including shipping to Canada). I've also heard good things with the graphene series. I've got a discharge box and ESR meter (measures individual cell resistance accurately) so I can definitely so some testing on them all on the Friday to make sure they all check out good and tell ya which are the best. I'd definitely favor running lipo over a123's. Also worth adding that C ratings are total BS values 95% of the time, so the highest from a given brand is what you want, 50c in Brand A may be 70c in Brand B or 150c in Brand C.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 18, 2019, 08:19:29 pm
I appreciate the offer of testing the cells for me. My chargers don’t check cell resistance and my meters aren’t sensitive enough. I’ll build a wiring harness that handles either.

Thanks for the tips on brands. I know the c rating is bs, but honestly I doubt it could pull 100a per pack anyway. That’s like 8kW and I think the roller wheel would slip first.

Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 18, 2019, 08:43:33 pm
I've got everything for deans (my native connector of choice), xt60 and xt90 (and ec2, but I figured its a safe assumption you're not running them :P ) Due to some mathematical wizardry apparently running adapters doesn't effect how my meter works (its explained in the manual why but its over my head) so if you don't use one of those just whip up an adapter and we'll be good to go. Only running the 150g Friday so I'll be able to cycle through all your packs pretty fast. Generally before each event I cycle all my packs and basically rate them best to worst so I know which to run and which to use as a spare if the main pack has any indication of an issue. Lipos are kinda my thing :P
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 19, 2019, 10:03:48 am
Ok, I'll do that. I'm still running old school 45A powerpoles on all my parts. I know... way behind the times.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 19, 2019, 09:51:50 pm
Actually, what piece of equipment are you using to analyze the batteries? My charger doesn't show any internal resistance info, but I just bought a new 4-port charger so I can do a set of six batteries (one robot fight worth) in one shot. I could easily return that in favor of another that provides more diagnostic info. I like to know how my parts are holding up during testing at home too :)

I got most of the frame redone today. I ended up remaking the place that mounts the weapon motor so I could shift it over .040". This fixed the belt tension problem, but of course that was the most complex part in the entire robot. In the end having the existing laser cut part as a drill guide made getting it to line up easier, but it still took all morning and a little of the afternoon to get it 100% done. Now I've got the main box rails done and two of the four drive wheel pods. I still need to do the four drive motor mounts, weapon assembly and standoffs. The weapon assembly will require thinning down one of the pulleys a little more - should have taken it all the way when I had the hub on there still. Ah well.

I took some pictures but forgot the camera downstairs. More updates tomorrow.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 19, 2019, 11:48:38 pm
Most charger these days so resistance (mine does, your new one probably does) but they're far from accurate, fine for a quick check to make sure all the cells are reasonably even for the most part (I generally double check this after every charge is done). For accurate measuring the ESR meter HK sells is the way to go. A friend of mine in the lipo industry swears by it and worked with the smart guys who developed it.

https://hobbyking.com/en_us/wayne-giles-designed-universal-esr-meter-for-100-10000mah-1-6-cell-lipo.html

For discharging I use this, really speeds up the process (or if you have 10000mah 6s packs for an e-bike that you want to cycle)

https://www.amainhobbies.com/skyrc-bd200-30-amp-lipo-lihv-nimh-battery-discharger-analyzer-30a-200w-skybd200/p846308

Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 20, 2019, 03:08:33 pm
Your comments made me realize just how "behind the times" my battery knowledge has gotten. I decided to do some research on the testing component you mentioned as well as seeing what others are saying about the state of the various brands in recent years. My initial research pointed me toward GensAce, though it looks like they had some great stuff in ~2013, their quality control has dropped off a little in recent years.  Through my searching I came across an RCGroups post from somebody with a lot of cash and time on his hands who did some actual performance comparisons of actual packs to see how they stack up.
https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showthread.php?1767093-Battery-Load-Test-Comparisons

Before my research I figured the HK C ratings were "optimistic" but I didn't realize they were so absolutely worthless. After reading much of this testing thread and a lot of discussions around cell IR and current delivery abilities I am thinking I will return all of the packs I got and buy a set of packs from another source. In one of the posts in that chain there's a discussion about how HK mixes in the culls with the good cells and uses the RMA process to do "field sorting". This is remarkably consistent with my 25% failure rate and having warranty stickers on all the packs with barcodes. The return policy even requires a picture of the barcode and batch number. (https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=28800219&postcount=1660)

The author also discusses the weakness in the ThunderPower line of batteries. I picked up a pair of Rampage 70C 3S packs from them a couple years back and when I pulled them out of storage both packs had a dead cell. They also have lots of variation in cell size and poor customer service, so his description and test results match with my own experiences with Thunder Power too.

While it's possible my decision has been swayed by the author of this article, my current plan is to go with some Dinogy packs. In the 40C tests and in the authors own 2018 summary he indicates the consistency and reliability of the Dinogy packs. He also points out they are not the top performers tested, but generally middle-to-upper part of the pack across metrics. The graphs in the 40C test show how closely matched the cells are and how well they held up under a heavy load. https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/showpost.php?p=27469209&postcount=1164

It looks like the 4S 1500 mah v1 packs fit pretty well inside the bot. In fact, I think I can fit all six packs inside the main battery box pretty efficiently, even accounting for some padding on all sides. If these packs can do even 25C and stay above 3.4v per cell I'm looking at ~3000 watts of power which is likely more than I can put on the ground. When it comes to batteries I like to have more than I'll ever need. If it turns out I have way too much then I can back it off, but I'll err on that side for now. The v2 packs will cost an extra .16 lbs (total), and are a tiny bit longer. I don't think I'll need the boosted performance so I think I'll go with the cheaper v1 packs instead.

https://www.dinogylipos.com/collections/4s-lipos/products/1500mah-4s-65c
https://www.dinogylipos.com/collections/4s-lipos/products/1300mah-4s-70c-graphene

What do you guys think?
-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 20, 2019, 04:51:18 pm
The whole industry is a scam IMO much like airline ticket costs and buying new cars, so I don't believe there is a right answer. SMC Racing (aka Danny, I've raced with him a bit over the years) has done a ton of testing over the years to always offer what he believes to be the best packs for the rc racing community. Now he doesn't sell anything that'll really work for us, but from following his testing over the years basically shows ya never really know what you're getting. I guess this is why I've spent the money to get similar test equipment to what he uses. Even batch to batch actual performance can vary, and even as a lipo vendor what you're ordering and what you're getting won't always be the same regardless what the sticker says. This is why his product line seems to always be changing to keep up with always having the best products. This is also why lipo testing from a few years ago may have no benefit. It also changes from size to size, so one brands 5000mah cells may be good, doesn't mean there 1000mah cells are.

https://www.smc-racing.net/index.php?route=product/category&path=163

The article you linked also references Wayne Giles, who was one of the guys involved in making the ESR meter I use (SMC also uses the same unit)
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 20, 2019, 08:23:45 pm
I actually found the article by looking up Wayne Giles and the device you mentioned. I just ordered one of them too, so I can benchmark the packs and monitor their health more accurately. Thanks for passing along all the info! There's alway something new to learn from this group, even if the number of people on these boards is smaller than it once was.

I managed to finish the frame today. I'm very happy with where it landed. Still need to mount the drive motors and do the electronics box end caps, but then it is on to populating it with parts and doing the wiring harness.

(https://imgur.com/HTKWuJw.jpg)

Pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/5fndlb9

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Team haciM on January 20, 2019, 08:36:48 pm
That is looking very nice.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 26, 2019, 09:55:23 pm
A fair bit of progress happened today. It doesn't look like I spent 12 hours on the machine, but I did. I'm pretty happy with how it all turned out except for one place where the wiring is a little snug on one drive motor. I may swap it out for a different one to make the connectors more accessible. I have two backups - one of which appears to be nearly seized and the other I haven't assembled yet.

My replacement batteries came in today too (woo!) so if I can get the idler roller, electronics box hoops, and weapon motor mounted tomorrow morning I should be able to spend the afternoon checking the batteries and hopefully working on the wiring harness. I also got confirmation that the shell will be done Friday so the first test spinup might be Friday night. That's the first chance to see if it has a chance of working, and then the troubleshooting will begin.

(https://i.imgur.com/6vOPXcF.jpg)

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 26, 2019, 09:55:57 pm
Oh yeah, and a bunch more pictures were added to the album:

https://imgur.com/a/5fndlb9

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 27, 2019, 01:14:18 pm
This morning I decided should be "Battery Day". I now have an ESR meter and both my Dinogy 1500 packs and the Turnight NanoTech 1300 packs so I wanted to compare them with each other and see how they stack up. What I found surprised me:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wLTeKzhaBdJci45CNeS8zOoeFkgLxcOF4C8ST5Xz_DQ/edit?usp=sharing

The nanotech packs actually have a lower resistance per cell.  Now this is not an apples-to-oranges test - they are lower capacity and a lower charge status than the Dinogy ones. I also did the first 9 dinogy packs before remembering how important temperature is to the measurements. These were all taken at 54 deg F, which is way lower than the 73 degrees recommended in the manual. All the packs were the same temperature though, so I'm not sure how big a factor that is between these packs

The 1500 packs are also a little bigger than I expected, especially where the leads enter the pack. That combined with the fact that they had to ship the 70C version because they didn't have enough of the 65C version and it used up my extra space pretty fast. I didn't realize it until just now that they have 1300 packs also (they're on page 2, which I somehow missed on the first go-round on the web site). I decided to swap these 1500s for 1300s, pick up .4lbs and gain back my extra space for padding. It's another week of shipping and waiting, but I think it's the right call. It would have definitely been the right call *last* weekend, if I spent the time to browse the site more carefully.

Now I'll pack the batteries back up and go back to my original TODO list
-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 27, 2019, 10:44:09 pm
Not quite as much progress as I wanted today, but not too bad.

After the battery swap I worked on the weapon motor mounting and some electronics prep. I got the weapon motor in and the connectors on it and the controller. I'm happy with all of it. Slow progress, but good progress.

(https://i.imgur.com/URrsbZS.jpg)

Album updated too:
https://imgur.com/a/5fndlb9

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 28, 2019, 02:14:04 am
Looking good. I look forward to. Seeing the shell in all its glory.

The cell resistance is greatly effected by temp, but for what you're doing it doesn't matter as long as it's consistent like it is. In this case the current rating the esr meter gives will just be low and the resistance will be high compared to what they can really do. 90% of the time I only care about the cell to cell consistency so I don't get too worked up over temp either.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 30, 2019, 10:14:09 pm
I got the electronics boxes wrapped up and my batteries came today. I even ran home over lunch to put them inside to prevent the subzero temperatures from damaging them. I'll run them through the ESR meter tomorrow to make sure they're ok but it was only ~15 deg when I grabbed them off the front porch.

After getting the electronics boxes in I did a test fit with everything. It all goes in and the top fits without too much fuss. It's going to suck to wire but that's normal. That's basically the list for tomorrow and probably Friday. 

(https://i.imgur.com/UmuLSlY.jpg)

I also got some pictures of the shell progress today from my machine shop. I'm really happy with how it's looking. They still have to do the final bore and press the bearing in after they clean up a couple of the welds and do some grinding.
(https://i.imgur.com/yroBx5J.jpg)

those teeth are pretty beefy looking. They are interlocked into the shell wall and the bottom flange. I think they'll be stronger than any that I've had before. This whole shell is AR400 which should be stronger than the annealed 4130 I used before by a big margin too.  I did flame harden the old teeth - I'm not sure how these will hold up in the regular form. I'm getting pretty excited - supposed to pick the shell up Friday morning if I can survive the drive to the shop and back :)


Pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/5fndlb9
-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 31, 2019, 03:52:35 am
I'm really digging that shell design, I think going to AR is the way to go. I wonder if thin enough AR500F could be sourced in the future, and possibly use ar400 for the teeth and lower ring to try avoiding the rest of the shell from getting damaged. Regardless I'm sure this one will take more abuse, but I'm also sure the flat sides will be taking more from horizontal spinners.

I don't believe theres any reason to be concerned with the temp outside with shipping batteries, they don't seem very sensitive to it for short term storage such as shipping times. Definitely lets them reach ambient inside before charging though.

Did ya figure out what you'll be doing for weapon esc's?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 31, 2019, 06:46:06 am
I talked with the shop about making the teeth out of AR500, but they recommended staying with the same material throughout to strengthen the welds. Because the design is pretty dependent on the strength of the welds I figured some mashing was better than breaking them off at the mounts.

As far as taking more damage than the conical shell, the true test is coming in a couple weeks :)  I'm hopeful that the teeth will take the brunt of it like they have in the past. In fact, the sides of the Triggo shell show very little damage in the horizontal plane, and even fewer above the bottom inch or so:
(https://i.imgur.com/lI3ZnSD.jpg)

As long as I keep spinning (which is an obvious requirement anyway) I think the longer teeth should protect more from the horizontal spinners than the sloped sides ever did. I ended up going with a unidirectional Castle 120A HV controller. It fits decently well and is WAAAAY overkill. It came with 8AWG leads on the input side and 10 AWG leads on the output side. My weapon motor probably has 12 AWG or smaller leads coming out of it, so the controller is unlikely to be the limiting factor. I'm pretty sure now that the 80A version would have been overkill too, but lots of headroom on the controller is good in my opinion. Castle lists their 120A rating as determined by sustaining it for the length of a 10,000 MAH battery pack at 14S. I'm only carrying 2600 mah and 12S, and I'm sure the roller wheel and motor would go up in smoke if I tried to put 5700 watts through them until the battery ran out. The batteries would also be on fire but the controller would likely be fine.

I can hardly wait to see it spin... and I hope I can fix whatever bad thing happens in my initial tests in time :)

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 31, 2019, 10:35:22 pm
Today I tested all the new batteries with the ESR meter (51 degrees in the shop today... -7 outside). They all checked out so I replaced all of the connectors too. I'm happy with how they stand:
(https://i.imgur.com/VyRbPdu.jpg)

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 08, 2019, 10:29:31 pm
I've been MIA for a week, sorry about that.  We had a deadline at work on Thursday and that ate up most of my free time and spare brainpower.  I did chip away at the wiring an hour or so each evening this week, and then after we hit our deadline I took yesterday afternoon and today off work to really wrap it up. When you're trying to shove 10 gallons of crap in a 5 gallon bucket it takes a ton of time, and this build is no exception. With the three power switches, five motors, five controllers, and six battery packs there are a lot of wires in this thing. Clearance on the bottom plate is getting pretty tight. I think it's ok, but it makes me a little nervous I'll pinch something when putting it on and off. Once I get it all wrapped up and ziptied down I'll see how it looks, and I may strategically pocket out some of the base to gvie more space.

Here's a picture I took about an hour before wrapping up tonight:
(https://i.imgur.com/gy51BJl.jpg)

I verified that all the right voltages and polarities exist at all the controllers. Having connectors at every controller makes it easier to validate, debug during the competition, and replace things in a hurry, but it does take up a lot of space.  I know some of that is the powerpole connectors I use for everything, but the XT60's take up a lot of space too. In the end I'm pretty happy with how things landed. I ended up color coding the three sets of connectors. I think that will help me get it all stuffed in there the same way each time. Green is the lower 4S2P pack which controls the drive and contributes to the weapon. Blue is the middle 4S2P pack which is just in series with the first one, and the two separate yellow connectors are for two separate 4S packs that complete the series circuit to run the weapon controller at 12S.  I forgot to take a picture of the packs in the machine - they fill up all the orange space in the picture. All of it.

Tonight I stopped after validating all the connections because I noticed a "hot electronics" smell just during testing and without actually connecting any of the controllers. It made me nervous so I turned the machine off and grabbed my infrared thermometer. I started hunting around with that and my ultra-sensitive nose-o-meter and found the culprit. It turns out running an LED at 40V means you are dissipating an awful lot of heat through a tiny resistor. Once I tracked it down I checked the temp with the LED on. It climbed about 1 deg F per second. That's not gonna work.

I think I'll do the spin test without the LED for now. I have some 500 ohm 3W resistors that might do the trick but for now finding out if it spins is more important. 50V @ 500 ohm is 5W dissipation, but there's another built-in resistor (that I didn't measure yet) and it only has to do it for 10 minutes or so. We shall see.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on February 09, 2019, 12:07:57 am
and here I am thinking running 5 motors, 5 esc's, 2 switches and 3 batteries was bad :P looks like you're in good shape with a week to go.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: BranYoung on February 09, 2019, 01:05:40 am
Compared to how for along you are, my 30 is put to shame! I'm looking forward to seeing how this mid-plane construction works out. I thought of this way more elaborate requiring lots of parts working together so I'm sure seeing this in action will give me some new ideas.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 09, 2019, 09:22:17 am
"looks like you're in good shape with a week to go" - only if everything goes 100% as planned... and of course it won't.

First instance of things not going as planned - looks like there's some issue with tying two drive controllers to the same RX channel. If I disconnect one from the y-cable the other one initializes with no issues. If I disconnect that one and connect the other then the other works fine. If they are both plugged in then I just get the "no signal" beep

My guess is that the controllers are trying to communicate over the signal lead and having two connected is borking things. They are Afro 30A ESCs with SimonK flashed on them and the bootloader enabled. My guess is the bootloader initialization is conflicting.

If I have to get them on separate rx signal channels I can either put a second RX in the bot or try to come up with some mixing settings that will slave a second pair of channels to the drive channels. Anybody have better suggestions?

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 09, 2019, 09:53:05 am
I checked the motor direction with each controller plugged in separately and noticed that it was running like it was the other side of the robot. I decided to swap the Y cable to the other channel and leave both motor controllers connected. It worked - initialized fine. It's possible it was some kind of a calibration issue but very odd that the controllers worked fine independently and not when attached together.

For now I'll move on. Just did a check to make sure the weapon motor was working correctly too and all is well. I'm going to button up the wiring and then it will be time to do some actual testing.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on February 09, 2019, 12:07:12 pm
I totally forgot about y harnesses for drive, going to need to get some this weekend, thanks for the reminder :)
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 09, 2019, 01:15:10 pm
I only remembered last week and put in a separate order for them. At least *you* have access to a local hobby shop :)

First full power up bench tests were successful. The drive system is all set up to go the right direction now too. I did a wheels up test to verify direction and then a twenty second or so drive test in the box. It's wickedly fast with only half the robot there. Interested to see how it does with the full weight

The weapon motor, belt, bearings, and roller assembly all seem to be ok. I got a slight temperature rise running it full out for 30 seconds, but nothing to be too worried about. Loaded speed will be lower and even at that rate for three minutes it shouldn't get hot enough to matter. Worst case I may need to add a little lube between the pulley and the bearings but I'd like to avoid that in case it finds its way to the roller.

Stopped for lunch real quick then I'll do the first spin test. Fingers crossed.
-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 09, 2019, 10:05:14 pm
It works. It's terrifying. I think it's louder than some helicopters.

I have more pictures and stuff, but for now, just this:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LM4hUQokDNI&feature=youtu.be

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Team haciM on February 10, 2019, 11:18:47 am
That is flat out nasty!
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 10, 2019, 10:44:57 pm
More progress this evening but no more spinups. I went on to a third implementation of the idler because the bearings cracked on the needle roller version with the aluminum ring. Now it's straight UHMW roller. At least if it jams it will just become a skid.

I also got a second roller hub finished up and made six spare roller tires. This way I can swap between fights in 2 minutes and then replace the tire on the second hub once the pressure is off. I doubt I'll need six fights worth, but I don't know. The top plates are installed too. I ended up cutting them from some random top plates I had in the 30 bin. They were probably from Tetanus, but I'm not sure. They were a perfect fit, just had to trim the point off and drill new holes. I'm happy with how they turned out.

Next up is making up a pair of spare drive motors and maybe replacing one of the skids that is worn down a bit from my bad bearing tests. At least I hope that's what did it. Oh, and theoretically I'll be reviving magneato.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: BranYoung on February 11, 2019, 12:02:54 am
Any mods for Magneto or is time mainly for the new bot? I've really enjoyed watching the build grow up before Moto! The group on Facebook has been dominated recently by people finishing up their 30s and all I can say is that we are all in for a wild ride ;)
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 11, 2019, 12:07:24 am
I have no idea where Magneato stands. It will get whatever time I have leftover.. my focus is on the new bot.  Better to have one done than two not quite done

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Koolaid64 on February 11, 2019, 09:03:20 am
Hey Zac,

What weight, Dia, and rpm is the shell going to be? trying to put together a reference list of feathers


-Kyle
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 15, 2019, 10:17:24 pm
Both are ready and thanks to a ton of work from a lot of people the arena is too. This is gonna be fun
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 18, 2019, 06:52:05 pm
Back from moto and slowly recovering. It was a great event and I had a lot of fun as usual. Our arena upgrades drammatically improved the safety of the arena and caused few problems with the competition. The biggest impact was probably the featherweight Final in which BEAM ended up outside of the combat surface behind the floating panels. Next year we'll probably make them full sheets to prevent this, but it sure was a big hit that caused it.

My fights were fairly satisfying. Hyperpolarized peformed very well in the first three fights, but then hit some kind of issue that prevented it from spinning in the last two. It's a shame - the weapon is a force to be reckoned with when it works. I still don't know what happened but I'll figure it out when I get caught up on all the crap I pushed off to make this happen.

The videos are here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJyUmfECaJY&list=PLATw5d_vDtZlMzaKHjtvLq319q9mrYWgK

Thanks to all those who pitched in to make this happen. The NERC crew really works hard to pull off an event this big, and many people put in long hours to put up and tear down the arena on either end too. There were even some extra volunteers to do pit running, scheduling, announcing, and judging. You guys rock.
-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: Lucas Grell on February 20, 2019, 09:57:10 pm
Excellent job on the new robot, it's very impressive in person as well as online. Can't wait to see it running at 100% next time around!

And thanks for reminding me about the forums, I'd forgotten you post all your build reports here. Very nice to see such detailed information on the construction of these bots.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 20, 2019, 10:08:19 pm
I know facebook is all the rage, but I like having pinned discussions about specific things instead of sorting through the stream-of-a-hundred-conciousnesses flavor that Facebook promotes.

If there are only a couple of people who follow it I'll still try to keep doing it. I learned a lot from the Team Cosmos, Biohazard, and C2 Robotics build reports when I was getting started.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on February 21, 2019, 03:24:58 am
I was very impressed with the performance of the new spinner in its first couple fights. I foresee an insect shell spinner being in my future... I also thought it was pretty cool how you have the bearing assembly on the shell, one thing you never really showed in the pic so far. Very clever and looks very durable.

After our discussion Sunday night I figured out how to embed pics here so I've started my team post as well here and will make an effort to maintain it in parallel to my facebook page.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on March 17, 2019, 03:36:48 pm
The bearings on this shell were the same sorta setup as the last two with the needle roller in the center hub and a fixed center post.  I did make it much larger in this version to allow me to lower it. I'll probably rework the center post into a single steel "cup" for the next version. I think I can use standoffs for the retaining bolts and 3d print a plastic block to keep the standoffs from rotating when I put the shell retaining plate on and off. That will be better than the two-part setup I have now and shouldn't depend on Threecoil's old mild steel flywheel anymore :)  The bearing actually held up surprisingly ok - I thought it would be the first thing to fail.

I support a shell spinner in any class. It's hard to keep them working though. I finally got to take it apart this weekend and see why it didn't spin in the last two fights. I'm not 100% sure, but my theory is that the damaged lexan top plates from the Emulsifier fight allowed the retaining screws to dangle down into the base and jam on a hole in the mid plate. I have a big scratch and a dent in one of the air holes at the right distance from the center. I think when it jammed the weapon roller was ground into powder trying to drive the shell past the screw and then I couldn't spin anymore.

I replaced the roller for my last fight against Disko but I didn't remove the melted rubber from the underside of the shell. When I spun it up bits of that wrapped around the idler and jammed the shell up again, causing the new roller to annihilate itself like it's brother. This caused it to stop spinning again. These rollers were 80A hardness. They have a 90 and 90A hardness too that I'll try to see if I can get them to slip and wear a little less. I'll also need a better solution for the lexan top plates and will probably recut the midplate so there is no gap under the shell cover retaining screws in case it happens again.

I'm helping out as a mentor for a local team so they can get ready for the Rage in the Cage event at Bloomsburg High School in a couple weeks, and will be the referree at the Meadville Northwest PA NTMA regional on the same day as Rage in the Cage. Should be fun

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on September 22, 2019, 09:05:03 pm
Started on reworking Magneato for Franklin.  The design work is done, the laser cut parts should arrive from the shop on Monday or Tuesday, and now all I have to do is pull it together in the next two weeks.  Before I do work on the upgrades I will need to figure out why it stopped spinning at Moto earlier this year. That will likely be a job for tomorrow night.

For now, here is the beginning of the build/design log:

The basic idea is STOP GETTING STUCK.  I'm tired of having to wait to spin the thing back up when I end up upside down, and I want to be able to be more aggressive on the driving without worrying about flipping over. So I'm turning down the flywheel speed and adding an extra pair of wheels on top (with some fancy belt routing) which should hopefully keep the bot mobile no matter what orientation I'm in, even if the weapon dies. Let's face it, this is a complicated weapon that is not as reliable as I want - that shouldn't make me lose instantly.

To make the weight I'm switching back to a semi-standard rear-hinge layout instead of a four bar. I hate to see it go too, but that's the best I can do in a month's time.

https://tinyurl.com/MagneatoFI19

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: TeamAlreadyBroke on September 23, 2019, 09:30:54 am
I was hoping you were going to do another build thread before Franklin. I always enjoy reading through your thought process. I hope you are able to finish in time for the competition. We didn't change too much but will be running a new bot as well. I can't wait to go against a more aggressive Magneato! Good Luck!

- Dominic
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on September 24, 2019, 10:07:44 pm
I snuck in an hour of work tonight. Most of it was just unpacking parts and getting the work bench cleared off. The last 20 minutes or so was swapping to my backup DX6 because the primary one no longer senses the button presses on the left programming button, so I can no longer switch models or change settings. Magneato has different requirements than the last model I was on. I have a spare DX6 I bought a while back so I just bound it to a new rx and got the settings back in shape.

The last couple minutes was troubleshooting the weapon motor not spinning. I ran out of time for a definitive answer, but preliminary tests indicate it's not in the signal wiring, receiver, or microcontroller. It is likely a power connection problem between the phoenix and the motor. I'm hoping it's just a connector pulled out but will have to dig in more later. Hopefully tomorrow.

I got all of the shop drawings cut out at full scale yesterday, and all my machined parts are here now. Just gotta build it all this weekend :)

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on September 24, 2019, 11:51:41 pm
I think rear hinged will be more stable when flipping but time will tell. I gotta start posting some updates here too soon. I wish I could do franklin, but couldn't say no to Korea.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on September 26, 2019, 10:25:15 pm
I worked on the flipper arm tonight. I need to remove and rework the break beam sensor cover plate because it makes the arm fit very snugly on the rear hinge pin. I can make a new one out of black plastic (which will natively stop the infrared beam) instead of the white plastic one I have now that has electrical tape wrapped around it.

I also need to add in the plastic block that goes across the flipper head and will serve as a velcro mount point so the arm will stick to the rear frame. This will hopefully help to prevent the "salute" the robot does as I turn sometimes because the gyroscopic precession causes a lateral force on the flywheel and pushes it into the clutch a little bit. This is why I started most of my matches with a ziptie holding the arm down - so the arm wouldn't do this salute until after the first flip. I'm hoping the velcro will work like an automatically resetting ziptie :)

Pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/SoVCA1z?

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on September 28, 2019, 10:48:33 pm
I spent the whole day in the shop today. I finished up the flipper assembly this morning and did some testing with the new flipper on the old base to make sure it would self right and to see how the flip power is. The self righting is solid, but the flip power is tough to gauge without cleats.  After I made sure everything was holding up ok and I didn't introduce any new rope snags or the like I started in on one of the new side frame rails.

Pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/SoVCA1z?

Video:
480 FPS flipping a target with no cleats - https://youtu.be/4aY1Bi5ZdrA
480 FPS Full power self right test (still uploading) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHwjCM8ATbE
real time flip and self right test (still uploading) - https://youtu.be/2DQZ1DQi4SY

Tomorrow will be wrapping up the frame sides and new top plates. I might also replace the rear frame piece since it is the only remaining one, and I realized today it has taken a fair bit of damage so some of the screws no longer work on the corners. Should be no big deal.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on September 29, 2019, 10:25:55 pm
I spent the whole day in the shop again today. I didn't *quite* make it to doing another flip with the cleats installed, but I did get the frame replaced and both drive sides set up. I haven't tested them under power yet but they're buttery smooth on the bench. I need to add the corner gussets and cleats to the frame, and install the top plates then it's back to the test box to see what breaks. Gonna be close on weight, but I think it's manageable. I might have an hour or so to work tomorrow and Wednesday, and maybe three hours on Thursday. I'll have to pack too

Pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/SoVCA1z?

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on September 30, 2019, 12:27:47 am
Have you considered doing long wide outriggers like I use on Llama Sheen to make it more stable on flips?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on October 02, 2019, 10:50:26 pm
More progress tonight. I did a little more testing and I'm pretty sure there's a loose wire somewhere. When the flywheel gets going and the vibration is high, I can hear one of the controllers disconnecting and reconnecting. Until tonight I wasn't sure which one, but now I'm sure it is one of the drive controllers, likely the flywheel side which is flaking out on me. When recalibrating the controllers to make sure that wasn't the issue I noticed that the power connector on that one looked like it had been unplugged a bit. I'm not sure if it was already that way or if I did it while messing with it, but the former would explain the symptoms.

I'm going to do some testing with the flywheel spinning the other direction too. I think the robot rearing up is mostly caused by the rotational momentum in the flywheel transferring to the robot after the flipper arm hits the stops. Rotating "downward" toward the front should stop the rearing up, but might cause it to tumble forward more. I'm hoping the cleats will prevent issues there.  I did bend one of them sideways slamming things around in the test box so I might trim them back a bit just to leave a little more support. That would save me some much needed weight too.

I'm leaving Friday after work to make the 3+ hour trip to King of Prussia, so I have tomorrow evening and I may end up taking Friday off of work to make sure I'm ready. Cutting this one close!

Too lazy to get the pictures this late so you'll have to wait. I did take some though

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on October 09, 2019, 10:32:50 pm
Back from Franklin. I had a lot of fun and enjoyed hanging out with everybody again. I even got to help out a couple of teams and did a hilarious demo against Wumbo.  The robot didn't do very well, drawing two lifter bots that pretty much controlled me the whole time. 2 minutes against a lifter bot is just not very long. I'll need a better solution in the future.  The extra wheels worked well, and the bot remained fairly mobile. The weapon clutch worked ok, though it failed to fire a few times. I think the problem has to do with wear on the ti shaft that the flywheel rides on, but I'm not sure. It is a couple day and $100 project to replace that part so I didn't do it for this build.  I do need to improve my testing procedure though - in real combat with turning and accelerating the systems aren't as reliable as they are in my test box (big surprise). Of course I finished it around 5:00 on Friday so not a lot of testing happened :)

(https://i.imgur.com/80VkVYp.jpg)

Updated build report with the last wrap up and weight reduction steps:
https://imgur.com/a/SoVCA1z?

Video Jasmine captured from the livestream of my fights:
Heracross, loss by decision: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1aGFZE4xS-e7Rg7GgPZ3hZm7s-NKsMjXO
BEEEES??!, loss by decision: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1fmeg1yaRU-fIDF2EFwDQkF6Iz5iRR7Io
Sportsman rumble, win by enjoyment: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1_wnMBE8IkfoskB6eCNH4avfxzpEqeEV7

If anybody has the video of the Wumbo demo I'd love to see it. It was not planned so I didn't get a recording. I haven't had time to clip it from the live stream yet.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on October 09, 2019, 10:35:18 pm
I should also mention that the live stream and fight list seemed to go well this year. What did you guys think about it? Jon worked really hard on it, and I pitched in here and there. I think it makes it way easier to stay connected with friends and family who can't come. I know I had a handful of people from home watching now and then.

There are a lot of folks that work hard behind the scenes to pull these events off. If you get the chance, thank one of them sometime. This event seemed to run very smoothly, with pretty much non-stop action. I am impressed that everybody was able to keep their bots running with no postponements and no test box. Kudos to the builders for making it happen too

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on November 28, 2019, 01:09:12 am
I seen you're not signed up for Moto yet, I assume ya just missed the first window? Next window is this Friday. I kinda want to see how Llama can take the hits from Magneto, especially back driving my weapon with that much force, not exactly something I can test.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on November 28, 2019, 03:26:43 pm
Yep, just missed the first window. I’m hoping to get in on the second. Not sure if magneato is gonna make this one. I don’t want to take somebody’s spot unless I can make a real try at it.

I have a list of small upgrades planned for hyperpolarized. Mostly they center around a better idler and improving maintenance on the bot. That should help it hold a heading much better and reduce wear on the roller as well as help with the between fight scramble. It was the scariest field of feathers I’ve ever seen together last year, this year is unlikely to disappoint

Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on November 29, 2019, 07:26:12 pm
The crazy starts in 1/2 hour, hopefully ya get in, if not gotta wait list your way in
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on November 29, 2019, 07:28:47 pm
I’m ready. Thanks for looking out for me

Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on November 29, 2019, 08:18:59 pm
Every year round 1 is nuts and round 2 gets shorter and shorter. This year I think round 2 was harder then round 1 to get in. The site was down for me until there was like 5 spots left between the bigger classes, good thing I was already in. As with every year, its gonna be good times.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on November 29, 2019, 08:37:43 pm
WOOOOOOO I made it in! Thanks to the multiple people who sent me reminders. For the record, I spaced out last year on the first round completely, but this year I was paying attention and still wasn't fast enough on the first round. It got a bit shaky there when the BDB went down but we made it.

I may drop the sportsman later if it looks like I won't get to it, but for now it is registered. If you know somebody who is trying to get into that class, then consider this inside information for all three of the people who watch the sparc forums :)

For Hyperpolarized I'm planning upgrades to these things:
1. Better idler setup. The old one was a nightmare to maintain, it wore down in almost every fight and depended on a complicated disassembly process to repair. I tried to make it as small as I could and expected to never have to mess with it but this shell is just a tiny bit uneven on the top so it gets obliterated at the speeds I'm spinning. Clearances on the top for this bot are so much tighter than the last few that the idler is way more involved. I'm hoping a better idler will allow it to hold a heading better. It's hard for you guys to see, but this robot slews to the side really bad while driving. I made it super flat so it would be super stable, but the goal was to make it way more mobile than the last version. In the end it is much faster and more stable, but with the oversteering problem it wasn't actually any better at going where I want when I want.  That's going to be vital with all of these terrifying bots.
2. Better lexan mounts for the top. The old pie wedge shaped plastic pieces don't have enough overlap with the steel shell. That means the screws are mounted too close to the edge of the plastic, and the slightest impact causes the plastic to crack around the screw holes and break apart. This makes the shrapnel guard into shrapnel, and allows the screw to come loose. That's bad because it then drops between the shell and the mid plate and gets caught on the weight/cooling holes in the mid plate. That binds the shell up. Not a huge thing at full speed other than having metal bits in the innards, but if it is stopped it can jam the shell up and screw up the roller. I'm pretty sure this is what cost me the two fights at the end of moto last year. I actually have a pic of the scrape mark where the screw gouged the mid plate and then hit one of the holes. I don't know when it happened exactly, but I can see that being a problem. I'm going to rework the midplate holes to avoid alignment with the screws and also improve the mounting for the screws. My current plan is to weld little threaded spacers to each of the shell spoke braces and do a single continuous lexan circle above the spokes, with rubber gromments for the mounting holes. That should eliminate the cracking issue other than on a pretty significant hit, and mean the screws can't fall into the bot as easily.
3. A better center post setup. The current post was a last-minute retrofit of the Threecoil flywheel as a bearing surface. It is soft and only mostly round. It worked remarkably well for being so last minute, but I want to redo it out of a real machined part. Basically the bearing inner race I got was a very loose fit on the bearing and it led to way too much wobble. This is probably .002-.005 bigger and it was way better, but I don't trust it. Basically I'm thinking I'll make a single steel bowl shape and get rid of the center aluminum plug. That should save a lot of weight and allow a custom fit surface for the bearing.
4. Better skids around the edge of the shell besides the idler. These are wearing down reasonably fast as expected, but I didn't do a good job planning how much maintenance would be required and how hard it would be. Right now I basically have to pull the electronics box apart to get to a nut on the other side of the screws AND remove one of the standoffs that blocks the wrench. It's a huge hassle, and a threaded mount would have fixed it. Basically I'm thinking I'll rework the corner blocks on the electronics boxes into a combined standoff and frame mount that I can also use to mount a skid. It'll be annoying to make four of them, but compared to the effort last time it shouldn't be too bad.
5. A better power switch / LED setup. The current setup works fine for drive, but requires me to hold the charging switch while I turn on the weapon to prevent the giant arc from the weapon controller caps filling. This spark is what cost Thomas Kenney on Shaka - eventually it burned through the plastic of the whyachi switch and grounded on the mounting screw to the frame (from some other wiring damage that caused the frame to ground). It led to a bunch of bad electrical gremlins and eventually a meltdown. The charging switch is good, but a bit of a hassle, and the voltage is too much for the LEDs and resistors I had on hand, so I'm going to do a more legit job with that this time. At moto I depended on the weapon controller sound to know the weapon was on (plus the drive controller LED) and that is nerve racking at the show. I just ran out of time to finish it.

To make all this happen I still have about a half pound in the budget, and I can save another half with the center post redo I bet (haven't run the numbers yet). Unfortunately a legit idler is going to take up enough space that I don't think my power switch setup will work. I have a new design I want to try that is loosely based on a fingertech switch but includes a charging circuit and some compliance to allow for an extra tight hold even in a high vibration environment.  I've been happy with the whyachi switches, but they are so expensive now and so big that I'm looking elsewhere. The little black four-position style with the copper screw just sounds too unreliable to me so I'm toying with my own solution.

Looking forward to the build and to moto. It's going to be vicious and a lot of fun. I'll try to post here as I have progress but it is likely to be sporadic through the end of the year. We shall see!

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 05, 2019, 07:37:00 am
Well... I decided to drop Magneato. I'm going to focus on Hyperpolarized. Hopefully that works out to be a good choice.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on December 06, 2019, 01:20:14 am
That let Ravi get a spot, thanks for the heads up. Given I didn't see this for 5 hours because night shift, clearly pays off to monitor this forum :P I should have some content to share soon. I'm looking forward to seeing how your changes work out, I just like seeing shell spinners work well ;)
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on December 07, 2019, 06:57:27 am
Excellent, that's just the kind of thing I was hoping would happen.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 05, 2020, 10:01:43 pm
Motorama is a-coming and I'm getting going too. I just finished the design work for the next update to Hyperpolarized.  I don't have time to do much of a write-up tonight but I did put up the initial render:

https://imgur.com/a/qTwNkMq


Hope everybody else had a good Christmas and the work is underway for other builds too. I just ordered the first batch of parts from mcmaster and the machine shop so it's officially build season for me.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 07, 2020, 10:17:59 pm
My mcmaster order came in today and I heard back from the shop that my aluminum frame parts are all done. They should arrive UPS tomorrow.  Tonight in the shop I took the plastic cover plates and detachable teeth off of the shell and spent a little time organizing the shop. I have a box of crap for each of the last three competitions of spares and materials that didn't make the cut when I was packing, and it's time to pay off a little of that accumulated debt.  For now I just moved them out of the way... which is why I have accumulated them.

Tomorrow when I get home from work I need to clean up the shell - grind off the top tooth holders, a split weld at the top of the shell from the last fight against Don, and strip the paint off to make welding the new holders and filling that hole a bit easier.  I'll send the shell down to the shop tomorrow and hopefully get it back next week some time. Almost all of the real shell damage came from the last couple of fights where it wasn't spinning. I think if I can fix that it should be very sturdy. Even with the hits it took it held up remarkably well. That AR400 is tough stuff.

While waiting for that welding work I'll be working on the updated frame blocks. A buddy at work is 3D printing a jig that should help me make the three pairs of parts more accurately. I've never done that before so I'm just kinda winging it. Basically I printed a shell that goes around the stock and has holes in the right places. The holes are oversized and I'm going to add in some bushings I make on the lathe to help align the drill bits. It'll kinda look like an iron maiden while I'm doing it.  He's also 3D printing a sample power switch body so I can test the fit. I won't be using a PLA version in an actual combat bot but I want to make sure I can actually assemble it and that the clearances are all ok before I go to the trouble of milling three of them out of UHMW.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 08, 2020, 07:08:53 pm
The event certainly sneaks up fast. I'm in school now until early March so I needed everything done by last weekend, I'll throw an update up here now. I definitely think going to the AR was a good idea, since heat treating something like the 4130 would have been mega risky. Its good to hear it held up pretty good. I look forward to seeing it spin more this year ;)
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 08, 2020, 09:46:43 pm
I did the majority of the dental work tonight. I ran out of time and will have to wrap it up tomorrow so I can send it to the shop on Friday. I still need to bend the bottom flange back into shape too but that's not super critical.

My 2D parts arrived from the laser cutter, and my mcmaster order is in. My buddy printed the first pass of the jig setup for the corner blocks and they were a little tight so he opened it up 5 thou and it sounds like it fit. I'll check that tomorrow too.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 11, 2020, 08:54:39 pm
The first real build progress came tonight. I got the shop all cleaned up and back in order, then countersunk the holes for the new mid plate. I've got a serious task on my hands to replace the few frame pieces I'm updating, but taking the bot apart and checking all the parts is probably worthwhile anyway. Here's a shot of the new pieces being test fit:

(https://i.imgur.com/zuEEzQg.jpg)


Pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/qTwNkMq

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 14, 2020, 10:34:03 pm
A little more progress the last couple of days. I now have one almost complete power switch (need to make the cover plates on the sides) and two more that are maybe 75%.

(https://i.imgur.com/JjsPPeU.jpg)

Pics:
https://imgur.com/a/qTwNkMq

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: BranYoung on January 18, 2020, 09:09:48 am
Not a bad idea! I assume UHMW body and all those holes are to mount right onto the frame?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 19, 2020, 10:05:08 am
Yep, the holes are for mounting to the frame and mounting the cover plates that go on either side. The cover plates isolate the guts from the frame, but I guess if your frame was plastic you could save some width and skip one side. I considered just doing shrinkwrap to keep it as thin as possible but ultimately I had the space and felt better with real covers.

I spent all of last week on a different project that I'll list on here when it is in demo ready form. Today I'm heading back down to the shop to wrap up the power switches and start working on the frame transplant.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 23, 2020, 10:58:44 pm
Lots more progress in the last couple of days. I got the power switches done, the frame corner blocks done, and started in on some of the frame assembly. Next up is the other side of the battery box / weapon motor mount and then it is time to transplant the existing frame over. If I can focus on it this weekend I should be able to get the bot up and running

(https://imgur.com/a/qTwNkMq)

Pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/qTwNkMq

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 24, 2020, 01:49:34 pm
I'm curious to hear how those switches work out for ya. Any plans on labeling them with something fancy like custom stickers?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 24, 2020, 10:06:40 pm
More progress tonight. I got the new frame rails finished, wiring guards added, and made sure the corner blocks fit. The plastic I have for the hoops is a bit undersized so I'm going to have to shim it out slightly. No biggie. I started in on the wiring disassembly and will do the mid plate transplant and drive motor reinstallation tomorrow.

(https://imgur.com/a/qTwNkMq)

Pictures
https://imgur.com/a/qTwNkMq

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 26, 2020, 10:47:46 pm
Lots of progress this weekend. I got the mid plate transplanted and everything reinstalled. I even got the bottom plate done and all the new wiring finished. All that's left is to trim the skids down a little bit and give it a test. I didn't want to do it when it was too late in case it went badly and I didn't have time/brainpower to deal with it. It's very hard to just walk away when you're this close...

(https://i.imgur.com/NIPKnYi.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/WuJjSjA.jpg)
(https://i.imgur.com/WJgGA7k.jpg)




Pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/qTwNkMq

-Zac

Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 28, 2020, 10:23:26 pm
I got back down to the shop tonight, installed the batteries, trimmed the skids a little bit, and took the bot for a test run.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS-2IRfn6lw&feature=youtu.be

It definitely spins better than the old version, but the idler didn't survive the test. It still moves freely but the tread was destroyed. I've got some harder wheels (black tread) coming Thursday that I think could hold up better, but I'm also going to replace the bearing center post with a tighter tolerance one. I hope that helps the vibration a little. As much as I enjoy the intimidating sound, it needs to be a little more stable. 

The drag is less bad than it was in the old version, but there still is some. I have a gyro that I could install but there isn't space in the bot for it and I worry about adding something like that to the system as a single point of failure. I'll get it working without as much as I can and see how it goes.

Pictures:
(https://imgur.com/a/qTwNkMq)
https://imgur.com/a/qTwNkMq

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 29, 2020, 03:26:39 pm
With the idler, why not make it uhmw? it does't need any traction beyond enough to spin the bearing instead of melting a flat spot and could have some cushion if needed over say aluminum, and would be lighter most likely. Looks good so far and you've got 2 weeks to polish up the final details.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 29, 2020, 10:34:55 pm
I tried small UHMW last year and it annihilated the bore. With the bigger space I might be able to make something work but it needs to reliably retain the bearings too so having a metal hub with a tight press fit is important. If I'm gonna go that far I'll just make it out of the same as the main roller and be done

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on January 30, 2020, 06:51:12 pm
That's fair, it would need to be a hub to retain the bearings and hold its shape for sure, so an aluminum hub with a uhmw tire basically, but as you said at that point using the same stuff as the drive wheel would be safe too. Bonus points if you could make then the exact same to reduce the needed spares.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on January 30, 2020, 10:36:20 pm
I *could* make them the exact same, and in fact I have two duplicates for the powered roller so I can swap in two minutes instead of disassembling the hub assembly. It's like a speed reloader for a revolver. Actually it kinda looks like one too since it has six standoffs screwed into one side of the hub.

The thing is, the shaft setup for the idler one is more compact because the bearings are inside the wheels with a dead shaft instead of a live shaft with bearings outside. I am totally out of space. A hub for the idler could be a lot simpler than the powered one because I could skip the keyway, counterbore, and standoffs. Just glueing the roller to the hub since it shouldn't need to be replaced would be fine. I may just go that route if the banebots wheels don't work out. It's basically the same amount of work as making a hub for a colson that fits the bearings I have.

Tonight I got started on replacing the center post. I the OD, ID, and retaining nub on the back finished. I'm happy with how they turned out. I still need to drill the bolt pattern and add the retaining screw like I did with the other one. Then I have to install it in the bot which will require unbolting the weapon motor. That's an unfortunate artifact of the design, and I could have skipped one of the six retaining bolts to avoid it. If I expected to do it more often I probably would have but the extra strength in that part was worth the extra headache. I wasn't even planning to have a spare originally but the tolerances on the center bearing are just too bad to keep what I have.

Pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/qTwNkMq

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: TeamAlreadyBroke on February 01, 2020, 09:37:10 am
Looking terrifying as always Zac!

Just an observation from running the BaneBots T40 and T81 wheels in higher ground speed applications; anything less than the hardest ones (and even those) do not like any sort of scrubbing to be present. I can only imagine with your speed it would be significantly amplified. I can show you plenty of severely cupped / shredded wheels like yours just from driving in our laminated floor practice arena.

Keep up the good work!

- Dominic
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 01, 2020, 04:41:14 pm
Yep, I'm coming to realize that. Thanks for the confirmation. Unfortunately it's designed as a 2" diameter part and I only have 1.75" UHMW in stock. I ordered some 2" material (and 2.75" so I can make whatever I need in the future!). It should be here Tuesday.

In the mean time I got the idler hub made, top plate installed and verified, bearing mount installed, and top teeth installed. It just barely makes weight with everything, but I have a double stack of retaining plates on the center post that I can use as ballast if the scale is not feeling forgiving.

I've got some other stuff going this weekend, but will try to get the idler and some spare stuff made up this week.

Pictures:
https://imgur.com/a/qTwNkMq

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on February 03, 2020, 01:07:31 pm
I've found the blues get pretty torn up on 30lb drive but blacks were much better. In this case I do think uhmw is the way to go and look forward to seeing how it holds up.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 06, 2020, 06:44:11 pm
After some minor adjustments I'm happy with where the solid UHMW roller landed. I don't have the video on hand just yet, but it is much smoother than before. I think the underlying issue is a slight inaccuracy in the flatness of the shell top. When I rotate it by hand I can see the center of the shell going up and down a little, maybe a bit more than 1/16". At the speeds I'm dealing with that means a lot of vibration

I've got some spares to make, painting, etc but I should be in business next weekend.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 09, 2020, 08:05:36 am
I didn't work on the bot at all yesterday. Still to do:
Spare weapon rollers
Spare top plate
Some more testing
Paint
Packing

I'll try to do some of that today.  Instead of working in the shop like I should have, I tried to wrap up the project I mentioned the other day on here. I have created a phone app (currently only available on Android) that should help builders know when they are on the list and be able to look at the bot details for registered bots. It will also be useful for the friends/family of builders so they can tune in to the stream when the time is right.

For the moment it is in beta mode (anybody with the link). and there is also a web site that doesn't have all the native app goodies but still allows some of the interactions. I expect to publish it on the android store before motorama but not tell non-builders.  It still probably has bugs as I haven't tested it super-thoroughly.

At the moment it is running a fake simulation of Moto 2020. The list updates every minute or so and you can subscribe to bots and it will send you notifications. Humphrey Hugabear is a frequent bot so you can see the notification flow easiest by using that as an example. The Watch Now link points to an old youtube capture. When I have the live stream link I'll update it to point to the right place.

Eventually I'd like to roll it out to IOS as well, and allow the live stream and audience in the stands to use it. Long term I'd love to allow people to upvote fights they like and stuff like that but I don't have any more time before moto. For now, give it a shot and see what you think. I'm currently rolling out a fix for the wrong bots showing up the first time you "explore". It takes a while to propagate through Google's app servers.

Web: http://robotreconapp.com
Android Beta: https://play.google.com/apps/testing/com.therobotdesigner.nercapp

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: TeamAlreadyBroke on February 09, 2020, 12:31:18 pm
Zac, you are a madman and I love it!!!

That is so awesome you put in the time for this! Seriously, thank you! The website feature was working pretty good, but with an App like this there is definitely some real potential for growth for sure! For me personally (due to so many bots usually) I really like the notifications feature. It will help immensely if a match is bumped or to be able to get notified of an upcoming match you have been wanting to see. It's definitely an awesome start! We are excited!

May I make a small request though? Right now the notifications are set up for "Never", "Up soon", and "When bot moves"...maybe I am misinterpreting the labeling, but could we select both of those options instead of either or? Or is "when bot moves" every time is gets closer to its match? Basically need some clarity in this area. Maybe a short description below? I know you are crunched for time.

Keep up the good work!

- Dominic
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 09, 2020, 12:49:59 pm
Any Time the Bot Moves is the feature you want. You'll get a message if the position for that bot changes on the list. So if it arrives at the bottom you'll get a message, then every time the fight list is published it checks to see if the position changed. Sometimes we just add more fights below it so you won't get a message, but if any fights ahead of it get remove (like the fight happens, somebody postpones, etc) the position will change and it will tell you. 

I struggled with making the names concise and also useful. I'll have to think some more. Basically "when up soon" is for people who want to watch the fight like family and friends (or really cool bots for other builders). "Any time it moves" is for your bots, so you know you will be ready for the fight.

Feel free to provide any other feedback you have. Right now I know it's annoying that the android "back" button doesn't really do anything. It's on the list... but it's probably not happening before the event unless time magically appears :)

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 09, 2020, 12:55:12 pm
I should also point out that when the list changes you won't get more than one notification. If you're watching a whole army of bots (and you will be with your crew...) then it's likely multiples will be on the list at a time. When that happens you'll get notified about whatever the soonest fight is with a "+ 2 more" added to the message to say there are two others you subscribed to also on the list. In any case, when the notification comes in I'm expecting you to check the list to see what the deal is - the notification is just so it doesn't surprise you.

Basically I've been having one of my crew be in charge of watching the list for years. Now I don't have to - there's a robot in Iowa doing it for me.  It only checks every minute but that should be faster than a person was going to in most cases anyway. When we get to the real show I'll disable the simulation and start watching the real list instead.

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: jamisong on February 09, 2020, 04:37:57 pm
Awesome idea for the app! Although it will cut down on the number of steps I get at the event ;)

For the replacement roller, sounds like you just need more surface area because the stress it too high for a plain UHMW roller. What if you made an aluminum hub to mount an UHMW disk as your idler? The hub could hold the bearings as well. Otherwise there are other abrasion resistant plastics that could work well instead of UHMW.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: TeamAlreadyBroke on February 09, 2020, 09:05:55 pm
For whatever reason, I am not getting the notifications no matter what I try. I have used every combination of keeping the App and website open / closed, different windows in App etc... I have made sure my notifications for the App itself is turned on in Android (Samsung S10+ with latest update). Is there something I am missing?

Also, side note, did you guys end up making controller hangers for this year since soo many people were bringing them inside the box and putting them in harm's way last year?

- Dominic
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on February 09, 2020, 11:24:43 pm
app is listed as not available in this country :( any way to let the canuks in on this goodness?
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 10, 2020, 07:02:13 am
Oops, the app should be available in Canada now.  I originally just listed it in the US so that I didn't have to spend a bunch of time dealing with GDPR stuff, but of course there is a large Canadian Contingent invading from the north as well.

The solid UHMW roller with the aluminum hub continues to be a good solution. I did another test with a harder powered roller yesterday to see if it would slip instead of burning up if there was more resistance spinning up the shell than expected. I think this is what cost me the last two fights at moto last year. The first time I think one of the top screws dropped through the shell and bridged the gap with a hole in the mid plate, and the second time I think it was the scum of the first roller getting bound up in the crappy idler. Now I've fixed the idler and the top plate screw issue, but if something does bind up I'd rather the wheel slip than just get completely burned up.

I made spare rollers, teeth, drive controllers, weapon controller, and a weapon motor last night. I also started the painting train. All that's left is final assembly, weight check, and packing

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on February 10, 2020, 02:28:09 pm
Looks like the public version is available (and installing now) but not the test version (which is fine by me)

Sounds like you have everything pretty sorted out from what you learned last year, I look forward to seeing how the bracket treats you this year. I've always got a soft spot for shell spinners
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on February 11, 2020, 11:37:34 pm
I got the bot all wrapped up today.

I ended up raising the shell 1/8". I realized that something was wrong with my thinking. I originally thought because the idler was getting murdered at Moto last year that the drag issue was caused by friction there. After thinking a little longer and watching some of my test videos I realized that the drag issue can't be from friction between the shell and the base... the drag is the wrong direction for that.  If the shell was hitting the base it would be slowly seeking the direction the shell is going. If it was just counter-inertia from moving the shell it would stop if I turn off the weapon motor.  My best guess for what was left was the shell hitting the floor and pushing the bot the opposite of the direction of the shell, because it's really pushing the floor in the direction of the shell.  So I raised the shell 1/8" and... way less drag, way better handling.  It's kinda dumb how long it took me to think of it.  The roller setup was always designed to be shim-able if I needed to, so I just installed the shim under the roller and removed the one on top of the shell.

I also made a lighter weight baseplate that will allow me to have heavier bolt-on teeth if necessary, and function as a backup if needed as well.   Tomorrow will be packing and cleanup, as well as volleyball and catching up on some chores I've been neglecting pretty hard.

Hope everybody else is coming along too!
-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: zacodonnell on March 01, 2020, 02:47:20 pm
Pretty "meh" showing at Moto this year for Hyperpolarized.  The first fight was awesome, but one of the huge impacts damaged my weapon controller internally, which caused it to fail intermittently. This meant I thought it was working against Marathon, but it failed to start 5/6 tries.

I spent most of the day Saturday troubleshooting the intermittent controller issue, including doing some load testing in the pit without the shell that I think damaged my weapon belt. The weapon belt gave up the ghost in my third fight against Crmison Snow, but survived long enough for me to get the win.

My fourth fight was against Jamison with MegatRON. I can barely beat him on a good day, and with the issues I was having up to this point I doubted this was going to be one of those. I was right - further weapon belt issues caused the weapon to die after he bashed me into the wall for a minute or so and I tapped out.

In my last fight I faced Emulsifier. If the bot was working 100% I think I had a shot at him, though he had the thing super dialed in this year.  Unfortunately I only had the one spare belt, and I had just killed it against Megatron so no spin means no win for me. KO after the first hit when I landed upside down. 

I'm pretty sure the belt issues were because the drawing I used to replace that frame rail included the wrong spacing for the weapon motor. I fixed it manually last year by remaking the part, but apparently even though I thought I updated the drawing I had not. That meant extra slack (about .040" to short on the center distance!) and that meant dead belts when I smack stuff hard enough. Naturally my spin tests at home couldn't show that problem. I'll need a more thorough testing mechanism.

Videos are here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS-2IRfn6lw&list=PLATw5d_vDtZmzA1yijgG_b02UlzoBphZZ

I think I basically have to fix a little damage from the Emulsifier hit and maybe grind/rework the teeth a little from accumulated wear, and fix the belt thing and I'm back in business. Alas, another year to wait...

-Zac
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on March 02, 2020, 02:08:55 am
Nothing worse then going to a once a year event and getting almost no data on what you need to improve. I guess this means you've got time to work on magneto for franklin/moto ;) All that said, that Crimson Snow fight was spectacular while you were spinning.
Title: Re: Team Brain Damage
Post by: rcjunky on March 22, 2020, 10:14:18 pm
https://youtu.be/PbBoY0UBnwU

this was quite amusing