Dragon Con 2013 Microbattles

posted Sep 3, 2013, 5:36 AM by Lewis Baumstark   [ updated Sep 3, 2013, 6:15 AM ]
Sometimes it's all about how the brackets are seeded, and this time fate was against me.  In my first round I was paired with an excellently built horizontal spinner called Stability Margin.  I got chewed up pretty badly, so much so that, in our second round, I had to tap out because neither my weapon nor my drive system would spin.  It was a single-elimination competition this year, so I was out (until the Rumble!).

Damage included:
  • Weapon blade timing pulley is a complete loss.  It apparently was at the right height for him to get under my blade and take out the pulley and belt.  Also worth noting is he somehow managed to remove the lower bushing from the shaft, which is pretty impressive considering the shaft was capped at both ends...
  • Severed both drive ESC signal cables, which of course is why I ended up dead in the water.  I was counting on my weapon protecting the front of the bot, where the ESCs were tucked.  Once that was gone, he got a direct hit on the ESCs through my UHMW armor.  Some frantic soldering repaired this.
  • Wheel armor torn completely up.  But they saved the wheels.
  • From memory I know I have some bent frame from a vertical spinner in the Rumble.  I think it can be bent back, but I need to investigate more.
So ideas for future improvements:
  • Protection for weapon drive.  I may even consider an undercutting blade if I can make the live shaft magic work.
  • Better ESC cable protection.  Probably if they hadn't been so close to the edge of the UHMW they would have been OK.
  • Keep the same wheel guards, but make spares!
  • Design and mill a ring spinner out of a tool steel.
  • More powerful weapon motor, possibly one where the belt can wrap around the outrunner shell instead of using a driven pulley.
  • Offset the weapon motor if possible.  There's no reason it must be centered, and locating it to the side might free up some internal space.
  • Lower profile: use narrower UHMW if at all possible.

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