Satellite motor testing/break release

I got to test a few of the satellite motors tonight for the first time. There’s an enormous amount of torque in them, but before the motor will turn you have to release the break using the white and black/white wire connected to a 12v or 24v battery. You should hear a snap or a click when I releases.

Satellite Motor

The motor is an integral part of many peoples 2-3-2 leg design, or even straight 3 leg designs, mostly due to the very popular JAG frame. I’ve yet to see anyone use them successfully in a 2-3-2 astromech, and heard some horror stories of people who have tried and failed. I’m hoping we’re going to see some working 2-3-2 implementations at C4 that overcome the shortcoming of the motors. But I’m not going to hold my breath.

I’m still not sure I’m going to use them right away, if at all. The major drawback with the motors is that on a heavy droid the gear teeth can sheer under stress. It’s not so much from stationary rotation of the legs/body, but when driving the droid around. The only thing hold the leg in that position is the small number of teeth that are engaged in the gearbox, and the inevitable happens.

Robert Ross has a prototype design for an external mechanical lock mechanism that will removes the stress on the gearbox. I’m trying to decide if I want to fabricate something similar or wait and see what happens after C4.

Posted by Chris on April 11th, 2007 in Electronics, Legs | No Comments


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