The soft rubber wheels are made by Darnell-Rose, and product number/markings on them show “Darnell Corp X-6 2 1-2 Calf.”. Unfortunately, I can’t find my original receipt nor the wheel in Darnell’s catalog or California Caster’s website. If I find it I’ll try and remember to update this post, but I think if you call up and say X-6 2- 1-2, you be okay.
oh! and a point of clarification, I’m still using the original Proctor Glove / Arrow Hardware caster assembly
Left: Original Proctor Glove wheel – shaved down to 2.5″
Middle: New Darnell wheel
Right: Full Proctor Glove 3″ caster
Nearly ever droid builder I know lugs around a large cart just in case their droid fails. This is especially needed for those of us with drive systems that lock when no powered is applied to the motors. Knock on wood, I’ve never needed to use my cart and it’s always stayed in the van.
Well, at WonderCon last week Gerard showed us his latest find – mini 6″ tri-wheel dollies that’s can easily be place under each drive wheel. They’re small and light enough to throw in your backpack or toolbox.
Only downside is the wheels are pretty small so wouldn’t go over any major bumps or door jams easily, and I wouldn’t recommend using them to totally replace your cart, especially if you use it all the time. Never the less, I went straight out and bought a set to have in case of an emergency.
Here’s Gerard in action pushing his droid around on two of these
I’ve received several emails recently on where I got my 3″ wheel casters from. These are the exact one’s used by Mike Senna and Victor Franco, so I can’t take credit for finding them – but the question keeps coming up , so I thought it might be a good idea to post the information I have.
I have no idea why these seem to work better than others, I think it’s a combination of the dimensions and having a soft rubber wheel that works on variety of surfaces – and the price is right too.
My first set came from a friend in Southern California who bought them at the Arrow/Ace Hardware in Yorba Linda (714-524-1621) for $7 each. Once I had them in hand I was also able to get my local Ace Hardware to order me some spares.
I’ve been doing test runs with the new wheel casters for a few days now, and they are definitely better in some regard and not so good in others. One big advantage is the ability to go over cracks much easier and they’re more durable. However in my limited testing they’re not as good on door jams and similar obstacles.
Also, with installing the larger 3″ casters in the front foot my droid is now lifted and angled a tad.
Unfortunately, the shoulders and legs are fixed with no real easy way to adjust them and the outer feet are tipped with the rear much closer to the ground.
I’m not sure how much of a problem this really is, only time will tell. If it does become a problem some possible solutions might be
Adjust the high of the outer feet drive system – might be tricky, and not sure I want to add any more ground clearance.
Try and move the 3″ casters further into the center foot shell – not really an option as space and margins are already tight.
Try a smaller wheel caster – probably the easiest thing to try, but I then loose some of the advantages of the larger 3″ wheel.
One of the issues I see right now are the ominballs in rear of the outer feet. Before I moved to the 3″ caster they didn’t touched the ground, this was intentional on my part. I could have easily removed them a long time ago, but they’ve gotten me out of a fix on more than one occasion.
With the belt drive system, the wheels are locked and hard to move when there’s no power applied, with the omni’s in place I can tip Artoo back onto them and maneuver him a little – not long distances mind you, but very handy in a pinch – So I’m hoping to keep them in place.
They are adjustable, but already on the max setting. One of the big problems is there’s always a chance the drive wheel could loose contact with the ground if the rear omni’s ride on something.
I have a big event coming up this weekend with lots of mixed terrain so the jury is still out if I’ll stick with the wheel casters, maybe I’ll try a smaller diameter wheel or even go back to the omni’s.