Cheap NPC-2212 Alternative Motors

On a tip off from a fellow builder I bought a few of these cheap motors for $45 vs $150 for the NPC-2212’s.

I already had my NPC-2212, but thought these would make for good spares, and apart from the extra holes and a longer drive shaft they’re a perfect match.

Cheap Motor vs NPC Motors

The NPC-2212 is on the right with the long leads and the cheap OEM motor on the left. Click on the image for more photos.

They can be found here.

Your mileage may vary!

Posted by Chris on April 23rd, 2007 in Electronics, Feet, RC | 6 Comments

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SyRen10 Speed Controller and Vex Setup

A couple of people have written and asked how I configured the SyRen10 Speed Controller and how I connected it to Vex Micro controller, so I thought it best to document it here for future reference.

Setup and wiring was very easy, and I simply went through the online SyRen setup wizard and picked logical answers.

As you can see all but dip switch one are set to ON.

SyRen10 Vex Settings

And here’s how the controller is connected to the Vex

Vex to SyRen10 Speed Controller

There’s only 4 other wires needed, 2 to the battery (V+/-) and 2 to the motor (M+/M-)

Posted by Chris on April 9th, 2007 in RC | 6 Comments

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Periscope Dome Pie Cut-Outs

I did some further testing of the periscope lift mech tonite. Got it partially installed in the dome. Just placed inside on the dome plate to see how much room I had to play with all around.

I was hoping I’d have enough space in there to add a small servo to rotate the periscope as the mech only raises and lowers – But it really doesn’t look like I’ll have the room.
I also need to widen the hole in the dome as the periscope housing touches in several spots.

I think things will improve once I get the housing glued together and more square, but this was a good test to make sure I’m on the right track.

I’m going to sleep on it tonite and try and figure how I can get the thing to rotate – even if it’s just 90 degrees.

As it lowers you can see that it touches the dome.

Posted by Chris on April 6th, 2007 in Dome, Electronics, RC | No Comments

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Radio Control R2 Research

I’m a total newbie to Radio Control (RC) stuff, and I’ve been searching the net for good articles that focus on robots.

For basic information there’s a lot of good sites out there explaining things like the transmitter, receiver, servos, batteries and frequencies etc. but they focus on RC Car, Planes or Boats, as opposed to Robotics which has it’s own set of issues.

I went to a local hobby shop yesterday hoping to find an expert who could help but didn’t get very far. They specialize in RC planes/cars and I had high hopes, but they were overwhelmed when I tried to explain how many motors and gizmo’s I needed to control in my R2. They did have some good pricing on 6 and 9 channel equipment, but couldn’t help when I started to ask about how to multiplex channels etc. and had no clue when I asked them how noisy the speed controllers they had for sale.

So last night I stumbled upon this great robotic website for newbies. It’s not fancy but it has a LOT of good information I’m trying to read through right now and it’s helped me to start to understand some of the cryptic posts to the R2 Builders Group when people talk about their RC setup. The site even has a great section on 12V vs 24V motors. One note though, the site sells stuff too and I’m not recommending anything they have for sale, just the great FAQs they have.

I also finally opened up my Vex Robotics kit last night, which is a cross between a RC kit and a micro-controller which can be programmed to do functions. It has 6 channels so will cover basic control of an R2, i.e. wwo channels for the drive motors, one for the dome, and three spare for things like Utility Arms, Periscope etc.

I’m still hoping to get into programming it to give R2 some autonomy or ‘life’ e.g. If I ask him to raise the Periscope he’s go through a sequence to raise, it play specific sounds while the thing rotates – as opposed to me having to do all that manually via a remote.

I’ll try and keep this entry current with any good sites I find on Robotic RC info I find.

Posted by Chris on January 19th, 2007 in RC | No Comments

Vex Robotic Kit

Someone posted on the builders list about Radio Shack discontinuing the Vex Robotic/Radio Controller Kit. They have the starter kit on sale for $99, down from $299. Comes with a transmitter, receiver, a programmable brain and enough bits like wheels, small motors and servos, switches etc. to make a small robot.

It’s way early in my build to start thinking about this, but I thought for $99 I can’t really go wrong. It would allow me to play with RC bits which I’ve never done before at a very low cost.

Setup only allows 6 channels, so just enough to cover basic R2 functions like, Drive Motors, Dome Rotation, Periscope, Utility Arms and few more bits.

Calvin has had a lot of luck integrating the Vex into his R2 system, and even uses the small Vex motors to turn the dome, and has a prototype periscope lift done.

There’s also talk of using the programmable function of the Vex to allow more than 6 functions via multiplexing the channels.

Posted by Chris on December 17th, 2006 in Electronics, RC | No Comments

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