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January 13, 2011 09:48
Needless to say, I'm 13 days into the year, and I'm still working on the first 4 projects I listed. I did obtain Eagle and I've started using it to construct schematics, so I'll at least be able to wrap up a couple of my pending projects using that. I've got half the soldering done on the relay box. One more board to go on that one, as well as finding another parallel cable to scavenge. I've cleaned out the remaining desk drawers, so my desk conversion process is close to completion as well, although I need to rearrange the placement of the monitors a bit. My primary monitor is sitting at about the middle of my desk (front to back), and as such, there is a LOT of wasted space behind it. Before I used LCD's, that space would have been utilized. now, however, it's just empty space that seems to accumulate dust and trash. I still need to get the cam lowered and get a few more parts to finish some of the first projects.
So... Now I intend to actually CATCH UP, so that I can still meet the requirements of my new years resolution. This means for the next say... 9 days, I need to crank out TWO projects daily. Yeah. Good luck with that, but here goes anyway.
So a few more projects I need to get to soon, weather permitting:
Keep in mind. I'm WAY behind on this. I've so far spent more time on the relay board than I had expected to. If I plan to construct a lot of circuits in the future I'm probably going to have to invest some money and time in an etching system so I can create my own circuit board with custom traces, which turns an 8 hour soldering job into a 1 hour soldering job. A drill press might also be useful.
I'm also having a heck of a time with shaft/wheel arrangements. I can find motors with several different output shaft sizes, as well as wheels with a variety of bore sizes. However, what I NEED are solid rubber wheels, such as colson wheels, something with a diameter between 4 and 6 inches. 5" being preferable. The problem is, I'm having a heck of a time finding a wheel with a bore size that will fit any given shaft size I have, and there don't seem to be a readily available supply of reduction hubs that will work for any given situation. What's particularly frustrating is many of the robotics sites for which you think they would provide exact solutions to this problem actually sell products that don't match up with each other. I've even gone to the extreme of attempting to design and build my own gearbox (and trust me, this would be a monumental undertaking of extraordinary tediousness), but even then, something as simple as the concept of fitting the axle to the wheel is a roadblock. I don't have the experience or the equipment to machine my own hubs, and I don't feel like investing several hundred dollars in equipment to build a part that created in quantity would cost less than $1. I'm going to try to find a local machine shop that could actually produce a few of these for me as a custom order. It'll probably be insanely expensive for what it is, but I don't really see much other option.