Advice for a newbie please

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daylosh
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:33 pm

Advice for a newbie please

Postby daylosh » Fri Jul 15, 2016 3:30 pm

Hello all,

The upcoming new series of Robot Wars has reminded me how much I loved it and always aspired to make a fighting robot. So with that shot in the arm I started looking into it and ended up here.

I think I would like to start with an antweight as they seem popular, affordable and it's the sort of size of project I could manage right now. My first question to all you seasoned roboteers is do you think this is a good way to start or would you recommend a different route?

Next I started thinking about kit I would probably need to buy rather than make and researched radio controllers. It seems that 2.4GHz protocols, specifically DSM2 and DSMX, are the norm these days. Is this where I should be looking for compatibility and ease of development?

If I did make my own radio controller, I'm thinking of pre-approved modules available from many manufacturers, would it need to be approved if I wanted to compete?

Thanks

Day

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BeligerAnt
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Re: Advice for a newbie please

Postby BeligerAnt » Fri Jul 15, 2016 8:05 pm

Hi, and welcome to the forum!

If you want to get into combat robots on a small budget you've definitely come to the right place! :)
Antweights are very popular and arguably the easiest and safest entry point into the hobby (some maintain it's a sport, but it's unlikely to feature in the Olympics!). Despite their small size they can be just as damaging to one another as their 100kg counterparts but replacing an entire antweght robot probably costs less than replacing any single heavyweight component!

Apart from portability, ease of storage and low cost, ants also require a much smaller and simpler toolkit. You can cut armour with a decent pair of scissors and sticky tape is a perfectly acceptable method of joining components. :)

All radio gear needs to be approved (CE marked) and you are probably better off buying some gear as it's not necessarily expensive. Definitely DSM2/DSMX is the way to go, but Spektrum may be dropping support for DSM2 although there is other DSM2 gear available.

Start simple, get something moving, worry about world domination later :D If you can possibly make it to AWS50 in Basingstoke do so, you will learn a lot and find out how friendly and welcoming everyone is. You will get plenty of advice and be able to see everyone's "secrets" up close for inspiration.
Gary, Team BeligerAnt

daylosh
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:33 pm

Re: Advice for a newbie please

Postby daylosh » Fri Jul 15, 2016 10:03 pm

Thanks Gary,

I'm going to try and get to an AWS as soon as I can, even if I don't have a robot. Thanks for the advice, I don't want to motor off down a blind alley and get disappointed before I get started just because of a lack of planning!

Day

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joey_picus
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Re: Advice for a newbie please

Postby joey_picus » Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:14 pm

Welcome to the world of antweights :) I second Gary's reccommendation of Spektrum's DSM2/X, both for ease of compatibility with a standard solution such as the NanoTwo kits, or 'Roryboards', made by Rory Mangles of these forums (should you decide to take a saner option at some point!) and also because that seems to be what the Chinese hacker market latches onto for clones so documentation shouldn't be hard to come by!

Regarding homebrew radio gear, the rules do require CE approval but there's a (Gary look away now) little to a lot of flexibility as to what that means; I've been using an OrangeRX DSM2 module mounted in an old Futaba set for over a year now with no issues, and I'd say what you're proposing falls into that category. A few of the heavyweight people have similar setups, including a couple of people I know in the new RW series, and those have enforcement of the rules in the hands of more than one volunteer with some scales and a laptop :)

Hopefully that helps, and I look forward to seeing your addition to the pantheon of wonderful and beautiful antweight homebrew electronics!
Joey McConnell-Farber - Team Picus Telerobotics - http://picus.org.uk/ - @joey_picus
"These dreams go on when I close my eyes...every second of the night, I live another life"

daylosh
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Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2016 8:33 pm

Re: Advice for a newbie please

Postby daylosh » Sun Jul 17, 2016 8:30 am

Thanks for the help Joey, love the radio conversion! I often wonder if I get more of a kick out of stuff like that than building from scratch. I think for my first robot I'll just get the general cheapo ebay bits and get something going. I'm sure I'll learn a ton on the way.

Day


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