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51
Electronics / Re: need recommendation for good brand of motors
« Last post by dmehling on December 21, 2015, 03:27:17 PM »
no sugggestions?  I thought this would be a common question.
52
Misc / List of books, websites and sources for parts
« Last post by FIFO on December 21, 2015, 10:34:41 AM »
   I have compiled a list of books, websites and sources for parts, related to robotics and electronics, that I have found useful and interesting. Hopefully this will be useful to you if you are searching for parts or information.


Books:

   Robot Building For Beginners by David Cook

      This is the book I started with. It is a very well written book that describes how to make a line following robot. It starts from the ground up, assuming no previous knowledge of electronics or mechanics, and is very easy to understand. This book teaches the basics of electronics, how to source parts, and how to solder. It also teaches how to construct the body for the robot, and how to make couplers to connect motors to wheels. The control system for the robot in this book done all in hardware, that is, it does not require a microcontroller, and therefore the book does not discuss them.


   Intermediate Robot Building by David Cook

      This book describes how to construct an obstacle avoidance robot, and covers many topics such as machining, mechanics, electronics, and near the end it touches on microcontrollers. I found the sections on power supply design and motor control extremely useful, and would recommend the book just for these sections.


   How to Build Your Own Working Robot Pet by Frank DaCosta

      This is the best book on robotics I have read. The writing is clear and elegant, and the circuits describes in the book ingenious. However, the book is quite old (at least in terms of technology), and so the parts are obsolete and the robot, outdated. The book is not a beginners book as it requires quite a lot of prerequisite knowledge, but I would recommend this book even if you do not decide to construct the robot, because of its educational value.


   How to Build Your Own Self-Programming Robot by David L. Heiserman

      This book shows how to construct a self-progamming robot, that is, a robot with the capability to learn. This book is also relatively old and outdated, and it is less detailed and not as well written as DaCosta's book, however the learning algorithms used by the robot are very interesting and unique. I highly recommend this book, if only for algorithms.


Websites and Forums:

   Robot Room
   http://www.robotroom.com

      This is David Cooks's website where he writes articles about the robots he has made, and verious electronics/robotics tutorials. I have found his tutorials invaluable, especially the ones on how to etch printed circuit boards.


   EEVBLOG
   http://www.eevblog.com/forum/

      This is a very large and active international electronics forum. It is run by Australian engineer Dave Jones, who runs the Electronics Engineering Video Blog (EEVBLOG). This is a very useful forum as lots of its members are experienced engineers who are more than willing to help.


   Hackaday
   http://hackaday.com/blog/

      This is a blog containing various electronics projects posted throughout the web. Some of the posts are robotics related and some are not. The blog also has some experenced engineers who write tutorials. I have found their embedded microcontroller tutorials and FPGA tutorials very useful.


   AVR Freaks
   http://www.avrfreaks.net

      This is a forum about AVR microcontrollers. It is quite active, and I have read several useful tutorials written by some of its members.


Informitive and interesting Youtube Channels:

   humanHardDrive
   https://www.youtube.com/user/humanHardDrive

      This channel has many tutorials on Arduino, AVR microcontrollers, electronics, C++ programming, and lots more. I have found his AVR tutorials particularly useful, and I highly recommend his channel.


   Applied Science
   https://www.youtube.com/user/bkraz333

      This channel is run my the American mechanical engineer Ben Krasnow. On his channel Mr Krasnow documents his projects and demonstrates various science principles. This channel is more focused on applied science rather than electronics or robotics, but many of his projects would probably be of interest to many on this forum. One of his more interesting projects was a scratch built scanning electron microscope (SEM).


   EEVBLOG
   https://www.youtube.com/user/EEVblog

      • Mr. Jones is an Australian electrical engineer who makes many EE videos.
      • I have found some of his tutorials very helpful, such as the ones on SMD soldering, and his mesh and nodal circuit analysis tutorial.
      • Mr. Jones language coarse at times


   Jeri Ellsworth
   https://www.youtube.com/user/jeriellsworth/
   https://www.youtube.com/user/JeriEllsworthJabber

      • Miss. Ellsworth is an electrical engineer who posts some interesting project videos.
      • She was a high school dropout who taught herself electrical engineering and chip design.
      • She was asked to speak at Stanford University about her experience. Here is a link to the talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g05Wfqv-8es


Sources For Parts:
   
   Jameco Electronics
   http://www.jameco.com

      • Good source for general electronic components
      • Cheap prices
      • Stocks older parts which are harder to find but that are very useful
      • Low cost shipping options
      • $5 handling fee for orders below $10


   SparkFun Electronics
   https://www.sparkfun.com

      • Has lots of pre-built sensor modules
      • Large assortment of Arduino related products
      • Good source for gear motors and wheels
      • Has lots of tutorials
      • Prices can be a little high
      • Not a great source for general electronic components


   Digi-Key Electronics
   http://www.digikey.com

      • Has a very large range of components and modules
      • Has lots of new parts
      • Good prices
      • Because there are so many parts, the website is a little difficult to navigate


   Electronic Goldmine
   http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com

      • Surplus electronics and electrical components
      • Has many unusual and hard to find parts
      • Prices are sometimes very good
      • Since it is surplus, parts will go out of stock and will not be replaced


   BG Micro Electronics
   http://www.bgmicro.com

      • Surplus electronics and electrical components
      • Has many unusual and hard to find parts
      • Very good prices
      • Since it is surplus, parts will go out of stock and will not be replaced
      • It is a little unnerving when ordering from them as they do not send shipping information. However if you make an account with them, they will provide you with your order history, and tracking links. I have always received by parts as described, and have otherwise been very happy with them.


   Pololu Robotics and Electronics
   https://www.pololu.com

      • Very large selection of robot modules and kits
      • Very good source for gear motors with mounting brackets and mating wheels. This is a pretty big deal, as one of the hardest mechanical problems I have encountered while building robots is the problem of coupling the wheels to the motors.


   West Florida Components
   https://www.westfloridacomponents.com

      • Have a good selection of components
      • They "specialize in obsolete and hard to find electronic parts and components." This was particularly important to me, because I am currently building a robot that uses older technology, and this company had parts that were hard to find, at a better price than I could find at other stores.
      • They require you to make an account with them before you order


   American Science & Surplus
   http://www.sciplus.com
      • General surplus store with some surplus electronics
      • Good source for surplus electric gear motors
      • Excellent customer service


   eBay
   http://www.ebay.com

      • Well I know that pretty much everyone knows about eBay, but I would like to note that it is a very good place to get gear motors and used test equipment for a good price.


   Online Metals
   http://www.onlinemetals.com
      • Has a wide range of metals such as aluminum, steel, copper, bronze titanium, etc.
      • Very good prices
      • There is a handling fee, and shipping options are a little expensive
53
Electronics / need recommendation for good brand of motors
« Last post by dmehling on December 16, 2015, 05:43:40 PM »
I am needing recommendations for a good brand of either motors or servos.  I am leaning towards a 12v DC motor, since I don't exactly need the precision of a servo.  I need a high torque motor, in the neighborhood of 1000-2000 oz-in., but I don't need more than 10 rpm.  Should I consider a motor that already can reach the required torque amount, or would it be better to add additional gears?  My budget is about $15-$40 for a single motor.
54
Mechanics and Construction / Re: Carbon fiber advice for UAV looking design
« Last post by mklrobo on December 15, 2015, 05:59:22 AM »
 ;D Hello!
Your request;
I am looking for some advice on using carbon fiber for a project. My project is to build a holder for a tablet, but the design is remarkably similar to that of a UAV. In this example, I need to know how to determine how strong the central structure needs to be to support the weight that it will be bearing, as well as the stress placed upon it in holding the extended arms in place.  The actual tablet will weigh 1.75 lbs
Definitely unique project. I would recommend using fiberglass, rather than carbon fiber.
Fiberglass is readily available, and the instructions on how to use such products can be found at the website
instructables. This would be easier, I think; but I have never used carbon fiber before, so I can not really advise you on that. It maybe worth a try to use carbon fiber, for the experience. Good luck!!!  ;D
55
Electronics / Re: Choosing and LED driver
« Last post by mklrobo on December 15, 2015, 05:52:28 AM »
 ;D Hello!
your request;
3D printer and my knowledge of computer programming and some engineering circuits classes to build a bicycle light - in this case, a really bright taillight that I can flash during the day to increase my noticability.
The short, sweet answer, is; go to advance auto or equivalent automotive store and buy an LED assembly,
that is made for the environment in which you are going to use it. Your 3-D printer could make a nice housing. Some LED's blink, which solves that problem. If not, simple flip-flop circuit kits are available.
Good luck! ;D ;D ;D
 
 
56
Electronics / Choosing and LED driver
« Last post by ksquared on December 15, 2015, 01:46:06 AM »
So, I'm trying to use a 3D printer and my knowledge of computer programming and some engineering circuits classes to build a bicycle light - in this case, a really bright taillight that I can flash during the day to increase my noticability while multi-thousand pound hammers whiz by me at the whims of biologically flawed drivers on my way to work. 

I understand that, for reasons of reliability, is is best to use a current source.  Now, granted, I had to analyze circuits with these things in them, so I think I understand the implications, but actually choosing a real one has been difficult (obviously, I want something fairly insensitive to temperature.)  I go to digikey (try http://www.digikey.com/product-search/en/integrated-circuits-ics/pmic-led-drivers/2556628) and I see this:

Flash, switch, automotive, lighting... what?

Which one of these things should I be interested in?  If someone would be so kind as to explain some of the differences or recommend something appropriate, I'd most appreciate it!

For sheer laziness/avoiding true circuit desing, I'll be using some incarnation of the arduino for this, probably.
(For the record thse, are some fairly powerful Cree LEDs (min flux @ 350 mA ~= 70 lumens))
57
Mechanics and Construction / Carbon fiber advice for UAV looking design
« Last post by dmehling on December 14, 2015, 04:31:38 PM »
I am looking for some advice on using carbon fiber for a project.  It's not necessarily about robotics, but I really don't know where else to find answers.  My project is to build a holder for a tablet, but the design is remarkably similar to that of a UAV.  Basically take the popular UAV design that has a central section with six or eight arms extending outwards, and then imagine placing a tablet on top of it.  Then imagine that the central section is connected to the end of an articulating arm or is sitting on the top of a tripod head.  In this example, I need to know how to determine how strong the central structure needs to be to support the weight that it will be bearing, as well as the stress placed upon it in holding the extended arms in place.  The actual tablet will weigh 1.75 lbs.
58
Mechanics and Construction / Re: 50 pound battlebot
« Last post by mklrobo on December 10, 2015, 06:41:45 AM »
 ;D Hello!
To attempt to solve your problem in a timely manner, information is required;
1> What drive train do you use now?
2> can you provide a rough drawing of the layout?
3> What speed do you need? regular, then emergency speed?
4> could you use projections for possible advantages?
Since time seems to be of upmost concern, the most probable answer is going to be a generic
premade drive train; that you will have to buy. I will try to help, if I can.   ;) :) :D ;D
59
Misc / 50 pound battlebot help
« Last post by futilemark13 on December 09, 2015, 06:04:39 PM »
I recently won a battle bot competition but my weakest part of the robot was the drive train i have another competition coming up. the robot has a weight limit of 50 pounds and does weigh that. I am looking for a new drive train that is 4 wheel drive and gets lots of traction, power, and manuverbality. I don't need much speed as the arena isn't very big. the robot has a size limit of 4 foot by 4 foot by 4 foot. also i don't want any motors over 24 volts. thanks please ask questions if you have any.

60
Mechanics and Construction / 50 pound battlebot
« Last post by futilemark13 on December 09, 2015, 05:58:36 PM »
I recently won a battle bot competition but my weakest part of the robot was the drive train i have another competition coming up. the robot has a weight limit of 50 pounds and does weigh that. I am looking for a new drive train that is 4 wheel drive and gets lots of traction, power, and manuverbality. I don't need much speed as the arena isn't very big. the robot has a size limit of 4 foot by 4 foot by 4 foot. also i don't want any motors over 24 volts. thanks please ask questions if you have any.
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