Author Topic: Not exactly a robot, but possible actuators and motors??  (Read 1263 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline acornstuTopic starter

  • Beginner
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Helpful? 0
Not exactly a robot, but possible actuators and motors??
« on: January 19, 2011, 06:25:44 AM »
Oh boy, where to start ;(

     Well, first off I am building blue prints (sort of speak) for a very large and very loud car audio system.  My girlfriend said that I can build "whatever the heck I want" so long as it doesn't cover up the 3rd row seat in her Dodge Durango.  I then naively said "sure, no problem" before looking at the three cubic feet I had to work with.  Big mistake.  Back to the drawing board.

     After much debate and skepticism on her part we agreed that I can build a sub-woofer box as large as I want up the the back of the 2nd row seats provided that:

     A.) The spare tire which is located under a false floor in the rear of the Durango is still accessible.

     B.) The tool kit and jack a few feet forward in the car are still accessible.

     C.) It is easily removed so that if we need the 3rd row seat or the extra floor space, then we can quickly remove the box and be on our merry way.

     D.) Either on the top side or bottom side, there will be a very large nearly full face sheet of thick lexan to "show off" the large sound system and other electronics.

     There you have it.  I want to build a massive, truck squatting system in a grocery getter, and still have the option of actually fitting groceries in it.

     I have recently downloaded Google Sketchup (again) and will attempt to give you folks some idea of what I'm building here.  However, seeing as how I'm in the beginning stages and hopefully have the necessary carpentry skills to manufacture my own custom box with lighting and lexan face we will concentrate on the actual movement of the box itself. 

     The "box" for all intensive purposes (for now) will be considered as a rectangle and seeing as how i don't have the exact measurements on me at the moment we will assume this box to be approx 2 feet high, 4 feet wide, and 6 feet long.  I realize that i could be way, way off here.  But, I need to measure all usable space in the Durango as well as configure the needed combined air space for all of the sub-woofers.

     Let's assume this box to be extremely heavy.  Heavy to the point that two grown men shouldn't lift it,  hundreds of pounds, containing massive sub-woofers, car audio amplifiers, batteries, and other electronic accessories. 

     Now, I want to accomplish a few things here:

     A.)  I want to be able to showcase all of the electronics.  Either hidden underneath and then have the box raised for show.  Or possibly make my layout and lexan window on the top and lay a very sturdy fake carpeted panel on the top to double as a floor board for daily use.

     B.)  As stated above I want this box to be functional as well as transition into a show piece.

     C.)  I want this box to be easily removed from the vehicle by one person.  I was thinking some sort of wheel and motor or a winch assembly with fold down legs so that the box can be placed on any shop floor that I may be in.

     D.)  Last and MOST IMPORTANTLY, IT ALL NEEDS TO BE CONTROLLED VIA A CORDED REMOTE OR SWITCH PANEL.  The reason for this is so my girlfriend can operate it at a very safe distance and should something go wrong, she will be well away from any danger.

     I forgot to mention that in addition to the standard vehicle 12v battery and charging system there will most likely be a few high output alternators as well as several 12v batteries installed into the box.


     I will attempt to use some sort of plug assembly such as a series of high amperage forklift plugs to disconnect the box part of the 12v system and disable all but one alternator on the Durango.  The batteries that I am looking at currently are high amp deep cycle golf cart batteries rated at 6v.

 As I settle of exactly what my power needs will be I will begin the battery selection process.  For now though, we will assume that we have a 12v system with at least 200 amps at our disposal for running any and all self contained actuators, motors, winches, etc...

     I'm very sorry for the lengthy and jumbled explanation.  However, I believe that I can make this happen.  It is a lot to ask in such a confined space but I believe that if I receive enough input and hone my Sketchup skills enough to help design something that remotely even looks like what I am attempting to create, then it will all be worth it.

     So, to reiterate, I want to build a bigarse speaker box.  The box needs to double as a car floorboard as well as a showpiece/speaker box.  And it has to be easily removable by one girl from a safe distance.


    What do you guys think?  Any thoughts, ideas, or constructive criticism are always welcome and I thank you kindly for your time.


     I will go ahead and throw down my half-witted attempts that I've come up with thus far.

     If you have your own creative ideas and don't really care what I've come up with feel free to skip the rest and reply now.  Thanks!

     My first idea to remove the box was to affix an electric winch to either the box itself or a support pole of my shop.  I thought that if i installed wheels hidden in the bottom sort of like the suit cases with wheels, that it would be easy to just suck the box out of the truck and onto a homemade ramp of some kind.  Then after letting the winch down I could just shove it back into the car.  However, there are a number of problems with this method.  The
most compromising is the fact that my girlfriend at some point may be near a very large and very heavy box being pushed and pulled from her car.  The fact that the windows are tinted fairly dark and using the rear view mirrors to back up are not an option for her, getting the car into position serves as a problem in itself.

     If I could find some other way to remove/install the box, then I don't see it as being to difficult to build the box and sound system, cover it with the lexan sheet, and then install a heavy wooden and carpeted false floor over the top of it.  This "floor" if built sturdy enough could take any abuse that the factory floor would see as well as be lifted plenty high enough to view the lexan sheet and everything inside.  To access the spare tire and tool kit perhaps another series of 12v actuators could be used to simply lift the entire rear side of the box until it is inches from the roof of the car.  Having that very large box hovering over me while bending in to get things seems a little frighting.  I do believe that these actuators to have some sort of locking mechanism though.  I could be wrong. If I am incorrect in thinking that then I will most certainly work some sort of a safety stand or latch into the project.

     I would really like to develop some way to get the box in and out of the car without any physical contact by a human being. If I could work out some way to either have it automated or get the the box in and out of the vehicle onto the shop floor with a switch panel / control box that would be great.

     I decided to spill my guts on here as well as other forums and beg for help when I started researching the possibility of using multiple 12v electric skateboard axles and wireless remote to control the box.

I thank you all for your time as well as any input that you may have,


Edit:  Fixed unbearable formatting.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2011, 03:51:02 AM by acornstu »

Offline AtomHex

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 36
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Not exactly a robot, but possible actuators and motors??
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2011, 07:16:47 PM »
 A starting place for moving the box in and out would be wheelchair electric ramps, they come in hundreds of varieties for suv's and van's, I've seen completely fold up and tilt ramps out the back of vehicals and they lift hundreds of pounds.

Might be a start.

Offline nickc

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 33
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Not exactly a robot, but possible actuators and motors??
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2011, 09:52:06 PM »
You can buy linear actuators that lift hundreds of pounds.  Get one with a brake so the brake must be energized to release. I would still put in a safety pin like a car lift has before I stuck my head under it.  c-shaped channel would make a good track for your wheels on the box. 

Offline acornstuTopic starter

  • Beginner
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Not exactly a robot, but possible actuators and motors??
« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2011, 03:58:45 AM »
great ideas guys.  that gives me a place to start.  i especially like the lift idea.  i don't know why i never even thought to just build a giant eye on the top or series of them  being able to just stuff a cherry picker in there to move it would be great.  i've also been researching several battery options to meet my needs at a fraction of the weight. 

the actuators for moving the box up and down are probly the way i will go so that i can still access the tools and spare without having to remove the box.

i'm sure that i can find an old wheelchair lift or something along those lines to remove it.  after i get this solution worked out then i can think about making it "self ejecting." 

guess you have to learn to walk before you can run, or fly in this case!  because this stuff is way over my head!  lol.

good thing i have plenty of time to work this plan out to a T.

Thanks for the replies!

Offline Soeren

  • Supreme Robot
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,672
  • Helpful? 227
  • Mind Reading: 0.0
Re: Not exactly a robot, but possible actuators and motors??
« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2011, 11:01:05 AM »
[Snip:Half a novel]
    What do you guys think?
[Snip:Another half novel]
I think you should stop abusing your girlfriend, her car and most important, your ears!

Get your own car if you wanna be a show-off.

A rather fast and fairly heavy robot with quite large wheels needs what? A lot of power?
Please remember...
Engineering is based on numbers - not adjectives

Offline acornstuTopic starter

  • Beginner
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • Helpful? 0
Re: Not exactly a robot, but possible actuators and motors??
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2011, 11:35:54 PM »
haha,  great advise!

however, if she hasn't left by now she's probly not going anywhere!

besides, she's the one that wants to show off.  if i had it my way i'd build a big mdf box and cover it with carpet that matches the interior.  save a ton of money on lights, plexiglass, and actuators and buy a couple more subs :)

besides, i've drawn up every plan possible and it doesn't look like i'll be stuffing a 15" sub in my ford or my mazda pickup.  looks like the durango gets to be the pack mule.


Get Your Ad Here