I am simply exhausted! Puppy bot's drives are wired but it is such a rat's nest I'm debating just resoldering everything that I soldered and rewiring it when I have time... like Saturday.
In theory I have one H bridge with thermal paste on it thats holding a heat sink on top with two motors wired into it, both being fed 5 volts. the h bridge is powered through a 5 volt voltage regulator which also powers my Arduino board which is wired in as well.
I can see puppy bot's life being very short at this point - crappy wiring throughout the project as I teach myself how to finely soder is becoming problematic at this stage of the game. I'll see it through but I can see major difficulties in mounting sensors down the line.
This is an important learning situation, however. I now know to solder properly and leave myself more than enough wire room when attaching wires to electronic parts, especially motors and battery packs. I know now how to set up a voltage regulator and properly power my robot, and I learned how to use H bridges to modify motor speed and control my motors properly.
Pricing out puppy bot thusfar, ignoring the purchase of soldering equipment, new solder, and buying parts for the other project, I have spent altogether $83. That includes the cost of Arduino, which I will move from project to project and am using for school projects as well, the cost of a voltage regulator I will move as I need it, and the cost of the overpriced wires I bought cause I was in need, and the IR sharp rangefinder I will attach to it and likely move off of it as puppy bot is junked. I plan on spending a bit more to secure the breadboard and attaching the bump sensors. The rest is dependent on my own knowledge.
The benefit of using Arduino right now is later I can drop in microcontrollers that I'm experimenting with.
Frankly I think the lessons learned is well worth the cost so far.
Looking at the next robot I'll start building simultaneously, I have spent 30 dollars on the base which includes motors, 6 dollars on a hobby servo and 25 on another sharp ir range finder. Throw in the 3 dollar variable voltage regulator I bought, a 12 dollar 7.2 volt battery (I know I shouldn't run the motors at a lower voltage for long but I really don't want speed here and it's all I could find without spending 25 dollars) I will be spending about 76 dollars to build a mapping test robot.
More later I guess...