Beginning electronics kit / Arduino kits, etc?

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Reala
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Beginning electronics kit / Arduino kits, etc?

Post by Reala » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:00 am

Hi all,

I've got about a 4 week wait until I can get started on my robot, maybe a bit longer, so I'm keen to pick up an electronics / robotics kit that can fill some gaps in my knowledge and get me used to playing with electronics before the parts arrive (and, inevitably, breaking stuff that isn't the poor robot!).

I've looked on Amazon and Ebay and AliExpress for kits and most seem to be Arduino Kits (something I've never used). The problem is, the array of things they include is literally mind boggling. Has anyone purchased a kit from the UK that they'd recommend to a beginner looking to increase their knowledge of circuits, motors, transmitters and soldering?

I'm a bit nervous about buying something rubbish. Thank you all in advance =)

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Rapidrory
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Re: Beginning electronics kit / Arduino kits, etc?

Post by Rapidrory » Thu Aug 25, 2016 3:55 pm

Well, the receivers for my kits arrived today a week earlier than expected, so I can do an electronics only kit if you want to buy your own motors and wheels to go with it?
Rory Mangles - Team Nuts

Robots: Nuts 2 and many more...

NanoTwo Motor Controllers: https://nutsandbots.co.uk/product/nanotwodualesc

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joey_picus
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Re: Beginning electronics kit / Arduino kits, etc?

Post by joey_picus » Thu Aug 25, 2016 5:25 pm

Antweights tend not to be that intensive as far as electronics go; 90% of it tends to be 'wire board to other board' and the other 10% only comes into play if you need to fix something!
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"

Reala
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Re: Beginning electronics kit / Arduino kits, etc?

Post by Reala » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:36 pm

Rapidrory wrote:Well, the receivers for my kits arrived today a week earlier than expected, so I can do an electronics only kit if you want to buy your own motors and wheels to go with it?
Would you be able to provide me advice on what motors and wheels to choose? If so, I would be up for that as long as it doesn't affect the cost too significantly? :)

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BeligerAnt
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Re: Beginning electronics kit / Arduino kits, etc?

Post by BeligerAnt » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:44 pm

There is little beginner-friendly electronics in antweights. :(

Basically you need:
A transmitter and receiver (don't even try to make your own!)
A speed controller for each motor (buiding your own is quite advanced, hacking the control boards from servos is an easy option)
A controller for a weapon (either a brushless motor speed controller - complicated - or a servo control board - comes with the servo!)
An on-off switch or link (very easy!)

Sounds like you would be best off getting the electronics kit from Rory and getting some motors and wheels. As long as the motors will run on about 6V and are relatively low power they don't even need to fit into an antweight-size robot if you just want something to experiment with.

If you need help with motors and wheels just ask here :)
Technobots aren't the cheapest but do carry stock and offer quick delivery. They have a range of motors, the Pololu or Solarbotics micro gearmotors are the ones usually used in ants: http://www.technobotsonline.com/motors-en.html
They also sell wheels to go with the motors: http://www.technobotsonline.com/pololu-wheels.html
Gary, Team BeligerAnt

Skillz
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Re: Beginning electronics kit / Arduino kits, etc?

Post by Skillz » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:14 pm

How do you know which speed controller to use for the motors
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Occashokka
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Re: Beginning electronics kit / Arduino kits, etc?

Post by Occashokka » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:40 pm

I would get a Rory board (the Rory board being the esc) and buy polulu motors and 32x7 polulu wheels generally about 50:1 or 300rpm and 6v is what you want for motors, if you got a roryboard without receiver then get an orange or lemon rx of anything between 3 and 6 channel and for battery you will want a 2s LiPo and a balance charger.
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Reala
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Re: Beginning electronics kit / Arduino kits, etc?

Post by Reala » Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:56 pm

You guys rock! Thank you =) I will hopefully get the board (mailed Rory for cost and payment info) and then take time learning how to make the motors and wheels work with it - I guess it'll help me in the long-term and if I struggle then it's great to know you are all here to help!

Skillz
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Re: Beginning electronics kit / Arduino kits, etc?

Post by Skillz » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:23 pm

I think I'd like to experiment myself I feel as if I'd learn a lot more through that. With the motors you mentioned above and a 7.4v battery what output would I need in Amps or Volts?
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BeligerAnt
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Re: Beginning electronics kit / Arduino kits, etc?

Post by BeligerAnt » Thu Aug 25, 2016 9:43 pm

The battery voltage determines the volts you have available :) The gearmotors generally have a stall current of around 1A. If you are looking for motor driver chips you want ones capable of 2A if they are to survive many battles. If you use discrete FETs for the output stage then the parts to give you decent performance will probably be capable of handling 10A or more.

There are a number of options beyond Rory's boards.
You can take the control boards from standard servos and re-purpose them as crude speed controllers.
You can get 10A brushed ESC's from China for R/C cars (you want the ones without a brake function)
You can get cheap brushless ESCs and re-program them to work as brushed ESCs (if software's your thing!)
You can build your own ESC from scratch - requires fairly advanced electronics and software skills.
There are other ESCs aimed at small robots (Sabertooth, BotBitz etc) but they tend to be either expensive or hard to get.
Gary, Team BeligerAnt

Skillz
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Re: Beginning electronics kit / Arduino kits, etc?

Post by Skillz » Thu Aug 25, 2016 10:29 pm

That was a really helpful reply thank you!
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joey_picus
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Re: Beginning electronics kit / Arduino kits, etc?

Post by joey_picus » Fri Aug 26, 2016 12:11 am

BeligerAnt wrote:You can get 10A brushed ESC's from China for R/C cars (you want the ones without a brake function)...
I dunno about 10A, but I do have a couple of these on order (Banggood being absolutely the name of a place you want to buy delicate power electronics from!) that look quite promising; I'll do sometesting and report back when they get here as a 2S dual channel speed controller with tank mixing is exactly what most ants need!
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"

Reala
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Re: Beginning electronics kit / Arduino kits, etc?

Post by Reala » Fri Aug 26, 2016 2:35 pm

Ordered my kit (minus motors) and wheels from Rory along with a soldering iron (with changeable tips). Now to find some motors :)

Can't wait to get started! Now having a look at motors and trying to decide which ones!

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