broad survey of current bot designs.
Pololu is also a contender. A number
of folks have experienced a minor
problem with the BaneBots motors:
separation of the motor and gearbox under load. A strip of tape to
reinforce the joint seems to be a
remedy. Gear ratios depend on the
desired speed, wheel size, and
torque, but the 16 mm 24:1 with
the 050 motor for $14 each is a
good midrange selection. The Pololu
35:1 for $18 is also a possibility.
Check out www.banebots.com
Dave Brown Lite Flite wheels proved
popular among beginners, as well
Lite Flites, unanimous choice,
same as the Ultimate Ant. Around
$4 a pair.
Finger Tech Hubs, at around
$4 a pair, are made to work
with Lite Flites.
Finger Tech always gets votes.
I’m still a fan of the Lynxmotion
hubs, but the ease of installation of
the Finger Techs wins me over, and
the price of $4 a pair can’t be beat.
The Fingertech Robotics Tiny ESC
saves a few dollars and comes highly
Three different ESCs were
submitted. Two — the Finger Tech
Tiny ($54 a pair) and the BaneBots
3-9 ($58 a pair) — were Ultimate
Ant winners. The third (new to me)
is the Sabertooth 5 at $60. Only
because of the slightly lower price,
I’m going with the Finger Tech Tiny.
Drive and Weapon
Rhino Li-Poly batteries from Hobby City
are a value-based alternative to more
Every vote cast was for a Li-Poly
from www.hobbycity.com which
for some reason takes you to Hobby
King. Either way, let’s go with a
Rhino 460 mAh 3S pack for $8.
offers a wide
The Turnigy brand, also carried
by HobbyCityKing, was the only
suggested outrunner. These appear
to come in a nearly infinite
number of flavors. Suggested
were: the 1,900 Kv 2830; the
1,130 Kv 2209 26 turn; and the
1,500 Kv 2205 34 turn. All retail for
Turnigy’s Plush ESC handles 25 amps of
The Turnigy Plush 25 amp
speed controller — $17 at the
mysterious King City Hobby place —
seems to be the winner. Various
other ESCs from the same outlet
were suggested; all similar. The
ESC should be matched to the
motor/battery combo, so since I left
the motor selection vague, the ESC
choice is also.
The Spektrum 2.4
GHz system, with
robotics receiver, is
the new standard for
The “value” nature of this
design precludes new titanium or
carbon fiber (used/scrap is, of
course, a strong possibility). That
leaves the classics: aluminum,
UHMW, or polycarbonate. Online