FIGURE 11. If you need additional height control for the skids
or the hole for the skid cannot be threaded, use a longer 8-32
screw with hex nuts above and below the deck.
merely use a longer machine screw and tighten into place
using nuts on both the top and bottom of the deck, as
shown in Figure 11.
Attach the wheels to the servos. Each wheel is secured
with a small self-tapping screw that is supplied with the
servo. Note that the servo shaft is splined; this spline
matches the wheel hub. Be sure to press the wheel onto
the shaft firmly while tightening the screw. Do not over-tighten the wheel mounting screw, but be sure the wheel is
on snugly. Figure 12 shows the completed bottom deck of
the ArdBot, with motors, mounts, and wheels attached.
(I’ve bound the wire leads for the servos using cable ties to
keep things neat. You can do the same if you wish.)
Secure the side of the nine volt battery holder against
the side of the AA battery holder using a small piece of
double-sided foam tape or hook-and-loop (Velcro). Next,
secure the AA battery holder to the approximate center of
the bottom deck using a square or two of hook-and-loop to
keep it in place. Note the electrical connections for both the
nine volt battery and the AA battery holder:
• The nine volt battery uses the traditional two-prong
battery clip, terminated on the other end with a 2.1
mm barrel plug. This plug inserts into the power jack
of the Arduino. You can make this power lead
yourself by soldering a barrel plug onto a standard
two-prong battery clip, or purchase one ready-made
(see the Sources box). When constructing your own,
be absolutely sure the + (positive) connection is the
center of the plug; the – (negative) connection is the
outside of the barrel.
FIGURE 12. The completed bottom deck of the ArdBot. Note the
orientation of the servos in the mounts.
assure proper polarity. With just two pins, you must
be VERY careful to never (and I mean NEVER, EVER!)
reverse the polarity of the connector. If you do, your
servos will be instantaneously and permanently
damaged. By using (for example) a four pin
connector, you can block up one of the unused
terminals. This helps prevent you from reversing the
connector when you plug it in. (Of course, still be
careful, no matter what system you use!) Insert fresh
batteries into the holders and attach the clip to the
nine volt battery. The holders with batteries are
shown in Figure 13.
Find a favored spot on the top deck for your Arduino,
and mark three holes for mounting the board. Be sure not
FIGURE 13. The bottom deck is large enough for several battery
packs, and they can be neatly placed in the center. The reference
design uses a nine volt battery to power the Arduino, and a
holder with four AA cells to power the servo motors.
SERVO 12.2010 57