shorted, we were very nervous about
keeping the contacts out in the open.
The shape of the contacts, however,
gave us our solution. The thin metal
tabs looked to be the perfect size
and shape for some disconnect
Disconnect terminals are the wire
terminals with the flat bottom and
curled up sides that grip a connection
nicely when in place, but can be
removed with a swift pull. We did
have some second thoughts because
of that very propensity to disconnect,
and we toyed with the idea of pulling
the battery connection out of the
weedwhacker and taking advantage
of the battery locking mechanism
built into the lawn tool. That idea
was quickly scuttled by the internal
height restrictions in the bot — the
weedwhacker connector would not
fit under the low ceiling of the bot.
So, it was back to the disconnect
terminals. To allow these to slide on
and off the battery terminals, we had
to cut away some of the plastic
casing — a task easily accomplished
with a Dremel tool. We removed the
milspec connectors from the old
NiCad packs and soldered on the
new disconnect terminals. And with
that, Troublemaker was sporting
some brand new Li-Poly batteries.
Not Too Far Gone
With the new batteries,
Troublemaker was once again truly
functional. However, there was much
more to be done. There is a big
difference between functional and
effective. We wanted to upgrade our
kinetic weapon, our radio system,
and more. With Robot Central open
for business, we are confident that
Troublemaker will be able to return to
the combat robotics arena in 2014.
WIRING UP THE CONNECTOR.
READY FOR ACTION!
Special Thanks to
SERVO 02.2014 75