eTREC Robotics, FTC Team #6977, based in East Troy, WI

Here are some recources and other things that our team has found helpful.  Hopefully they can help you too!
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Gears for Spacing Paper

 

You can use these gears to determine spacing on the Tetrix Spacing Paper (above).  We used them to determine where to drill the holes in our base plate to line our motor gear up with the gear it was driving.  Feel free to download them or print them out!  (Click here for the link)

The Clothespin Trick

 

We discovered that when you are trying to file or cut a round object (such as an axel) in the vice and you don't want to damage it, you can put it in a clothespin to protect it.  When you use the clothespin, you can tighten the vice as tight as you need it, and it won't damage your peice.  We have found this very useful and encourage you to try it!

Tetrix Spacing Paper

 

This is a paper that we have used to determine spacing for gears and other building peices.  It has all of the holes on a Tetrix flat building plate, and they line up with all of the other Tetrix peices.  Please feel free to download and use it!  (Click here for the full-size document)

Tips & Tricks

Lock-Tite  and Lubricate With a Syringe

 

When lock-titeing our robot, we noticed that the lock-tite came out of the tube without much control and in large globs.  This promptly made a mess in our workspace.  We also gummed up our drawer slides and rack and pinons while attempting to apply lubricant to them with Q-tips.  We found our solution at our local pharmacy.  We went to them to see if they had any syringes with fine tips for the lock-tite and medium tips for the lubricant.  They did!  We found that insulin syringes worked great for lock-tite.  The tips were very fine, and their small size gave us a ton of control.  We did have to fill them from the top though, because they were too small to suck up the lock-tite.  A small medicine syringe worked wonderfuly for the lubricant.

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Run You Motors Off a 9-Volt Battery

 

We wanted to share with you a very neat little trick taught to us by the Acme Robotics team at the Wisconsin FTC tournament in Milwaukee.  They showed us that if you used a 9 volt battery and put it on the motor connections (taking the motor lead off first) it will move the moter either up or down.  If you want to switch the way that it is running, reverse the polarity.  This works very well if you need to move parts on your robot up or down quickly, without running programs or connecting it to a computer.  

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