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January 5, 2010
about 5 years ago
I am very impressed with most of the chassis. Dagu has done a nice job. The aluminum is nicely punched and folded. There are abundant slots and holes for mounting just about anything. I was surprised and impressed with the bearings that the wheels run in. They make a big difference in how smoothly everything goes together. Assembly is mostly easy and straightforward. Tread quality is good. Everything seems like it would stand up really well to falls, even from 4' high workbenches.
I just have a few gripes:
No mounting holes in a pattern for Arduino? I can mount 42 servo motors, but no controller? C'mon!
No mounting holes for the included battery pack? This is inexcusable!
The bent up prongs in the chassis interior make it really hard to fit the pack next to the motors even if you drill new holes to mount it.
Getting the wheels mounted on the output shaft was a trick. I had to stack the included washers and use screws to pull the wheel onto the shaft. Trimming a little of the plastic where the motor output shaft enters helped.
Lack of power is disheartening. I'm going to look into higher power motors, but these stall trying to drive over a pencil. I don't know what trickery was involved with the stair climbing in the Product Video.
Has paint that chips, anodizing would be nice.
I'd estimate that 60rpm is fairly accurate for the load of just the tread. Using the Ardumoto and 5 fresh alkaline batteries I got about that speed at 100% PWM. The problem is the stall. This poor thing stalls at about 10-15 degrees of incline at 100% PWM. I'm a little disappointed that this great chassis is limited to flat floor crawling.
News - Free Day Recap
about 9 years ago
I was another one of those who had a full cart last night and was ready to hit the button at 9:00. My wife and I refreshed on multiple machines for the duration of the giveaway. We didn't get anything. IT WAS AWESOME!
We got to see one of our favorite sites get tons of attention. We experienced the thrill of getting a page farther into checkout, the disappointment of server timeouts. Anyone who thought this was going to turn out differently was fooling himself/herself. Faster servers would have made the two hours of random people getting through into two minutes of random people getting through. Either way, you get exactly what was advertised - a chance.
Way to go SparkFun! I'm a frustrated customer who now has a cart with $100 of stuff I'll be buying some day. I'm glad that things went the way they did.
Loyal SparkFun customers unite!
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