2.7.2009 (Saturday) – Day 17 –
The topic presented at our monthly Kansas City Robotics Society meeting was about soldering irons. The soldering tools on display ranged form inexpensive Radio Shack irons to variable wattage Weller soldering stations. Terry brought in his hot air soldering equipment used for surface mount components.
Tips for safety in handling the solder and hot soldering irons were discussed. Techniques for keeping your soldering irons up on top condition were explained too.
The soldering challenge was between Brian Turner, pictured in the red shirt, and one of our guests from Nebraska. They are trying different soldering irons to see which ones heat up the fastest and who can solder a wire first.
Weekly Labyrinth Build Meeting
Tom, Rich and I met Saturday morning to discuss more design issues. Tom brought steel pipe and plate to make a receiver section to support the labyrinth platform’s pivot point. Our current direction is to mill a ball shape out of a block of Delrin or similar acetal plastic. This plastic has a self lubricating property and is easy to fabricate. It is easy to work with using common power tools and normal milling methods.
I was explaining our concept for connecting the two halves of the labyrinth platform. We are building each half in 6′ by 10′ sections. The aluminum and extruded styrene foam will be glued together and allowed to cure. The assembly process will be to slide the two halves together and use a total of 80 flat head screws tightened into T-Nut fasteners as discussed on Day 9.
This segmented flange idea was discussed for a way to reinforce the holes cut through the labyrinth platform where soccer balls drop through. The idea with this approach is to have one side of the flanges left unfolded then once this collar is in place the remaining flanges can be folded into place. The flange will be glued in place against the foam and the flanges will be glued to the aluminum skins of the top and bottom platform surfaces.
Once the soccer ball drops through the game platform it needs a mechanism to return it into play for the next session. Today’s discussion was about using a conveyor system to return the ball. One trick we’ve seen at FIRST robotics competitions is using surgical tubing to grab the ball and pick it up. The idea pictured here is to build a conveyor belt with paddles to pick up the ball.