Propeller driven Lego car.

Lego Technic is perfect for creating quick prototypes of pretty much anything, combine this with RC stuff and you can create really fun stuff. One simple example is the robot i describe in this post:
Sunday afternoon robot

My old Lego is usually stuffed away in a box in the basement, but when we have kids visiting we usually bring it up to the apartment. I suspect I’m the one enjoying it most and this time I built a RC lego car

Lego Propcar 1
From the side
Lego Propcar 2
The motor and propeller us used as a pusher
Lego Propcar 3
The battery, ESC and receiver is secured with a rubber band
Lego Propcar 4
I use a HXT900 servo to steer

After a few testruns I added a propeller protection bar to minimize the risk of running into something with the propeller.

Lego Propcar 5
Propeller protection

Runs great, I’ll probably update this post with a video when I’ve recorded one.

Battery bag for my E-Bike

Last weekend we borrowed a sewing machine to make new curtains for the apartment. When I was sewing the curtains I realized that It wouldn’t be very difficult to make a custom battery bag for my e-bike. I would like a bag that I could mount in the frame triangle and have room for 4 Turnigy 6S 5Ah batteries. Doing some measurements, calculations and drawing I came up with this design

Battery bag drawing
An outline of the battery bag, the red triangle is the frame, the blue rectangles are batteries and the gray rectangle is the controller mounted on the frame.

I went to the fabric store and found a black nylon fabric that had a PVC layer on one side. This should be fairly water resistant and I plan to spray it with some textile waterproofing spray as well. I was recommended to use a thread for furniture which is much stronger than ordinary thread as well. A couple of hours thinking, cutting, and sewing later:

Battery bag
I use some Depron in the bottom, and some foam in the two corners to protect the batteries and fill out the bag.
Zipper
The zipper has a bit of fabric folding over it for water protection
Hole for cable
The hole for the cable is also waterproof since the side of the bag overlaps ~10 cm where the cable comes out.
Cable
I'm using the cable I made for the E-Puch. This cable is for two turnigy batteries in series and two in paralell with a 60A fuse. The LEGO part is just for size reference.
Packed
Everything fits nicely inside the bag

The bag fits perfect on the bike!

Battery bag on bike
Battery bag on bike
Battery bag in frame
Battery bag in frame

Pleas write a comment if you think I should make some kind of drawing and description on how to make a bag like this.

Sunday afternoon robot

I had nothing to do today so I copied hubbens creation from the Swedish electronics forum. It is a two wheeled radio controled vehicle based on just two servos.

For wheels I used two wheels from an old Lego Technics truck I got for christmas almost 20 years ago (The best christmas gift I’ve ever got BTW). The wheels were bolted to servo horns from two HXT900 servos.

Lego wheel
Lego Wheel
Servo Horn
Servo horn bolted on lego wheel
Servos
The servos are glued together and self adhesive velcro is glued to both sides

These servos are modified for continous rotation according to this guide.

Pretty simple:

  1. Open servo and remove the gears and potentiometer.
  2. Connect to your receiver and set your output to center. (or use another way to generate a 1.5 ms pulse every 20 ms)
  3. Adjust the potentiometer to the center until the motor stops and solder it so it can’t rotate any more.
  4. Remove the stop pins on the output gear with a sharp knife
  5. Sand the top of the potentiometer axis so the top gear spin easy on the axis.
  6. Re-assemble the servo

The servos are then glued back to back and some self adhesive velcro are mounted on both sides and the wheels are mounted.

The ideal would be to run both the receiver and the servos of a 2S LiPo but I only have 3S at home so I needed to use a Turnigy 8 V – 10 V 5A SBEC to power the servos and the receiver. Together with the DC/DC converter the über cheap Hobby King 2.4Ghz 6Ch receiver was mounted on the top of the servos.

Top
Top of the vehicle, the Turnigy SBEC to the left and Hobbyking receiver to the right.

On the bottom I have a Turnigy 1000mAh 3S 20C Lipo which is a little to large for this project but it was the smallest one I had.

Battery
Turnigy 3S 1000 mAh LiPo

I used channel 1 and 2 and mixed them 100% with each other. Since the servos are mirrored they need to rotate in the same direction for a turn and in oposite directions to move forwards och backwards.

This is what it looked like when it was ready.

Front
Front
Back
Back

My next order from HobbyKing will include a smaller 2S battery. And maybe I’ll put together a small controller board for this to make it autonomous.