EASY VERSION: Cheap Arduino Thrifty Throttle (PWM Generator for Servos and Speed Controllers)


Pretty good set of directions. I’m reading it on my phone so haven’t read through the code.

more in-depth version here

Drive Train Fundamentals

For rookie teams (and most veteran teams) you want to use something like the Kit of Parts Chasis (details here). Using a six wheel system is reliable and effective. One year we went with an octagon shaped frame with mecanum wheels (you can drive sideways). It was a really interesting design but we ended up spending too much time fine tuning something new without a clear reason to use it. For almost all FRC competitions the rectangular frame is the way to go.

First off it is important to identify size constraints in the rules. Here are the relevant rules from 2017 FIRST Steamworks:

R03. Maximum ROBOT size, including BUMPERS and all extensions, must be constrained to one of two volumes:

A. 36 in. by 40 in. by 24 in. tall (~91 cm by 101 cm by 60 cm tall).

B. 30 in. by 32 in. by 36 in. tall (~76 cm by 81 cm by 91 cm tall).

The ROBOT must remain constrained to the maximum inspected volume at all times during the MATCH (i.e. A ROBOT may not switch between volume A and volume B without being re-inspected).

This restricts you to two main options: long,wide and short; or more square and tall. The challenge with tall robots is keeping a low centre of gravity so you don’t tip.  We chose to maximize our area allowing for ball loading and went with option 1.

simbotics drivetrain seminar

Electronic Lab Shopping List from CEMC


American Iron & Metal Co. (AIM) QKB-144A-1 47385 from Sayal

tnx_qfa-201Soldering Station


On the WES51 lock the temperature to 700ºF. The tips for the WTCPT iron determine the temperature: use 700ºF conical tips.

WES51 at Sayal

Digikey WESD51

WTCPT-ND at Digikey

WTCPT at Sayal



GWInsteck what replaced GDS3054?