Assembling and Wiring Your Mini Race Car

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The wiring and assembly is pretty easy, and there is no soldering required! You'll just need the small screwdriver that came in the kit, and it wouldn't hurt to grab some pliers. (It'll make it faster and easier to put together)

First, you'll assemble the robot chassis. All the parts needed for this are inside the brown box with the 'Custom Black 2WD Robot + extra layer' sticker on it. 

Motors and Wheels and Tires

To start, take the two motors, four long screws, four nuts, and two black panels.

Screw the two black panels onto the motors. 

The metal panels go on the side with the red and black wires coming out.

Have the hex nuts on the metal panel side so they don't interfere with the wheel!

The metal panels go on the side with the red and black wires coming out.

Have the hex nuts on the metal panel side so they don't interfere with the wheel!

Take the two wheels, rubber treads, and 2x small screws found in the same bag as the wheels.

Put the rubber treads on the wheels. This is a lot of fun!

Fit the wheels onto the white knob on the motors, they will snap nicely onto the oval center.

Lower Chassis

Take one of the black chassis layers.  All three layers are identical.

Align it on your table as shown on the left. Note that the panel is not symmetrical - look on the left to see that rectangle cut out? Make sure it's aligned as you see here!

 

Attach two of the brass standoffs onto the black chassis layer.

 

The standoffs should be screwed into the second set of holes from the outer edge - meaning the two interior holes.

Turn over the plate

Attach the white free-wheel into the exterior hole closest to the rectangular opening.

The white free-wheel should be on the opposite side of the chassis of the standoff.

Turn over the plate again

Take your assembled wheels and fit them into the chassis layer.

There are 2 slots on the black panels that you attached to your motor that should fit perfectly into the chassis layer.

The metal front of the motor will be pointing toward the side of the chassis where you placed your white freewheel

Prepare the Battery Box

For this step, you will need the AA battery box, 4 x AA batteries,  the screwdriver, and a sheet of 4 rubber bumpers.

First, open each battery box, grab out the screw, insert your batteries, and then screw the boxes shut. Oh, and make sure you have the boxes switched to the off position. Now, take the 4 rubber bumpers and place them as shown in the picture below. Notice how the one bumper on the left side is not in the upper left corner. Important: don't throw away the leftover piece of bumper material, we are going to use that on the next step.

Do not discard the leftover piece of bumper material.

Flip the battery box over and place the scrap piece of the bumper material in the middle. This will help hold the battery box nice and tight between the top and middle plate of your robot.

Middle Chassis Layer

Place the middle chassis layer onto robot, making sure to fit the motor tabs into the slots of the layer, then screw in the two brass standoffs.

Take a look at the image below and install the brass stand-offs in the same positions. You can insert the stand-off screws through the middle plate and hand tighten the stand-offs while putting a bit of pressure on the screw with your finger. Or, as a tip, you can screw in the stand-off screws with the flat end of the screwdriver, which can reach through the holes in the bottom plate.

Once you have the stand-offs in place as shown in the image above, let's place the battery box in the correct spot as shown in the image below.

Notice the battery box is lined up on the left side of the middle chassis plate. It should be just in-between the upper left stand-off and the lower left stand-off (not touching either). This will make sure the on-off switch lines up just right in the hole of the top plate. Go ahead and install the top plate now as shown here.

See how the on-off switch is now accessible through the top plate? Now let's take just a minute to route the wires from the motors and the battery box through the chassis like shown in the image below.

We are getting close! Now let's install the breadboard on top of the robot. Peel off the backing from the foam sticker on the bottom of the breadboard. Take a look at the image below and stick it exactly as shown. Be sure to install the breadboard just as shown in the image below and not sideways or the motor wires won't reach the motor driver Feather Wing.

Prepare the Electronics

 

For this next step, a pair of pliers is handy. First, grab the 6 header pins all attached together and break them into 3 sets of 2 header pins. Then, grab them in the pliers like shown here, and then slightly bend them so they look like the next picture.

If you don't have pliers you can do it with your fingers (carefully!)

With the breadboard in place, go ahead and grab your stacked Bluefruit Feather, and Motor Driver FeatherWing and install it in the breadboard with the USB port facing away from the wires like shown in the image below. Then use your screwdriver and install the bent header pins like shown in the image. Finally, attach the motor wires and power wires as shown in the image. It is important that you have the red and black wires in the correct position. Please reference the image below and triple check that they are installed correctly.

LiPoly Battery

The AA batteries will supply power to the motors through the Motor Driver FeatherWing, but what about power for the Feather itself? For that, you'll use a LiPoly battery. It's small, powerful, and very convenient -- you can charge it simply by plugging the Feather into a USB charger!

Plug the LiPoly battery into the JST battery port on the Feather, and then tuck the battery into the space in the lower level of the robot. If you like, you can secure it with double stick foam tape.

Congratulations, you've built your robot! 

That's it for the first part of getting your robot assembled and wired. Now, let's get this robot moving! On to the code!

Last updated on 2017-06-01 at 12.04.25 PM Published on 2017-06-01 at 12.22.38 PM