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Topic: off road chassis Solved (Read 875 times) previous topic - next topic

handy_man

Jun 15, 2015, 06:43 pm Last Edit: Jun 16, 2015, 02:51 am by handy_man
Hi I'm making a off road vehicle and I cant find a good chassis under $100. I can't find one that fits my uno and two shields that is enclosed but I could make an enclosure. I have done research and something along the lines of the T'REX tank chassis would be great but can't afford it.

keeper63

If you aren't wedded to a differentially steered robot (ie - tank-like), then a good and cheap way to get a chassis for "off-road" would be an old toy R/C car from a thrift shop or similar.

Don't spend more than $5.00 or $10.00 USD (unless it is one of the exceptionally larger toys). Rotate the wheels, make sure the gearbox and motor sound like it is in good shape, and that the wheels don't wobble, etc. Rotate the steering wheels, make sure they return to center, and that the steering mechanism feels ok. If all of that passes, then you might take a chance on it.

Most such toys are donated because the controller went missing, or the kid got tired of it, or such - rarely because they are broken in some fundamental manner.

Sometimes with careful sleuthing one can pick up a hobby-grade R/C car for use as a chassis off craigslist or other places for a song. But you generally have to be patient.

If you don't mind something "big" - a PowerWheels ride-on toy can make a great robot chassis - but it will typically take more than a bit of work to get the steering system implemented - and the batteries aren't cheap, plus drivers for the motors can be expensive depending on how you plan to implement them.

Keep looking around on craigslist, ebay, yard/tag sales, thrift stores, etc - and you'll bound to find something.

Oh - if size isn't needed - then Tamiya sells a small "bulldozer" kit that uses plastic tank treads - but I've heard mixed reviews.

One other possibility - build the chassis yourself. Get a couple of gearmotors, and mount them to a plywood rectangular frame towards one end. Attach a couple of plywood "wheels" to the motor shafts, and similar ones "freewheeling" on an axle of some sort up front. Then put an appropriately sized automotive timing belt or other cogged belt - cog-side out - around the wheels. You'll probably have to play with belt tensioning and such (alternatively, have both front and back wheels freewheel, but put a cog pulley on the motor, and drive the belt directly).
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zoomkat

You could use four continuous rotation servos (mounted on hacksaw blades for suspension) to drive the wheels (could be large plastic jar lids), and have the body a thin plywood platform as the basis for the body. 
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handy_man

Thanks I'll try to find a old rc at a local shop.

keeper63

You could use four continuous rotation servos (mounted on hacksaw blades for suspension) to drive the wheels (could be large plastic jar lids), and have the body a thin plywood platform as the basis for the body. 
That would definitely be "low cost" - and I love the suspension idea. But I'm not sure how well it would handle "off road"! Though maybe if we stretched the definition to include "on carpet" - it might work well enough! :D
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