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#1
03-20-2017, 11:20 AM
 tonypan Registered User AKA: Minxing Pan FRC #3175 (Knight Vision) Team Role: CAD Join Date: Jan 2017 Rookie Year: 2016 Location: Detroit Posts: 11
Calculating Gear Ratio Based on Torque

Hi,
Our team's climber has been climbing too slowly in the competition, so we decided to modify the gear ratios. Previously we used Versaplanetary 63:1 (7:1 and 9:1) to a CIM motor. The motor is connected to our climber with number 35 chains on two 12 tooth sprockets. Our robot weighs about 140 pounds with bumpers and battery on it. When I was trying to calculate the new gear ratio for our robot to climb faster, I am not sure what radius to input to find the force output since torque equals force times radius. Should I use the radius of the 1/2 in hex output shaft of the versaplanetary gearbox, or should I use the radius of the CIM motor output shaft, or should it be the sprocket or the climber itself. I saw many threads on the gear ratios, but I cannot find a tutorial on how to calculate this.
Thank you.
#2
03-20-2017, 11:25 AM
 Ether systems engineer (retired) no team Join Date: Nov 2009 Rookie Year: 1969 Location: US Posts: 8,674
Re: Calculating Gear Ratio Based on Torque

Quote:
 Originally Posted by tonypan Previously we used Versaplanetary 63:1 (7:1 and 9:1) to a CIM motor. The motor is connected to our climber with number 35 chains on two 12 tooth sprockets. Our robot weighs about 140 pounds with bumpers and battery on it. When I was trying to calculate the new gear ratio for our robot to climb faster, I am not sure what radius to input to find the force output since torque equals force times radius. Should I use the radius of the 1/2 in hex output shaft of the versaplanetary gearbox, or should I use the radius of the CIM motor output shaft, or should it be the sprocket or the climber itself. I saw many threads on the gear ratios, but I cannot find a tutorial on how to calculate this. Thank you.
What is the diameter of your drum/spool (the thing that your rope winds around)?

#3
03-20-2017, 11:26 AM
 Oblarg Registered User AKA: Eli Barnett FRC #0449 (The Blair Robot Project) Team Role: Mentor Join Date: Mar 2009 Rookie Year: 2008 Location: Philadelphia, PA Posts: 1,454
Re: Calculating Gear Ratio Based on Torque

First thing to do when trying to actually understand these things, as with all simple mechanics problems, is to draw a free-body diagram of the climber and balance the forces.
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#4
03-20-2017, 11:30 AM
 Mr V FIRST Senior Mentor Washington FRC #5588 (Reign) Team Role: Coach Join Date: Feb 2011 Rookie Year: 2009 Location: Maple Valley Wa Posts: 1,062
Re: Calculating Gear Ratio Based on Torque

None of the above, you should use the effective radius of your final wrap of rope will be wrapping around. If your rope spools nicely across the drum in one layer then the radius of the drum is correct. If your rope tends to wrap over itself in two or more layers then you need the radius of that last layer.
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All statements made on Chief Delphi by me are my own opinions and are not official FIRST rulings or opinions and should not be construed as such.

#5
03-20-2017, 11:31 AM
 tonypan Registered User AKA: Minxing Pan FRC #3175 (Knight Vision) Team Role: CAD Join Date: Jan 2017 Rookie Year: 2016 Location: Detroit Posts: 11
Re: Calculating Gear Ratio Based on Torque

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ether What is the diameter of your drum/spool (the thing that your rope winds around)?
Our spool with velcro on it is 1 and 1/16 in in diameter.
#6
03-20-2017, 11:49 AM
 FrankJ Robot Mentor FRC #2974 (WALT) Team Role: Mentor Join Date: Feb 2011 Rookie Year: 2009 Location: Marietta GA Posts: 2,150
Re: Calculating Gear Ratio Based on Torque

You do realize that Vex doesn't recommend 63:1 for a CIM? Actually they don't recommend the 9:1 and 10:1 gear sets for the CIM. increasing load by increasing the speed might give you issues with the gear box. Vex planetary load recommendations here.
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#7
03-20-2017, 11:50 AM
 Ether systems engineer (retired) no team Join Date: Nov 2009 Rookie Year: 1969 Location: US Posts: 8,674
Re: Calculating Gear Ratio Based on Torque

Quote:
 Originally Posted by tonypan Our spool with velcro on it is 1 and 1/16 in in diameter.
Then use a radius of (1 + 1/16) / 2

Quote:
 Originally Posted by FrankJ You do realize that Vex doesn't recommend 63:1 for a CIM? Actually they don't recommend the 9:1 and 10:1 gear sets for the CIM.
Heed Frank's advice. If you don't, you may strip the gears or break the shaft in the gearbox.

#8
03-20-2017, 12:04 PM
 Ether systems engineer (retired) no team Join Date: Nov 2009 Rookie Year: 1969 Location: US Posts: 8,674
Re: Calculating Gear Ratio Based on Torque

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ether Then use a radius of (1 + 1/16) / 2
Static torque load due to robot weight will be 140 pounds times that radius, or about 74 inch pounds.

Quote:
 Heed Frank's advice. If you don't, you may strip the gears or break the shaft in the gearbox.
If you stall the bot at 12 volts against the trip plate, the static load will be much greater than the above.

#9
03-20-2017, 12:06 PM
 Oblarg Registered User AKA: Eli Barnett FRC #0449 (The Blair Robot Project) Team Role: Mentor Join Date: Mar 2009 Rookie Year: 2008 Location: Philadelphia, PA Posts: 1,454
Re: Calculating Gear Ratio Based on Torque

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ether If you stall the bot at 12 volts against the trip plate, the static load will be much greater than the above.
On the other hand, current limiting can eliminate the possibility of a full stall - gearbox torque ratings become somewhat more nuanced, then.
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"The breakfast of champions!"

Member, FRC Team 449: 2007-2010
Drive Mechanics Lead, FRC Team 449: 2009-2010
Alumnus/Technical Mentor, FRC Team 449: 2010-Present
Lead Technical Mentor, FRC Team 4464: 2012-2015
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#10
03-20-2017, 12:30 PM
 Mr V FIRST Senior Mentor Washington FRC #5588 (Reign) Team Role: Coach Join Date: Feb 2011 Rookie Year: 2009 Location: Maple Valley Wa Posts: 1,062
Re: Calculating Gear Ratio Based on Torque

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ether Then use a radius of (1 + 1/16) / 2
But that only applies to the first wrap. Of course that is fine if the rope only forms one layer. However if the sizing of the drum, rope and/or the geometry of how the rope wraps around the drum causes rope to wrap over another layer that calculation could end up causing the motor to stall before it reels in enough rope to complete the climb. Use a narrow, small diameter drum and large diameter rope and the effective radius can increase dramatically over the distance of the climb.

That factor is what is driving many teams to a strap or smallest diameter rope they can get away with.

Also note it is not something that you can accurately calculate easily. Depending on how the rope behaves it may actually have an oval cross section when tightly wrapped around the drum. It is also possible that a second layer may further change the cross section of the first layer as well as "nest" in certain areas between adjacent wraps but not in others.

The easiest way to find the radius to use in calculating the best gear ratio is to go ahead and climb with what you already have and then measure the effective radius that last wrap of rope is acting against.
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All statements made on Chief Delphi by me are my own opinions and are not official FIRST rulings or opinions and should not be construed as such.

#11
03-20-2017, 12:32 PM
 asid61 Also 299 mentor AKA: Anand Rajamani FRC #1072 (Harker Robotics and Valkyrie Robotics) Team Role: Mentor Join Date: Jan 2014 Rookie Year: 2013 Location: Cupertino, CA Posts: 2,441
Re: Calculating Gear Ratio Based on Torque

Quote:
 Originally Posted by Mr V But that only applies to the first wrap. Of course that is fine if the rope only forms one layer. However if the sizing of the drum, rope and/or the geometry of how the rope wraps around the drum causes rope to wrap over another layer that calculation could end up causing the motor to stall before it reels in enough rope to complete the climb. Use a narrow, small diameter drum and large diameter rope and the effective radius can increase dramatically over the distance of the climb. That factor is what is driving many teams to a strap or smallest diameter rope they can get away with. Also note it is not something that you can accurately calculate easily. Depending on how the rope behaves it may actually have an oval cross section when tightly wrapped around the drum. It is also possible that a second layer may further change the cross section of the first layer as well as "nest" in certain areas between adjacent wraps but not in others. The easiest way to find the radius to use in calculating the best gear ratio is to go ahead and climb with what you already have and then measure the effective radius that last wrap of rope is acting against.
Using just your drum radius is good enough for an approximation as long as you leave a good factor of safety. We targeted a 25 amp per 775pro climb and it hasn't failed us yet. You can add the diameter off the rope to the radius to account for a turn or two as well.
It's also worth noting that having some amount of wrapping will improve your performance by effectively increasing your radius and keeping the motor closer to the peak power range.
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#12
03-20-2017, 12:46 PM
 hrench mechanical build mentor AKA: Bob Hrenchir FRC #1108 (Panther Robotics) Team Role: Mentor Join Date: Jan 2012 Rookie Year: 2010 Location: Paola, KS Posts: 279
Re: Calculating Gear Ratio Based on Torque

everyone saying 'use the radius of the spool' seems to be neglecting the radius of the rope.

if you use a circular rope, wouldn't the center of the tension be at one rope-radius farther from the centerline of the spool, that is, in the center of the rope?

I suppose with some very-rigid rope the tension at the spool radius may carry more of the robot than the center of the rope, but I can't imagine any case were this should be ignored completely.
#13
03-20-2017, 01:11 PM
 Michael Hill Registered User FRC #3138 (Innovators Robotics) Team Role: Mentor Join Date: Jul 2004 Rookie Year: 2003 Location: Dayton, OH Posts: 1,673
Re: Calculating Gear Ratio Based on Torque

FYI: JVN's Design Calculator (https://www.chiefdelphi.com/media/papers/3188) is extremely useful. Check out the "Linear Mechanism" tab. It conveniently uses 154 lb weight by default (hint: what is the weight of your robot?) For the pulley diameter, you should use your drum diameter + diameter of the rope should be fine, but if you want to do a double-wrap scenario, you can use drum diameter + 1.5 * rope diameter. Change your travel distance to be between your drum and the top of the rope (something on the order of 24 in or so). One other thing I did was to scale the motor specs to 10V rather than 12V (because at the end of the match, your battery capacity will be significantly lower than at the start). Designing with this voltage actually saved us in one match where we found out we ran a match with a battery with a dead cell but were still able to climb.

Once you do all of that, you can play with the gear ratio to get something less than and around 50% stall (as measured by dividing the Current Draw per Motor (loaded) by the Stall Current).

In the end, we are using a 1.25" drum with velcro wrapped around. We are climbing a 5/8" Poly(propylene?) belt from Home Depot. We are using a CIM with around a 13:1 gear ratio (I think more like 13.33:1). It gets us up there in < 2-3 sec.
#14
03-20-2017, 01:26 PM
 Ether systems engineer (retired) no team Join Date: Nov 2009 Rookie Year: 1969 Location: US Posts: 8,674
Re: Calculating Gear Ratio Based on Torque

Quote:
 Originally Posted by tonypan Our spool with velcro on it is 1 and 1/16 in in diameter.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Ether Then use a radius of (1 + 1/16) / 2
Quote:
 Originally Posted by Mr V But that only applies to the first wrap.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by asid61 Using just your drum radius is good enough for an approximation as long as you leave a good factor of safety.
Quote:
 Originally Posted by hrench everyone saying 'use the radius of the spool' seems to be neglecting the radius of the rope.
I think there's no argument that as the rope (or strap or webbing or whatever) accumulates on the spool it increases the effective diameter.

And if the rope diameter is much smaller than the spool diameter, the rope diameter can be safely ignored if there's a good safety margin in your calculations.

But on the question of rope diameter when it's not much smaller than the spool diameter, it would be interesting to have some test data.

This would make an interesting white paper: Rope linear travel vs spool turns.

Test parameters:

- rope diameter and spool diameter
- type of rope (round, flat, stiffness, etc)
- rope tension while winding

#15
03-20-2017, 02:02 PM
 Mr V FIRST Senior Mentor Washington FRC #5588 (Reign) Team Role: Coach Join Date: Feb 2011 Rookie Year: 2009 Location: Maple Valley Wa Posts: 1,062
Re: Calculating Gear Ratio Based on Torque

Quote:
 Originally Posted by asid61 Using just your drum radius is good enough for an approximation as long as you leave a good factor of safety. We targeted a 25 amp per 775pro climb and it hasn't failed us yet. You can add the diameter off the rope to the radius to account for a turn or two as well. It's also worth noting that having some amount of wrapping will improve your performance by effectively increasing your radius and keeping the motor closer to the peak power range.
Yes you can calculate it based on advertised rope diameter and you will come out on the safe side. Also if you calculate with a large safety factor involved like a max draw of 25a (on your first wrap) then again you'll also come out well on the safe side.

However if you want to maximize the speed of the climb I prefer to use the experimentally derived number for effective radii at various points during the climb and then decide on the safety factor desired.

For example consider a drum with a 2" diameter spooling up a 1" diameter rope that maintains that 1" diameter as it spools up. On the first layer r is 1" but on the second layer r is now 2" or twice the initial value. If the way it is designed means that it forms a 3rd layer r is now 3" and you need 3x the input torque as you did when you started.

At the other end of the spectrum if you had a 6" diameter drum and 1/8" diameter rope the percentage change in effective radius with multiple layers will be minimal, in this case under 5% between the first and second wrap.

At the end of the day if the goal is to minimize the time to climb you want to maximize the area under the power curve over the range of the climb. That means that torque required on the initial wrap should be 1/2 stall torque - "X" and at the final wrap 1/2 stall torque + "x".

It would be preferred that the torque required stayed at 1/2 stall throughout the climb and thus keep the motor operating at peak power. That of course is one of the reasons why CVTs are becoming quite common in modern automobiles. It allows them to keep the engine operating at peak power when maximum acceleration is commanded.
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All statements made on Chief Delphi by me are my own opinions and are not official FIRST rulings or opinions and should not be construed as such.

Last edited by Mr V : 03-20-2017 at 02:09 PM.

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