2006: Did anyone use the Mabuchi motor?

Alright, the 2005 edition only netted one result, but this year’s game required quite a few different mechanisms.

So, who used the little Mabuchi motor in the kit of parts on their 2006 robots?

No, when I was giving the engineers and studets information about all of the motors, I actually started describing the Mabuchi with “This motor sucks, a lot, almost nobody used it last year.” But, anyway, the only function I can see using that weakling for is maybe a agitator or ball release of some sort.

That’s the little one with the gear on the end, right? We tried using it as part of our ball feed mechanism, but ended up using a window lifter motor instead. It was nice to have the option of using a small, light motor for something, but having the option and actually using it are two different things, I guess.


Considering weight to wattage, it just isn’t efficient compared to the Fisher Price.

The only team that I saw using it (i think it was a Mabuchi) was 45 the Technokats when they installed their new shooter, they used it to move the balls into the shooter wheel. I found that there was very little it could do for us.

We were planning on using it to actuate one of the old seat motor screw mechanisms, to adjust the hood of our shooter, but due to weight, time, and complexity issues, we never put it on the robot.

I believe we are using the Mabuchi for that function also.

The irony of this discussion is that the Fisher Price motor is also made by Mabuchi and can use many of the same transmissions.

We used it to turn our turret. We use one stage of gear reduction to slow the motor down, other then that it have plenty of power for what we are using it for. It is similar to the FP, but with less power and speed.

Team 74 did. We used the mabuchi motor with a bane bot gear box to run a winch to raise and lower our shooter.

We use it as a tachometer for maintaining the shooter wheel(s) speed.

We put the Mabuchi on a 5:1 BaneBots transmission to direct-drive our front ball sweeper. The mechanism was just a 14" piece of 1/2" I.D. PVC pipe, cross-drilled in several places and thread thru with cable ties to form whiskers. It was supported by face mounting the gearbox on one end and a bolt on the other end, with bronze bearings pressed into the pipe on each end. The motor end was locked to the shaft with a set-screw. Total weight including the motor and gearbox was 1.4#.

The pipe was damaged in collisions a few times, but the motor/gearbox combinations never gave us a problem.

This sounds white-paper worthy.

we plugged it into the FP gearbox and used it to lift and lower our harvester mechanism. the motor is very weak, but the common can size makes it nice for use in a banebots or the FP!

Team 234 put the pinion from the fisher price motor on the mabuchi and coupled it with the fisher price gearbox. This gives a slow and controlled output we use to pan our shooter

I actually have one, but I want better photographs of the tach mount and wiring, and those would be in Atlanta…

This is the first time we ever used this motor.

We had a bin in the lower portion of the robot to store balls and we would use gravity to feed our ball elevator to load a rack to feed our turret/shooter.

The problem was that sometimes the bin would get jammed. We solved this by using a banebots transmission and some of round polyurethane belting which just ran in a loop. This simple mechanism was able to keep our bin jam free.

The banebots transmission isn’t perfect, but we would never have used the mabuchi motor without it.

I imagine as the BaneBots transmission gets better known, the Mabuchis will get used more. It is too much hassle to make a custom gearbox to bring down 4000 rpms (well, depending on what the purpose is, you might not need one) especially when you consider the very lower power output, also most other solutions would be pricey or involve huge sprockets. The BaneBots is cheap, and available in multiple gear ratios, very nice. Personally, I’d be more tempted to use it to make a rotating light out of the LEDs, than to do anything else.

Whenever this tranny is mentioned, there is always an undertone of caution. What is the problem?

  1. You’ll need to be careful when replacing the pinion on your FP or Mabuchi motor with the BaneBots pinion – shaft fit to the pinion i.d. is critical. I found it easiest to bore/ream/drill the pinion to a tight slip fit for the motor shaft and then use a good retaining compound like Loctite 680.

  2. The gearbox gets a little noisy; some folks have found it helpful to add lubricant. Gear quality is not high, which should be expected for a gearbox at this price.

See Joe Johnson’s advice here.

P.S. And several folks have had trouble with the standard assembly screws stripping easily. Joe also looked into a solution for this and found that the supplier was very helpful.