AndyMark Climber in a Box Assembly Notes

My group is working on a AndyMark Climber-In-A-Box 2 stage climb kit and we have noticed a few discrepancies in the AndyMark assembly guide. We noted that step 5 and step 6 under section ‘assembly’ should be switched. This will allow the 1" section to pass through the 1.5" section more easily.

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This seems a good place to put my question about CiaB. What is the “overhead” length for 1 and 2 stage climbers? That is:

  • For a 1 stage climber, what is the (maximum length - minimum length)/2?
  • For a 2 stage climber, what is the (maximum length - minimum length)/3?

I attempted some rough calculations based on the PDF drawings. For a 2 stage climber, I get between 18" and 19". For a 1 stage climber, I get between 16" and 17". [In each case, I did come up with a specific number, but it had about ha half inch uncertainty.)


We also noticed that step 3 of assembly (tie rope around bottom standoff) does not work as intended. Our solution to securing the rope was to find a longer flat head 10/32 bolt and mounting the rope with a loop and a washer on each side, and then put the nut on after.


For the 2 stage climber the min height is ~34" and the max is ~86.25" so your “overhead” length would be ~17.417"
I can get more precise if needed but I don’t have access to it right now.


Hi there!

Thanks for these notes. We’ll adjust the guide shortly. We have posted a couple updates to this guide already this season, and we expect to implement more feedback we get from teams throughout the season.

Out of curiosity, the standoff method as the rope anchor point is what we used through all of the prototypes, and production validation versions of this product. Can you expand on what difficulties you had here? Your solution looks good; we just want to understand what didn’t work for you. :slight_smile:


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Looking at this picture I can see why it didn’t work to tie the rope for them. They didn’t install the standoff, they used nuts instead. (see Assembly Step 2). Thus they had nothing to tie the rope around.

I’m not sure if it was in response to my query here, but it looks like @Nick_Lawrence spent some time last week that totally answered my questions in post #2. That is, dimensional drawings of the CIAB assembled with 30" tube. These links are on the CIAB page, but I’ll provide direct links as well.

OBTW, there’s a confirmed easter egg in the drawing of the CIAB hook kit for those who like an easter egg hunt.

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AndyMark Climber Errata

Our team has built two of the CIABs We ordered 2-stage climbers but decided we only needed a 1-stage. Here are some notes about the build instructions/process.

  • The 2-stage kit does not have all the parts needed to build a 1-stage (1.0+1.5 tube) climber. 7 additional 2" bolts, 7 nuts and 5 1.5" spacers are required.
  • Steps are inconsistent about specifying which parts are needed; some do, some don’t. For example, Pre-Assemble Winch Plates Step 1 does not specify which spacers are used in the 2" and 1.5" assemblies. In addition, some steps identify a part by size, and others by part number; both is preferable.
  • Pre-Assemble Winch Plates should note that the plates are not symmetric (because of the different hole sizes in the bearing plate area). It does not seem to matter as long as the two sides match.
  • Drill 1.0 Box Tubes, Step 3, 4: The illustration appears to show extra holes for which there are no drilling instructions. If you go by the illustration, you will drill the holes in this step on the wrong end of the pipe. These holes also appear in the illustration in Assembly Step 2. Also, there are two “drill bit drill bit” typos.
  • Assembly Step 2/3: Rope should be tied around the standoff before the standoff is added to the assembly. Side note: pushing a loop of cable through a large ring connector and crimping it seems to work well.
  • Assembly Step 3: refers to a “secure not”. I asked our students and they said they can only provide “insincere nots”. :slight_smile:
  • Assembly Step 4: Should have a note that this step is only taken if creating a 2-stage climber.
  • Assembly Step 5: I believe an additional sentence is needed: “Repeat this step on the opposite side of the tube.”
  • Assembly Step 7: missing text after “…and attach with.” Also, should explain that you need to push the 1" tube down into the 1.5" tube in order to correctly position the slider blocks.
  • Assembly Step 8: Should advise putting outward pressure on the 1" tube in order to make it easier for the cap screws to engage the nuts.
  • Assembly Step 9: The illustrations for the 2.0 and 1.5 Bearing Assemblies appear to be reversed. The sizes of the aluminium spacers are not given.
  • Assembly Step 12: Missing quantity “4”. Missing explanation that 2 bolts/nuts go on each side. Does not specify type of nut.
  • Assembly Step 13: If you are assembling a 2-stage climber, a 2" bolt is needed, not a 2.5" one.
  • Assembly Step 15: ends with “Make s”. Nobody here knows how to make s. I asked and got a lot of strange looks. I believe this is a caution to use only two bolts to attach the bearing plate, with the nuts on the exterior of the plate. Also, it is unclear from the illustration how to orient the flange of the bearing.
  • Assembly Step 16: There is no assembly step 16. I am guessing this is supposed to be a description of how to build the spool. Either that or it something they don’t want us to know.
  • Assembly Step 17: It is unclear what the proper method of attaching the rope should be to prevent slip and avoid jams. As a temporary solution, we ended up running the rope through one of the flange holes and crimping a ring connector around it to create a flush interference fit.
  • Assembly Step 18: Could be clarified by adding “to the tip of the bearing plate.”

Other observations:

  • If you use tubes >30", you need to put a stop on the inner tubes so that they can’t move too far and disengage the springs. A couple of thick washers taped around the tube works well until you know what your final dimensions are going to be.
  • Unless there is very little slack in the rope at full extension, it will easily jump the spool.

Is there an estimate when this product will be back in stock? We have been trying to snag 2 since kickoff.

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@MadOverlord this is great, thank you!

Is there a “canonical” way to attach this system to the robot? Based on the drawings and instructions it’s not clear if AM have provided any holes on the winch plates that would work.

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Best to email AndyMark directly or ping @Nick_Lawrence or @NathanNFM or @Andy_Baker

Alternatives might be in stock soon but I don’t have info on any. Best thing to do is email these companies directly.



@Greg_Needel or @dyanoshak
(I am unsure if this one is still being produced? I thought it was discontinued but the site says mid Feb)

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Not that I know of. The build instructions PDF has a photo that appears to show the cord just wrapped around the hub somehow, but I don’t see how that wouldn’t just slip.

My inclination would be to not use the provided hub or cordage, but instead drill a 5/32" hole through the winch shaft (I’d go with a steel one out of paranoia) and thread some paracord through it, then knot/crimp a ring connector.

However, I have not tested this method. I will see if I can do this, and if so will report the results.


As a personal side-project to get me up to speed on Fusion360, I have been developing a climbing system that is almost entirely 3D printed. All it requires are the tubes, the constant force springs, and a few bolts. It isn’t quite ready for release – I still have a few elements of the winch system to test out – but if you would like to beta-test it, please contact me and I’ll send you the files.

Hi there!

Thanks for the feedback on the assembly instructions. We’ll work on some of these improvements.

We detailed the rope tying method in this short video here, it’s a bit complicated to explain in text form. This method was tested on a real robot in real offseason competition in the summer and fall of 2021.

All, we’re turning on sales today for a limited amount of full climbers with extrusions, and a large amount of climbers without extrusions. We have a limited supply of the thin wall box tubing, and as you can probably see from other domestic vendors, there is a shortage of this material nationwide. There are more shipments coming, but this supply is a fluid situation and we don’t want to sell climbers for extrusion we don’t have yet.


The more direct alternative for the Andymark Climber is the WCP Greyt Telescope, not the elevator: GreyT Telescope – WestCoast Products

And according to the Stock Status page, all backorderes for the wcp telescopes will be cleared by Thursday 02/03.

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Ah thanks!! For some reason I completely overlooked that and kept finding the Greyt elevator that’s discontinued! Updated my post.

We ordered two of the kits without extrusion on 2/2 and haven’t gotten any updates or a shipping notice. Should we be concerned?

We just got this working today. We used the bottom middle hole of the winch bracket and drilled another through the bracket and the tube. I can take pictures next week unless our members took some for our build blog (they are posting them this weekend).

We used these 8020 Brackets. There are also some cheaper alternatives. We started with one on each side, but there is room for two.

We attached them directly to the KOP Chassis. One side lined up with the 10-32 holes, but the other needed to be drilled. We just used 10-32 cap screws for now, but will likely drill the holes out to 1/4-20 if we keep this elevator fixed.

The climber works well, but we only used a 4:1 gear ratio on one Neo. We are going to up the Anti next week and see if it is fast enough still. If not, we will double the motor.

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We’re using the climber with 2 NEO’s on 21:1 VP’s (one on each side). Speedy enough and probably overkill.

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How did you get two Neos into VPs? We are currently using MPs (which are incredible this far by the way), but will probably need to switch if we determine a need for two motors.