AndyMark Winter 2021 Product Launch

Hi everyone!

It’s been a little while since we’ve posted last about new products! Throughout the fall, and as well as this past weekend, we’ve released some new affordable things we’ve been working on that we’d like to show you.

AM14U4 3 Motor Upgrade Kit

This is the easiest, most inexpensive and most complete way to add a third motor to each side of your AM14U family drivetrain! No drilling or machining required. In the past, we sold a gearbox called the 3CIM4U, which was a repackaged version of the standard Toughbox hardware with new plates that accommodated a third motor. This is the spiritual successor to that product. It provides all the mechanical components required to upgrade your existing 2 motor Toughbox Mini gearboxes into 3 motor powerhouses! We’ve even included the extra gears you will need for an extremely affordable price.

AM14U4 NEO Brushless Upgrade Kit

One of the most common questions we have received lately is “What are all the parts I need to convert my chassis to run on Brushless motors?” This product is an affordable direct answer to that question. We’ve curated all of the components required to use four NEO motors with your standard Toughbox Mini gearboxes in your AM14U4 chassis! We’ve even included all of the hardware and gears that live on the motor shaft to make this process nice and easy - simply prep the NEOs with the gears and hardware, remove your existing brushed motors, and drop the NEOs in for a nice power boost and weight savings! This bundle offers a pretty good discount over purchasing all of the components individually, too.

AndyMark Swerve and Steer 2021 Updates

If it’s been a while since you’ve looked at our Swerve and Steer, you’ve probably missed all of the updates we have implemented over the years based completely on years of field testing and team feedback. We’ve come a long way on this product since it launched six seasons ago, from designing out bushings, improving encoder options and solving some rigidity problems on previous iterations, all while maintaining an affordable price. We’re really proud of where this product is now. Yes, it’s bigger than other options on the market, no it doesn’t have fancy 3D printed parts all over it - instead, it’s a robust, battle tested option for those wishing to pursue a swerve drive solution for their FRC robots.

This year, with affordability in mind, we’ve revamped how the Swerve and Steer can be ordered. Now you can choose whether or not it comes assembled or not, which saves teams money if they assemble it themselves. New this season, we’ve added the NEO as a drive motor option alongside the CIM and Falcon options we previously had. You can also order it without the PG-based steering gearmotor to replace it with another COTS planetary that has a 2" bolt circle of your choosing. This new product structure gives us a lot of flexibility to add further options here, which we plan on doing in the future.

At the time of this writing, the Swerve and Steer product starts at an extremely cost competitive price of $198 USD.

6 Gauge Flexible Silicone Battery and Robot Power Cable Products

Finally, we’ve added flexible silicone options for all of our 6 Gauge Robot Power Products! Now you no longer have to commit to running larger SB120 connectors on all of your chargers, etc if you want flexible pre-assembled wires for your robot’s main power path.

Powerpole Distribution Board

We redesigned our PP45 based Distribution Board this past summer with a lot of improvements based on customer feedback. We’ve added a sixth channel, removed the input-channel breaker, integrated improved breaker holders, redesigned the case and revamped the mounting geometry. We like these boards a lot for prototyping multi-motor FRC mechanisms, and also use them in some of our fully built non-FRC robot offerings.

RadioLink T8S Wireless Controller and R8SM Receiver

This extremely affordable controller and receiver pair is an excellent choice for non-FIRST competition robots. We use these around here as a simple and expandable controller for lots of prototypes, and many AndyMark Fight Night teams even used them this past year’s tournament with much success. The controller has several buttons, toggles and dials on it’s shoulders in addition to the joysticks for many control options. This controller can be connected either via USB to a computer or via Bluetooth to your phone to adjust settings on the fly! It ships with centering springs pre-installed on both joysticks, making it ideal for mobile robot platforms. If you want to use one of the sticks as a non-centering throttle control, this spring can be removed.

Expanded Bondhus Tool Offerings

From the makers of the famous Orange Folding Allen Wrench set (our most favourite tool in our shop,) we’re now offering a much bigger line of Bondhus tools. We’ve expanded our Allen Wrench offerings, Ball End Hex Driver line, added more Nut Drivers, and changed up our Hex End Power Bits listings. These are the exact tools we use on our teams and in our shop at AndyMark to assemble products - we use them every day and love em.

1/2" Hex and Keyed Shaft Coupling

This is a custom coupler designed in the same language as our 1/2" HD Hex Collar Clamp, sharing many of the same features including thoughtfully designed bearing bosses, robust 10-32 Screws, and high strength aluminum. Need to combine multiple 1/2 inch hex shafts, multiple 1/2 inch keyed shafts, or convert between hex and keyed? This coupling solves all at a better price than anyone else can offer!

As always, new stuff shows up on our New Product page. Keep an eye out there for even more surprises!

Happy Kickoff! We’re excited to see what teams do with the new challenges released this past weekend!

-Nick

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Sorry about the broken link on the 3 motor kit, it’s fixed now!

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I just wanted to mark my respect to AndyMark for getting your swerve module down below $200 USD (Currently the cheapest COTS option by $1 :slight_smile: ). I’ve been trying to design a swerve module at that price point for a lot of 2020, and I know how hard it is to do.

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Don’t forget that $198 includes their profit margin. The BOM cost is likely significantly lower.

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It would be great if you could offer pieces of red silicone insulated 6 AWG wire with lugs already crimped on at one or two reasonable lengths for connecting between the main breaker and the PDP so that teams can get all the power wiring they need, ready to install. A lot of teams do not have the proper crimper to install the lugs.

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Do you mean like this product?

Or something else?

Sincerely,
-Nick

Yes. It would be good to offer the 9 inch long cable with the silicone insulation also.

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Ya know what? We’ll add it to the to-do list. :grin:

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This post is going to be fairly critical. I’m glad and thankful for vendors like AndyMark constantly striving to make improvements, but it feels like documentation visibility/accessibility is pretty low on their priority list. This seemingly hasn’t changed much since I was a rookie student nearly a decade ago who called AM on the phone multiple times to get access to STEP files and drawing sheets.

I’m pretty disappointed to see that both the updated swerve and the AM14U upgrade kit lack instructions and dimensioned drawings on their product pages. I understand that the last year has been a trying time for all involved, but it’s been two years since the AndyMark site re-launched and I’ve yet to see much headway in terms of documentation visibility. If nothing else, I would have hoped for more consistent documentation accessibility for new products since the relaunch.

What testing has been (or will be done) to demonstrate that the latest kits (and their associated cost savings) are worth betting a $5000+ season on? Are there any specific team success stories or internal testing you can share to validate the robustness of this design? The competing products from Thrifty Bot, SDS, and WCP are basically revisions of designs that have been through Einstein, District Champs, etc.

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I’m fairly certain 3707 BHS Technodogs were using the AM Swerve and Steer during their 2018 and 2019 Einstein runs. I can’t comment on whether they were stock modules or modified somehow.

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The NEO upgrade is probably the best KOP upgrade ever.

Also I love my SB120 connectors :slight_smile:

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I could be wrong on this, but I believe that the AM swerve and steer was one of the first, if not the first COTS swerve module available for teams. This has been around a while. I know they were available in 2015. They may have been available before. There have been improvements since then, but overall it’s a very similar module.

I’ve seen them in action in a 461 prototype, and I believe I have seen 1741 and 71 use them (or close to them) in the past.

I think the limitations to this module is the weight (although I don’t know if the states 8.3lbs includes the motor or not) and the slow azimuth speed. Maybe the slow drive speed depending on your strategy. From what I have seen, the modules are extremely well built, and I don’t think a team would have too much trouble “betting the season” on their robustness. As with any swerve, I think it’s a good idea to have drop in module replacement just in case, but that is my opinion on any module.

'member 221 systems?

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I’ve had a set of gen 1 AM modules on test platform since the summer of 2016. No major changes except for a custom sensors mounts for 1:1 steering counts and lightening on the steering gears for access to the motor mount screws (all changes that the newer revisions have). I’d agree to the heavier weight comment. I’d also throw in that the module is pretty tall vs the other COTS modules which are typically shorter and wider.

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@Nick_Lawrence Would it be possible to get an ETA on this documentation being up? I may not be looking hard enough, but I wasn’t able to find it in the documentation database either when I was checking last night or this afternoon.

Sorry about that, I am working on getting this updated this week.

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Sorry for the delay, the assembly instructions and the CAD file for the Swerve are now linked at the bottom of the product page. http://andymark.com/swerve

The assembly drawing for the upgrade kit is also available at

We will continue to update these with more details if we receive questions.
If you do have any questions please email me at ProSupport@AndyMark.com

Thanks,

-Nathan

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Awesome, thanks!