Diagnosing Belt Skip Under Load

We have almost the exact same setup and we were slipping belts too. We were able to fix it by doing a few things. We haven’t slipped a tooth since.

  1. We added a 3rd pulley. We needed more teeth in contact with those small 18 tooth pulleys
  2. Added shaft support in the center of the driven shaft. It helps minimize any potential bending of the shaft which can change the tension.
  3. Improved belt tensioning. We used a Turnbull from the hardware store and it worked great.

My unqualified, gut opinion not based on any calculations - you should be fine. 35 chain is extremely strong and forgiving. Properly tensioned, it is quite hard to break 35 chain anywhere on an FRC robot. Much, much harder to size incorrectly than belts.

I am actually more concerned about skipping chain than breaking it. Last year we had skipping problems as a result of overloading and it took us days to properly diagnose and fix it.