I know nowadays we like these VersaPlanetaries, but they’re heavier and more expensive than the good ol’ drill planetary gearboxes of yore (See: Nothing But Dewalts, =0’s DeWut kit).
Anyone encountered any other good drills with gearboxes in them that can be acquired for cheap, and are reliable (all metal gears, and housing preferably)? I’ve heard bad things of new Harbor Freight drills (It IS horror fright…). I’d like a larger ratio, but I’m not looking for shifting (or clutch).
I know because I arranged the original donation, back in 1997 when those motors, gearboxes, and housings were initially provided to FIRST by my employer, Emerson Electric Co., who owned part of Skil-Bosch at the time. After Bosch took complete ownership, they also took over the donation to FIRST.
Bosch is a great sponsor that has supported FIRST for a long time.
Interestingly enough, I happened to see a BOSCH drill transmission on a robot with a +4000 number. Made me smile and ask where they got it. Then we had to replace the BOSCH motor with a BAG motor to make it legal. Turns out this was actually a pretty simple swap.
For the OP:
You may want to check out 12V electric screw drivers. If they are 12V, they have a higher chance of having an easy to swap in FRC motor.
I believe that BOSCH makes a nice unit that 550 motor fit into, but be careful pressing the pinion as I think they are powdered metal and easy to crack. Milwaukee has a nice unit we used on 33 for the stinger back in 2012.
Electric screw drivers are easy to use a 1/4" driver to 3/8" or 1/2" socket to adapt to more “usual” FRC sized shafts.
Funny, I actually came across a BOSCH with a 9.6v RS550 in it, stock. The ring gear is metal, first stage gears plastic. If I got two of them, I could swap the first stage plastic gears with metal ones. The overall reduction is 1:36 though, more reduction = more better for me. The immediate stuff I’m doing isn’t for FRC application, but I might nudge our team towards using drill gearboxes if we can make them work…
Tore down a Ryobi and another drill, both of which I found at a thrift store, and they use the same 1:36 planetary and clutch combo. I’ll keep you in the loop; I think I can make a smaller, lighter, cheaper, less tricky gearbox than the VPs out of these.
Also got a Harbor Freight 4.8v electric screwdriver. Tearing apart soon. Pics to come.