So we are a rookie team and with help from other mentoring teams we have decided to take our rookie kit square model that runs off of a belt drive and turn it into a chain drive. I was wondering if anyone has done this to the kit drive train or would have any advice on how to most smoothly do this?
That’s been done for as long as I can remember. The key to using chain is to have a good way of tensioning the chain. Without that, it becomes a royal pain to use. Also, #35 chain is your friend when dealing with drivetrains.
Is there a specific reason why? You can buy sprockets from Andymark that replace the pulleys from Andymark, but I’m not sure if the wheel axle holes are spaced for chain; you might have to add tensioners to ensure that the chain stays tight.
We ordered sprockets and chain from VexPro and from what we have heard, we can use something as simple as PVC for spacing so long as it is equivalent and keeps the wheels in line. We made sure to get #35 sprockets and chain and our sprockets are able to bolt onto the wheels just as the preexisting belt pulleys are mounted.
Whats the reason for the switch? Belt these days is just as good as chain for drive trains, and it might be worth your time if its already built to be focusing on other factors.
If you do go with chain, and have ordered chain and sprockets, there are a few tools and parts you need.
You need a chain break (McMaster #6051K15)
Need a small pair of needle nose pliers
You’ll need a bunch of master links (McMaster #6261K191)
A couple add links in case the sizing isnt right (McMaster #6261K261)
Its not all that much, but if you dont have the above you wont be able to do chain.
Why do you want to switch to chains? I’m not sure you will gain much with chains over belts, and your time could be better spent working on mechanisms.
They aren’t. Belts are metric (millimeter) based, chain is inch based. Finding desirable gear ratios between those holes which fit the spacing closely enough to work well is just about impossible. Perhaps truly impossible.
That’s why we have tensioners