Intake Overcentering

So our intake overcenters and locks itself preventing itself from coming back up. How do you prevent overcentering and what is a good way to solve the issue. For reference: the intake weighs 5 pounds and we are using 2 3/4" bore cylinders. So I’m doubting power is the issue.

This is a situation where pictures are very important.

In general this is a design issue, and you would need to change the geometry to fix it - it may not be a big change though!


Power could well be the issue, if it’s not applied at the right angle, or with too much leverage working against it.

A quick fix might be to add some surgical tubing (from the KoP) as a “spring” to help pull it back up.

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I screen recorded our intake. It’s having issues coming back up, not going down. Also, on the actual bot, there is additional bracing to make the 1x1 more stiff. I don’t have an actual picture, this is the closest thing I can get.

You have an exceptionally small lever arm you’re applying your force to, in the closed position. See image below (blue line).

If you can remake that mount for the rod end of the piston to provide a more favorable lever arm you’ll be in a better spot. Alternatively you can try a spring assist like Jim mentioned. Keep in mind you will need the most torque to move the intake when it is fully horizontal (due to gravity).


So, would a solution be to have the bracket be taller so there is a larger lever arm?

That is a possible solution, or you can bring the top of the bracket out to the right (kind of looking like an L shape) - but make sure with whatever change you make, you still have enough throw on the cylinder to get the intake down as far as you want

Raising the attachment point of the other end so that the cylinder is roughly horizontal when the arm is also horizontal may help. A larger diameter cylinder will give you more force as @MrForbes suggested.

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