Pearadox 2022 Summer "Task" blog

Been a couple of weeks, but some updates.

summer meetings are going to be more limited than we initially thought. Long story short, we wouldn’t be able to have adequate A/C if we meet in afternoons. We’re going to do some virtual meetings on Friday evenings largely (maybe entirely? We’ll see) based off of Orion DeYoe’s excellent thread and training materials

Driver Station Set up
I bought some extension cables and power strips to be able to have a permanent power set up at every driver station. This will hopefully prevent some commonly re-occuring trip hazards, make it more likely to have laptops charging in our laptop cabinet (by having duplicate chargers permanently in the laptop cabinet), and make it more convenient when we have guests over to practice on the field.

6x power strip with USB outlets too for phone charging
2x 35ft extension cable with an outlet every 5 ft
1x 50ft extension cable because we have only one good outlet available for the field

New Work Tables
Some students made adjustments to our work table design, tore down and old one and rebuilt it. I forgot to take a picture of it, but it is not 4’ x 4’, has space on the floor shelf for KOP totes and space on another shelf for sterilite bins. We had some pretty ugly wood exposed for the table top, so right now some saw dust and wood glue is sitting in some cracks and knots to give us a flatter surface. We’ll see how that stands Saturday and hopefully sand it down.

Storage organization
Some students started making a list on that on how to organize the parts. There’s still more work to be done on the planning part of it, and hopefully I’ll have something to share Saturday for that as well.

New students
We also had a bunch of (at least 15 but could easily have been more) new students start joining our meetings, which is fun but always a challenge to manage. I did not do a great job of planning for them last Saturday. This Saturday will have some more structure for new students that want it, with some 30-45 min training rounds, one round for measuring and cutting things on the bandsaw and the belt sander, one for similar stuff with the vertical bandsaw and drill press, one for programming the romi’s, and one yet to be determined thing…maybe power tools? We’ll give some hands on time on each of the tools.

That’s probably it for updates for now. Hope to share more pictures and plans soon.


wanted to update with some pictures and info.

Students did a great job of getting a swerve bot functional for TRI. I’ve asked for some lessons learned in slack, but I think we probably need to have more of a conversation in person/via zoom to really get some lessons learned. It’s easier to list the problems encountered (which there were several not related to swerve).

Also, here’s some pictures I’ve been neglecting to post.

New table set up. I am happy that we can fit a KoP tote underneath, and a sterilite bins on the shelf. It also gave us another chance to use some very large bar clamps (probably these) that we have:

“Working pit” area:

black cabinet that’s on the backside of the shelves with fasteners next to the red toolbox

Priorities for the next couple of months should be organizing components/parts, finishing more work tables, and fundraising for super pit.


On the super pit subject, BIG and ridiculously beefy casters… You just can’t go too strong, or too well mounted! Plus, make sure you clear the roof of your trailer.

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Yea, I remember a comment in either a 1678 or 4414 thread about casters going through the trailer. So not just an issue of the casters for the pit structure, but also that the trailer bed can support that kind of concentrated weight.

We’re a bit of a ways from making the purchases to make it happen - but lots to consider there.

Think carefully about what you do for a “Super Pit”. It might be a good idea to mock it, put a robot on a cart in it and see what it is like to work on it at a competition.

A previous team I mentored had large, tall cabinets on 3 sides of their pit. They made it very difficult to do any work in the put because they took up so much space. They also blocked a lot of the natural light. They ended up bringing a lot unnecessary stuff to competitions like parts of old robots and random parts not needed to support the current robot. Lastly, they were so heavy that they were difficult and dangerous to push up the ramp to get them into a truck for transport. In later years, they found they only needed to bring one of the 5 cabinets.

yes - of course we would think things through as to what we’ve learned over the past 8 yrs of what’s needed or not.

And 4414 has a great write up (Team 4414 | HighTide | Pit Writeup) and good tips from other teams with super pits in various threads.


Just finished up our first Saturday meeting since TRI and we’ve already hit the ground running. Over the past week, some of our design students have been working on the next cad iteration of our swerve robot. today I cut a large % of the polycarbonate plate needed and am hoping that by end of next Saturday I can start working my way through the Tube operations. we also built up two new 4x4 tables which came out great and got a lot of rookies some hands-on build time, we also had some students working on organizing bolts and nuts which is not the most fun but they managed to make a game out of it and we now have a nice organized bolt system to go off which is going to be great come build season.

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Bolt sorting is always better with company :wink:

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In today’s meeting, we started work on 2 more tables and got those mostly done. we’ve also begun assembling the swerve robot that I mentioned in my last post, after finishing up the last few parts from the previous meeting I started work on “upgrading” the CNC, mainly how we mount and work hold things, and now I will spend way too much time talking about it because that’s all I did today and I’m excited to try it out. Up to now, we’ve been using double-sided tape to work hold basically everything and it works great to keep things from moving. Still, we find that it can throw off our Z accuracy as well as stick to tools and makes them worse at chip evacuation, as a solution we’re installing some #10-32 screw to expand inserts into the HDPE spoil board we’re using. we plan to put them in a regular grid pattern so that before we cut out parts we can go through and drill through holes that will let us screw the parts down.

That should allow us to deal with most of our plate material as for tubes we have an Ozzy Board TubeMagic (v1) and after taking a test indicator to it even with all the surfaces parallel we’re still seeing about 10 thou run out over 6 inches and in some places we’re seeing 10 thou over an inch. we don’t really like that for some of our more critical machining for things like belt and chain C to C’s. As a solution I made some CAD of eccentric cam’s that can be used to hold tubes, this in combination with a set of dowels we already use to index sheet and plate materials these cams in combination with the aforementioned screw inserts should let us machine both tube and plate without me having to spend an hour tramming the tube jig. which I like because it makes less work for me :slightly_smiling_face:.


Hi! Would you mind talking a little bit more about how you plan to use the cams to hold in the tube stock? We were having trouble with an effective setup for tubes, but I want to experiment with it over the off-season.

I’m always down to share more. The cams are doing the same thing as the mitee-bites you would see on the WCP tube jig, the only difference here is we’ve tried to make them easily CNC’ed and tool-less once they are installed so we can rapidly switch tubes. They work basically by attaching to a hole 1 inch of the face of the tube, the cam is designed that when the handle is perpendicular there’s room to insert or take out parts, and turning it either way to a 45-degree angle should touch the tubes so you just need to push it a little past 45 to get a good clamp the tube.
here’s a little example I made in onshape.

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Thanks, that sounds like a great idea! How do you ensure the piece is straight when clamped in like this?

great question, as i mentioned a few posts ago we have several dowel pis we put into the spoil board and we know that they are parallel with the spindle, these pins are what we use to get our precise straightness and then we can adjust for any variance in the cams by clamping more or less because each cam is independent of the others.

This past weekend was a pretty productive one for us!

  1. installed an outlet cover for the CNC router. We had covered it in electrical at some point because the outlet we plugged the router into is directly underneath the router. Early on, we kept tripping the breaker as little shavings of metal would get between the prongs somehow.
  1. Some students went through and reorganized our sheet stock! Looking much better. Instead of sorting by material type, we now just primarily sort by size.

  2. got a couple more tables built and painted

    Still need to install the shelves for the sterilite bins on them

If anyone has suggestions on fastener sorting and storing methods - I’d love to see/hear them! I have dreams of a lista cabinet. I think my goal would be to have two different things:

  • a larger fastener organization set up for at the shop that has a wide arrangement of bolts types/sizes
  • our smaller/more mobile set up for the pit

Open to suggestions on how to figure out what to keep in stock. Things I can think of would be:

  • #10s SCHS at roughly 0.25" increments from 0.25 - 2.5 or 3"
  • 1/4-20 button heads (same hex key size as #10 schs)
  • would probably need a few #10 button heads and a few 1/4-20 SCHS
  • Probably need some appropriate M3 sizes for Rev stuff

The nice thing if we were to get a lista cabinet is we could just get it configured for what we’d like it to be stocked with eventually, and as I determine we need a bolt size, or if we have some spare cash, we could fill in the gaps - and it’d be in theory to keep organized.


today’s meeting was super productive for the team, unfortunately, I forgot to take any pictures but we did some rookie sketching training and we took apart some tables and we got even more tables started which is great. we also started a training series to introduce rookies to the drive team (more to come next week) so that when we go to remix and NTX they can be prepared if they want to try to be on the drive team for those events. we also got the CNC control box wall mounted so I can continue to work on the new work holding solutions.


We use 4 fastenal compartment boxes and this bearing slide rack to hold them. We have #8 and smaller, #10-32, #10-24, and 1/4-20 compartments boxes on the rack. Fastenal Industrial Supplies, OEM Fasteners, Safety Products & More

A few things have happened over the last few weeks.

We got advantageTrack running, after learning that if we plug a router directly into a wall we can have a team wifi running that we can connect our raspberry pi, printer, and markforge too! Hooray! We may end up still having people click their name to sign in vs using the pings - but its’ nice that we can do the automatic detection if we want! Also, if anyone wants to know why I’m feeling overwhelmed any given weekend, you can take a look at this visit count of 53, with 75% of the visitors being freshman and sophomores.

I’ve also identified a new potential task that we can have some parents help with - I’m thinking the walls around here could be good for some trophy shelves. Might reserve room for another TV on the wall to the right, but can probably get a few good shelves on either side of the existing TV

Also we got some new ideas for a method to our madness for raw materials

  • pieces shorter 16" go standing up in a milk crate
  • pieces between 16" and about 3 ft go standing up in another container. Currently a milk crate, but I’d like to find something a little taller that’s sturdy and not too expensive. Would love any suggestions
  • 3 ft and longer material goes on the shelves

This will hopefully help us identify when we’re running low on long stock, and help us find and use short pieces when we don’t need something long; it’s easy for someone to just grab the first thing they see, which might be long, and cut it down. Now if you have an 11" piece you need, you know where to start looking before going up a size container and cutting things down more. We do flats/solids on the bottom, 1/8" + versa + maxtube on the next one up, 1/16" + max tube lights on the next up, with wood on top.

Also looking to do some similar things with shafts/axles. We have some work to do here these shelves, so I bought some acrylic pencil cup holders for short shaft. We’ll of course sort these into hex, churro, round, etc. They’re $4 a pop, so they’re not too cheap, but if I’m only doing 10 or so of these, it’s probably worth it.

We also got a bit further along in our CNC re-work. Electronics board is mounted to the wall, as well as some covered electrical outlets. We’re going to be making the switch to a water cooled spindle. I’d still really like to build a large enclosure around it and have a better way for supporting the duct. And of course cable cleanup needs to happen.


I’ve got to ask, why 10-32 AND 10-24? This sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

I can usually pretty quickly tell the difference these days between a course and fine threaded #10 bolt, but the same certainly can’t be said for 90% of my students. I’d also hate to have to constantly be checking if I have a course or fine thread in my hand, opposed to just knowing any #10 bolt I grab in the shop is 10-32 (or 10-24 if you go that route).

Versaplanetary gearboxes used 10-32. However we changed over to 10-32 standard to get rid of 10-24 (except for legacy robots).


How big are those pencil holders? I want :wink:

On the duct, I suggest a bracket on the wall to get a support out near the middle of the table, and have a soft spring or surgical tubing on it to support the hose.