Whatever happened to...

Whatever happened to the Toughbox Nano? This has been the workhorse gearbox for us for many years and it just disappeared last year. Was there an announcement I missed or has it changed names? scouring through AndyMark the only mention I can find is buying shafts for it. It didn’t seem like anyone was talking about it here either.

If it is well and truly gone, can anyone recommend a successor?

Stephan Brumbaugh
Lead Mentor 1802

The Toughbox Nano is dead; the Toughbox Micro took its place in the lineup.

Although most of VexPro’s gearboxes are set up for 3 CIMs at this point, if you are looking for a tried and true 2 CIM, single speed gearbox, this one has been around for a very long time, and has a bit more configuration than AndyMark, if you are interested in changing the gear ratio for each games.

While I’m not 100% sure of Stephan’s use case, someone that is using a Toughbox Nano (or Micro, now) is only getting a 1-CIM input. And generally, someone that’s doing that is either space-conscious or going for high compatibility with an AM14U-series chassis (or both).

Or using a mecanum drive train, as we did last year. The Toughbox Micro worked perfectly for us.

I mean, you could run dual motors on each wheel…but the returns would be so marginal that zero-or-close-to-zero teams do it. So most teams would prioritize the space.

(Plus, the Micro and AM14U3 inner rail were designed around each other–I don’t remember which came first–for mecanum applications. So there’s your high compatibility. :slight_smile: )

If you specifically aren’t wanting to use the kit chassis for mecanum applications as Billfred mentioned you can also use the Nanotubes, which still have the Toughbox Nano embedded in them:

It has been a couple years but we used this with pretty good success in 2013 and 2014 when I was with 167, running the Vex Pro mecanum wheels cantilevered off the nanotubes. Makes a very compact robot, the only tricky part is figuring out bumper mounts.

This is totally unrelated to this thread, but I feel it needs to be said.

I notice this was your first post, welcome to CD. For future reference, there’s no need to use a click bait thread title. I’m sure I’m not the only person who clicked on this thread expecting an open ended discussion rather than an answer to a simple question. Creating a thread title that tells others what the thread is about helps to direct the people with the answers you’re looking for to the thread and saves the time of others. A thread title like “what happened to the toughbox nano” wouldve been more helpful.

+1. We used it for 2017 and made bumper mounts out of Cchannel. Basically two narrow rectangles, just wide enough to clear the wheels. I’ll see if I have a picture.

Same. We used a similar system in 2011, was by far our most robust chassis (before the 14U era).

We have used direct drive for the last several years. 1 Cim on a toughbox nano connected to our wheels for mecanum years and we used the Nano to drive our chain duening our last tank year. I don’t like the idea of plastic in any way a part of our drivetrain, but i guess we don’t have a choice if we want to continue our standard build practices. Thanks for the input all!

Stephan Brumbaugh
Lead Mentor
Team Stealth 1802

From someone who used a lot of plastic gearbox housings over the years, before and after his time at AndyMark: You’ll be pleasantly surprised. Other than making sure any thread locker used is safe for polycarbonate, I can’t think of any operational change. (Better would be to use 10-32 screws with a nylon patch.)

Since they’re the default option in an AM14U-series chassis I’ve probably seen thousands of Toughbox Minis in use, some in some really abusive applications, and I’m really struggling to remember a case where the plastic housing failed.

Also, just a note, the TB housings both mini and micro are nylon 6-6 with fiberglass fill. You can see testing of the original TB Mini housings at https://youtu.be/HHKsxNBcIuM

The housings are pretty robust and should be able to take what FRC dishes.

Agree wholeheartedly with Bill and John! However, if you really want to keep doing an all-metal gearbox, you can use two TB micro plates (I’m thinking one angled and one straight, though other configurations should work), longer #10 screws, and some spacers. You’ll need flanged bearings for the motor side, of course. This is still possible because the length of the hex sections on both the output and cluster shafts are essentially the same (1" vs 1.005" by the drawings).

Edit: You will have to solve the problem of keeping the CIM in place. There are holes in the right place, but they are the wrong size. You’ll have to drill others, use washers, or find some sort of screw with an oversized shank. You’ll also have to enlarge the hole for the CIM shaft to pass a pinion.