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Welcome to Team Wolfpacks FAQ page. I will do my best to try to go over basic mechanical and electrical concepts for the new builders out their.

1. How do I get the most power out of my motors.

A good way to do this is using very very high strand count wire and overvolting. The high strand count wire will let all the current pass through the motor without much resistance (this is because of the greater surface area of the higher strand count wire). Overvolting is the best way to increase power, doubling voltage will double RPM AND Torque. This increases the HP by a factor of 4 ( imagine taking the motor and rigging it up to a pulley on the edge of a cliff with a weight hanging off of it. At 24V it can pull twice the weight twice as fast, hence its 4 times the horsepower. But you have to remember that it will draw twice the current!). Most motors can take overvolting for short periods but don't come crying to me if the armature melts...

2. How do I get companies to Sponser me?

This is not easy, and most veteran and rookie builders don't even attempt to get sponsers until they are noticed as professional robot builders. It is very unlikely to get sponsers the very first time you walk into a hobby shop or steel mill. But, it can be done. First you have to find out what company you want to be sponsered by. Lets say you choose a local steel mill. Your first approach is probably not going to get you sponsered, but go in and buy something anyways. Wait a few weeks, get something built and preferably moving. Take it to the manager and discuss the topic. Tell him you will be coming to his shop a lot to buy materials and would like to know if he is interested. Introduce him to your project and see if he will allow you to use various milling or lathing machines. Wait a week or two. After he sees that you are very serious about building and competing, ask him if he could sponser you by giving you various materials. If all goes well (and if the guy is friendly and willing) you might be able to get sponsered. Main thing is, make the sponserer feel that HE is getting something out of this as well. Make him feel part of the team, after all he is paying for your robot.

3. Which batteries are better? NiCads or SLA's?

They both have advantages and disadvatnges like anything else.. Nicads or very very expensive, but are lighter and can charge faster. Nicads also have a better Ah curve over SLA. This means if your nicad pack has a 5 Ah capacity it will mostly end up as 3.5-4Ah over a period of 3 minutes instead of 1 hour. SLA's on the other hand have a discharge curve of 40% of the original capacity over 3 minutes. This means if your SLA has 5Ah, in 3 minutes you will only get 2Ah out of it. But, SLA are cheaper; much cheaper then Nicads and easier to manipulate. Most Nicad packs have to be hand soldered which is time consuming and if done incorrectly can result in a waste of good cells. But if it was up to me, I would choose Nicads because of the big weight issue.

4. What is a good top speed for a robot?

It all depends on how much 'push' you want your bot to have. If your bot has a weapon, i.e. spinning mass or flipper, then it doesnt really need to be that fast or push that much. A wedge on the other hand must be fast and be able to push a lot at the same time. Since they rely on the ability to control the opponent. A good top speed is about 15 MPH for a wedge and about 8-10 MPH for a spinner (that's pushing it though). Wedges MUST be able to push themselves and a MINIMUM of 150% their own weight. Something to remember is that the more you gear 'down' your bot (meaning you use gears or sprockets to reduce the RPM), the slower it gets but more it can push. Gearing it 'up' allows it to go faster, but may result in stalling your motors because it wont be able to push that much. This is why you have to find big powerful motors if you are a wedge. Try to get 10 MPH or more, make a compromise between speed and torque.

5. What is the best type of armor to use on my bot and where should I use it?

Their are about 5 or 6 main armor types that can be used effectively.

1. Lexan- Light, Good impact resistance for bots with weapons like Frenzy, Deadblow, The Judge (although I dont think their is anything useful against The Judge :). Lexan is horrible against being cut with ripsaw blades. It cannot withstand the killsaws very well unless its very thick. Not a good material for a baseplate.

2. Steel- Pretty heavy, very strong stuff if you get the right alloy. Chromoly and Spring Steel are good for the upper weight classes where weight isn't too bad of an issue. My all time favorite steel though is Stainless Steel. A good alloy of SS can sometimes be twice as strong as medium carbon steel. Steels are good against impact and repel ripsaw weapons and abrasion. Again, it can get heavy.

3. Kevlar- We don't see many builders with kevlar, its light for thin sheets and can take impact well. But can be cut up with spinning blades. Remember, think of where your bot might need it the most. Kevlar wont do good underneath because of killsaws, but might do better on sides or top from impact.

4. Titanium- My all time favorite armor material. Light, insanely strong, resists impact and saws. But their are only 2 things that might stop you from using it. It's expensive (range from 20$ to 50$ a pound!!!) and hard to machine (most builders don't machine Ti its used mainly for armor plate, so drilling a few holes never hurt anyone). Other then that, Ti is the ideal armor for a bot available nowadays.

5. Wood- Rarely seen, most bots use it to absorb impact. It's what we call a 'Reactive Armor'. It gets torn up on purpose so your pretty insides don't have to. Cheap and sometimes light. Good for bumpers.

6. Aluminum- By far the most popular metal used on Battlebots. Extremely light and sometimes dirt cheap. Problem is its poor quality when used in thin amounts don't make it that effective. Using thick aluminum and/or stronger alloys is great. 6061 is better used in thick amounts (1/4" or more) while 7075 can be used thinner.
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