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Victory At Last!

So, I finally got a new paddle cage put together.  While the old one was all stylish and minimalist, this one looks like it’s built out of Legos.  Real Legos, too, not those lame Technic beams.

Features include gearing to hopefully reduce the impact of the motor overrun, a button pressing motor (Not yet active), and flexible support arm for the angled knob.

I wrote a test program that will repeatedly rotate it like crazy and hopefully shake out the bugs.  Here’s video of it in action.

Of course, what kind of test would it be if it didn’t end in catastrophic structural failure?  Unfortunately, the camera was not rolling for the chaos, but I assure you it was about as spectacular as it could be given what it is.  Anyway, I did record the aftermath.

The flaw is fairly obvious in the first video, there’s some tall connector blocks on the spinner that kept knocking against the gear bar.  Eventually one of them caught and didn’t knock loose, but the motor spun the 360 anyway.  It kinda popped loose for a bit, then shuddered, before eventually collapsing.  I’ve since fixed the problem1 and had it run for upwards of ten minutes without issue.

It feels good to have some forward progress.

For those curious, the paddle in the cage is one of the Indy 500 Driving Paddles with a free 360 degree range of motion.  That’s how it was able to spin all it wanted without running into the range limitation that’s in a normal paddle.

  1. I was going to fix it before even running it the first time, but I wanted to see if it would cause a catastrophic structural failure… []

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