[2021] Assembling Guide for Valenta Off-Roader

Introduction: [2021] Assembling Guide for Valenta Off-Roader

About: We design engineering programs and kits for educators and makers. We support students' self-directed and mutually engaging learning experiences.

Valenta Off-Roader

Valenta Off-Roader is a Micro:bit powered Off-Road RC car. It is Lego Technic compatible and equipped with two (x2) micro gear motors on the rear wheels and (x1) built-in steering servo based on Roberval balance arm mechanism.

3D Parts Modification

Valenta Off-Roader offers free 3D data at Thingiverse for expansion. For example, the car can mount GoPro camera on the front. You can also get the crawler car body. New 3D parts will be added frequently. The car can get wild and you're really driving!

Available Resources

You can download and try the most up-to-date tutorials and sample codes. You can also check the Valenta Off-Roader web page about manuals.

Designers

Humming Works LLC and 4Tronix UK are working in partnership for the design of Valenta Off-Roader.

Humming Works LLC

Humming Works LLC is the product house that designs engineering programs and kits for educators and makers. The company supports students' self-directed and mutually engaging learning experiences.

4Tronix

4Tronix is the supplier of educational electronics. It makes electronics boards for BBC micro:bit, Arduino and Raspberry Pi.

Supplies

We will present how to assemble Valenta Off-Roader in this tutorial. You can also view this tutorial on YouTube.

For batteries, we recommend using four (x4) new and single-use 1.5V AA batteries. You could try rechargeable 1.2V AA batteries alternatively, but they sometimes need a little more voltage.

  • Valenta Off-Roader chassis kit
  • 1.5V AA batteries x4 (for the car)

Step 1: Fitting Horn Adapter to Servo

In the next few steps, we will snap fit "horn adapter" "dog bones" and "servo" together as shown in the illustration.

Step 2: Fitting Micro Servo to Body

Let's install the servo to the body. Make sure that each edge of the servo is securely fastened by the hook. Pull the hook and fit the servo edge to the body. You will hear a "click" sound when the servo fits correctly.

Step 3: Pulling Servo Cable Through Hole

Have you installed the servo to the body? Bring the servo cable behind and pull it through the hole.

Step 4: Checking If Servo Is Installed Correctly

In the previous steps, we have installed the servo to the body. Is the servo wobbly? Make sure that the servo is securely fastened by the hooks and its cable goes through the hole behind.

Step 5: Tightening by Servo Bolt

We will install the servo horn adapter to the servo on the body. Use Phillips (+) screwdriver to tighten the servo bolt.

Step 6: Fitting Dog Bones to Steering

Now, we will build the steering structure. We have two (x2) dog bones. Fit the dog bones to the steering. On each side of the part, steering has three (x3) holes. Install each dog bone to the end (not in the middle) of these holes.

Step 7: Installing Steering to Body

We will install the steering to the body. Fit the dog bones to the holes at the end of the servo horn adapter. Then, fit the steering to the body.

Step 8: Installing AA Batteries to Holder

We will use four (x4) new and single-use 1.5V AA batteries. Check the polarity for each AA battery and put them together to the holder.

Step 9: Mounting Battery Holder Inside Body

Now, we will mount the battery holder to the body. There are four (x4) U-shape slits on the body, through which the battery cable can be pulled out.

Step 10: Fitting Motor Controller to Plate

Now, we will fit the motor controller to the plate. You can subtly bend and stretch the plate a little, so that you can hook each edge of the motor controller to the plate. Either long side of the rectangular plate can be the front side.

Step 11: Fitting Motor Controller Plate to Body

Let's put the plate onto the body! Hook either side of the plate to the body, push aside the plate a little, and hook the other side of the plate to the body. You don't need any strength to do this. It's just how you get used to it.

You might want to take the plate off the body when you exchange the batteries. Then, push aside the plate a little, unhook one side of the plate from the body, and then unhook the other side of the plate from the body.

You can also check the assembling video (YouTube) here.

Step 12: Fitting Micro Gear Motors

Now, we will install two micro gear motors to the body from below. You will need to let each motor cable go through the hole of the body, so the cable could connect to the motor controller. (Wiring instruction will be explained later.) Let D-shafts look outside for putting the rear wheels later on. Did you notice that each micro gear motor has the red and the black cable? Install each motor such that the red cable is facing to the back and the black cable is facing to the front of the car.

Step 13: Installing Wheels to Body

Let's put the wheels to the body!

The wheel with D-shaft hole will be used as the rear wheel. Let's put the rear wheel on the D-shaft. Make sure which side of the rear wheel goes outside by referring to the photo.

The round shaft hole wheel will be used as the front wheel. Let's put the front wheel on the steering part. Make sure which side of the front wheel goes outside by referring to the photo.

Step 14: Checking If Front Wheels Are Installed Correctly

Have you installed the front wheels correctly?

Step 15: Checking If Rear Wheels Are Installed Correctly

Have you installed the rear wheels correctly?

Step 16: Keeping Space Between Rear Wheels and Body

If you push the rear wheel all the way through the D-shaft, and if there is no space at all between the rear wheel and the body, the rear wheel wouldn't spin properly. You will need 1mm space between the rear wheel and the body by pulling the rear wheel a little away from the body.

Step 17: Wiring Motor Cable for Right Rear Wheel

Once you've installed the micro gear motor and the rear wheel, let's wire them to the motor controller!

The cable that comes from the right rear wheel must connect to the M2 on the motor controller.

Make sure that the right M2 pin must connect to the red cable.

At the motor end, make sure that the red cable is facing to the back and the black cable is facing to the front of the car.

Step 18: Wiring Motor Cable for Left Rear Wheel

Once you've installed the micro gear motor and the rear wheel, let's wire them to the motor controller!

The cable that comes from the left rear wheel must connect to the M1 on the motor controller.

Make sure that the right M1 pin must connect to the red cable.

At the motor end, make sure that the red cable is facing to the back and the black cable is facing to the front of the car.

Step 19: Wiring Servo Cable

Let's wire the servo cable to the motor controller!

On the motor controller, we have four (x4) slots of three (x3) pins. The three (x3) pins are called SVG pins, where S, V and G mean signal, volt, and ground. We have four (x4) slots of SVG pins. The first slot is P0, the second is P1, the third is P2, and the last slot is P8.

The servo cable has three (x3) colors: yellow, red and black. Make sure to connect the yellow cable to S (signal), the red cable to V (volt), and the black cable to G (ground).

Since we've mostly used P2 in our tutorials and sample codes, let's connect the servo cable to P2. If you build your own code from scratch, you have the freedom to choose which pin to use, and you can choose from P0, P1, P2 or P8 on the motor controller.

Step 20: Connecting Battery Holder to Motor Controller

Let's connect the battery holder to the motor controller!

Plug the battery cable to the socket on the motor controller.

When you turn on the power switch on the motor controller, the batteries will provide the power to the motor controller and Micro:bit together.

Step 21: Fitting Angle:bit Adapter

Let's install Angle:bit adapter to the motor controller! This adapter can turn Micro:bit horizontally and make the height of your car much lower!

Step 22: Copying a Sample Code to Your Micro:bit

You can download and try the most recent tutorials and sample codes! Once you've downloaded the sample file, simply copy it to your Micro:bit.

Step 23: Fitting Micro:bit to the Car

Connect your Micro:bit to the car. Turn on the power switch on the motor controller. Now you're ready to go! The next step is to set up your controller. Please check out other tutorials and sample codes for driving your car!

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