It has been a bit since my last post, but since the school year has begun and a new season of ANTM has begun, I found myself with some time on my hands.
First off, scavenging around my garage I found a little wooden box that is the perfect size for my power window motors, a scooter battery, and my electronics. With a little help from a dremel and a coping saw, Boom! One robot chasis.
Things were looking great, until I decided to play with the motors and hooking them straight to the battery to see how fast this thing would move. Once I had my fun, I plugged it into the high current motor controller and Poof! Instantly I recognized the smell. Although, it lasted for less than a second, and despite the polarized connector on the board, the battery had been connected with reverse polarity.
Here you can see the damage
Several traces got toasted. I think the rest of the board may be okay, so perhaps with a little luck and some large globs of solder, my prototype will still work. Unfortunately, the Xbee I had plugged in at the time seems quite dead. Amazingly, the Arduino and Xbee shield surviving the incident.
Version 1.1 will include an N-Channel FET for reverse polarity protection, as well as some other minor changes.
I am also working on version 2.0, which will improve on both load capacities and in allowable voltages, as well as add some desired functionality.