After Helios's success at HSRC'02, we decided to make a few key improvements to Helios. We wanted to:
  • Raise the drum off the floor a bit more.
  • Use a thicker drum axle. The 1/2" axle bent pretty badly at HSRC.
  • Harden the teeth. The original teeth ended up pretty rounded after HSRC.
  • Most importantly, we needed new drive motors. We had drive train failure 3 of the 6 fights at HRSC.
  • Making new teeth was easy, since the bolt pattern stayed the same. This time we had them heat treated, which turned them a nasty black color, but made them much harder. We also made a spare set for the next round of competitions
    We used a 5/8" hollow axle, instead of the 1/2" solid axle we'd used before. This meant we needed to make new end caps for the drum, and buy new bearings. The new setup weighed a bit more then the old, so we were going to have to scrape weight from elsewhere to stay in the 30 pound limit. The original axle was bent pretty badly.
    In order to raise the drum, we had to re-machine the inner rails of the frame. In order to move the axle position up, we needed to start with 2.5" aluminum stock, and mill it down to 2" except for the tip. As before, we lightened the heck out of the .5" thick bar in order to save weight.
    Here's a comparison of the old rails versus the new rails. In order to keep the weight the same, we pocketed out areas that weren't pocketed before, and also made the pockets a bit deeper.
    For the new drive system, we settled on DeWalt 14.4V drill motors, with corresponding gear boxes and snazzy Team Delta motor mounts and hardened axles. Luckily the size of the motors were close enough to our originals that we didn't need to make additional changes to the frame.
    Here they are both installed. They did weigh a bit more then our original motors, but we ran them at a lower voltage (14.4V) to make up the weight. We ended up running them in high gear, with our original #25 chain/sprocket set up to run the front wheels.
    With the new changes made, we headed off to Steel Conflict where Helios managed to take first place in the 30 pounders after loosing in the first round to Poo Flinger. Other then a broken tooth, Helios stood up amazingly well.

    Shortly afterwards, we headed to BotBash, where Helios once again took first place in the 30s. Other then a few broken teeth, Helios really held up well. After the competition we had the opportunity to fight Alien Raptor, who had just won the BotBash 60 pound class. Our friend Derek Zahn helped out with Sunflower. We ended up breaking a chain, 2 sprockets, and both our teeth. We may have partially smoked a motor, but we still were very happy with Helios's performance against a machine twice his weight.