PROJECT 6: Mounting the Electrical Components

In this project, you will install brackets to hold the receiver and its battery. You will also mount the speed controls and the main battery. You'll get some experience with extruded aluminum material, which is available in many useful profiles, such as U and L. Velcro (along with a secondary restraint) will be used as shock-absorbing and mounting material for these sensitive electronic components.

Caution: Eye and ear protection are mandatory for cuts using the miter saw. It is incredibly loud, and pieces of metal will be flying everywhere. When using the rest of the tools in this project, you will need eye protection. Review all of the general power-tool safety protocols described in Chapter 5 of Kickin' Bot, as well as the sections that correspond to the specific tools used below.

Part 1: Making Receiver and Battery Brackets

The receiver and its battery will both be mounted to tall L-shapes that you'll make by modifying some U-shaped extruded aluminum. Both components will be mounted with both Velcro and cable ties, since either method alone won't be enough to hold them in place during a large impact.

click on an image to enlarge it

Cut two 2" long pieces of the 1" x 2" extruded aluminum U-channel with the miter saw. Since the stock is provided in 8-foot lengths, you will need extra support as shown. You can use blocks of wood or pieces of metal. It doesn't matter what you use- just make sure that the stock is flat on the table in the area around the blade. Use WD-40 or another lubricant when cutting.

Attach the hole pattern using spray adhesive and drill the 1/4" holes in each of the brackets. When holding the U-channel in the drill press vise, it's better to use a scrap piece of metal to clamp the middle of the "U" as shown.

Cut off the top of both U-channels so that the battery and receiver can both ride up a little higher when installed on the bracket. Use the disc sander to true up the cuts and then take the pieces to the deburring wheel to finish off the edges.

Mark a 1/8" deep by 1/4" long notch on each side of the bracket about 1" up from the base for a cable tie to secure the battery and receiver.

Use the bandsaw to cut out the notches, and clean them up on the deburring wheel. Make sure that the notches are smooth, so they won't cut the cable ties.

Apply Velcro to both brackets on the inside of the remaining "L" shape and to the back of the receiver and its battery.

Install the brackets with 1/4"-20 x 3/8" long button-head cap screws using Loctite. [Note: The main battery and speed control pictured here have not been installed yet.]


Attach the battery and receiver. Secure each with an 8" long cable tie.