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 4: Making the Battery Plate

Next, you'll be making a Lexan plate that holds down the main battery so that it can't jump over the rails or otherwise come loose. This is an example of an operation where the bandsaw really shines for cutting out parts. It's much easier to manipulate the plate by hand for intricate cuts than it is to wield the bulky jigsaw.

click on an image to enlarge it


Rough cut a 6" x 6" piece of 1/4" polycarbonate from the scrap left over from cutting the top armor, and apply the pattern for the battery plate using spray adhesive. Drill the 1/4" holes as indicated on the drill press.
  Use the bandsaw to cut out the true outline of the plate. Remove the pattern and use Goo Gone to get rid of any leftover sticky residue.


Clean up the edges on the disc sander, being careful to stay on the side of the disc that's rotating down into the table, and not crossing the middle of the disc to the side rotating upwards, as described in Chapter 6 (Shaping and Finishing Metal). Use a flat file to remove any sharp edges around the plate as shown. Use the countersink to chamfer the holes, both on top and bottom.


Place the main battery on the base and install the plate with four 1/4"-20 x 2-1/2" long bolts using Loctite, so they don't loosen during combat. Optionally, if you would like to place a bit of foam underneath the battery (which is a pretty good idea), then you will need slightly longer screws. Unfortunately, the next size up is 2-3/4" long, so you may have to cut your screws down using a hacksaw or Dremel tool with an abrasive disc. See Cutting Down Large Screws tip for a technique using the Dremel tool.