PROJECT 9: Testing

You're in the home stretch. This is the last project. Here, you will clean up loose ends such as adding strain relief and managing the antenna. Next, you'll tune the radio and perform your first test run. If all goes well, then you'll finish up the top armor, and tidy up the last few details before going into hardcore survival testing.

Caution: Eye protection is required for all cutting, drilling, and grinding operations in this project. Caution: Review all of the general power- tool safety protocols described in Chapter 5 of Kickin' Bot (Cutting Metal), as well as the sections that correspond to the specific tools used below.

Part 2: Initial Road Test

Now it's time to try your first test run. This won't be a full-blown test- just an initial check-out. If everything's okay, then you can move on to final touches like the top armor, and then begin your destructive testing.

click on an image to enlarge it


This is the connection that failed in my first road test. Everything was working fine until I hit a big bump, and then everything went dead. Walking over, I saw that the main power light was off. The main power switch had not moved, and there was no smoke. Upon further inspection, I found that one of the Powerpole pins was not fully engaged. It was in there enough to get things going, but on the first big jolt, it popped out of the back. That's why testing is so important. This is one of those little things that could have easily killed me in the arena. This also identified the need to grind a small indicator line into the top of the screw head to show the position of the main power switch.