Desktop Power

Hi all,

I've just placed an order a Monsterborg and was just wondering if anybody uses a PSU or something similar while writing and developing code for the robot while it's sitting on a desktop.


piborg's picture

I have done this myself in the past. It can work quite well, but there are some caveats. For reference if you are just coding on the Raspberry Pi and not moving motors a fully charged battery pack will last for a long time, maybe even a full 24 hours with high capacity AAs (~2800 mAh).

The first thing is the PSU. Ideally you want a 12V supply to get comparable motor speeds if you run the motors. If this does not matter you can use as low as 7V. While you can go higher in voltage (max 35V), you do not want to run the motors with too much power - I would recommend an upper limit of 15V to be safe.

As for current, the ThunderBorg can draw up to 10A for the motors under hard acceleration and another 1A for running the Raspberry Pi. A 12A or higher PSU should be plenty. You can use a lower current PSU as long as it is capable of limiting its current output. In this case you may see the Raspberry Pi reset under heavy motor load.

When connected to the PSU you will need to stop the MonsterBorg driving away :) This can be done by either:

  1. Removing the wheels
  2. Placing something sturdy under the MonterBorg motors so the wheels do not touch the ground

The second option is what I would do, just make sure the robot cannot shake itself loose under rapid power changes. You also need to ensure that the wires to the PSU cannot be tangled in the wheels!

When using the PSU you should make sure the batteries are not also trying to power the MonsterBorg. The safest option is to remove the battery pack entirely.

You can connect the PSU to the screw terminals on the ThunderBorg (see image below). This would require attaching wires during assembly though as the screws are not accessible when fully assembled. When not in use the wires should be insulated from making contact with anything else (electrical tape works well) and placed into the MonsterBorg such that they cannot come loose and get caught in the wheels.


Thanks for the assistance :)

A drill here and a file there and MonsterBorg has a tail and an easy way of connecting the supply to the Thunderborg.

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