Mount for a .50-cal?
NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) has been quietly working on a way to let students and interested hobbyists build a planet-exploring rover that's a scaled-down version of the American agency's six-wheeled 'droids. For the past few months, JPL eggheads have been toiling away on the project over on GitHub, basing their …
Upvote for the idea, but not at that size. Scale the plans up a fair amount and it might work. However, the .50 cal recoil/vibration is a factor and the gun and ammo isn't light. So maybe need to "over engineer" things like the chassis, power system, suspension.
Maybe old M60 (7.62mm) might be a better choice. Both the gun and ammo are lighter, lower recoil and vibration. You'd still need to scale it up for the weight etc. but not as much.
First: It is an incredibly cool project, I want an excuse to do this right now.
However: my eyes! (I mean the formatting of the units)
See Sec. 5.3 of https://www.bipm.org/utils/common/pdf/si_brochure_8_en.pdf
Ok, plus the whole weird units stuff, but sure, go ahead, it is a perfectly logical system:
12 inch = 1 foot
3 feet = 1 yard
22 yards = 1 chain
10 chains = 1 furlong
8 furlong = 1 mile
(not sure about the chain vs. yards, too lazy to look it up now)
Yes, I have some grasp of converting miles, yard, feet and inches to metric, and I'm good enough with fractions to quickly think about which hex bit is the next smaller / bigger one if the one I initially picked is wrong. But still...
Yes, mine is the one with the SI brochure in the pocket.
The phone I am using right now has a 5200 mAh battery, I can't help but think a bigger battery would make a huge difference.
For armament a fully automatic bb gun might suit the size and weight, if a reasonable solar panel is included, then one of the electric bb guns would work.
This rover would suit my land and would definitely discourage the feral cats and with armament would be handy if I could find a way to discriminate against rats.
That' should be an RTG, which undoubtedly increases the range considerably. As they probably aren't off-the-shelf, where are the plans for one of those, NASA?
Plans won't help you unless you have ready access to a supply of Plutonium.
You're probably better off tooling around to one of Russia's unmanned "Atomic Lighthouses" in the Arctic Circle. Although you might have to check a few to find one that hasn't already had the RTG looted by parties unknown...
Ian Emery wrote:
I look forwards to seeing someone riding a suitably upscaled version to work one morning.
That would be awesome, but a) work would be over before I got there unless I did some major re-design/upgrades on the powertrain; and b) not sure if it's street legal.
A DIY planet exploration rover is certainly an absolutely fabulous idea, but where's the DIY launch vehicle to match? You'll want at least something that can lauch your payload into LEO, so you can land it on your custom-made private LEO-Moon that you are about to 3d-print with the DIY kit you recently purchased at myMagrathea.com...
There is probably a decent market for these.
As this is predominately a learning experience, how about if the schools were to line up buyers at material cost and just start building them one after the other. When one sells, build another. Keep it going all semester long and that way everyone will have more and more ideas as they keep building.
NASA is really good about open sourcing stuff.
Back in my day (Hubble) all the processing software was open source, we were 'strongly discouraged' from using any proprietry libraries like NAG, all the science data is publicly available.
Most of the hardware is designed by contractors so the designs for eg. a space shuttle, don't necessarily belong to NASA.
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