Category: Combat Robotics

  • Channel Hopping

    Channel Hopping

    Channel hopping is working!!! That’s basically all the hard stuff. Now I just have to make it do simple things like store the bound TX in eeprom, process the sticks data and drive the motor controllers via PWM. (That’s the four sticks data in the image.)

  • Coding


    I started writing my own firmware, from scratch, for the Malenki. I want to use them with a HK-T6A V2 transmitter, which uses the AFHDS protocol not the AFHDS 2A protocol the Malenki uses. Despite the similar name, they are entirely not compatible at the firmware level. (But, fortunately, use the same radio hardware.) It…

  • Malenki Nano-Plus

    Malenki Nano-Plus

    I have a Malenki Nano-plus PCB. I have a Serial UPDI programmer. I have successfully flashed Arduino “Blink” onto my Nano-plus. The final step is flashing the actual Nano-plus firmware onto the Nano-plus. I used a docker container for the dev environment. Then I copied from my Arduino install. (actually the megaTinyCore files) The…

  • Serial UPDI

    Serial UPDI

    I built a Serial UPDI programmer. (For a certain definition of “built”) These are pretty simple. A diode goes between Tx and Rx on a CH340 module. Then a wire from Rx goes to the device being programmed. I’m also using a SOICbite (slightly modified SOP8 test clip) as a programming clip. So, I used…

  • Perfect Timing!

    Perfect Timing!

    I ordered these over two months ago. I was starting to lose hope, but they arrived today. And, perfect timing, too. These are CH9340 USB-UART modules. Which is what I need to build the Serial-UPDI programmer. (Assuming these work the same as a CH340, which I can’t seem to find a clear answer on.)

  • Malenki


    After a few modifications, I ordered some PCBs of the “Malenki Plus” (a higher voltage version of the Malenki Nano) This version uses an A7105 module for the radio. (There is also a version that integrates the radio but I had a hard time sourcing the A7105 IC.) I soldered the radio module to the…

  • Mailbag Monday

    Mailbag Monday

    I got 100 magnets in the mail today! 50 are 10mm x 1mm and 50 are 10mm x 2mm. I plan to insert these into 3D prints of robot chassis. I’m not entirely sure how to do that yet.

  • Ordering PCBs

    Ordering PCBs

    My parts finally arrived at the PCB manufacturer so I was able to place the PCBA order today! These are a slightly modified Malenki Nano R/C receiver and brushed ESC. The board layout is done in KiCAD. It is exported in Gerber format and uploaded to the manufacturer, along with a bill of materials and…

  • Mailbag


    I love it when packages arrive! Today I got three in the mail. First was a bag of 1104 Brushless DC Motors. These are destined to be the weapon motor in a fairyweight combat robot. Next was a couple ESCs to drive the motors. These claim to be 20A and they only weigh about 4…

  • Wheel Hub

    Wheel Hub

    So I’ve decided to build another antweight bot. (US Ant is 1lb. Not to be confused with UK Ant.) I last did this in 2015. I dug through my bins and found plenty of parts, so decided to try to build with what I have as much as possible. I found a bag of 10…