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Getting Started with the 4WD Wild Thumper

Hello,

This is my first post here.  I'm sorry if these are very basic questions.

I just purchased a Dagu 4WD Thumper Chassis and controller board and I need some help getting started.  I have a 7.2v battery and charger coming, and this will be an autonomous project, receiving instructions from another computer.  I'm new to the hardware side of this project, and am a little embarrassed that I've run into a question so soon...I've read the pdf's on the controller and chassis, but still dont see how its supposed to be set up.  I do have pretty basic electronics knowledge at the moment, its slowly improving.

I have been looking at the connectors tied to the thumper chassis, and the Moto 1 and 2 connectors on the Dagu controller board.  What kind of cable connects the chassis to the dagu board?  When I do receive the battery, will I need to get a connector/adapter to connect it to the controller board?

After seeing video on the high-power switch, I'm thinking of getting it, though I'm not quite sure I need it.  If doing that changes the types of cables/connectors I need please let me know, but at present I want to go ahead without it.

Lastly, I had assumed my program could pass instructions to the board by USB - I just want to confirm that this is the case?  Or do I need a USB to serial cable?

Thank you very much

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If using jumper wires like this (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/8430) to connect the board to chassis, how exactly do they connect?  I have four motors and two groups on the board, I'm assuming some kind of Y-connection is needed?  Would you guys usually just wire such a cable yourself or should I be looking for a pre-fabricated cable?

Thanks

Thanks OddBot!

That's great news about the USB, perfect, thanks.

I've got a 5000mAh LiPo and charger coming as well, so all's good so far.

Still confused about how this wiring is going to work (like physically what goes where), but I'll be sure to also get wire following your guidelines.

I've had some time lately to work on the 4WD and ended up getting a 6600mAh 14.8V 4S LiPo battery and charger and the Wild Thumper Switch - I just wanted to confirm that this was ok to hook up as is?  I plan on connecting the battery wires to a Y splitter.  One side will go into the "IN" on the Thumper switch, and the "OUT" on the switch going to the Wild Thumper Controller Board terminals labeled "VBAT" and "GND".  (The other line split off from the battery goes to a voltage converter with the leads going to power a small board and other electronics.)  As you mentioned earlier, the motor wires are going into their respective terminals on the controller board as well.  The small board will be sending commands to the Wild Thumper by USB.

Can I confirm that this is right so far?

With a 6600mAh battery, how long could I expect it to power the Thumper (alone, taking out any other sources of drain on the battery)?  I'm finding it hard to anticipate how much power I will need (the board runs at 19V).

Any help is appreciated.  Thanks