Ideas to stabilize angler?

Our angler works decently but we want to try and make it as stable as possible and we’re having trouble with a particular area. The low-strength shaft that holds the puncher (attached to it by locking plates) goes into a high strength gear with metal inserts; we’re finding that this area has a lot of slop. The shaft can move around in the metal inserts a bit, which makes it more unstable than desired.

We were using rubber bands to try and keep it steadier, however at a recent competition someone advised that using a dampener was a better idea. We aren’t really sure what could be used as a dampener for this (or really what exactly a dampener is - is it just a soft padding like a bundle of rubber bands?) and how it would be set up - any ideas?

We’re going to reinforce the connection at the gear itself with locking plates (attached is a mock-up version we used for testing). Off-robot tests indicate that this should stabilize it better but that it will still have some movement. Any thoughts on reducing the movement even more? Our next step, when we have time, is to maybe try using a high strength shaft - however very preliminary tests with that seem to show it will move a little bit in the gear as well!

How do you have your anglers set up to get extremely precise adjustments without much movement (outside of that requested)?

I would simply connect the c-channel in the picture to the high strength gear using standoffs. I would keep the axles and lock bars just in case but standoffs would in my opinion work better than any shaft solution.

Standoffs are a good solution, but you have to use loctite. Otherwise they could come loose very easily. I like to use 2" screws with spacers and a nylock whenever possible over standoffs.

There is some given slop in lock bars due to larger hole sizes than necessary. I haven’t tried it, but what if you used two lock bars st either extreme of the shaft’s rotation?

definitely bolt your gear directly to your metal.

Thanks all! We’re going to put the additional locking plates on to help and work to find a way to attach the puncher metal itself to the gear (the pic was just a sample for testing, the actual sadly doesn’t have such a nice, direct path) with a standoff (due to actual distances involved, we don’t think a 2" screw will work).