Intake information

I know that everyone has already asked a bunch of this information but some of the answers are kinda muddy and don’t give much information. So I was wondering when making the intake what are things that you want to do?
-I know you wanna go for medium to small flaps
-100 to 200 rpm motors
1.)what the different size sprockets do?
2.)should the edge of the sprocket line up with the tray or overlap?
3.)what does the length of the intake do?
4.)what does compression mean in reference to the intakes?
5.)what does the angle of the tray do for the intake?
6.)why do people say to have your intake parallel to the tray?
7.)should your intake lock so it can’t move left or right or just have only a little bit of room for movement?

I know I have asked a lot, but I have tried experimenting and have build a bunch of intakes from flipping down to some flipping side ways. To having intakes that lock and some just on the arm. But these are question I haven’t been able to answer and haven’t found a proper answer for. If anyone could please explain even one or two of them maybe it will help solve the rest.

Great questions! I’m not really qualified to answer most of these, so here goes.

  1. Larger sprockets mean less torque (power to push cube up ramp) but faster speed. 12t are about slowest acceptable, 24 fastest. The driven sprocket and the idle sprocket both have the same surface speed, meaning if you are powering the 18t and the 12t is your idler both surfaces will have the same speed. The rotation of the 12t will be rpm × 3/2 due to the reduction in size. If you mounted a wheel on that idler sprocket it would go faster than if it was mounted on the driven sprocket.

  2. Compression refers to the amount of force your intake has to hold on to the sides of the cube and force it up your tray. Higher compression means that the cube is being squeezed tighter and in most cases the intake has a higher efficiency. Too low of a compression and your flaps or treads will slip due to the force of gravity working against the intake.

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What did you mean by a wheel in the first part?
And can you go too high compression? Like would you not want the compression to fluctuate so it’s less compression when you first intake the cube and it increases when your putting it into your tray?

this is as good of an answer I can give as I don’t have that much experience
5. If your ramp angle is too steep then it will make it harder to pick up cubes.
2. preferably overlap so you can possibly hold more but ensure that you can still smoothly release or the intake moves out of the way of the cubes.
7. it depends on you intake design if its on a hinge then you want to have enough tension pulling the intake to the arm its connected to that it doesn’t open up easily but can still release the cubes when the ramp is moved to a close to vertical position.

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So I made an intake that was on a hinge and deployed downwards. It was banded to be pulled down so it didn’t come up when the cubes would be intakes. But The cubes pushed my intake apart so what I did was place c channels when my intake rests so it can’t be pushed apart and that now makes my intake stop while picking up the cube

I would remove rubber bands till you get the right amount of tension. it is all preference

But would the rubber bands pulling the intake downward affect the pickup of the intake?

it can if you have to much. if there is too many rubber bands then what can happen is that the intake can stop when a cube just passes your rollers this prevents another cube from being picked up. its something that happened to me. if this is the case adjust your rubber banding

Okay well I tried it with less and it still just stops I even tried it with none and just kinda holding it down and it still gets none

Too much compression can stall motors or make them burn out faster. It’s a matter of funding the right balance. Smaller sprockets can stop the motors from stalling for burning out

We had an issue similar to what you’re describing with our intake. We found that we actually had too much intake compression. To counter this, we switched our motors to 100RPM, and moved the intake rollers slightly apart, which fixed the issue for us.

You mentioned that you have C-channels holding the intakes in. My recommendation would be to move the C-channels outwards a bit, allowing for more flexibility.

As @Railgunawesome said, smaller sprockets help to increase torque. We use the 24T sprockets, and our intake pushes at least 14 cubes in testing.

Edit: I should mention, we initially changed the motors to 100 RPM in order to increase torque when pulling up cubes without giving up too much compression.


Thank you! The other questions I still have even if I solve this intake problem because I wanna understand why it does what it does.

I mean any wheel or roller. Just pointing out that if you mount an additional piece on that axle the rotation speed of that piece will be faster if its running an 18/12 reduction.

  1. the different size sprockets change speed and torque, personally our intake can do 11 cubes and possibly more with a 100 rpm motor and a 24t sprocket and I have seen 200rpm motors with 18t sprockets do 10 easily

  2. your intake should overlap with your tray or else it won’t grip the cubes

  3. length of your intake changes surface area, the more surface area means you need less compression and less surface area means you need more compression

  4. like people have mentioned before compression is the inward force your intake rollers have on the cubes

  5. the angle of the tray changes how much force required to push up a cube. A lower tray angle needs less force than a steeper one. think of it like pushing a block up a hill, the steeper the hill the harder you need to push.

  6. if your intake is parallel to your tray it means all the force the intake rollers are exerting on the cube go to moving it up the tray. if your intake rollers are at a shallower angle than the tray some of the force pushing the cube is going to pushing the cube up the tray while some is going into pushing it into the tray but not up it. (sorry if that doesn’t make sense I’m having a bit of trouble explaining it.)

  7. your intake locks should allow very little movement their purpose is to keep your intake in pressed inwards. then when your tray comes up it should move your lift up lightly pushing the arm out of the lock allowing it to bend out and release the cubes


Thank you very much! This helps explain a lot of my intake problems so thanks.

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