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Belgium
Asked — Edited

Ezbv4 Finally Arrived - A Few First Impression/Rants

My EZBv4 finally arrived after nearly 2 weeks (not ezrobots fault at all, just Hobbyking being slow and a postal strike)

As much as Im sure I will love this device, and I already love the software, some first impressions/things I need to rant about in the hope they can be improved in the future.

The "powerbase" has to be the most useless piece of injection molded plastic in robotic history. Its enormous, roughly twice the volume of the controller itself, but only contains a fuse and a barrel plug. A barrel plug that no one can use, because almost no 5/6v power brick will provide enough power and no lipo or battery pack ever uses that connector. Why not provide screw terminals instead, or deans, or xt60 or all of them or anything that will actually be used? Sure you can buy an adapter to go from a useless barrel plug to screw terminals so you can finally solder it to a usable connector; whats the point of doing it that way?

Secondly, despite being enormous, there is no way to actually mount it on anything. No screw or bolt holes, no mounting plate.. even designing a 3d printed holder is going to be far from obvious because of its weird and featureless shape. Its likely going to need glue or holes drilled in it to mount it. And even then, it wont be very secure because the controller board doesnt mount very firmly in it. Its only held in place by the flimsy power connector. Despite the relative complexity of the mold, there are no clips to secure it.

In short, its useless, Im better off taking off the shell from the controller itself, soldering a connector directly to the board (with an inline fuse) and throw the "powerbase" in the bin. Seriously DJ, injection molds arent cheap, but back to the design board for this part!

The speaker, I didnt have high hopes, but its even worse than I feared. Okay, to be expected I guess and I know I can connect my own, but still. Maybe if you are going to design a use more useful powerbase, you can add a larger and more useful speaker to it?

One last little suggestion; after connecting the ezb to my home wifi, the ezb helpfully tells me its connected, but that would be 10x more helpful if it also spoke its IP address. I know, there is a built in scanner in the software, but its painfully slow (Fing on android to the rescue).

enough ranting, now lets find out what it can do:)


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Belgium
#1  
hi vertigo

i find the only thing thats missing on the base is a on/off switsh.
the speaker is very good,consider other robots.there is some ,
differents in loudness of some ezbv4.
for mounting the base on to something is easy to do.use this plate,
and mount that on the backside.there are many option for mounting the base.


plate
Belgium
#2  

Quote:

i find the only thing thats missing on the base is a on/off switsh.


I find that working like an on/off switch is arguably its only use! Pull out for for off, plug in for on.

As for that plate, that doesnt mount to the powerbase in any way I can see. Sure, I can glue it on, but why do you need a powerbase then, might as well glue or screw that plate or something else to the controller case directly.
PRO
Belgium
#3  
you can order this part and you can slide the plate on.you also have the cube.
indeed it would be easier when some is allreddy on the base for a mount.
but now you can test your inmatination ans skills to come up whit something.
you could make a 3d print the backside.


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PRO
USA
#4  

Quote:


... Hobbyking ...


You got an EZB4 v1 or EZB4 v2 ?

Quote:


A barrel plug that no one can use, because almost no 5/6v power brick will provide enough


Barrel plug is almost universal, cheap and easy to source.

I use a 5V/10A, 7V/25A, 12V/8A power supplies all of them have a barrel that fits the power base. I have a few more power supplies all of them have a barrel so ... ?
#5  
I have an adjustable 10 amp power supply I use now.
Belgium
#6  

Quote:

You got an EZB4 v1 or EZB4 v2 ?


Looks like a V1 :/

Quote:

I use a 5V/10A, 7V/25A, 12V/8A power supplies all of them have a barrel that fits the power base.


hmm.. you mean like laptop style PSU bricks? I guess I hadnt considered those, but Ive never seen them as 5v or 7v, pretty much always 12v or more, which makes them rather useless since you cant power normal servos with that.

Anyway, I just found an even easier way to power the thing: simply connect a bec to one of the servo rails. Only problem is that the ezb will keep complaining about low voltage each boot and until I (re) connected, even after changing the settings in software.

BTW, some sort of power distribution board with multiple power rails would be a very nice thing to have for a future revision. Im using a few micro servos that wont tolerate more than 6v and a few large servos Id like to feed 7.4. Of course I can solder some harness, but a board with solder bridges or something could be handy. Particularly if that board also had some beefy switching regulators.
PRO
Belgium
#7  
you can uncheck the voltage warning on the web page of your ezbv4.
but its not recomended.
Belgium
#8  
Thanks, that works a treat!
I dont care its not recommended; low battery warning is pointless as long as I power it via a bec. Its gonna see 5v regardless if my battery is 100% full or critically discharged. Obviously if you power it directly from a battery, you would want to keep it enabled.
#9  
Hiya vertigo,
This is just a guess but I'm wondering if the power base was designed for the multitude of robots that EZ-Robot markets. I've never owned one so I don't know for sure. However, if that's true, it may be that the developer kit is more of an afterthought; a way to supply ud with the brain rather than having to purchase an entire robot.
Initially, I was going to design my own power base using some oil clay, taking a mold, and casting it in resin. But luckily I found a way to make it work for iRobot and it looks pretty good.
I'm with you though on the barrel plug. I'd rather have terminals. Or possibly spring clips like on the back of a speaker cabinet.
#11  
The shell for the EZB v4 is made to press into the body of all the Revolution series robots. I totally get what you mean about the base feeling a little large, I have removed the case for two projects so far. At the same time the case really is not designed specifically for DIY and fitting into small spaces.
#12  
Ya, that power base is totally useless for a lot of DIY builders. I have a pile of them sitting in a bin. I'm pretty sure the power base was designed around the Deans connector that sticks out the bottom of the main EZB case. EZ Robot must have been trying to help us DUY builders with the power base to give us an easy way to power the unit because of the power input being on the underside of the EZB. However it's a pain in the but design for DIY builders by locationing the power input on the bottom. The reason this connector is coming out the bottom of the EZB so it will plug easily into the Revolution robots and that's the only reason I can figure out. I've removed all the Deans Connectors from all my EZB's and replaced the power input with pigtails running out the sid of the main case and added Molex connectors for easy connection/disconnection.

User-inserted image

Side Power Input mod

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Sound Output mod
Canada
#13  
If you don't like the power base just take the board out and toss the case. You can mount the board easily anywhere in your bot and hook up a decent speaker while you're at it. The time spent wining about it would have seen the job done. It is after all, the awesomeness of the board you will be using anyway.
PRO
Synthiam
#14  
Lol, no one reads product information I guess:)
#15  
Touché. I do agree with the plug design in terms of the DIY market, its a bit awkward, but considering the focus of the V4 in education, its a fair design choice.
Perhaps the next version will have a new option!;)

Quote:

The power shell is a holder for your EZ-B v4/2 Wi-Fi Robot Controller. It lets you use your ez-bv4 outside of a robot body. The power shell contains a 20 amp fuse and barrel jack, which supplies power. Like the bodies of all Revolution robots, the size of the shell was designed to enhance the audio of the ez-bv4's internal speaker. Connect an Alternate Power Adapter and 6xAA Battery Holder to provide power to the Power Shell.