Mark’s B9 Robot Resources

Rear Bay

I had always planned to install a car stereo in my robot. With everything working on 12 volts, it seemed like the sensible way to provide an amplified sound source. Of course, the unit would need to be mounted, and thankfully the rear opening of the torso is just the right size. (The side openings are very similar but not quite as wide as the rear opening.)

Having already finished and installed Craig Reinbrecht’s programming bay, I decided to design a similar bay for the rear opening. The “panel” area is 8 inches wide by 4 inches tall. The bay could also be used with the torso’s side openings to accomodate other controls. The bay is designed to accept upper and lower aluminum channels and ribs, though my stereo protrudes too far to allow a normal vent system. I may devise a “false vent” later on.

The cutout area for the stereo allows an extra 1/8 inch on each side. If you are more confident in your metal cutting skills than I was with mine, you could reduce the cutout opening to 7 by 2 inches. The opening is 1.25 inches from the bay’s ceiling.

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I bought a 12 x 18 inch sheet of 22 gague steel at the local hardware store (about $4.95). After first making a prototype bay out of poster board, I cut the steel. This can be done either with hand cutters or a metal-cutting blade and a jig saw. If I had it to do again, I'd use the jig saw for the whole operation.

After making the bends, I secured the corner flaps with a 4-40 screw, lockwasher and nut on each side. I painted the panel face a bright silver and the rest of the box a dark gunmetal, the same as I had done with my programming bay. The photos at right show the finished unit with upper and lower rails attached.

Next I attached the stereo’s mounting sleeve to the bay ceiling. To maintain the 1.25 inch distance from the top, I used nylon spacers. Once I slipped the stereo in, I fashioned a mounting strap out of scrap steel and attached this to the center screw in the bay’s top.

The bay is held in place inside the torso with two screws attached to the torso’s side with epoxy putty. The unit is well balanced with the stereo installed, and I found that I didn’t need to anchor it at the base.

For the actual stereo, I choose the Dual XD6210. It has CD-R compatibility, AUX rear inputs and preamp output, as well as a wireless IR remote for less than $100.

New: If the idea of cutting and folding sheet metal discourages you from adding this detail to your robot, B9 Club member Mike Lynch now makes and sells this bay based on my design. It's also suitable for use as a side bay with many creative uses. Click here for more details about buying a rear bay ready made.

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