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Old 2012.04.15, 09:22 AM   #1
arch2b
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Giro-Z Bridge

i've ordered Giro-Z to replace our Core system and have begun building a new bridge for the system and thought i would share the process in case anyone else was looking for ideas.

i've owner Giro-Z in the past, when they first released to be exact, and lets just say the pre-manufactured bridge is not worth the cost, space it takes up, etc. nearly everyone gets a couple dollars worth of PVC pipe, elbows and T's to make a very simple, functional bridge but being an designer, i would never be satisfied with that so i began planning for a custom build with off the shelf parts that requires a bit of elbow work, patience, and determination. it's not the easy route for sure but i'm going to be far happier with the outcome. it also gave me an excuse to buy some more tools. you can never have enough tools.

materials:
2x2x36 aluminum channel (aluminum is cheaper than PVC) $19.32
1/8x36 steel rod $1.25+/- each
rustoleum protective enamel paint and clear coat $3.98
tamiya mask tape $3.00+/-
1x1/2x doube line clamp and 3/16 fasteners (have not found the fastener i want yet) $5.00+/- box of 50
M4x16 cap head screws $.80 each pair
nylon washers $.56 bag of 4
black cable ties $4.54 bag of 100
1/8 ferrules $1.48 each pair
m4 hex nut $.80 bag of 10
25' cat5e shielded patch cable $12.64

tools:
clamping bench vise $21.00+/-
wire bending jig $11.02
locking pliers $4.00+/-
adjustable wrench (already had this one)
linemans pliers $9.97
plastic bag from store $.5 each (yes, maryland charges you for bags)



i'm new to complex wire bending and my tools are limited so i've been using the wire bending jig and adjustable wrench up until yesterday when i picked up the bench vise and locking pliers. having already bent 2 prototype legs, i have a better understanding of the limitations of the tools.

Last edited by arch2b; 2012.04.22 at 09:21 PM.
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Old 2012.04.15, 09:24 AM   #2
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i've sketched out a bunch of ideas on lunch breaks at work so most are on post it notes.







the exception was a 3d modeled mock up



eventually, when i can secure access to milling i would prefer to have solid plastic legs made with integrated wire molds to secure the patch cable. simple top bolt would be nice vs. worrying about creating a snap fitting that would weaken over time. i want the legs to be removable. i have been designing the base to connect to the rails in some fashion vs. the floor. while using wire doesn't present an issue for space, plastic would. i don't want anything squeezing between tiles.



recessing the nut on the bottom makes it easier to thread the bolt without having the worry about aligning the nut and dropping it.


Last edited by arch2b; 2012.04.15 at 09:54 AM.
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Old 2012.04.15, 09:35 AM   #3
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i wanted to personalize the bridge simply because i can printed out some text patterns and picked one.



applied the mask tape to the surface where the lettering is to go. i framed the entire channel with a border using parma line tape.



triming the lettering is tricky on aluminum. the guys that do this over car skins have some amazing skills. i kept cutting into the surface to make sure the tape was cut cleanly.



i also added a bit of flair with the MZR anniversary logo.



the lettering masking turned out well enough for my first attempt on this surface.



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Old 2012.04.15, 09:41 AM   #4
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i gave the channel 3 coats of the protective enamel paint. the respray time and dry time is much longer with this paint than what i'm used to so the paint build up made it more tricky/delicate in removing the mask.





some of the edging pulled up as the paint was thicker than what i deal with for autoscales.





i got a bit antsy with the clear coats and did them after work, whic for me has been 8-9pm lately. i couldn't see the paint go on very well in the poor light so i got some overspray and drip spots. i will likely give it another coat to clean it all up later.



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Old 2012.04.15, 09:49 AM   #5
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my first bent wire leg was very basic. i wanted to know how hard it would be to bend circle base and symmetric sides while going from point to point. turns out i made it to tall and the left end doesn't have a complete circle.



my second bent wire leg added more features. this one has the turn in at the top for the double line clamp. the intent is to provide 2 horizontal surfaces in the leg to batter fight the tendency to sway side to side with this type of leg. i don't have the clamps yet, i had to order them from mcmaster-carr so dimensions used on this were just a guess. i gut the height by 4" so i now have enough length in the wire to get all the bends in. this sets the channel at 14" above the track.



i'm still working on better ways to bend eyelets in 1/8 wire. pliers and the cheap jig are not doing the job to my satisfaction.

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Old 2012.04.15, 09:52 AM   #6
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i mocked it up this morning and will need to adjust direction of the clamping area so the attaching fastener doesn't go right through the logo. in hindsight, i should have kept that a couple inches off the edge but wasn't thinking that far ahead at the time.

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Old 2012.04.15, 10:37 AM   #7
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nice work on the U section , did you have to use an etch primmer on the ally ,do you have acsess to a welder or brazing equipment ? Im thinking an L shaped plate on the bottom of the legs welded on , this would spreed the weight of the gantry making it less prone tp rock and also give you a better mounting method than the loops
Just an idea great work so far
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Old 2012.04.15, 10:59 AM   #8
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i sanded the u channel faces with fine grit paper before painting for a clean surface. there is rustoleum primer for metal surfaces but i started painting before i found that stuff so it's multiple thin coats with clear coat. i would recommend using the primer when it's available.

love the idea. would really like to add some triangular supports to brace the gantry but i don't have access to welding equipment nor experience with anything other than soldering. right now i'm limited to mechanical means but these are typically bulky looking. if i could weld/braze, i could use 1/2x1/2 angle to make the legs with 2x2 angle for the base mounts.

Last edited by arch2b; 2012.04.15 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 2012.04.15, 10:26 PM   #9
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nice work arch...
just a suggestion... instead of having the legs bent towards the track, why not have them bent outwards (towards the outer edge)...
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Old 2012.04.16, 09:06 AM   #10
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If the concern is hitting them, the design puts them 1/4 min inboard of the face of the rail. I'm still working on the final layout based on what I can fabricate vs. what I can design.
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Old 2012.04.16, 01:03 PM   #11
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Nice job ray.
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Old 2012.04.19, 11:39 AM   #12
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here are the latest wire leg drawings with the clamps included. FULL size here in case anyone wants it.

Last edited by arch2b; 2012.04.19 at 12:00 PM.
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Old 2012.04.19, 11:52 AM   #13
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the bridge you made looks fantastic. Love the logos you added to it as well.
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Old 2012.04.21, 12:10 PM   #14
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had some time this morning so i did another test leg. the bends are so much easier with the bench vise. also allows me to plumb it all back up as well.

here you can see the bend which will anchor to the bridge. got the turns just right and fits the clamp like a glove.



i need to make yet another trip to the hardware store for some black zip ties, more metal rod (home depot rod is shorter than lowes), double sided tape (didn't come with the giro-z kit) and some type of non permanent glue to hold the wires to the channel. someone recomemended pvc pipe glue but that seems a bit to permanent. i just want the wires to be held in place but removable if i need to take the sensors back out. also need to pick up a much longer patch cable. the giro-z kit came with a 3' cable. i', thinking something like a 14' or 20' cable just so i'm not hampered by bridge location. the track pc can't move, it is where it is.is there anything special about the cable? says stp patch cord cat6.e
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Old 2012.04.21, 03:12 PM   #15
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ok, tried working with what i have meaning making an adapter piece. took a rod and bent it into a support base that wraps the pins and bends up to meet the top leg i made. this would have to be joined with more clamps or welded together. i don't weld so i'd have to find more clamps.





tricky part is making a duplicate...
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