Arena Build

July 23, 2016: The inspiration for our arena build!
August 15, 2016: The pallet racks arrive.
August 21, 2016: Cutting the supports from the racks.
December 30, 2016: Painting and prep for frame build.
December 31, 2016: Space cleared at Banana RC to begin framing arena.
December 31, 2016: The frame is taking shape.

January 04, 2017: Arena Build Day Report (Brady Davis)

We assembled the ceiling from 2 sheets of 4’x8′ plywood 3/4″ thick and added a 2″x10″x8′ board down the middle on the top. We drilled several holes to bolt the 2″x10″ to the plywood making the ceiling flush and even. Also we found you can walk along the 2″x10″ and the ceiling does not even bow. Good Job.

Then pizza for lunch at the Banana today for everyone!

Next we painted the plywood and the board with the good stuff. Rustolium Gloss White Enamel.

We also painted the 200 grit sanded 3/4″ plywood floor with a nice thick coat of Gloss White Enamel for a super smooth, super hard, shiny white floor.

We also finalized the mounting plan for a perfect smooth, level floor and made sure the glass would fit just right. 

We will be using thick Aluminum Angle front and back of the glass going all of the way around screwed into the orange runners making a track for it. They will look sharp and support the glass well.

Thanks Richard and Mark for all your work, planning, advice, and most of all for your funny jokes. Good day today.

The next arena build day is Friday at 10am. at the Banana. We will install the track for the Lexan and install the floor.

 January 07, 2017: Arena Build Report

Another Great Build Day Today!

Richard and I put the ceiling up and bolted it all together. You can walk on the ceiling and it won’t bow at all. Very nice.

Then Richard, Mark and I drilled and bolted the floor supports on the front and back cross beams and we were able to get the floor mounted in partially with the help of some racers at the Banana.

Next is to drill and bolt the other remaining floor supports on the sides so the floor is secure all of the way around..

We are meeting Monday about 10am.

Note: Banana R/C Raceway is now Open 7 Days a Week!

January 05, 2017: Arena Progress (Corey Morris)

Purchased: (4x) 3/8 thick 48×96″ clear polycarbonate sheets

Brady Davis, you can pick them up at 10am tomorrow.

Total: $906 after tax.



January 09, 2017 Arena Build Day Report (Brady Davis)

Arena Build Day Report!
Corey contacted me this morning letting me know the Lexan was ready to pick up. Thanks Corey! I picked it up about 11am and delivered it to Banana Raceway.
Meeting Richard, we unloaded the Lexan and finished mounting the angle iron under the floor on the last 2 sides. After that we drilled the 2″x10″ and the floor inserting T-Nuts and bolting the 2″x10″ underneath to bring everything flush for a no seam floor. 
Zoom into the 4k photo and see how nice and even the floor is. 
Next is to meet and sand the floor nice and smooth and paint with a thick coat of white enamel on Thursday getting ready to add the bumpers and the track for the Lexan. Good Job Richard, your a great builder that thinks on his feet and makes good arenas.

January 10, 2017: Easy Arena Build Day Today!

Richard and I are meeting at noon till 4pm today at Banana Raceway to sand down the floor and to put a nice coat of White Enamel on it. Then we will let it dry for a couple of days to harden smooth. Come join us for the fun!

Richard put a nice sanding on the floor and added a second coat of paint for a nearly perfect floor. One more coat of paint will ensure a smooth hard white enamel floor. Great Job Richard!

I will order the bumper material and pick it up from Online Metals and bring it with me on Saturday to mount into the floor. Planning on using 2″x2″ Aluminum Angle 1/8″ thick so that bots wont get stuck between the floor and the orange crossbeams.
This will give a 2″ area hazard around the perimeter of the arena becoming our first arena hazard. Yay!

Get your bots ready to rumble!!

January 12, 2017: Arena Progress Report

I ordered the bumpers today, they will be ready for pick up tomorrow afternoon. I will bring them with me on Saturday to Banana Raceway and we can get them installed early. I expect to meet Richard there about 11am and it wont take very long to mount them.
If you want to come hang out from 11am until 2pm and check things out feel free to join us. We will be chatting about arena weapons, lights, timer and much more plaining all the finishing touches.

Online Metals Order
4 pieces @ $16.60/piece
Aluminum 6061-T6 Bare
Extruded Angle Structural
2″ x 2″ x 0.125″
Cut to: 96″
Ships from the Dallas warehouse


January 14, 2017: Arena Build Day Report

Richard and I cut the 2″x2″ 6061 Aluminum bumpers to size, pre drilled the holes, and screwed everything down tight. Then we sanded the floor one last time and added the final coat of white enamel to a flat, perfect, no seam floor ready for the Logo!

Mitch is working on the Stencil of the DARC logo.
Thanks Mitch your a big help!

Next step is to make some L brackets that bolt to the uprights and to casters below. This way we can move the arena as needed for events and storage. Richard recommends we do this before we install the Lexan as things are getting heavy. 

We will add a set of braces low on the legs all of the way around for extra strength when moving the arena around for that just in case factor. 

And we took final measurements today for mounting the Lexan and made a plan of how best to accomplish this task. 
We will start with the front and back Full Sheet. They will be mounted in both C-Channel along the bottom and 2 Angles sandwiching the top for easy assembly. Then once that is done we will work on the Dual Channel Track for the 2 Drivers sides that will give us 2 sliding doors on each side for easy access to all parts of the arena. Like how sliding closet doors work. 
This is for space saving but also for ease of use during event. 
Thanks Logan, good suggestion! We will only use one door for access but will be able to slide the other 4’x4′ sheet if needed to get to a stuck bot.


January 16, 2017: Arena Progress Report (Brady Davis)

More metal has been ordered for the arena, see list below.

The A36 is to weld to the casters instead of bolting. This way the existing arena feet will sit snugly atop the casters. The A36 angle just bolts directly to the uprights with 4 bolts.

The 6061 is to get started mounting the Lexan. Yay!

4 pieces
Mild Steel A36
Hot Rolled Angle
4″ x 4″ x 0.25″
Cut to: 5″

4 pieces
Aluminum 6061-T6 Bare
Extruded Angle
1″ x 1″ x 0.125″
Cut to: 96″

January 18, 2017: Arena Build Report

Drivers Shelves Installed

Richard installed both drivers shelves today and we did not even have to paint them. Yay!

Well until we can get some red and blue paint anyway. 

We can easily add buttons and lights to the shelves and still have room to set your radio and safety restraints.

Next is to get the casters welded to the feet to attach to the arena legs before we install the heavy Lexan. This will take a few days.

Start getting your bots ready for a Demo in Feb!!!

January 22, 2017: Arena Build Report

Casters have been welded and ready to be custom measured and drilled to mount to the uprights of the arena to make it easy to move around. Victor welded everything up nice and strong the old fashioned way. Thanks for your help Victor!

January 23, 2017: Arena Build Report

Today Richard and I drilled and mounted the casters to the uprights so that the arena can be easily moved out of our storage/build corner into the big area of the hobby shop for events. Heavy duty!

We also went to Home Depot and picked up the rest of the aluminum track that the sliding doors will go into for both sides, top and bottom. Going to be sweet!

We need 4 more of the 1″x1″x8′ Aluminum Angle from Online Metals ordered to mount the back sheet of Lexan as we currently have 4 of them on site now to mount the front Lexan.

It won’t be long now before the glass is mounted and we can start adding in all of the bells and whistles that will give our event its own unique flavor.

Things like Dual Tv’s mounted above the arena. (Thanks Mike Darnell) Dual HD cameras to show the matches on the Tv’s and even stream the event live online!

Mitch is working on a state of the art Arena System to control the light tree, countdown timer, start/stop buttons, sound effects, lighting effects and more. Watch for arena build reports on each stage of completion as they develop.

The last 4 aluminum angles have been ordered from online metals to install the Lexan in the arena. Only the best!
Aluminum 6061-T6 Bare Extruded Angle 1″ x 1″ x 0.125″ 
Richard and I expect to start installing the aluminum track and angle for the Lexan on Wednesday from 11am until 4pm. Come by and drill some holes with us. 

January 26, 2017: Arena Build Report

Arena Build Day Report
Today was major surgery day on the arena, After putting the casters on the arena was just too tall. Richard and I had to shorten the uprights to make the arena more accessible for everyone!

We also installed the track for the back Lexan on both the top and the bottom. Awaiting the track for the front Lexan top and bottom.

We are also ready to start installing the sliding door track on both of the drivers sides top and bottom. All is coming together nicely.

January 28, 2017: Arena Build Report

The back Lexan is in.

The lights work perfectly.



January 31, 2017: Arena Progress Report (Mitch Cerroni)

Just an update, I got the 12v30a power supply and I’m planning the timer and starting lights. The easiest way to make a bright large timer is using programmable RGB LED “pixels” in a series using serial data on 3-wires. I am planning a judges box which will house the power supply, arduino, relay control board (can attach any device like solenoids and motors), it will have a small timer as well and buttons for start, stop, reset, red team, blue team, and buttons from the drivers when their ready. I can program it to do more but this is a showy start. The relay board will also be able to control the arena lights so they don’t have to be on the whole time in case we want cool intros or spot lights.

February 01,2017: Arena Progress Report (Brady Davis)

The aluminum for the corners have been ordered and will be ready to pickup from Online Metals today. I will bring them with me when we meet next at Banana on Saturday about 10am to 5pm to install them and the door tracks in the arena!

2 – Aluminum 6061-T6 Bare – Rectangle Tube – 2″ x 4″ x 0.125″ Cut to: 96″

We will also sand and paint the floor one last time to prep it for the logo being stenciled and pained on including the red and blue squares before installing Lexan.

We are at the final stages for the arena build and will post an arena build day report Saturday showing the progress.

February 01,2017: Arena Progress Report

Here’s the timer I’m working on, so far 140 RGB programmable LED’s arranged as a three digit 7-segment timer, and LED’s on the perimeter as the stop/start lights also red/blue team ready, and the winner.


February 05,2017: Arena Progress Report

It’s taking shape!

Segment 1 of 21

February 05, 2017: Arena Build Report

After Richard sanded the floor one last time.  And he put one last coat of white enamel paint down, he then cut the 2 nice 2″x4″x8′ Aluminum rectangles to 48″. Very Nice Richard Blom!!

Mitch came by to help, bringing the stencil and showing the soon to be arena timer and light tree he is working on. Before the end of the day Mitch and I tested all 3 TV’s and took them from the mounting they were on getting ready to mount them on the arena.

Mitch had a great idea. To use real tilting TV mounts and mount 2 of them to the top orange crossbeam one on each side of the arena. That is a perfect solution in many ways. Thanks Mitch.

Tuesday we will spray the Texas shape in the center of the arena black and mask off both the Red and Blue 18″ squares and paint them as well.

We also plan on installing the channel and the rectangles getting ready to measure and take 2 sheets back to Allied Plastics to have them cut the doors professionally.

We expect to finally have the Lexan fully installed soon.

Here is a rough draft of the floor plan showing the pits, the arena, the judges, crowd control, access to pits, and hot dog vending.

Big thanks to Ann Tuney for her help today in the thinking department. She suggested the floor plan below as a way to keep things separated and safe while giving good viewing area for the audience.

February 07, 2017: Arena Build Report

Today we had our first failure. My Bad!
The arena center logo did not work out as planned. Good thing we have leftover sandpaper and paint to try again. 

And big thanks to Richard for custom cutting the Aluminum Rectangles for the arena today and prepping them to mount using our favorite self taping screws.

Thursday we meet again and install the Rectangles in all 4 corners and then install track into the Rectangles. I will bring the truck again and take 2 sheets of Lexan back to Allied Plastics to have them cut professionally for perfect fit. Yes we are that close, all of the major stuff has been completed and only requires final touches. Yay!

February 09, 2017: Arena Build Report

I started today with removing my shame from the center of the arena with the orbital sander.  Back to a clean smooth white floor with an extra coat of enamel.

Richard attached all 4 of the rectangle uprights to the arena uprights and installed the door track to a point that we could get that final measurement for cutting the Lexan.

We double and then triple checked to be sure we were correct on the size and then we loaded up the little truck with 2 full sheets of Lexan and off I went into the big city.

Allied Plastics cut both sheets for only $10.00 for us today. Thanks Steve O. at Allied!

Upon my return Richard had the other side tracking ready and we unloaded and test fit the Lexan doors to be sure they would fit.
It was worth the extra time and money making these sliding doors for arena ease of use and for safety. Check out the photo to get an idea of how things are turning out. 

It looks like SUNDAY will be the big day for finishing Lexan installation so come by and check it out. We will be there from 11am until 3pm.

February 10, 2017: Arena Progress Report (Mitch Cerroni)

Timer and controller are coming together nicely. I switched to hardboard Masonite instead of plywood and that made a world of difference with my warping issue. I spent some time with the paint and gorilla glue to make sure it’s very clean looking and solid. I laid out the control box and will be laser cutting the box soon. As you can see we will have a very overkill 12v 30a PSU and a 5v 60a PSU and heavy duty relay board which we can use for arena hazards, horns, bells, lighting, etc. Since the timer will be facing the audience and drivers, I also got a small 7-segment LED display so the judges can see the timer as well. I have 5 arcade buttons and a button for each driver I can program it for anything later (co-driver activated hazards?). I also created a GitHub repository for this project so I can share with other robot groups. Also the award trophies will be worth fighting for 




February 12, 2017: Arena Build Report

Now that is one nice combat robot arena!!
Richard and I have been working hard for the last 2 months building the arena to perfection. We have had some help from Mike, Mitch, Victor, Logan, Angela, Ann and Tony. Thanks go to all that have helped so far! Especially Banana Raceway for putting up with the build process.
Today we have finally installed the Lexan including the sliding doors a full month before our first event. See photo. 
There are a few things still to add like the Light Tree/ Timer from Mitch, a couple of TV mounts, door handles and pins, the bottom arena skirt and more. Keep posted as we add the finishing touches! Stay tuned for a Demo announcement soon!


February 13, 2017: Arena Progress Report (Mitch Cerroni)

This is turning out to be really nice. Now for hand soldering 140 LEDs


February 15, 2017: Arena Build Report

Today Richard and I installed the door handles and the striping to keep the glass from rubbing together when opening or closing.
They are easy to open and fit nicely in the tracks.
Lets plan for meeting up on Sunday to tie up the loose ends like painting the 18″ red and blue squares, Possibly installing a couple more Aluminum angles, finding a way to secure the doors closed, adding the vinyl lettering, installing the TV mounts and TV’s.


February 16, 2017: Arena Progress Report (Mitch Cerroni)

Underestimated the amount of LEDs I’d need to light these segments. I’m hoping with some shadow under the top center edge of the arena that it shows up better than a lit workshop. Also the endgame robotics controller, battery, servo, giant maxxon motors, and carbon fiber, I’m underweight, I still have room for nylon 3D printed wheels and chassis.



February 18, 2017: Arena Progress Report (Mitch Cerroni)

It lives! Now only 22 segments to go.


February 20, 2017: Arena Progress Report (Mitch Cerroni)



February 22, 2017: Arena Build Report

Richard and I spent the day cutting and drilling the last of the 1″x1″ aluminum 6061 angle for the front and back corners of the arena.
We also cut and drilled 4 extra 1″x1″ aluminum angles to go inside the arena for a bit of extra protection for everyone.

We will mount the angle on Saturday along with the TV mounts.
Perhaps even hang the TV’s and test them.

Richard brought the hardware to secure the doors tightly together in the center without hardly any view obstruction. We will get that installed once we move the arena into the carpeted area.

After taping off and painting the red and blue squares 18″ Richard informed me the acrylic paint instructions said it will need a few days to dry. 

Check out the cool BELL in the arena photo that was sent to us today from our Sponsor Jeffery at Endgame Robotics along with the generous box of prizes to give to the winners of DARC RR 1.0

I will try to get them all listed on the website asap but he was so kind its going to take me a little while to list them all. 

Thanks for your support.


February 25, 2017: Arena Build Report

What a fun day today everyone!
Thank you!

Today we started putting the finishing touches on the arena getting ready for out debut event Robot Rebellion 1.0 held on March 12, 2017 at Banana RC Raceway. The doors open at 10am and fights start at Noon. No charge for admittance, seating is very limited, get there early!

Check out the 2 huge TV’s we mounted on the arena today helping to bring close up action to everyone in the audience. Thank You for donating them Mike Darnell, you rock!

Mitch Cerroni brought the vinyl letting to go around the Texas shape inside the arena and applied them in one shot. He also brought the timer/stop/start box and had us all impressed with the quality of workmanship and effort put into making it. Great job Mitch!

Richard Blom and Angela Blom bought everyone pizza for lunch while we all talked about the up coming event and everyone made so many useful suggestions all through the day.

After 5 hours of hanging out, joking and laughing, generally getting excited about the good times we ended the meeting that felt more like a get together of friends.

Ian McMahon brought the small arena all the way from Houston in preparation for RR1.0 and we cant wait to see the tiny bots fight!

It was very nice of everyone to give a big round of applause to Richard Blomtoday showing him how much they appreciated the months of hard work he has put into building the DARC Arena that we are about chew on! Well Deserved Richard!

Just a few things left before the event and we will be meeting at the arena on both Sat and Sun to make sure everything is ready.
Stay tuned for more.


March 03, 2017: Arena Progress Report (Mitch Cerroni)

I’ll be ready to mount it Saturday but it’ll be just start and stop control programmed.


March 05, 2017: Arena Build Report

One Week Away for RR1.0!!

We pulled the arena out onto the carpet getting ready for the event that is only one week away!

We tested the FPV on one of the TV’s and added and tested the sound system. Yay!

Richard added the door locks and we are nearly ready to go!


March 06, 2017: Arena Progress Report (Mitch Cerroni)

How about this for a control box? Probably the fastest project enclosure I’ve built.


 March 11, 2017: Arena Complete!!!

The night before RR1.0 and all in the house, not an insect was ready, not even our beetle.

Haha We are all mad crazy building last moment but know things are ready for a fun, safe, robot combat event opener at Banana RC Raceway in Richardson,

Texas. Doors open at 9am, check in and inspection until the very last moment to help everyone come play! Event starts at Noon and should go until about 4pm. Bring hearing protection if you have it.
Get there early as seating is so very limited.

Bring your cash for entry fees, for hot dogs, sodas and snacks!