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Product Highlight - GreyT Telescope

by R. C. on November 19, 2021

I'm very excited to release this product. Telescopic mechanisms has always been a pain for our team (FRC1323). After using this telescope design in the offseason of 2021, I can confidently say telescopic mechanisms will no longer be a painful experience. Before I get into the details, big shout out to FRC4414 and FRC2135 for testing this product. 

So after 2020 build season, I was personally frustrated with our hangers and wanted to make something that accomplished the points below. 


  • Multiple stages (5 stages was the initial goal, may release POGO later)
  • Easy to assemble and maintenance
  • All bearing, no sliders
  • Integrated gearbox and mounting
  • Built in ratchet or brake
  • Work with .060" and .125" tubing
  • No CNC machining, Versablocks for Telescoping more or less
  • Proper hard stops, no more of this yolo stuff.
  • Improve design such that internal bolts don't cause failure. 

There are so many things I could talk about, but I'll highlight a few that are my personal favorite. 

#1 - Exterior Bearing Block

For the final design we ended up with 7/8" OD bearings front/back and 1/2" OD bearings for the side to side load. This is a much more robust setup than using 1/2" bearings all around (had a bunch of busted bearings...). The black clamping block has two zip tie holes to hold the pin and the block itself is tapped so the holes in tubing are clearance. The block also has two bolts at the bottom that act as hard stops against the bottom block. 


#2 - Interior Bearing Block

One of the pain points of designing a telescope is the fear of bolts coming loose and rubbing against the inside wall of the tubing. In the past we've done slides and hated them each time. Every time I tell myself we are never going to do them again. So we took a different approach to the problem. Some highlights:

  • Minimizing bolts in the side to side direction. Bolts in that direction are now just to bolt the CF spring to the block/tube. We even made a low profile bolt that has a large head diameter and low height (.060"). 
  • Bolts are running in the vertical direction to reduce the chance of them binding up the telescope. 
  • Option for both .060" and .125" tubing by going from a .500" OD to .625" OD bearing. 
  • Custom undersized dowel pins to act as bearing axles. 

#3 - Gearbox 

When designing the telescope, we wanted to put a ton of emphasis into the gearbox. Some of my favorite things about it:

  • Clamps the tubes, no precision holes needed. The gearbox plate is tapped which traps the tubes in place. 
  • Supports 1 to 4 stages
  • Integrated brake/ratchet.
  • Ability to flip the gearbox to run the string external
  • Integrated mounting to versaframe and other tubing via nut strips
  • Metal spool with tie down points for the rope.