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Unread 03-04-2005, 11:49 PM
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Powering the RC

Now that've shipped our robot and batteries, we're left with no way to power our Robot Controller for testing purposes.

Being that we're a rookie team, we dont' have any batteries from past years and are still waiting for the batteries we ordered.

Is there anyway we could rig some kind of temp power for our RC? We still have our charger if that helps any...
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Unread 03-04-2005, 11:58 PM
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Re: Powering the RC

Oh dear...that is one rectangular black chunk of plastic and circuitry that you do not want in your possession and control right now.

I point you to this post from Dave Lavery, and give you FIRST's phone number: (603) 666-3906

Good luck.
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Last edited by Billfred : 03-05-2005 at 12:03 AM.
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Unread 03-04-2005, 11:59 PM
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Re: Powering the RC

Ummm, are you saying you did not ship the robot controller?
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Unread 03-05-2005, 01:15 AM
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Re: Powering the RC

a real answer to your question...


Connector on the right

the ac adapter that works with your OI can be wired (DO N0T OPEN IT) to plug to your RC +12v and Ground the inside part of the adapter is your +12v and your outer conection is ground. should be more than enough to keep your rc on and all that nice stuff.

a stiff 18 awg wire can be inserted in the inside of the coonector housing and taped there , and the out conector can be rig with a 18 awg wraped around and tapes in place or u can get aligator clips or just have someone holdng this adapter.

you can jump start the rc unit with this method and disconnect and leave your back up battery powering.


WARNING do not power more then just the RC like this.
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Unread 03-05-2005, 11:00 AM
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Re: Powering the RC

I wouldn't do this. (i.e. above) Temp wiring is always bad but it is made worse when dealing with a $1000+ part. You wouldn't try to lash a makeshift power source to your PC.
Any +12 volt source is capable of powering the RC. Run down to Radio shack and find their section of C or D size battery holders. If they don't have one that can handle 12 volts get two six volt holders and wire them in series. Add the needed 1.5 volt batteries, wire to the RC as you normally would (with a fuse), connect a tether cable and away you go.
Never use a charger for a power source. They are usually unfiltered which means they have a pulsed output that is much higher than the 12 volts needed for the RC. smart chargers are looking for a battery as a load and while doing the check may supply lethal currents to the RC or other electronics.
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Unread 03-05-2005, 12:12 PM
Dave Flowerday Dave Flowerday is offline
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Re: Powering the RC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfred
Oh dear...that is one rectangular black chunk of plastic and circuitry that you do not want in your possession and control right now.

I point you to this post from Dave Lavery, and give you FIRST's phone number: (603) 666-3906
However, the FIRST Q&A answers this question differently than what Dave Lavery said....
Quote:
ID: 1731 Section: 6.3.4 Status: Answered Date Answered: 2/25/2005
Q: In order to continue work on our program, may we keep the 2005 kit of parts IFI robot controller after shipment as part of the controls?
A: Yes. See #1709 answered on Tuesday, 2/22/2005.
Quote:
ID: 1709 Section: 6.1 Status: Answered Date Answered: 2/22/2005
Q: Are we allowed to keep the camera along with the controls after ship date?
A: Camera no, controls yes. Remember that the Fix-It window following your robot shipping limits what you can do. As part of the inspection process, teams will be asked to sign the following pledge: Team Compliance Statement We, the Team Mentor, Team Captain and Team Inspector, attest by our signing below, that our team’s robot was built after the 2005 Kickoff on January 8, 2005 and in accordance with all of the 2005 FRC rules, including all Fix-It Window rules (reference Section 5.3.3). We have conducted our own inspection and determined that our robot satisfies all of the 2005 FRC rules for robot design. Team Captain: _________________________ Team Inspector: ________________________ Team Mentor: __________________________
That pretty clearly (in my opinion) states that you were allowed to keep the "2005 IFI Robot Controller".
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Unread 03-05-2005, 12:15 PM
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Re: Powering the RC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Flowerday
However, the FIRST Q&A answers this question differently than what Dave Lavery said....



That pretty clearly (in my opinion) states that you were allowed to keep the "2005 IFI Robot Controller".
I stand corrected.

(memo to self: next year, ask FIRST to put out a list of what absolutely MUST, in no uncertain terms, be in the crate.)
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Rule #1: Do not die. Rule #2: Be respectful. Rule #3: Be safe. Rule #4: Follow the handbook.
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Unread 03-05-2005, 07:14 PM
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Re: Powering the RC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Al Skierkiewicz
I wouldn't do this. (i.e. above) Temp wiring is always bad but it is made worse when dealing with a $1000+ part. You wouldn't try to lash a makeshift power source to your PC.
Any +12 volt source is capable of powering the RC. Run down to Radio shack and find their section of C or D size battery holders. If they don't have one that can handle 12 volts get two six volt holders and wire them in series. Add the needed 1.5 volt batteries, wire to the RC as you normally would (with a fuse), connect a tether cable and away you go.
Never use a charger for a power source. They are usually unfiltered which means they have a pulsed output that is much higher than the 12 volts needed for the RC. smart chargers are looking for a battery as a load and while doing the check may supply lethal currents to the RC or other electronics.
The OI Adapter is not a Charger as it is design to power the OI for extended periods of time. it doest not burn out or destroy the unit.

As for the makeshift setup, it should be done by someone who feels they could handle it. a few years back i thought about me making a lil robot project. so my advisor allowed me to take home both OI and RC home to tinker (trully the best way to learn about first eletronics is to sit there and play with it for a few days by yourself) but i did not want to take a large 12 volt battery home and have to charge it every so often so i took the adapter. did the wiring i already mentioned and worked, at some points had the rc powered for 3 - 4 hours at a time with a tethered OI and later on 4 Victors connected (NOTE THAT I DID NOT INSTALL MOTORS AS I THOUGHT THIS WAS ALREADY TO MUCH) this was before the RC had a back up battery. this year i did this with our RC to jump start it then remove the power source which allowed the programing guys to do what they needed (ONLY DID THIS WHEN THERE WERENT ANY CHARGED 12v BATTERIES) so i have proven to myself the effective nature of this rig which sounds very sloopy but hasnt failed me yet.


-Osc-
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Unread 03-05-2005, 10:40 PM
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Re: Powering the RC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Billfred
I stand corrected.

(memo to self: next year, ask FIRST to put out a list of what absolutely MUST, in no uncertain terms, be in the crate.)
You mean like this one...

6.3.4 Crate Contents (Required)
Teams must include the robot and the two batteries. You must carefully and completely follow all of the instructions above listed in the “Battery Packaging“ section. If the federal regulations are not followed, your robot may not make the event(s).

FIRST will allow you to keep all of your robot controls (Operator Interface, OI power supply, joysticks, etc.) and not ship it with your robot on Tuesday, 2/22/2005. This will allow you to continue to work on your programming. If you decide not to ship it with your robot, please remember to bring it to your initial
competition. FIRST does not have replacement controls.

NOTE: Do not pack all of the team’s safety glasses in your crate. You will need some when you uncrate!
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Unread 03-06-2005, 01:06 AM
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Re: Powering the RC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Flowerday
However, the FIRST Q&A answers this question differently than what Dave Lavery said....



That pretty clearly (in my opinion) states that you were allowed to keep the "2005 IFI Robot Controller".

What about this contradicton?

Q&A ID#1422
Q:
Are the controller and the camera which are mounted on the robot included in the items which can be 'held back' for programming after shipment and prior to competition?
A:
No.
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Unread 03-06-2005, 01:57 AM
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Re: Powering the RC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ricky Q.
What about this contradicton?

Q&A ID#1422
Q:
Are the controller and the camera which are mounted on the robot included in the items which can be 'held back' for programming after shipment and prior to competition?
A:
No.
Good point, but for the fact that (implicitly, and also in the eyes of FIRST) <QA1709> and <QA1722> supersede it.
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Unread 03-06-2005, 09:58 AM
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Re: Powering the RC

Just a note.
You don't have to give the RC the full 12v to keep it running.
We also use a standard 9v battery connected to the RC to power it for the programmers.
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Unread 03-06-2005, 04:06 PM
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Re: Powering the RC

You will find other contradictions in the Q&A over these issues. One question asks "do batteries need to be shipped?" and the answer is NO, other answers say YES to keeping the RC but NO to keeping the camera. Yet it appears to be OK to buy a second camera, bring that with you to competition and mount it on the robot even if you didin't ship it. Keep checking the Q&A and team updates, I expect clarification on all of these issues.
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All is better now, NOS parts are working fine. Why does this year's game remind me of Violet in Willie Wonka? Hmmmm, I see blueberries!
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Unread 03-06-2005, 05:16 PM
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Re: Powering the RC

the safest way to do it is to plug the OI in the wall and teather the controller. teathering sends power to the computer.
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Unread 03-06-2005, 05:43 PM
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Re: Powering the RC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Justin_302
the safest way to do it is to plug the OI in the wall and teather the controller. teathering sends power to the computer.
Other way around actually, the teather will send power to the OI from the controller.


Anyway, hooking up 8 D batteries did the trick. I don't know how long it will last, but it's working for our test purposes. I wasn't exactly in the mood to test the power supply to the OI going to the RC, just to much that could wrong.

If anyone's wondering, I spent $4 on 2 battery holders, $4 on a fuses and a holder, and $10 on a pack of 8 D batteries, all at RadioShack.

Thanks for the tips.
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