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Unread 11-19-2017, 10:41 AM
jdaming jdaming is offline
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Old robot replacement electrical system

We are looking to bring to life one of our old robots as a scrimmage partner for our current robot. All we need is to control the drive motors on this robot so nothing fancy. We are currently looking at a more simplified version of what the zebracorns did here using a HERO and the logitech controller.

For power distribution we don't have a spare PDP and they are pretty expensive. What do people recommend? I saw this breakout board but it didn't seem like it would be that easy/safe. I think I could run each side (2 CIMS) off of one motor controller right? I know this wouldn't be FRC legal.
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Unread 11-19-2017, 11:18 AM
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Re: Old robot replacement electrical system

You need breakers somewhere. Not sure what that breakout board can handle in terms of current, but you'd need to wire in a couple of 30A or 40A breakers between it and the motor controllers.
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Unread 11-19-2017, 11:26 AM
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Re: Old robot replacement electrical system

We set up one of our old bots ( beater bot) with this
http://www.andymark.com/cheap-and-di...-p/am-2520.htm
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Unread 11-19-2017, 11:51 AM
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Re: Old robot replacement electrical system

We go super cheap in our early prototype stage. You can get drive going with an old Vex microprocessor and whatever dusty speed controllers you have on hand. In our case that would be the Victor 888s from our rookie year and even a few 884 and 883 survivors from Ancient times. You won't have ideal performance but sparring partners shouldn't knock out the Champ!

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Unread 11-19-2017, 01:51 PM
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Re: Old robot replacement electrical system

So it seems like our problem is mostly focused around power distribution right now.

We are looking for something cheaper than the pdp that can still get the job done with circuit protection (ideally with the same circuit breakers). I think something like this would be perfect if it went higher than 30 amps.

What is the point of the CTRE breakout board I mentioned above? Maybe just low draw circuitry?
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Unread 11-19-2017, 02:12 PM
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Re: Old robot replacement electrical system

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Originally Posted by jdaming View Post
So it seems like our problem is mostly focused around power distribution right now.

We are looking for something cheaper than the pdp that can still get the job done with circuit protection (ideally with the same circuit breakers). I think something like this would be perfect if it went higher than 30 amps.

What is the point of the CTRE breakout board I mentioned above? Maybe just low draw circuitry?
What about this AM fuse block? It accepts the Snap Action breakers.
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Unread 11-19-2017, 02:22 PM
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Re: Old robot replacement electrical system

Do you still have the PDB? It accepts the same breakers and can basically do the same things. One could even argue that the PDB is better than the PDP, having a constant 12v and 24v output along with more breaker slots.
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Unread 11-19-2017, 02:36 PM
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Re: Old robot replacement electrical system

we don't have the old blue power distrobution board.

The one from andymark seems fine but looks like it only supports 30 amp. Guess we will just have to go with that.
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Unread 11-19-2017, 03:05 PM
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Re: Old robot replacement electrical system

For our air cannon and our trailer's electrical system, we use the Stinger fuse block (available from many different vendors; that's just the one that came up first when I googled it today) for our 40A circuits, and a separate automotive fuse block for the 30A and smaller.

Edit: I got that by googling Stinger fuse block, but googling "MAXI fuse block" is going to give you even more useful options. You may also want to check marine supply shops as well as automotive.
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Last edited by GeeTwo : 11-20-2017 at 01:21 AM.
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Unread 11-19-2017, 03:08 PM
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Re: Old robot replacement electrical system

What you could do is visit a car audio store in person with a 40a breaker and find a fuse block it fits.
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Last edited by Mark McLeod : 11-19-2017 at 03:16 PM.
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Unread 11-20-2017, 10:04 AM
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Re: Old robot replacement electrical system

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Originally Posted by ctt956 View Post
What about this AM fuse block? It accepts the Snap Action breakers.
This is my pick. (And not because I used to work at AndyMark.) It's a scrimmage chassis, and I'd venture that 95% of teams that are looking for a second driving chassis on the cheap will not miss the extra ten amps.

If you're running a HERO controller and Talon SRXs without a PDP, make sure you're terminating the CAN network with the appropriate resistors. The PDP usually does this part for you.

I'm not sure whether OP is running two CIMs total or two CIMs per side, but I wouldn't recommend doing more than one CIM per Talon SRX. It's rated for 60A continuous and 100A surge, and even nerfed to a 30A breaker that's really really pushing it.
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Unread 11-20-2017, 10:25 AM
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Re: Old robot replacement electrical system

My team just got done building a demo robot using a Cheap and Dirty control system from AndyMark. For 40A circuits we used one of these and some standard 40A snap-action breakers, for the rest of the circuits (20A+30A) we used this.

This is definitely the easiest way to get an old robot running as it doesn't require any coding or an expensive controller. It's somewhat limited if you want to do more than just drive, but for what you're looking to do it should be fine.
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Unread 11-20-2017, 10:29 AM
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Re: Old robot replacement electrical system

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Originally Posted by cbale2000 View Post
My team just got done building a demo robot using a Cheap and Dirty control system from AndyMark. For 40A circuits we used one of these and some standard 40A snap-action breakers, for the rest of the circuits (20A+30A) we used this.

This is definitely the easiest way to get an old robot running as it doesn't require any coding or an expensive controller. It's somewhat limited if you want to do more than just drive, but for what you're looking to do it should be fine.
The only downside to a cheap and dirty system is that you cannot re-program the controller to get the buttons to do certain functions.
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Unread 11-20-2017, 11:13 AM
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Re: Old robot replacement electrical system

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Originally Posted by aguzauckas View Post
The only downside to a cheap and dirty system is that you cannot re-program the controller to get the buttons to do certain functions.
There actually is a programming tool you can use for it if you have the right cable to connect it to a PC. Still not as flexible as using a RIO or an Arduino, but should be able to do most simple operations.

We're actually using ours to control a T-Shirt cannon, using the two dials on the top to activate the solonoids manually (which was problematic because you'd have to return the dial to "0" to get the valve to close and stop wasting air). We're looking at getting a simple timer relay that will resolve that issue however, so we're dealing with the problem electrically instead of through programming.
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Unread 11-20-2017, 11:39 AM
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Re: Old robot replacement electrical system

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Originally Posted by cbale2000 View Post
There actually is a programming tool you can use for it if you have the right cable to connect it to a PC. Still not as flexible as using a RIO or an Arduino, but should be able to do most simple operations.

We're actually using ours to control a T-Shirt cannon, using the two dials on the top to activate the solonoids manually (which was problematic because you'd have to return the dial to "0" to get the valve to close and stop wasting air). We're looking at getting a simple timer relay that will resolve that issue however, so we're dealing with the problem electrically instead of through programming.
Whats the programming tool? My team was trying to program it but I called Andymark and they said it wasn't programmable so we stopped looking into to. Thanks in advance
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