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  #16   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 09-13-2017, 06:13 PM
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Enthurzan Enthurzan is offline
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Re: Upside Down Electronics Bay?

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Originally Posted by thatprogrammer View Post
Screws




Don't tell Rivet Man... please

[SIZE="10]ZIP TIES[/size]
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Unread 09-13-2017, 06:27 PM
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Re: Upside Down Electronics Bay?

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Originally Posted by thatprogrammer View Post
Screws




Don't tell Rivet Man... please

ZIP TIES
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Unread 09-13-2017, 07:27 PM
mman1506 mman1506 is offline
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Re: Upside Down Electronics Bay?

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Originally Posted by Jon Stratis View Post
You can do it upside down, however you need to make sure you consider how gravity will affect things! Being upside down, it may be easier for things like PWM cables or PDP breakers to work themselves loose.

Instead, consider using a belly pan with a hinge. You can place a piano/continuous hinge down one side of the belly pan, and have a couple of bolts on the other to hold it up. If you run your wires with an appropriate service loop, you can put the robot on it's side, take out a couple of bolts (rivet nuts/PEM nuts work great for this!) and fold down the board for easy access and maintenance. My team has used this approach across many years.
Ugh, just going to say it. I hate inspecting hinged/moving electrical panels. They are rarely well executed. Usually a wire gets caught on something while moving the panel and it ends up getting tugged from its socket.
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Last edited by mman1506 : 09-13-2017 at 08:55 PM.
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Unread 09-13-2017, 07:39 PM
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Re: Upside Down Electronics Bay?

Probably too late to implement this, but our team had our hopper on a hinge, allowing us to access our electronics underneath the hopper. The design worked well and didn't have any issues with it. We also attempt to design and build the electronic board before mounting it
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Unread 09-13-2017, 07:40 PM
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Re: Upside Down Electronics Bay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Stratis View Post
You can do it upside down, however you need to make sure you consider how gravity will affect things! Being upside down, it may be easier for things like PWM cables or PDP breakers to work themselves loose.

Instead, consider using a belly pan with a hinge. You can place a piano/continuous hinge down one side of the belly pan, and have a couple of bolts on the other to hold it up. If you run your wires with an appropriate service loop, you can put the robot on it's side, take out a couple of bolts (rivet nuts/PEM nuts work great for this!) and fold down the board for easy access and maintenance. My team has used this approach across many years.
With the amount of continuous shock that comes from an FRC robot (bumping into things, harsh acceleration, falling, etc), it's unlikely that gravity will play much of a part with working things loose. The PDP breakers are inserted very tightly and if gravity pulls them out it's a good sign that it's time for a new PDP. As for PWM cables, they're hard to keep in place in almost any arrangement, but gravity alone won't work them loose. Give the cables plenty of slack or 3D print a holding bracket and you'll be hardpressed to find any issues.
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Unread 09-13-2017, 07:52 PM
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Re: Upside Down Electronics Bay?

We've considered a bottom-facing electronics board, but based on some negative experiences of nearby teams (364 among others) we've given this idea a miss. The last three years, at least our RIO, radio, and PDP have been accessible from the top and/or side of the robot, with a polycarbonate cover. We've pretty much given up on velcro/duallock closures, and gone to screws and sometimes hinges to secure the cowlings.

That said, one of our recent developments would make working with a bottom-facing electronics board less painful. In 2016, we had a lot of trouble with thrown chains (poor spacing, bad alignment, heavy shocks), and on their own initiative, some of the students built a lumber frame just smaller than the robot in area and a few inches shorter than their arms - a table without a table top. Placing the robot on this frame allows two students to work on the underside of the robot while laying on the floor on their backs*, and several more to work on the top and sides of the robot standing around it. At Red Stick Rumble 2016, we had 7 students working in our pit - really working - six with hands on the robot, one fetching and stowing tools and parts.

We built a similar frame this year. Even though we did not have much call for working from underneath, the frame was small and light and easy to work around when in use, and to stick on a shelf when it wasn't.

* Our full-face shield is quite popular among those working under the robot like this.
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Last edited by GeeTwo : 09-13-2017 at 07:55 PM.
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Unread 09-13-2017, 09:11 PM
philso philso is offline
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Re: Upside Down Electronics Bay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thatprogrammer View Post
Screws




Don't tell Rivet Man... please
I would have expected this answer from one of the Mechanical sub-team, not a Programmer
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Unread 09-13-2017, 09:17 PM
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Re: Upside Down Electronics Bay?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dezion View Post
Probably too late to implement this, but our team had our hopper on a hinge, allowing us to access our electronics underneath the hopper. The design worked well and didn't have any issues with it. We also attempt to design and build the electronic board before mounting it
We did this as well, it worked great. I think it was BJT's idea to go about it in this manner, however you need to be careful where you put the hinge, as this can cause some needlessly long wire runs/ pneumatic runs if you do it wrong. We placed the hinge and paid careful attention to mechanism placement to avoid these long runs and to avoid having annoying connectors in the middle of wires to motors on the hopper. All said and done it was really slick.



I can't precisely recall, but I think this image was taken after some practice and we were doing a quick inspection/photo-op before stop build day.
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Last edited by Skyehawk : 09-13-2017 at 09:26 PM.
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Unread 09-13-2017, 09:45 PM
philso philso is offline
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Re: Upside Down Electronics Bay?

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Originally Posted by Enthurzan View Post
I was brought on last year for Electronics, because the old guy who did electronics was a no-show that year. Basically, the thing was as neat as it would have been, but was constrained by the design of the robot to prevent a good electronics bay. We didn't have a bellypan, so the electronics was mounted via zip-ties to a large PVC pegboard sheet ziptied to the main cross members of the robot. It jiggled a lot, and even tho I spent about an hour on the main board, our solenoids weren't organized at all because they were essentially tossed in there with no thought, so there was wires everywhere. It was better than electronics during 2016, but it wasn't optimal, hence why I'm working to make it better this year. I did plan the whole thing out last time as well, but I had to make everything from things in the shop with zero planning except for layout.
If you are planning the layout, you are halfway there. A good layout makes it easier and faster to build and troubleshoot. When planning your layout, think about what is necessary to build it and service it. In one Stronghold design, there was not sufficient space to mate and un-mate the Anderson connectors. On a different iteration, it was not possible to insert the tool to open the power connectors on the PDP. Unfortunately, space for the electronics is often an afterthought so be sure to fight for it from the beginning of the design.

Sometimes, it will be necessary to spread the components out over several surfaces. The electronics in 2587's Stronghold robot were spread out over 5 separate panels, 3 of them adjacent to each other straddling the base of the arm structure in the middle of the chassis (PDP in the middle, motor controller panels on each side) and 2 of them sliding in on rails on the inside of the side panels.

Good construction practices will help prevent your robot from sitting dead on the field. Code Orange has some good tutorials on how to do the construction properly (stripping, crimping). Some years ago, I posted a white paper on electrical layout and construction techniques that you might find helpful.

A couple of strips of Velcro on each of the electronic components will hold them to the panel very securely, even for an Aerial Assault robot. It also does not require any tools to swap the components if you use Anderson connectors for the input and output connections of the motor controllers.
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Unread 09-13-2017, 10:17 PM
Tungrus Tungrus is offline
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Re: Upside Down Electronics Bay?

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Originally Posted by nuclearnerd View Post
We put our PDB and talons under the belly pan (with a thin, removable lexan cover), and we were super happy with that arrangement. Nothing came loose, and we had access to everything (in comparison, everything on top of the belly pan was blocked by our hopper). 10/10 - will do again.

This is nicely done. The other two teams #1678 and #1718 are veterans and with incredible bots. Its a great idea to mount electronics upside down. Like it was stated by others, the PDB status lights are not visible when robot stops on the field. If I were to do, I would secure the circuit breaks on PDB, may be with thin flexi lexan sheet just going over them. For teams with limited experience, please make sure all wires are strain relieved and secured.
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Unread 09-14-2017, 12:32 AM
bobbysq bobbysq is offline
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Re: Upside Down Electronics Bay?

Here's ours. All held down with screws, and it's even easy to remove due to the XT-60 bulkheads mounted to the board.
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Unread 09-14-2017, 07:26 AM
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Re: Upside Down Electronics Bay?

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Originally Posted by philso View Post
I would have expected this answer from one of the Mechanical sub-team, not a Programmer
I realize that many people consider programmers incapable of being considerate of human emotions... But even we don't want our innocent Rivet Man to get hurt.
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Unread 09-14-2017, 07:33 AM
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Re: Upside Down Electronics Bay?

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Originally Posted by bobbysq View Post
Here's ours. All held down with screws, and it's even easy to remove due to the XT-60 bulkheads mounted to the board.
Did you ever have issues with other teams accidentally (or maybe purposefully ) trying to ram the underside of your robot?
I still remember how many teams would get hit hard and tip slightly in 2014. The possibility of another drive team trying to pin a robot but accidentally tilting it slightly and breaking its electronics board makes me super nervous about this type of design.
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Unread 09-14-2017, 08:34 AM
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Re: Upside Down Electronics Bay?

Please note that the teams in this thread that do this well all have cover plates tp protect the electronics from the the ground and debris from the ground.
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Unread 09-14-2017, 09:17 AM
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Re: Upside Down Electronics Bay?

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Originally Posted by Tungrus View Post
I would secure the circuit breaks on PDB, may be with thin flexi lexan sheet just going over them.
I was talking with a team that does upside down electronics boards and they said that they hot glue in their breakers.
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