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Unread 12-17-2013, 07:13 PM
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How to wire unrealistically well?

Hey all,

We're pretty fed up with how horrible our wiring has been in the past two years- simply not neat, not streamlined, not anything.

We would really like some tips and pointers about how to wire extremely neatly and streamline our wiring, I'm looking for something along the lines of:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rqnwpjmhjk...%20chassis.jpg

http://www.greybots.com/uploads/1/4/...84221_orig.jpg
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Unread 12-17-2013, 07:24 PM
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Re: How to wire unrealistically well?

Believe it or not, there aren't really many tips to do that. The main thing is time. Wiring takes lots of it, so make sure you have enough. Second, it helps to plan ahead where components and wires will go. Finally, use tons of zipties and fasteners.
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Unread 12-17-2013, 07:27 PM
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Re: How to wire unrealistically well?

One of the easiest ways to get neat and clean wiring with limited effort and experience would be to use wire ducts. A few well placed wire ducts on your electronics board can easily manage wiring with little extra work.

449 used this last year, and we would recommend it to all teams who don't necessarily have the resources to create 968/1538 style wiring.
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Unread 12-17-2013, 07:29 PM
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Re: How to wire unrealistically well?

Secret: A metric ton of zip ties, zip tie mounts, and time.

Wire only stays so neat when it has a place to be, and zip ties are perfect for that. Bundle wire going to the same place (for example, PWMs from the DS to the motor controllers or power wires from the PDB to motor controllers) in a neat fashion, meaning line each wire with the same color facing each direction, and zip tie the wires together every few inches.

Keep everything standard. Use the same zip tie colors, crimp connectors, and wire. It looks better.

Actually, thinking about it, thats really it. Just set out to wire well and you will wire well. If it looks pretty, you are good.


I actually don't have any pictures on hand of the wiring on our robot, but this was us a few nights before bag date last year.
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Unread 12-17-2013, 07:47 PM
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Re: How to wire unrealistically well?

keep your eyes peel team 340 is going to be shooting a video about a cool 3d printed part that has helped a ton
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Unread 12-17-2013, 08:02 PM
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Re: How to wire unrealistically well?

We may make a video on our wiring process, gotta convince all the wire monkies to do it first though.
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Unread 12-17-2013, 08:03 PM
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Re: How to wire unrealistically well?

Our team color codes our wires so its easier to trace/ replace if need be.
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Unread 12-17-2013, 08:13 PM
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Re: How to wire unrealistically well?

- An aluminium bellypan is pretty much required for our style of wiring, but a polycarb base with holes drilled out for zipties can also be used. You'll probably end up with some accidental holes and it won't be very pretty, but it's a good start towards cleaner wiring that's easy to maintain. We used white polycarb for this in 2011. Clear might look cool. YMMV.

- Use lots of zipties. Properly trim them, place at regular intervals along wire runs, etc.

- Use heat-shrink tubing over crimps and splices.

- When laying out runs, give yourself a few extra inches of wire when you cut. Connectorize one end, lay it out, then cut the other end to length & connectorize.

- Use zip cord (nonglossy looks better).

- Give yourself enough wire for strain relief.

- Color coding is, in our opinion, not required. Our philosophy is that the wiring should be clean enough to easily trace without any extra markings.

Here are a couple of examples of our wiring 2012 2013
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Unread 12-17-2013, 08:18 PM
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Re: How to wire unrealistically well?

^Connor is just bragging with those pics

Totally love the wiring job.
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Unread 12-17-2013, 08:55 PM
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Re: How to wire unrealistically well?

I'm just wondering, but wouldn't that cRIO placement be illegal? Doesn't the cRIO ground itself? Is that a metal matrix under the electrical components.

If you're trying to clean up, why don't you just copy the team's wiring in the model, and tweak it so it fits your needs? An engineer steals one's idea and makes it better!
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Unread 12-17-2013, 09:04 PM
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Re: How to wire unrealistically well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yash101 View Post
I'm just wondering, but wouldn't that cRIO placement be illegal? Doesn't the cRIO ground itself? Is that a metal matrix under the electrical components.

If you're trying to clean up, why don't you just copy the team's wiring in the model, and tweak it so it fits your needs? An engineer steals one's idea and makes it better!
There is a rubber adhesive sheet underneath.
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Unread 12-17-2013, 09:15 PM
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Re: How to wire unrealistically well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by yash101 View Post
I'm just wondering, but wouldn't that cRIO placement be illegal? Doesn't the cRIO ground itself? Is that a metal matrix under the electrical components.

If you're trying to clean up, why don't you just copy the team's wiring in the model, and tweak it so it fits your needs? An engineer steals one's idea and makes it better!
Because the types of electronics, amounts, and needed routes tend to change every year. For example, this year the reduced robot sizes caused it to be a lot harder to fit in all the required electronics.
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Unread 12-17-2013, 09:25 PM
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Re: How to wire unrealistically well?

Something that hasn't been mentioned so far is time. You need to give your electrical time with the robot to get their job done properly. Unfortunately for us time is never on our side so a majority of our robots have been wired in a few meetings or on practice days.

Hey stuff happens!
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Unread 12-17-2013, 09:34 PM
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Re: How to wire unrealistically well?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksafin View Post
We would really like some tips and pointers about how to wire extremely neatly and streamline our wiring, I'm looking for something along the lines of:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/rqnwpjmhjk...%20chassis.jpg

http://www.greybots.com/uploads/1/4/...84221_orig.jpg
In the two pictures you provided, the robots are not completed, so we don't see all the sensor and control wires...only the main power wires. It's when you add the next few layers of stuff, that things tend to get messy.

Like everyone says, planning and taking your time are the keys to neat wiring.
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Unread 12-17-2013, 09:46 PM
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Re: How to wire unrealistically well?

I've heard that EJ from 254 likes to rip out the wiring his kids have done overnight if he doesn't think it's neat enough, just to make them do it again. This really gets great results. You can also employ the RC method of making students do pushups if they don't do quality work. Discipline is a very necessary part of making a neat electronics board! If kids get complacent, they tend to stop aligning the power wires together, making sure that the speed controllers are evenly spaced, and even "just plugging in" the PWM cables without zip-tying them down.

As I always say: beatings will continue until morale improves!
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