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Unread 03-03-2010, 02:28 AM
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Charging pneumatics system before match

After we precharge the pneumatics system at the pit, do we have to wait until the autonomous mode before we can charge the pneumatics system? I searched on CD but most of the posts are about off-board compressor in terms of pre-charging.

The only other way I know how to charge the system is to tether to the cRIO and enable the robot while it is on the robot cart.

Is there an easier way?
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Unread 03-03-2010, 08:14 AM
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Re: Charging pneumatics system before match

Ed,
There currently is no ruling on when or if a team can pre-charge their pneumatic system prior to entering the field other than for off board compressors. In my opinion, safety demands that no robot be pre-charged in the pit and left in an energized state while waiting in the queue. Teams that use off board compressors should be given time to charge while on the field during setup but again there is no rule on that. In the past, the event managers decided when, how and if teams could pre-charge their pneumatics.

For all off board compressor users, please be advised that the KOP compressor or equivalent, must be under Crio control when charging the pneumatic system.
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Unread 03-03-2010, 11:00 AM
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Re: Charging pneumatics system before match

I forgot to mention that we have an onboard compressor. I probably should not have used the term pre-charge because it made it sound like we have an off-board compressor. I have to charge it somehow before autonomous period start or the kicker is not going to work. When will they allow teams to run the compressor? In disabled state, the compressor does not run. The only way I know is to enable it through tether to cRIO while in queue. Or will they allow teams to do that on the field before autonomous period?
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Unread 03-03-2010, 11:21 AM
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Re: Charging pneumatics system before match

Ed,
I don't have an answer for you yet. I would think the safest is on the field but that would add to the field turn around time.
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Unread 03-03-2010, 11:27 AM
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Re: Charging pneumatics system before match

How do they do it in past years? This is our second year in FRC and first time using pneumatics so we don't know what to expect.
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Unread 03-03-2010, 11:28 AM
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Re: Charging pneumatics system before match

I think the determination was done on an event by event basis.
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Unread 03-03-2010, 11:32 AM
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Re: Charging pneumatics system before match

At NJ we arrived on the field pre-charged, with a safety lock-out (a metal bar with a long bright pink flag attached to it) that was the last thing pulled off the robot before the team left the robot on the field.

Checklist: Robot on, thinkamajig set, autonomous set, safety bar pulled.
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Unread 03-03-2010, 02:39 PM
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Re: Charging pneumatics system before match

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Originally Posted by Don Rotolo View Post
Checklist: Robot on, thinkamajig set, autonomous set, safety bar pulled.
Gotta love the use of universal technical terms, along with whatchamacallit, doodlespiel, whosiwhatsit...

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Unread 03-03-2010, 07:10 PM
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Re: Charging pneumatics system before match

Ed,

In 2008 we used pneumatics for our arm and gripper. What we would do is have the controls all set to charge went we got into queue and then with one minute left in the match before ours, charge it up. This way we aren't walking around with a robot that is "locked and loaded", but at the same time we weren't delaying the start of the match by doing it on the field during match setup.

Now, there wasn't as much of a risk with stored energy then like a kicker this year, so I would definitely recommend a safety bar/latch of some sort.
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Unread 03-03-2010, 07:37 PM
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Re: Charging pneumatics system before match

Tetra year was the last year we needed to pre-charge, and we did it in the queue also, when the match in front of us was almost over.

This year we can fill the tank(s) in the pit, our system doesn't fill cylinders until autonomous starts.
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Unread 03-04-2010, 07:54 AM
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Re: Charging pneumatics system before match

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1t5h1e1o View Post
Ed,

In 2008 we used pneumatics for our arm and gripper. What we would do is have the controls all set to charge went we got into queue and then with one minute left in the match before ours, charge it up. This way we aren't walking around with a robot that is "locked and loaded", but at the same time we weren't delaying the start of the match by doing it on the field during match setup.

Now, there wasn't as much of a risk with stored energy then like a kicker this year, so I would definitely recommend a safety bar/latch of some sort.
I like this approach very much!
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Unread 03-04-2010, 08:05 AM
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Re: Charging pneumatics system before match

Our team is going to start with pre-charged pneumatics because they keep our kicker locked in a safe position. In fact, all of our pneumatics are designed to store in a safe position with the power off, so our robot is arguably safer with the pneumatics completely pressurized.
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Unread 03-04-2010, 09:29 AM
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Re: Charging pneumatics system before match

Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesCH95 View Post
Our team is going to start with pre-charged pneumatics because they keep our kicker locked in a safe position. In fact, all of our pneumatics are designed to store in a safe position with the power off, so our robot is arguably safer with the pneumatics completely pressurized.
James,
You will have to convince your Lead Robot Inspector at each event you attend. I find this hard to believe without seeing it.
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Unread 03-04-2010, 10:51 AM
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Re: Charging pneumatics system before match

In the last three years that we've used pneumatics (2006, 2007, and 2008) we would pressurize the system prior to the beginning of the match. We would wait until there was about 1 to 2 minutes left in the match before us and then tether our robot and let the compressor run. This meant that our robot was only charged for a minute or two at most before the match actually started.

Provided this approach is deemed acceptable this year we will probably do the same. Also, our robot will be set so that the kicker is in the fired position as the starting position. This should help to prevent any accidents that could be caused by the kicker firing by mistake.
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Unread 03-04-2010, 10:55 AM
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Re: Charging pneumatics system before match

Dustin,
Just to be sure, your kicker will not be outside of the frame perimeter at the begining of the match?
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