a word of advice when wiring or rewiring motors with solderless terminals

when wiring a motor, it makes things easier if, for instance, all the connections coming off the motor were males, and those going to the speed controller were female, or versa vice.

this makes it easier to switch them if needed, which in the heat of competition is faster than reloading the code to adjust for a drivers preference. also, if you have to take the leads apart or swap out a motor, it prevents you from having the victor running to the victor and burning itself out

just a little tidbit i picked up a while ago, hope it doesnt go to waste

Yes, that is a very good idea. I do that with everything i wire. I make everything that is being connected a female and anything that is going to have something connected to it a male. So all motors and spikes and what not are female and all their power sources are male.

well, when helping out at other peoples pits at regionals, its one of the things i got reminded of. seems like second nature to me and the electrical people on my team, we have this really detail orriented engineer( trying not to say anal retentive real bad here)…but hes a stickler for things being neat, make sure things don’t short, stop playing catch with the soldering iron, blah blah blah, things like that…

this is more or less for rookie teams or teammates to give a heads up to potential problems…

For the past few years, we’ve used Anderson’s Powerpole connectors. They’re androgynous, so you don’t have to worry about gender, and they’re easilly snapped together to make connecting multiple lines at the same time easier. The tooling can be pretty expensive, but I think they’re great.

those look purty…but is there a way to easily swap sides on them? or are they keyed? might be a decent investment to look into for next years robot…

I saw something like this on team 11’s bot in NJ. Are they expensive? What’s the tooling involved? Might be intrested for next year.

EDIT* Looking at the website they look pretty expensive. $7.10 for a package of 10 for 10 gauge wire? Thats kinda expensive for a team on a tight budget. :frowning:

They just slide into one another. The housings are all identical, except for the colors. Two sides have male slides, and the other two have female. If you have enough of them, and enough reason, you can set up arrays of them for a system like a modular electronics board.

Yeah, they aren’t exactly cheap, but personally, I like having the convenience of such an easy connection. The crimper was bought by a former teammate, I can’t say how much it cost, exactly, but I think I recall him saying it was around $250 (that’s how they get ya… :/).

Anyway, if you can get past the costs, I think they’re great for wiring.

We used the Anderson Connector this year. They work wonders! Just make different “extension cables” and you never have a wire problem.

The crimper we got was very cheap. I think it was in the $20 - $40 range and I believe we purchased everything through Mouser (though I may be mistaken)

Speaking of motors…

If you have to rewire them, make sure that you don’t wire them backwards. It makes the controls and autonomous go a bit wonky. :slight_smile:

Common sense, but I’ve still seen teams do it…and it never hurts to check.

those anderson things sure look nifty, but seeing as we would still use the regular solderless connectors to the speed controller and fuse panel and what not, seems too expensive to justify itself

also, how much does it weigh? coming from a team that likes to tread close to the 130 mark, this could be a critical thing…

My team uses regular solderless connectors but all wires and pneumatic tubing is labeled numerically on both ends as well as at the connectors. We just used small peel off labels. It makes disabling motors while working on the bot in the pits much easier than trying to trace down wires and guess which wire is which. Most important of all, neat wiring=passing inspection first time (unless you forget the bill of materials list and you call someone thursday afternoon back at school and have them hack into the robotics lab computers) but we still passed first time. I try to be easy on the programmers when i do electrical because they usually get pushed to the limit on time that they get to spend programming due to ship deadline and it is much faster to label the wires than to load the code 50 times for no reason.

I like to use males on motors and females coming from the speed controllers. Occasionally, the male connectors are not insulated. More likely then not the females are insulated. That way you don’t power or ground your frame.

We have used the APP connectors for motors and other devices for several years now. The pins need a little help getting on #10 wire. (i.e. opening the slot a bit before inserting the wire) Once the wire is inserted, a slight crimp holds it in place and then ALL connections are soldered. Our standard is that when the the connector is viewed from the top, the positive or red wire is on the left. No matter which side of the connection you are wiring, this standard will produce the correct wiring. APP is your friend and makes it much easier to swap out motors.