Adding air between matches

We plan to use a lot of air during the match and will have many air tanks on the robot. Is there an easy way in which to fill the air back in the tanks after the match? We will also have a compressor on board during the match.

Sure, run the robot while you’re in the pits and queuing. We’ve been doing this for years.

I was just worried that between elimination matches we may not have time to allow it to run enough to fill it up. Was not sure if we could have a port to but air in the tanks with an off robot storage tank.

Like MrForbes said you can enable your robot in between matches so long as it is connected via Ethernet to your laptop, I recommend charging them before switching out your battery to maximize the voltage next match.

Only one compressor can provide compressed air for your robot (R79). This means that if you have an on board compressor, you can not have an off board compressor as well.

Thanks everyone

I believe in the manual under the tournament section there is a minimum time guaranteed before your next match. I want to say this is 6 minutes but without the manual in front of me I will leave you to check my thought. Summarizing the logistics it is up to you to create a system that can be filled in the amount of time you get between matches during finals as this is typically when you have the least amount of time before the next match. If your time needed is greater than the time you get between final matches then you may be hurting heading into that match. All other time between matches typically should be greater and on the order of 20 minutes or more. So design for the minimum time and you will always be golden.

Your only legal option is to turn the robot on in the pit, tether it up, and wait for the tanks to fill.

R79 Compressed air on the ROBOT must be provided by one and only one compressor. Compressor specifications must not exceed nominal 1.10 cfm flow rate @ 12VDC.

Could you, theoretically speaking, use the robot earlier in the competition to fill up additional storage tanks, or a singular large tank, that could then be used to top off the robot in eliminations?

The robot’s on-board compressor would have filled up those tanks (or tank), meaning the air was provided by a single compressor, meaning that you would still have all air provided by the one compressor, and the compressor would maintain a lower temperature during eliminations due to not needing to run between matches as well as during them.

EDIT: Jon Stratis quoted the relevant passage. This would not be permitted.

And don’t forget about R81 (emphasis added)

“Stored” air pressure on the ROBOT must be no greater than 120 psi. No stored air pressure intended for the ROBOT may be located off-board the ROBOT.

Cannot store pressurized air for later use on the robot

R81 “Stored” air pressure on the ROBOT must be no greater than 120 psi. No stored air pressure intended for the ROBOT may be located off-board the ROBOT.

You must also vent the left over pressure prior to removal from the field.
Take this into account. Might be a good idea to time how long it takes to fill the system from empty.

We have been charging our pneumatics from the pits and in queue for years with no issues. We have been able to fill 4 high pressure and two low pressure tanks in the time spent in queue. If you need more than that time you might want to look and minimizing some air usage.

Good luck this season!


edit: sniped by Jon :yikes:

FYI: The KOP Compressor is rated for a 10% (approximately) Duty Cycle. 6 Minute run time every 60 minutes.

If you need to run it more than that, you need to get a higher rated compressor. Viair makes the KOP compressor. The Viair IG line is rated for 100% duty cycle. However, it costs 4 times more, and weights 3 times more.
Note: The CFM is 1.06 at 12 volts, below the 1.10 CFM limit. The 24 volt version does exceed the FRC limit.

During qualifications, duty cycle should not be a problem. During eliminations, it could be a problem if you are using a lot of air.

The rated duty cycle of the little compressor assumes that it does not have any additional cooling…we’ve found that using one of the small fans that is allowed on the robot for cooling speed controllers, will also work to cool the compressor sufficiently to run it at 100% duty cycle for a match, or longer. Without the cooling fan, the compressor will get so hot that it can even melt the plastic air tubing connected to it! not good.


I might be missing it, but we’ve never done this and have never been asked to do this. Care to cite a rule? I searched and came up empty…

There isn’t one.

Now, as a matter of SAFETY, it may be determined either way as to whether it’s safer to vent the air or to leave it in. I can think of one or two applications where it might be safer to vent, possibly, but stuff is more likely to stay put when there’s air in the system.

That’s what I thought. We left our robot at school with 84psi in the tanks on Friday and came back Monday to 82 psi. We wouldn’t work so hard to have a good sealed system if we had to dump it all the time. Plus, why dump pressure off if you can recharge in the pits and enter with 120 psi anyway?

We blew out three bits of tubing on our 2013 Ultimate Ascent robot during practice sessions; it used air for most of its climb. This blow out sounded rather like a .22 round; as Jim said, not good. Once we figured out the cause, we were able to resolve it by hard mounting more pieces to the compressor to also serve as heat sinks and moving the tubing fitting away from the compressor.