Air Compressors

does anyone know if air compressors are allowed in the pits for pneumatic tools and such?


-Andrew Nabors
Team 1671

team 254 had one so I’m assuming they’re all right.

Many teams who do have small air compressors in their pits may do so because of pneumatic tires on their robots.

Team 980 brings a small compressor for riveting.

Compressed air is also handy for blowing metal chips out of the robot.

If you use the compressor provided in the kit, it must be set up exactly as required if it was mounted on the robot, with regulator pressure not to exceed 60 psi, and max pressure at 120 psi. :slight_smile:

There is no specific rule against it. However, common sense does rule here and electrical systems being stretched along with the small pit size will cause some problems if you bring a big compressor. If you trip a breaker, other teams will not be happy.

thanks guys!!

very helpful!

They seem to be very easy to trip…

At LA we were running 4 battery chargers and a Vex battery charger and our braker was constantly tripping… I have a feeling it was one of the neighbor teams though.

if you dont mind me asking what do you use vex for. my team has 2 kits and i was looking for creative uses.


alrighty ill keep that in mind. thanks!

note* to teams going to UC Davis competition in week 5 there is a chance that our team will be hosting Sundial at the UC Davis comp. we will let everyone know later for sure!!!

Well, last year we used them as backup batteries. But, since the rules say we have to use the new charger we no longer do that.

The other use we have now is to power our chiclet. We also run all the functions of our control board off the battery off of a vex battery (we don’t use this feature at competition though) for exhibitions and such.

You can use any backup battery charger as of Team Update #13

Dug up this tread from last year. Same question this year. Are small air compressors allowed in the pits this year for such things as pneumatic tires, air tools, blowing out shavings in your robot and such? I searched through the manual and other than <R90>, <R93>, and <R94> concerning using the KoP air compressor to charge the robot pneumatic system I can find no reference to any rule prohibiting a small air compressor for other use in the pits. We took a small compressor to our regional last year with no problem but at the championship in Atlanta one of the green shirt safety judges told us they were not allowed in the pits and that we couldn’t use it. I explained that we weren’t using it to charge our robot pneumatics and that in fact we had no pneumatics on our robot but he said no matter and told us to put it away. I didn’t know the green shirt safety judges had that authority but I felt it more prudent not to argue and just comply. It wasn’t a big deal just that we had pneumatic tires on our cart and one of the tires had a slow leak that needed airing up every once and a while. I am wondering if anyone else has had an issue with a small air compressor in the pits?

They don’t have that authority, to my knowledge. Unless, of course, it’s unsafe.

Also, you need to look in Section 3. No reference to compressors, and the only one for air is air horns as noisemakers. So it should be allowed.

If your cart tires have a slow leak, you might want to slime them.

Thanks but no issue with the cart tires this year. New solid wheels and it rolls much better!

I still would like to have a small compressor in the pits for blowing out metal shavings, etc. but didn’t want to bother packing and taking it to competition if it wasn’t allowed.

Many of the Green Shirts are employees of Underwriter’s Labs or trained by UL people at some point. If they objected it was likely the size, noise or electrical load that concerned them. They are charged with helping teams be safe, in the pits and on the field. Their concern is for the safety of all participants, guests and visitors.

I don’t know what the rules are exactly but we had one in our pits at San diego and no problem with it.

I agree 100% and am grateful for their presence and participation. Odd thing was, the compressor is pretty small (about the smallest 110VAC one that Harbor Freight sells) and wasn’t plugged up or running at the time. It was stored on a shelf and he just saw it and said it wasn’t allowed as a blanket statement. That is what made me wonder if we had missed something in the rules. The last thing we want is to violate ANY rule either intentionally or inadvertently. Just wondering if we had missed something or if the rules on air compressors might vary from event to event.

Without talking with the safety person, I am unsure why he/she would disapprove. The defining documents are Section 3-At The Events and the First Safety Manual. Neither specifically address compressors but both make a reference to local venue restrictions which may be enforced by the safety personnel.
On a similar note, high current battery chargers are not allowed. So whether I see one or the safety people see one, you will be asked to remove it from your pit for safety reasons.
I think it might be appropriate to tell you that I have witnessed 3/4 HP compressors with 5 and 10 gallon tanks, and 50 amp battery chargers as well as team built power distribution panels in pits over the years. I have also witnessed, open flames and steel grinding (shower of sparks) in the pits as well.