Anderson Powerpole & FTC

Hello Everyone. I am a rookie FTC coach and this is my first post in ChiefDelphi.

In reading this forum and team sites, it seems that many problems with the robots are traceable to poor electrical power connections. Mainly, it appears there are potential shorts when connecting all the various components directly to the controllers and there are also problems when having to change out components quickly.

I have been researching the Anderson Powerpole products.

I am considering getting the Anderson Powerpole RIGRunner 4005H Horizontal Starter Kit and their TRIcrimp crimping tool (another source of problems appears to be poor quality crimps).

  1. Are Anderson Powerpole connectors and the RIGRunner power distribution blocks permitted for FTC 2013-14?
  2. If so, which amperage connectors should I use? 30A or 40A?
  3. Can I replace the Molex connectors on the battery pack and charger with Anderson Powerpoles?

I think the answers are yes, yes, and yes. However, I’ve read enough to know FIRST Robotics is a bit like Animal Farm; i.e., anything not expressly permitted is forbidden and since i’m a new pig I’m proceeding cautiously. :slight_smile:

Many thanks for your help and providing such a wonderful resource!

First, let me be the first to welcome you to Chief Delphi!

As with any post like this, I would highly encourage you to re-read the rules for the game. Rules are easy to overlook, and it’s always best to confirm it through the manual.

To answer your questions, in order:

1: Anderson Powerpole connectors are permitted per rule R08 Section Q. I am not exactly sure about the RIGRunner kit, as it seems like it would fit as a power distribution splitter.
2: I would think that the 30A would be good enough
3: This is permitted by R08 Section X

Thank you Cecil!

I am particularly concerned about the electrical system stability because we only have one of everything and if something gets shorted out or zapped we’re done for the year.

Being about 40 days into this journey I am reading things and not believing what I’m reading because I don’t know if I’m reading everything or the right thing if that makes any sense.

We got our competition kit two weeks ago and we’re very behind with far more questions than answers. And it seems lurking underneath every question there is a price tag for something we don’t have and can’t afford. It’s exciting but very overwhelming for me at the moment.

Yes you can use them, pretty much you can use whatever connector you want as long as it is rated. I have my teams use the Wago Lever Nuts as they do not require the special crimping tool and are very easy to work with.

We use Anderson connectors extensively on our FTC bot this year. Every HiTechnic motor controller power has a pair of Anderson on it so we can quickly change out if we need to. So far, we haven’t had any issues with them. Tetrix motors do not use much current comparing to FRC motors. I believe we use 15A contacts. According to the Tetrix motor spec, the maximum load current is 2.46A and the stall current is 4.55A. Each Tetrix motor controller can take 2 motors. So 15A contacts should easily take that load. However, you can daisy chain controllers powers. So the up stream controllers probably needs bigger contacts depending on how many you chain. Since you are doing power distribution instead of daisy chaining, 15A should be okay for your purpose.

Thank you Andrew. The lever nuts look good. I will get a package. Do you fasten them down in any way?

Thanks Mike. Our robot is very simple with one motor controller and as you say, we’re distributing not chaining. The 15A connectors should be fine. :slight_smile: