Awesome Electronics Box!

Check out the new electronics box my team designed and built for this year’s game. Last year our electronics was a disaster; speed controllers ziptied to gearboxes, relays mounted in inaccessible locations, wires everywhere (and unlabeled). This year we vowed to do better and this is what we came up with. It’s a work in progress, so any feedback is greatly appreciated!

Here’s a CAD render of the box in addition to the video provided above, in case anyone is interested.





Very, very, very nice!
The only issue I see is the wago connections on the PDP being a bit of a hassle to get to but otherwise I dig it.

That looks slick. Are you still able to access all the connections?

Very, very, very nice! The only issue I see is the wago connections on the PDP being a bit of a hassle to get to but otherwise I dig it.

They’re actually not that difficult to get to, and actually, we haven’t needed to touch them since we initially wired them up. That’s one of the great things about CAD. In the model we made sure there was enough room to get our hands in and connect everything before we built it.

That looks slick. Are you still able to access all the connections?

Yep, getting access to all the connections is as simple as undoing those four corner thumbscrews. Actually the biggest headache we had was the Anderson powerpole crimps. There’s definitely some skill involved in crimping them. Once they’re locked into place, they’re great, but you have to make sure they aren’t even slightly bent in order to get them to mate with the connector housing.

Nice.

If I were inspecting your robot, I would want documentation that the motor connections are rated for 40 amps.

Good tip! They’re Anderson powerpole connectors rated for 45 amps. The wires are also the appropriate size, I’ll make sure to print out a spec sheet.

Great work! I love tidy solutions like this.

For what rule?

Very impressive! Gold Star for you guys.

Very clean and flexible design. Well done! What CAD software are you using and what did you use to make that animated CAD model?

Very clean and flexible design. Well done! What CAD software are you using and what did you use to make that animated CAD model?

We’re using 2014 SolidWorks. For the render I used a motion study in SolidWorks with the PhotoView 360 package. The final movie was made with Windows Movie Maker.

R39 Branch circuits may include intermediate elements such as COTS connectors, splices, COTS flexible/rolling/sliding contacts,
and COTS slip rings, as long as the entire electrical pathway is via appropriately gauged/rated elements.

The way I read this means that the connectors must be rated for at least as much current as the breaker that feeds the branch circuit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by orangemoore View PostFor what rule?

Quote:R39 Branch circuits may include intermediate elements such as COTS connectors, splices, COTS flexible/rolling/sliding contacts, and COTS slip rings, as long as the entire electrical pathway is via appropriately gauged/rated elements. The way I read this means that the connectors must be rated for at least as much current as the breaker that feeds the branch circuit.

That’s how I would interpret it too. Even if it wasn’t a rule, it would be silly to protect the circuit with a 40 amp breaker, but use connectors that would fail below that current rating. Here is the data sheet in case anyone is interested in using them.

http://www.alliedelec.com/images/products/datasheets/bm/ANDERSON_POWER_PRODUCTS/70162308.pdf

How’s the heat dissipation? Looks like it could get a little hot. Awesome job!

How’s the heat dissipation? Looks like it could get a little hot. Awesome job!

It was a concern at first, that’s why we added the vents and extra fans. We’ve tested it pretty extensively and haven’t had any issues (box never even gets warm). It’s a combination of good circulation, operating in room temperature, and not having an overly power-hungry robot. You’re right though, with enclosed electronics, heating should always be a concern.

Looks great! We did a similar thing with our control board this year, but we decided to route our wires above the pegboard in panduit tracks for easier inspection, as opposed to behind the pegboard (I’m presuming the wires are back there, as they’re not visible in the video). We did not do panel-mount or color-coded andersons, just left some pigtails out for each one, and clearly labeled each with a 1-6 value. We went with six talons as opposed to your seven, but we were initially only using four and added a fifth to add more power to our lift; we still have a spare which we can swap out in just a few minutes. We mounted our polycarbonate cowling a couple of inches above the components to allow passive rather than active airflow.