battery organizer/ charger

We are designing a system to effectively charge our batteries and to help keep all of our batteries and wires organized. We are also looking for an easy way to track which batteries have a full charge.
If you have any input or suggestions please let us know Thank You

Andy Mark battery flag?

Team 1583 has a person nicknamed ‘Batman’ that is responsible for all things battery related. They’re responsible charging, installing etc. They have a log book they record their actions in and what the voltage of the battery is. Works well for us.

Both 1293 and 1618 of late have a system involving one responsible student minding the chargers and the batteries; as batteries get charged, they get an AndyMark flag to make everything crystal-clear. The job was a little easier last year for the Capitals, since there were only two legal batteries to use, but it’s still important for us to make sure we don’t get out there (especially with our history of providing marginally-effective robots as it is) with a robot that moves halfway across the field and dies.

We haven’t ever had any fancy storage for our battery setup, though some teams have in the past. Whatever floats your goat, I say.

Number them and use a whiteboard?

Put a checkbox on the battery itself and use whiteboard marker. (This works well for those who don’t have enough andymark flags floating around.)

This is the first year 1075 has had any more than the 2 kit batteries, since each year only using 2 we manage to COMPLETELY destroy them to the point where they dont hold a charge for more than about 10 minutes.

Thanks 188, for the extra pair.

We made a battery rack made out of wood and an rolling suitcase. We just go down the rack and pluck out the next charged battery.

Our team has a designated battery person that is solely responsible for the batteries.

We run 4 chargers and an 8-10 battery rotation. All the batteries are numbered and when the match list is issued a number is assigned to each round. Prior to competition we usually buy a new set of batteries for the season. If we use old ones they are load tested and ranked.

Before any battery is allowed onto the field it is checked with a meter to assure it has maximum charge. Our tech guys are also fanatic about having perfect battery terminal connections to assure no leakage or mishaps.

The battery person is VITAL to the team. If they mess up we generally kill them and bury their corpse under the pits while looking for another volunteer…

WC :cool:

We are not as elaborate as Wayne, but we do have a designated battery person. WE CALL HIM BATMAN!!! NO KIDDING!
At the beginning of build season, we ask who wants to be Batman.:slight_smile:

A battery captain is a must. Only that person touches the batteries including the backup batteries. It’s a great job for a dependable rookie.

We use a six battery rotation. Our battery box is bolted to a hand truck and contains the batteries and chargers.

A few tips.

#1 Don’t neglect your backup batteries, I have seen a team pulled off the field before a match because their BB was dead.

#2 Make a pigtail to connect you BB to the controller. The connections on the controller are week and will break if you use them to change the BB.

#3 Tightly secure your batteries to the robot. Every regional has their share of main batteries come loose and kill a robot.

#4 NEVER handle the main batteries by the connecting wires. It will weaken the wire at the connection and it will fail.

Just adding onto Mr. Cokely’s suggestions.

As you know don’t let the leads touch.
If you can use Anderson connectors on the chargers.
Make sure that the Anderson connectors are tightly installed on the battery.
Also make sure you can identify which battery is most charged. This yeah we are using numbered & laminated sheets to identify.

P.S. dig me up if I mess up, please?

too late

Note to self Avoid mentor who is trying to bury you alive…:smiley:

aw, didnt know this job could get a person bury alive. Well this year I’m the battery girl for my team (GO 931!) but yeah, its like only I am allowed to touch the batteries, installed, and charge them. And i get to sit on a box like thingy where all the batteries are being charged.

I don’t remember which team it was, but at Buckeye last season there was a team who collaborated with local automation company Rockwell Automation to build a super complex yet simple system complete with touch-screen control center. Brilliant.

A touch screen control center for a battery box? Seems overkill to me, though I can’t say I wouldn’t like to use it.

I’ve been trying to build a battery box out of wood with 4 slots for batteries and 4 “mounting points” for the chargers, but the rest of my team is under the impression that the rat’s nest of wires that is our current system is just fine. It’s most likely not going to be finished by the competition.

At least you will live:D
I am the one for the most part who is dealing with batteries.
We actually bought another cart like the one for our robot and had one member of our team convert it into a battery cart. Actually it was more like 5 people but it took about 4-5 weeks so we say one person. It is all about organization and whatever works, works.

What our team has done in the past (lacking any charger better than the KOP one, which has a dubiously effective indicator light) was simply to line the batteries up in a row on the pit floor. We’d add a strip of masking tape, label it “charging… charging… charged” and always add batteries to the left and remove them from the right. A very imprecise system to be sure, but a simple and fairly reliable one, at least in our experience. If your batteries are all pretty much equally healthy, then 9 times out of 10 the one that’s been charging longest is the most charged.

For this season, however, we purchased an Interacter X5 with multiple indicator lights for showing the charge state of each battery, so it remains to be seen if we will use the old system. We’ve never tested our batteries and tried to rank them, although it’d certainly be a good idea.