Electrical Limited Space


with limited space for the electrical and having pneumatic’s on board what would be the best way to go about this having electrical vertical and pneumatic’s on a horizontal board? almost like a box with 4 walls is what i was thinking at first but was not sure about cooling problems and having it all closed in. Anyone having the same problem? or have any ideas on how i should go abouts mounting. also how thick of polycarb should i use as the board


Polycarb doesn’t have to be that thick. Just drill some holes and zip tie components on or use hook and loop tape. As for “how to make it” No one can tell you how to make it. Try your best to build the bot around an accessible EBoard. Designing and EBoard takes time and energy and its up to you and your team only. Almost everyone has “problems” making the board. Lastly, I doubt anything in your EBoard will heat up enough within an 2.5 min period to cause problems.


ive also heard teams making a “box” for there Electrical and mounting it vertical. any thoughts on this?


The only thing you need to worry about cooling on is the motor controllers and compressor. If you go with a box I would at least mount the motor controllers to a metal surface and put the compressor outside.
Another option would be to add a cooling fan.

Keep R51 in mind for the sake of your inspectors, CSA’s, and FTA’s.

R51. The PDP, associated wiring, and all circuit breakers must be easily visible for Inspection.


I see zero benefit of a box over a flat piece of material, but like I said, that is something for testing and development over time. It will work itself out. Dont worry. Here is an EBoard I made last year:


Really? never seen anything like that


If you want to make your electrical layout the most functional, then you should have it mounted where component faces are easily visible and immediately can be located. Your 120 Amp “main” breaker should be easily accessible (but not where another robot might trip it accidentally) and your battery should be able to be both retained and removed easily (a hook and loop tape “strap”, large zip ties or a tie-down seem to be the simplest options). Make sure with your compressor there is ventilation around it, as many compressors can get hot enough to melt tubing. If you need to mount a muffin fan or heat sink on/toward the compressor, do so to help cooling. Good labels on all your electrical and pneumatic wiring/plumbing on both ends is always helpful for quick diagnosis or modifications. Lastly document everything. If the team member who wires and plumbs the robot is not at a competition, you’ll still want to be able to do work on the robot if need be.


can the compressor run during a match this year i have never used pneumatic’s before so im learning as i go


Hey Kaiden

Yes, your compressor can run during a match.

Nathan, Vanjan and Dez have given you a lot of good advice, especially the points about making the electronics and pneumatics accessible for maintenance and repair. They constitute the brains of your robot and without them, your robot is a large speed bump on the field. It is very difficult to design an enclosed box that provides adequate access.

You are located relatively close to a lot of very accomplished teams so I would highly encourage you to reach out to some of them. Many of your questions are much more easily addressed by having someone standing next to your robot and trying different locations for the components.

Does your chosen strategy preclude making your robot taller, say by 6~12 inches? If that is not a hard constraint, making your robot taller will give you more vertical surface to install the control system parts without a lot of compromises in the layout.


We are thankful to have those teams close as they have helped us before and are always checking up on us


here’s one example of a vertical electronics box. Beware that there is a chance of another robot poking into it, if the polycarbonate cover sheet is not sufficiently strong.


The most important features of electrical control beyond the actual rules are, imo:
Accessibility and visibility: Put all of the diagnostic lights where they are visible; if at all feasible, have all of them visible from a single vantage point. Label wires so you don’t need to trace their routes, but still route them so you can trace them easily if (when) something goes wrong.

As far as I can determine, all of the other “rules” are really just ways to make wires accessible, visible, and traceable. Some of them may work well for you, others may not.

Edit: Oh - there are also rules to make sure you have solid connections, and these are really important. Use the right tools. Tug test everything. Don’t be gentle. Re-crimp and/or re-solder if needed. Loose connections kill robots.


MrForbes has provided an example of a very good electronics box where all or almost all of the components are installed on one surface.

There have been many threads about making an electronics box that is extremely compact, often with components installed on many of the sides. These are very difficult to get right and can be difficult to troubleshoot. The team I started mentoring made such an electronics box last year and I would consider it an example of what NOT to do.

Note that 4587 is not the team who should be blamed for this. Yes, that is a Roborio installed upside down on the opposite side of the 4587 sticker. The components are only accessible through a triangular hole at each end. Part of the reason that the wiring is so messy is the limited access. Saying that it was miserable to work on is an understatement.