Electrical Schematic/ Wiring diagram

I’m wondering do any teams make an electrical schematic of their robot? The generic one FIRST provides is nice, but I think it might not be a bad idea for every team to make one specific to their robot to present at the time of inspection. What do you think of that?

Also, is there any good software for making electiral schematics?

Last, on a semi-related topic, does anyone model their wiring in Inventor? If so, can we get some screen shots?


We have always talked about making a schematic but the FIRST one is sufficient. When we have a problem, we are not going to pull out the schematic and try to determine a cause. By color marking everything we can easily make a determination of a problem. When I say “everything” I mean PWM cables, PWM positions on the RC, fuses and block, speed controllers and spikes, primary and secondary wiring and motors, solenoids, servos, sensors and lights… Wiring is coded at both ends. We know that if the red motor is running and shouldn’t be, we can pull the red fuse and it should power down. If the red motor isn’t running and it should be, we check to see if the fan is spinning on the red controller and it has “happy lights”, if the red PWM cable is in place at the controller and the RC, and if the red fuse in in place in the red position on the fuse block.
If I was going to draw out a diagram, I would use Autocad since it readily available for me.

I think there was some software that came from Autodesk last year that allowed you to make wiring schematics, and could even test if a circuit would work. Sorry, but I can’t think of the name of the software immediately, although it may have been Autodesk VIZ.

Every year we have made a wiring diagram.

In the past we have used Auto CAD, because it was available. Last year we used the new Viso software provided in the kit. I found it easy to learn, my favorite part is the dynamic connecting, when you move components around the wires automatically reroute them selves and stay connected.


looks like 111 did make a schematic of sorts…http://www.wildstang.org/2004/inventor/electrical/PWMSchematic.gif

Last year, we took the FIRST schematic and highlighted the parts we wanted to use (and drew in by hand a little bit extra). In the future, what I think may be useful would be less of a schematic, and more of a model or “map” of the system that would show you the physical locations of the parts so you could very quickly find them. Al Skierkiewicz’s color system would serve a similar function, but knowing our wiring last year, it wouldn’t always be possible to even see all the components.

For the Robocards every year they have made a wiring diagram via Autocad. Helpful for making a presentation for getting sponsors, but usually they have a certain color code for each part of the electrical system. Just makes it 1000x easier instead of having to pull out a wiring diagram when you are in the pits…

FIRST has now posted a wiring diagram on their website, you can find it at:


Last year, we used acrobat to modify FIRST’s existing schematic to show our configuration.

We made a electrical diagram last year…it rocked…we also made a point to make it look exactly like it was on the robot (instead of just making it look close). Our wiring was so organized :smiley: it was NICE :smiley: :ahh: .

I believe that every wire should be labeled to what it goes to, and also all the wires should be organized neatly. Like in one line with wires coming out where they need to.

I totally disagree with just wiring a robot a not even organizing the wires and leaving them hang. First of all it causes hazards, and second of all it is very hard to fix something electrical in a rush. :wink: