Electrical Schematic

We are going to make an electrical schematic however we do not have any software or do not know what software to do it in. Any suggestions/ideas?

Pencil and paper?

At least that will get you started…and this method has worked surprisingly well for many electrical engineers for decades. It worked for our team this year also.

Altium comes in the kit of parts. I highly recommend it. I’ve used a handful of other schematic capture tools, and Altium is a comparative breath of fresh air. As an added bonus, it is what I used to create the PD, DSC and breakouts: Their schematics are all downloadable from usfirst.org.

I intended to create a library to make this task easier, but I simply haven’t had the time. I’d love to see what you create, and try to repackage it when I am not hounded by that silly day job thing.

Also for the purposes of this competition you can likely use any software that can draw boxes and lines to make a schematic, you don’t necessarily need any software meant for schematic drawing.

I say this because the large majority of teams will simply be making connections between “black boxes” given to us or available for purchase. It is not important to have software that can display proper symbols for various transistors or diodes or anything like that as you probably won’t have any of these items on your schematic anyway.

EDIT: If you do want to use a tool actually meant for the job I second Eric’s recommendation of Altium

For some reason, we never received any software other than the two Cd’s in which we got originally with the early shipment. Where could i find atium at? Thanks for your help!

Go to http://www.altium.com/frc2009/

On the left side there is a link to a registration form to fill out.

The last few items on the Kit of Parts Checklist are listed as “Virtual” and give URLs from where they can be downloaded. They include Autodesk Inventor Professional 2009 and 3ds Max 2009; Altium Designer; and PTC Pro/ENGINEER, Windchill, and Mathcad.

I like to use a trial version of Microsoft Office Visio, we take the pictures of the different components, let’s say from the power distribution diagram, copy, paste and save it as a picture and place it where needed on the diagram. It even lets me place wire paths so I even know whats connected where. I’d buy it but i just don’t have the money. :frowning:

Good for you for wanting to document the wiring!
I recommend TinyCad. Its free.
I’ve used it for hobby projects and it has a pretty active Yahoo support group.
I haven’t used Altium, but its probably worth taking a look at, especially since they were nice enough to donate a license to first teams.

I use ExpressPCB for printed circuit boards. There is a Schematic drawing tool that is very nice that is part of the package. The software is free, and I can also recommend them for PCB builds.

tiny cad and Kicad. both great programs for doing schematics.

I’ve used Microsoft Visio for Fusion and made a neat library of parts including Victors, Spikes, and all the parts for the old control system.

It’s simple, yet effective for use.

Could also use something like Eagle. Full blown board layout CAD program.

Thanks everyone for all the help! I will defiantly post up my results!

Personally I just used photoshop to make our teams schematics. I don’t know if you have access to it but it was the easiest thing for me to use since I had used it before and I didn’t feel like learning a whole new software:D Basically I took jpeg pictures of each component jaguar, crio etc using vista’s snipping tool. I took them from the power diagram in the control system section of the usfirst website Then I put them in photoshop each one as a layer. Then I moved them around til I liked it and drew in the wires.

Eagle Layout Editor is available for free. It can do schematics and PCBs.


We have a problem here in Brazil. Our school has a problem with a big power supply and our adaptor of Driverstation was broken. We have a adaptor of Dual-Band Wireless that we don’t use because we conect it in battery. So can I put the Dual-Band Wireless’ adaptor in Driver Station?

Thank you,

Thiago do Espírito Santo
Mentor of #1382

Moderators - Can one of you spin these two posts into a separate thread? Thanks.

Thiago -

Can you tell us what happened to the other supply? Lets be sure the source of the problem is clear before we break something again.

Also, you might be better served by the http://forums.usfirst.org/forumdisplay.php?f=743 forums.

If I understand you correctly, you want to use the power adapter that shipped with the gaming adaptor (that is currently on the robot) to power your driver station. I don’t know enough about the driver station’s input stage to know if it is safe to do so, please check on those forums.