Electrical Tools

Any recommended tools besides the obvious (e.g versatile tools that allow ease of work and increase efficiency) and any tips for anything electrical. Also, where I could learn all the curriculum pertaining to electrics (e.g different parts and their functions)

Am noob, anything helps

I’m a student who’s been wiring messy robots for 2 years, so take my advice with a grain of salt.
The diagram in the game manual is very helpful for learning how to use the stuff.
Also, be sure to read the wire gauge rules.
This thread tells you how to do it all pretty: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=123332

I haven’t required a tool other than this, a couple screwdrivers, and a wago tool.

Message me if you have more questions!

Nice flushcutters are a wonderful thing to have. Much better than any old clippers for most wiring/wire-organizing situations.

Crimping tools. Don’t cheap out on them. They really cheap ones will pinch you. The medium cost ones will leave you with wires pulling out when you least expect, usually during a match. Get good ratcheting crimpers that fit the lugs you use. Incidentally, the lugs we sometimes get in the KOP have been horrible for fitting in our crimpers. I haven’t checked this year, though.
Buy spade lugs in a variety of sizes in boxes of 100. They’re cheaper that way and you’ll go through a lot. Remember to consider not just the size of the lug where it goes under a screw, but the size of the wire that goes into it.

Get a good set of wire strippers. The ones with a notch for each size of wire work well, but be sure you get ones with all the sizes you need. Some of them don’t have the smaller sizes that we run into on our robots. Even then, you will occasionally run into small wires that can’t be stripped with those. For that I suggest Ripley Miller strippers. They are like a scissor mechanism with a notch in each side. A screw acts as a stop to set the size, but with a little practice, you can do it by feel and strip even the smallest wire without nicking the wire. Ripley Miller is the name of one company that makes them, but other people make them as well. Not expensive, but handy to have. Don’t bother with “automatic” wire strippers](http://www.parts-express.com/automatic-wire-stripper-with-cutter--360-627). They are for people who are stripping one size of wire all day. I’ve found them to be of little advantage in the field.

Links are examples to give you a picture of what I mean. Not an endorsement of where to buy them. You can get them anywhere you want.

You’ll want the basic hand tools, a good set of screwdrivers. Socket set, or nutdrivers. (Metric too, for those studs on the PDB) Small screwdrivers come in handy. Find one that works well with the Wago connectors and don’t loose it. It’ll make life a lot easier.

You’ll want a good VOM to measure voltage and resistance.

Large and small wire cutters - diagonal style.

If you use heat-shrink tubing (there is some in the KOP this year) you’ll want a heat gun. Matches, lighters and soldering irons just don’t do as nice a job as the heat gun.

Speaking of soldering, if you know how to solder, a pencil style soldering iron and some rosin-core solder will be handy for making reliable connections. Sometimes you just need to extend a wire and soldering can do the trick.

As for learning, any basic electricity textbook will give you the basics. Then study the Robot Rules for this year, as well as the diagram that FIRST usually puts out each year for the control system.

One good resource is from WPI and FIRST:

Try to have multiple tools, like two drills, etc. The reason why is because it is great to be able to use two tools at once on the same part. Other than that, it also offers redundancy if a motor burns out(very unlikely though). I’d say, et two battery drills, a high-power wall drill, a bandsaw, mill and a lathe. With these tools, you can fabricate almost any tool that you want.

I don’t know if you would classify test equipment under tools, but make sure you have a multimeter.

For electronics testing, I’d suggest a good (and expensive) multimeter, oscilloscope, a battery beak and some psu capable of running the electronics continuously without worrying about batteries. An ATX PSU will do.

An oscilloscope will also help debug motor speed because if you monitor the voltage, the voltage spikes should partially correlate with the motor speed!

Oh yeah. Also, get an encoder. It is good for debugging if your motors are even getting to speed, and if they are good and not toast!

Otherwise, many things are hand tools. Also, make sure the drill has a clutch so you can use it as a screwdriver. It will save time because no one wants to drive screws manually all day :wink: