Electrical Visibility

How visible does our electrical components have to be like batteries, router, etc.? How high up can we mount something above the eletrical components?

We plan to mount a aluminum plate above our eletrical components so we can mount motors and stuff so we need to know how much clearance we need between the aluminum plate and the eletrical components.

There are a couple of rules relating to this:

** [R41] **The PD Board and all circuit breakers must be easily visible for Inspection.

** [R56] **The DAP-1522 wireless bridge must be mounted on the Robot such that the diagnostic lights are visible to Arena personnel.

** [R57] **Robots shall use the diagnostic Robot Signal Light (RSL) provided in the KOP. It must be mounted on the Robot such that it is easily visible while standing three feet in front of the Robot.

It’s also likely I missed some. What visible means is definitely a judgement call. In 2007 my team had to redo some of our electronics at our second regional because certain electrical components weren’t visible enough.

Be extremely conservative where visibility is concerned. There’s no exact answer to your question, but you might want to consider using clear polycarbonate instead of aluminum above your electronics board.

I would also strongly suggest that you make everything on the electronics board easily accessible and in turn easily replaceable.

Remember that anything on your robot can break and electronics do this too (with a puff of magic smoke), so you should be able to replace quickly.

You will also want the LED lights on all the components visible because they all have meaning, and when you are debugging the program, they will surly come in use.

In addition, all the speed controllers need a few inches of clearance for heat dissipation, check the data sheets for the exact clearance.

So while there is not a rule against it, I would recommend that all of your electronics are easily accessible and nothing is mounted right on top of it.

Well unless you can invent invisible electronics, then I think they should be visible. :wink:

On a more serious note, it’s imperative to have your electronics in an easy-to-reach, seeable area, so that you and others can work on it if needed, assess and fix an potential problems, and put it out if it’s on fire.

Hey, if it’s on fire, then it’s a hardware problem. It’s the mechanical team’s problem now. :rolleyes:

(but seriously, what’s already been said is true. Make your electronics easy to reach/see/get to. You’ll appreciate it in competition)

As a minimum your inspector wants to be able to see all three LEDs on the PD, the connectors that feed out to the Crio and 5 volt regulator and must be able to see all breakers and wire input and outputs of the PD. Following that, he/she must be able to see all LEDs on the digital sidecar, the Crio frame, and the analog sidecar. Additional visibility must conform to above posts and the main breaker must be visible and easy to get to for someone who is not on your team. These LEDs are present for troubleshooting and help field personnel insure you connect to the field. If they can’t help you, your robot just becomes a paperweight. Help us help you.

We place the electric componets with the programmers. So its still their problem. :yikes: