extra victors and spikes allowed?

Is it legal to use more than the 4 Victors and seven spikes we were given? We would like to add addtional spikes and Victors.

You cannot use more than the 4 victors and the seven spikes as per the rules.

You can use less if you want.

Also, keep in mind you would only be able to add one more Spike if you were even allowed to, as the Robot Controller only has eight relay outputs.

My fault. I told our coach to post, but did not give enough information. The case is actually this. We are currently running 4 victors and 5 spikes. We would like to add another to avoid doubling up motors on one spike (keep blowing the fuse…) Now, we tried to do this today and encountered a slight problem. Our fuse block is now full w/ 4 victors + 5 spikes + 1 Robot controller. Soooooooo… The real question now is this: Are we alllowed to install a second fuse block? We have a fuse block left over from FIRST, can we use that? Do you know of any fuse blocks that can accomdate 12 connections? If not, is there one that will just hold 1 connection?
Thanks, Scott

As per the rules you are not allowed to modify or change the control box.

This includes any additions or components other than the additional spikes approved this year.

How would you suggest adding additional spikes, then? We have the same problem as 469 does. When we got our control box, it was wired for four spikes. Between the 4 spikes, 4 victors, compressor relay, and the Robot Controller, there are no more spots left on our posititve fuse block. The negative block is fine (you can screw on multiple ring connectors to a single screw) but we have no more space for fuses for the three Spikes added this year. Is there a way to put all 7 on, or are we limited to 4 because of the “no modification” rule.

I basically have the same question as Jeff… It is impossible to use the seven spikes and 4 victors with the control box given… A new fuse block should not compromise the integrity of the control system if installed correctly.

There will always be constraints on your engineering designs: this just happens to be one of them this year. We will consider adding a larger fuse block for next year but we are not about to make any major rule changes at this late date after people have their machines already designed. I suggest you look at your lowest current drawing motors and consider doubling up a couple of them onto a single fuse.

What about inline fuse holders? That way, you could hook the spike up directly to the fuse, and not the block.

So, does this mean that we are allowed to create our own “Y” pieces to split one fuse into two motors? That is what my team wants to do so that we can add another spike, and let two motors run in tandem off of one controler. I would be very grateful for a official reply, so that we can continue with modifications and repairs. Thanks

For my solution, we ended up putting the two actuator motors (with a stall at 8 amps) together (At max (16 amps), still less then the 30amp fuse). This is working fine, and we used one of the Y splits from the spikes that we did not need.

Some of your current draws are very low and can be combined onto a single fuse block terminal using a Y-splitter (which we gave you in the kit). For example, you may combine the light and the controller onto a single fuse since neither draws very much current. Likewise, the climate-control actuators (as mentioned in an earlier posting) draw very little current, even when stalled, so they can be combined onto a single fuse. The compressor has a fairly low current draw and only runs intermitently, so I would not hesitate to combine it with a small Keyang onto a single fuse (you won’t ever be stalling the compressor, right?)
Some people have asked about replacing the 20A fuses with 20A slow-blow circuitbreakers (like the 30A ones we use with the Victors). It is OK with the Rules Committee since they will still provide the safety we require; their terminals must have the same size and shape as the 20A fuses, so no modification of the fuse blocks is required.

*Originally posted by Mr. Mac *
**The compressor has a fairly low current draw and only runs intermitently, so I would not hesitate to combine it with a small Keyang onto a single fuse (you won’t ever be stalling the compressor, right?)

That compressor can draw quite a bit of current when it starts up. When using the compressor with a spike in FIRST we have blown the 20 amp fuse in the spikes themselves. Some people even go so far as to put the compressor on a speed controller to prevent this. The OCCRA system prevents them from starting at high accumulator pressures (which was the real culprit in FIRST) but I would be pretty hesitant in adding anything else to them under one 20 amp fuse. It it was a 20 amp slow blow relay… No problem.

My 2 cents