FRC WiFi Radio 2012 splicing

I was confused when I saw the radio that needed to be spliced onto the DC Converter. Does anyone know if that is required to splice the adapter cable onto the DC Converter, if so HOW, or can we attach the wires of the radio to the Power Distribution Cable.

Thanks in advanced

Yes, it’s important to wire the D-Link radio through the DC converter when powering it because the output voltage of the Power Distribution Board is different from the required input voltage for the radio. It is also required to pass inspection.

Edit: See rule [R42B]:

The wireless bridge power feed must be supplied by the 5V converter (model # TBJ12DK025Z) connected to the marked 12 Vdc supply terminals located at the end of the PD Board (i.e. the terminals located between the indicator LEDs, and not the main WAGO connectors along the sides of the PD Board). No other electrical load can be connected to these terminals (please reference any 2012 Robot Power Distribution Diagram posted on the Kit of Parts site for wireless bridge wiring information.

You do need to cut the cable off of the AC adapter that came with the D-link radio. Use crimp connectors to attach it to the appropriate wires. See the Power Distribution Diagram for more information.

So that requires cutting and stripping the adapter cable to the correct voltage and ground wires and, essentially, electrical taping it together. If so, this will be a fun new experience…

And thank you again

Yes essentially.

Alternatively you could solder the wires together and heat shrink over the exposed cable, or put male/female spade connections on the wires…

Whatever gets the electrons there.

Don’t just electrical tape them. Do form a proper connection between the two wires be it crimp connectors or solder. My team had issues with our robot randomly losing connection in the middle of the competition because of an incorrectly-wired radio.

Be very careful when you do this and make sure you wire the adapter properly to the DC converter. Doing it wrong will fry the radio.

Check the polarity of the adapter so you know which wire on the snipped connector needs to be wired to the positive wire from the converter and which goes to the negative. Double check your polarity with a meter.

You don’t have to cut off that exact cable; any standard male DC barrel jack will do, so if you’ve got spare wall warts with appropriately sized barrel jacks lying around that you’re willing to sacrifice, those would be much better options.

Be careful of the “appropriately sized barrel”. You may end up with a connector that seems to work but it does not make good contact because the inner diameter of the barrel may be larger than it should be. To avoid losing power for the wireless bridge during competition, I would just cut the wire and use the original connector because I know for sure that’s the correct sized connector.

Don’t do this. The proper sized barrel must be used, or the radio will lose power during shock and vibration. With teams going over the bridge and over the barrier, there will be lots of vibration. In 2010, this was a very common failure on the field.

DO THIS!!! The center of the radio connector should be +5 volts positive!! Check with a meter. The white stripe on the radio power wire is not consistant with a given polarity in our experience. (Blue Smoke) Check with a meter, save a $100

I recommend that you attach the wires to the 5 volt converter and use heatshrink or electrical tape to insulate the contacts. What others are telling you is this… Do not plug in the power cable to the DAP-1522 until you have applied power to the PD and checked the polarity of your connections. Use a known good meter with the probes in the correct inputs on the meter. Make sure that polarity of the voltage matches that printed on the radio. A great check is to note the polarity with your meter prior to cutting the connector off the power supply that comes with the radio. What many teams do, is using another connector pair (i.e. Anderson Power Plugs or any other two conductor insulated plug/jack.) is add a connector to the output of the 5 volt regulator and the output of supplied power supply that matches that of the radio cable. It is then possible to use either the robot supply or the wall supply to feed the radio.

I won’t start doing this until the robot is in the shape to have the electronics mounted. I understand how to use a meter, but I am not understanding how to check the polarity with the meter and without the power. Could I get a more detailed set of instructions. By the way, thank you for the numerous amounts of advice that you have all given me and I wish for you all the best this season.

Thank you again

Before you cut the wire, plug the AC adapter to the wall, use the voltmeter to check the voltage between the center of the barrel and the outside of the barrel. It should be about 5V and note the polarity. The center should be positive and the outside should be negative. After you cut the cable and splice it to the DC-DC converter. Do the same check on the connector to make sure it is still 5V and the polarity is the same as you have noted before. Then you can plug the power into the radio.