Help with Winch in LabView

I am a mentor in our robotics group and we seem to be having a bit of a struggle with the programming aspect of our robot. We are a rookie team so everybody is learning this year, including me. We made it through our first competition, which we went to with no autonomous and someone graciously helped us get a rough auton set up at the competition. Our issue now is the winch we have built to try and lift our bot at the next competition (this whole set-up is a new addition since the last competition). I, unfortunately, have not been able to spend as much time as I would have liked diving into the programming. The two other students on the team who are with me trying to tackle the programming have done great and have learned a lot but we just aren’t comfortable enough with LabView yet to be able to churn out programs at will.

The other students have done a great job on the mechanical end building an awesome winch setup to lift the bot, now the pressure falls on us to make sure that this awesome winch will actually run when the driver hits a button or pulls a trigger on the controller. We just simply want to be able to engage the motor and we seem to be having troubles reaching our goal. The next competition looms ever closer as well (its the end of this week…). Any help in the right direction would be greatly appreciated. I really do not want to let these kids down. I hadn’t done any programming since college nearly a decade ago but, even so, that made me the most experienced. My skills, I’m finding, have gotten quite rusty over time.

Any guidance would be very much appreciated. I really want to see this robot climb, these kids have worked so hard. The two programmers and I are really feeling the pressure to make this work for sure. Thank you all in advance, this is a great program and everyone is always so helpful.

I would be glad to help, would a Google hangouts video call work for you guys?

Is our winch LabVIEW (see imgur notes).

Here are a couple more examples. These are actual code that you can drag and drop into your LabVIEW project.

Controlling a winch with a joystick:

Controlling a winch with two buttons.

I would also suggest limiting the motor output to one direction assuming the climber has a built in ratchet to prevent back driving. Mark’s button example uses two buttons - one for each motor direction. Just use one button for one direction.


I am willing to help with a winch programming in lab view. I setup our teams with a variable speed control if you would like help with that.

Looks like you guys will be going to the Shepherd District this weekend? I know a few experienced Labview programmers that will be there, so if you guys are still having trouble Thursday night, ask for help at Pit Admin and I’ll make sure they know who to get a hold of (alternatively, you can come find me on the field, I’ll be running the A/V equipment). :wink:

Thank you for all of the helpful responses! I’m sorry, I have been incredibly busy and haven’t been able to respond. We are going to the Shepherd meet this weekend. I am hoping that we will be good to go by the end of tonight but if we are still having troubles we will definitely ask around in the pits. Thank you again to everyone for your help!

If you still need help when you get to Shepherd, my alma mater (2959) did that task in Labview last year and has many students and mentors who are great in that language. Head over to their pit if you’re having trouble!

I could also throw something together pretty quick, or have a programming student help you guys out! Team 5538!

It is so refreshing that everyone involved with this program is so willing to lend a hand. Last night I had thought we were going to be good to go but nothing happened when we tested. I, unfortunately, had to leave at that point but they worked on the bot/program for 2 hours before they finally had to call it a day. In all of the concern/haste/hardcore focusing on the program, we neglected to calibrate the Victor SP… I think that might have been all of our problem. A prime example of how too much focus on one thing can lead to missing the simplest solutions.

I cannot make it to Shepherd until tomorrow afternoon, unfortunately, but I am sending instructions with the coaches and students on calibrating the Victor SP and crossing my fingers. I have also let them know that there are some great people that will be there who are willing to help if they need it. It’s going to drive me crazy not being able to be there until tomorrow but knowing they will be in good hands does put my mind at ease. There is a chance we may have it but if not, and if anyone happens to notice team 6642 looks like deer in headlights, please save them for me. Thank you all so much!

What do you mean by you neglected to calibrate the Victor SP?

Usually the motor controllers come pre-calibrated and you only NEED to recalibrate if there’s a problem. Chances are you probably have another problem somewhere else. I’m sure that if you are having problems at a competition you can find a CSA or programmer from another team who would be more than happy to help you.