Hows your electronics board?

I know there is a thread already here, but i would like to see drawings and/or schematics of what other teams are doing for their electronics board. I did search so i have like two schematics that i found. I would like to see more.
Team 599
P.S. This is made also to help other teams to see what people are doing, and help the rookie teams because they probably will want help with this part of the build very soon.

I know this sounds bad but we don’t make an electronics board. In order to fit everything in with mechanical systems, we will distribute the parts around the robot for best weight distribution and ease of replacement. We do work with a couple of standard rules though.

  1. Wiring from battery to connector to main breaker to fuse panel is as short as it can be.
  2. Victors are generally placed close to the motor they control when practical.
  3. All connections are crimped, then soldered, then heatshrink is applied.
  4. Wiring in general takes the shortest path.
  5. All wiring, all controls, all motors, and all PWM cables are color coded.
  6. All wiring is secured in place.
  7. All wiring is inspected by several team members before power is applied in breaker out.
  8. Breakers are added to test individual circuits.

Doesn’t That cause a Problem when you need to acess the electronics, if they are scattered throughout the robot?

As long as you place them in an area that is still accessible i dont see why wildstangs approach would be bad. One of the biggest mistakes i ever made on a robot was placing all of the electronics in 2 areas of the robot with 2 shelves in each area, replacing anything or getting to anything on the bottom shelf was a nightmare, i think the best rule of thumb for electronics is accesibility, followed closely by organization. If you cant get to a problem or identify where the problem is, then your in for a real nightmare when something goes wrong.

It would not be my first choice in design to spread things out, but the tradeoff we make is to maximize power to electrical components and to fit into all the spaces left by mechanical. It is absolutely necessary that the RC, Victors and Spikes be available for replacment, motors are usually part of mechanical assemblies so that any problem in a subsystem cause the entire system to be replaced and analyzed. I cannot take full credit for the color scheme. When the red motor stops turning, you look to the red speed controller, red PWM, red PWM output on the RC, red circuit breaker, red power wiring, etc. It makes trouble shooting the fastest part of pit work, and allows us to easily diagnose an electrical failure from a mechanical one. With this method, repairs can easily be accomplished between rounds, even in finals.

Ok sorry my bad, i didnt want to create a discussion whether a board or not is better. i would like to see peoples electrical system schematics. Like there overall wiring. Stuff like that.

We used an inside-out approach last year, and will probably do the same this year. Power comes into the middle, and is distributed outwards. You can basically guess where all the eventual wire runs go. from the picture. This layout was done by Team188 members Carol Huang (Grade 11) and Honson Lam (Grade 9). Steve W originally posted about this picture in a separate thread.

Our layout was used for an electrical demonstration for rookie teams last year, and also won Team 736’s award for “Neatest Electrical” at the Canadian Regional.


A quick addendum:

The robot controller was placed on a 2nd level above the board in the picture. We ran the PWM cables out from the RC and straight down into their respective components on the level below.


We’re waiting until finalization of our overall design until we work on our control board setup. Last year we had a LOT of trouble with the stupid PWM cables coming loose. We’re most likely gonna set the board up in a fashion to minimize that effect.

Another thing that you should worry abotu when you mount your electronics… The circuit breaker panel should be mounted in a vertical position so that if your robot is hit the breakers don’t “accidentally” reset themselves… This isn’t all that important for motors but your robot controller may be reset and you could lose valueable seconds when you need them most! check out this thread… It happened to our robot the year before i joined.

I have not had a team report repeatable problems with the circuit breakers we use. There have been production defects from time to time. There has also been defects caused by high current operation due to mechanical designs. The post you refer to indicates some extreme handling, not the type you are likely to get with a robot collision. I don’t consider this a problem. Be careful when reading old posts, they often have been resolved and answered.

That is true… But the animation this year had robots “strategically touching” eachother… I think that in the competetition this year there will be a great deal more contact than of previous years. Just my thoughts on the subject. I am working on finding the drawing we have of our electronics form last year… IT was this really nice image… done in autocad i think? I will chack with Jake… Toodels

We called our elecronics board a “poo poo platter”. That has changed this year. We are now sticking all of our electronics in a 12inx18in box. It is a REAL tight fit for 7 of the Victors, 2 spikes, the computer, and breaker panel.

We always make an electronics board, that way all of our electronics are in one location and easily accessible. We also always make sure that the wiring on the board is organized, and every wire / PWM is labeled as to where it goes / what it is for. We just started drawing some electrical diagrams today :smiley: .

we started our electrical board today, we mount everything on one side of the board and run the wires under the board to reach all the connections they need to reach, we started doing that in 2003 and having all the wires under the board helped us alot

We havent started on our electrical board for this years robot yet, the mechanical guys arent yet to a point where we can, but we are doin work on our robot from last year. We use last years robot as something to show the public when we go somewhere and at school functions such as football games. We put a tshirt cannon on it so we can shoot tshirts into the crowds at football games and pep rallies. Our electronics worked last year but the inside of our robot looked like a spaghetti bomb went off in it. We gutted the inside and are redoing the wiring and pneumatics how we want to so it will be neat, and we dont have to worry about weight either, which is nice. It is also a great chance to teach new people how to do the wiring on the robots and let them practice at it.

I hope your electrical box is open on the top or has a clear cover. IFI needs to see the LEDs on your controller is something should go wrong. It has not been a rule in the past but if you want help, people need to see the controller to help.

How does this help get more power to components? I don’t follow at all…

Aren’t you still running more cable…

Generally, we are running the minimum length of wire for each circuit. There is no wasted lengths going to and from geometrically mounted components. Additionally, the wiring is more open and free to air cool when not bundled. Every stage of wiring is designed to reduce series resistances to an absolute minimum. As each motor appears as an inductor (see the discussion and waveforms in this thread
series resistance just serves to limit the current available to the motor. Series resistance can be introduced by bad crimps, long wires, loose screws, bad breakers, speed controllers and warm motors.

yeah, we are going to cover it with a 1/4 piece of clear poly.