Is it Legal to Solder the power cord to the D-Link

My team was having problems with our D-Link randomly resetting. after may our of inspecting all of the wiring we determined that the problem was that the power cable to the D-Link was just slightly falling out, so naturally i duck-taped the Ba-Jesus out of it but every so often the D-Link would still reset.

So we were wondering if it would be legal to actually solder the power cables to the interior electronics of the D-Link?

If not, is there any way to make sure it will never falls out?

You can’t solder it that would be modifying the electronics.

R64
The Driver Station software, cRIO, Power Distribution Board, Digital Sidecars, Analog Breakouts, Solenoid Breakouts, RSL, 120A breaker, motor controllers, relay modules, Wireless Bridge, 12VDC-5VDC converter, and batteries shall not be tampered with, modified, or adjusted in any way (tampering includes drilling, cutting, machining, gluing, rewiring, disassembling, etc.), with the following exceptions.

We normally just wrap a ziptie all the way around it.

We had this problem last year and we ziptied and duct-taped the crap out of it. It was mostly effective.

I believe one of the exceptions is repair- could you open the thing (or maybe you don’t need to), add solder to the plug(s), so they would have a good connection (Like they should- you would still be able to pull the plug out)? That would be allowed by the rules and would work better.

Take a better look at “repair”.

R65-L requires that the performance and specifications after the repair need to be identical to the ones before repair. Also, see Q293 and response. If, after a repair, the specs are different/better, you might actually have an upgrade, which is not allowed.

I assume you’re using one of the cords you got with the router, and not an aftermarket one? And that it’s NOT tight/has strain relief?

Have you checked other possible reasons it would be resetting? Does it only happen when certain actions happen? We were having this issue today. We think it was because our DC converter was not isolated. Added some insulation and sure enough the radio isn’t reseting anymore.

Are you using the original power connector that came with the radio, or another connector?

I was sort of thinking the same thing, but I don’t think that the “performance” is actually improved at all. It would just be able to preform correctly more often. I honestly don’t think that anybody in the First community would have an issue with this, especially since there is nothing dangerous that could result (assuming you solder correctly and don’t short out the connector.)

One major problem I see with opening the radio and soldering to it is, how are you going to have you radio flashed when you are at the competition. They need to be able to power and flash the radio for you to communicate with the field. That and it is modification of electronics, and therefore not allowed by rules.

I see that I had read the question wrong now. I was thinking that they were just planning on adding a dab of solder to the connector so it’s a bit larger and more snug, but in this case, I agree that soldering to the dlink’s electronics would probably cause a few more issues.

I would strongly discourage opening the router. In addition to what you are proposing to do being against the rules, it is likely that you deform the antennas and mess up the reception. The antennas are made from pieces of thin sheet metal formed into 3D shapes that are rather delicate. Last year, a team member did exactly what you are proposing and bent the antennas. I did not have a way to determine how much that affected the signal strengths but from working with a bunch of RF engineers in the past, I know that the shape of the antennas are pretty critical to the performance of the radio.

If it takes >1 piece of electrical tape to hold the dlink cord in the connector, you should look at some upstream strain relief on the wire to reduce motion at the point of connection.

There are two pretty common issues here. If you did not use the connector that came on the power supply to power the radio, you may have the wrong size connector. These come in a variety of sizes for both the outer diameter and the inner pin size. While it looks right and it may even work most of the time, vibration will show that the inner pin is the wrong diameter.
If this is not a new radio, it is possible that you have broken the solder connection on the board. The result is the same as above. You can open the radio and repair this connection if you have soldered components on a circuit board before. As mentioned above, the antennas which are located along each side, are delicate and should not be touched. If you open the case, you will be able to determine if the connection is broken by wiggling the power connector. If it moves, it most certainly has broken the solder connection.

It is the new radio for this year, we are using the included connector, it has done this since the first time we powered it up. One strip of electrical tape helped, but it would still happen. A lot of duck tape helped more, but it would still happen every once in a while. I am thinking that the solder connections were bad out of the box.

I am thinking about swapping it out for last years and see if the problem still occurs. I saw someone post about isolating the power converter, ours is attached to the frame, we assumed that since it was a big heat sink this would help keep it cool. Is isolating this from the frame really necessary? I did not see this in the rules. We might give it a shot anyway to see if it helps.

Thanks!

I only suggested isolation because it turns out to work for us. The radio reset every time we slammed into something or changed directions fast. We figured it had something to do with the converter, as the radio was secured and the DC converter was firmly wired to the PDB. It must have had something to do with the sudden change in power,

Sorry I don’t have any solid evidence as to why this would work, or the full reasoning behind it. I just know it works for us.

Anyone have a size or part number of barrel plug that is correct for this? There must be something out there that exactly matches the original.

Actually, we just isolated the power converter from the frame and it appears to have solved it. We have not lost the D-Link since! Thank you for the suggestion. We removed the radio and just plugged in the connector and could not get it to reset with banging, jerking, or pulling on the power connector.

Can you do me a favor? Measure the resistance from any lead on the convertor to the aluminum case with the power removed. You can report here or PM me the results. In the past these convertors had an isolated case, I am wondering if that has changed.

This year I designed a bracket to hold in the power cable on the D-Link. We printed ours on our new Makerbot Replicator 2X so it is an ABS 3D printed part. Here is the link to the thingiverse page http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:253560
Hope it helps and good luck to all.

Us, too.