Keeping an updated log of electrical team progress

My question is what ways do you use to keep your team up to date as to what is connected in you control system. Since the electrical team can’t be there all the time what quick ways have you found to be the best to keep the rest of the team informed as to what is connected. For example, say you t electrical team isn’t there but the programming team wants to test some of the sensors etc. Instead of having to examine the robot and follow each connection what techniques would you recommend for keeping a quick reference as to what is connected.

Here are some of my ideas:

  1. Keep a printable diagram showing all the parts, but having no connections. Therefore all you have to do is when your done for the day is print it out and quickly draw the wires etc.

  2. Keep a printable checksheet of all the connections so you can simply check off what is connected to what. For example cRio to Digital Sidecar 1. and put a checkbox.

These are some of the ideas I had, but I’m looking for suggestions since I have little experience in this area. Thank you for any help you can provide.


One of the things my team has done before is printed out a listing of all of the controller pin sets (DIO, PWM Relay etc.). We then laminated this list and wrote next to each set with dry-erase marker what was connected to it when we made a connection.

So we would have a list looking something like this

Printed Written with dry-erase

PWM 1 Victor 1 L Drive CIM
PWM 2 Victor 2 R Drive CIM

I’ve alway’s just written down where things were connected, and when done just create a PDF file. Not the best method, but simple and works. Then i upload it on a webpage for easy access to it.

You know things like:

Speed controller (front left motor) = PWM 1
Spees controller 2 (front right motor) = PWM 2
Ultrasonic sensor = Digital input 1

Ideally it would be cool to have a program that you could update, and it would automatically upload it to a webpage.

A simple spreadsheet that is shared among all the robot sub teams is the best. Ours shows each motor, PWM output, type of breaker, a color assignment for wire marking and it’s use and position on the robot. All electrical parts are added below the motors so that electrical knows what function is being assigned in software and mechanical knows what it is being used for.

MotorFunctions.xls (22.5 KB)

MotorFunctions.xls (22.5 KB)

Thanks for sharing that Al, it is similar to what we have done, but a bit more comprehensive. I will definitely be using this sheet to modify ours to have a bit more information on it.