Legality of off board compressors in 2020

Our team (RJ Team 3729) was planning on using some cylinders in our robot this year for a few small actuations. This is the first time in a few years we have used pneumatics. We have two air tanks on the robot that we were pressurizing beforehand that lasted us through the match today another team pointed out that we need to have the compressor on the actual robot per rule R79
“Throughout an event, compressed air on the ROBOT must be provided by its one onboard compressor only.”
Does this rule explicitly disallow off board compressor?
If we do need to add an onboard compressor, can we still fill the tanks before the match and not run the compressor during the match?
If we do not run the compressor during a match, do we still need to hook up the pressure switch?
Thank you.

Yes. Next question please.


R78 specifies that all components of the system must be installed, so yes the switch is required.

Thanks for the quick response. Do you know if we actually have to run the compressor during the match.

You dont have to but I would recommend it. Just in case you use your air too quickly.



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During the inspections process the compressor should come on when the robot is enabled and no stored pressure is in the system to be inspected.

You have to run the compressor by pressure switch thru code control by be the Rio. You can disable it so it doesn’t run during the match.

The compressor and pressure shut off r both controlled by the pcm. They can manually be shut off in code with a button or something. although I don’t see the reason in doing so unless ur batteries r really bad.

The compressor etc. has to run in in the pits - during inspection we have to show that the pressure relief valve (the brass thing with the hexagonal fittings) vents at about 130 PSI. The whole pneumatic system - electrical and plumbing - has to be complete to pass inspection. This includes the compressor cycling on and off under control of the roboRIO, via the PCM, when the ‘bot is enabled.

And yes, it’s pretty common to pressurize in the pits before a match, and change to a fresh battery.

Pneumatic leaks are all too common, and very hard to hear in the noise of the pits. One of your pneumatic fittings may pop loose if your ‘bot gets hit hard in a match.

The PCM is required to be controlled (enabled) by the Rio. You could control the PCM by a Hero, but that would not be legal for FRC. You can also control the compressor by a spike, but that would be ill-advised

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