We are planning on having our entire arm manipulator being able to be detached from the the drive train base. From our current design, we would need to be able to detach several cables connecting the motors on the arm section to the Victors on the drive train base. We are planning to use COTS modular connectors to accomplish a quick disconnect method.
Is this legal?
According to <R03>, it says COTS electronics are prohibited if they “Directly affect any output devices on the ROBOT. Examples of items that are considered affecting the output devices on the ROBOT include those that directly power a motor, supply a PWM signal directly to a speed controller or supply a control signal directly to a relay module.”
We think this should be legal because it’s only a quick disconnect, and we are not directly interfering with signals or the such.
I think this is simplified by analyzing the key words that would affect what the answer is. Ironically, that word is “affect” here.
I would venture to say that the GDC means “affect” in the context of “changes in any way”. I say that because many teams use quick connects between the motors and speed controllers. My team has used these under the same wording of rules in previous years with only 1 question about their usage from an inspector. That question what “what is their power rating in Amps?”.
This is your answer…
<R40> All active PD Board branch circuits shall be wired with appropriately sized wire:
The branch circuit may include intermediate elements such as COTS connectors, splices, COTS flexible/rolling/sliding contacts, and COTS slip rings, as long as the entire electrical pathway is via appropriately gauged conductors.
We have used Anderson 45 amp connectors for many years and connect most motors using them. In addition they can be snapped together in a variety of ways to form multipin connectors for detachable assemblies. Should you choose to use these, be aware that they can be assembled in a manner that allows only one orientation to connection.
Seconded, third-ed, fourthed, , , N-thed about the Anderson powerpoles. They also come in various colors to aid the correct assembly of wiring. I’m surprised that someone hasn’t approached Anderson for a small sample sack to include in the KoP! Maybe next year?
R-40 says it all. I think R-03 was referring to anything supplying power to motors directly cannot be COTS, but you can put connectors between the motor and the motor controller because the controller, well, controls it. The wires from the motor controller to the motor don’t “directly power the motor” as R-03 says, they power the motor after the motor controller.
8026K52 Housing for 15, 30, & 45 Amp, Black Modular Connector, Packs of 5 (Same as 8026K5)
8026K51 Housing for 15, 30 and 45 Amp, Red Modular Connector, Packs of 5 (Same as 8026K5)
connector pins for housings above, the different pins accomodate different wire sizes, all pins fit in the above housings
8026K95 Modular Connector Contact, 45 Amps @ 600 VAC/VDC, Packs of 5
8026K91 Modular Connector Contact, 30 Amps @ 600 VAC/VDC, Packs of 5
8026K96 Modular Connector Contact, 15 Amps @ 600 VAC/VDC, Packs of 5
I’ll chime in here and add that we love the PowerPole’s as well… used them for the first time last year, and we’ll be using them again this year. Having a proper crimp tool for them is also highly recommended - it makes everything a lot easier: