PDP Visibility

“The single PDP and PDP breakers must be easily visible for inspection.”

According to the inspection checklist, the PDP must be easily visible…but does it need to be constantly visible?

We have our PDP mounted beneath a second electronics board, which we can easily lift (hinges), but it’s not completely clearly visible during matches when the second sheet is closed. Would we be able to pass inspection by being able to display the PDP and its breakers during inspection only?

I’ve inspected for a couple of years now and I’ve seen some pretty densely packed robots where the PDP was absolutely buried. That said, I’ve never seen a team pack up and head home because of it. As long as you can show the inspector you should be okay.

I once passed a well-established and successful team whose PDP was completely inaccessible and felt dirty for it afterwards. I suspect more of this goes on than most would admit.

At the end of the day inspectors are there to make everything goes well, not to thin the herd.

The rule only governs the time during inspection. Having a hinged cover that allows you to easily reveal the PDP to the inspector is better than what many teams do and will cause you no problems.

The rules for easily-inspectable electronics signal lights have generally been ruled to mean that they need to be easily visible during inspection.

That being said, if your electronics are all hidden in the bottom of the robot it makes it a lot harder for the FTAs to diagnose what’s broken when your robot restarts on the field. Putting your electronics so the signal lights are visible from fieldside won’t save you that match, but it could definitely help the FTAs diagnose your problem so it won’t happen next match. RIO and FMS logging are only so good, it really helps to be able to see what’s going on with the robot in realtime.