pic: 2007 Robot Brain

Team 118’s 2007 Robot Brain. This modular control panel enabled quick repairs and adjustments as well as providing excellent time when replacing a Victor or a Spike on Redline between matches. There are 10 back to back speed controllers as well as 5 spikes (4 back to back Spikes and 1 stand alone for the compressor). Also there is a fuse panel under the brain with our 20A-30A fuses. The blue, orange, black, and red connectors are Anderson connectors for our motors and the black things on the left of our brain are 30 pin round plastic connector for our sensors.
PS. There is a trick to the power distribution block that will be posted soon.**

**Posted by Kris Verdeyen here.

wow that a lot of stuff in a little space, didn’t your victors get really hot

Did you have a muffin fan nearby to keep them cool?

If you didn’t, or even if you did I guess… did they give you any trouble?

Pavan, if you have a picture of the bottom view of that board, please post it. A lot of people will be inspired after they can see how much weight can be taken out just from one sheet of metal. That is one of the most neat electrical board I have seen all year long. Kuddos to you guys.

No sir, we did not have a muffin fan. We did not have any fans besides the ones on the speed controllers actually. If I had more pictures of the different views, you would see that the speed controller fans are mounted to where they air flows in narrow aisles. We did not have problems with the cooling of speed controllers. Also as Arefin mentions in the post above there is a lot of metal cut out of our Cat Plate (the plate that everything was mounted onto (it is called the Cat Plate because my mentor thought it looked “cat-like”)) so there is also direct airflow to the speed controllers from underneath.

No sir. They were warm after some hard (demanding on the Victors), close to back to back matches at the Bayou, but never hot.

I will try to get some of the modeled pictures that the controls team made using inventor this year to give you a better idea as to how the bottom looked as well as different views so that you can see how air would flow.

Am I the only one that can’t see the picture (it doesn’t even come up?)

I don’t seem to have a problem viewing it, but I threw it up on my site anyway:



That IS nice! :yikes:

Firefox must be acting up again, thus I can’t see the pic on CD. It happens now and then… :frowning: Thanks for duplicating it for me!

I’ll bet the judges gave you a hard time about it. I’m amazed you didn’t have any issues with overheating. I know had we put that many victors so close together our mentors would have made us use additional fans! :rolleyes:

Just out of curiosity, why did you make it so small? Did you need space or just felt like keeping it compact?

Very impressive. I would also like to see that modeled in inventor. we’re a rookie team, and i had to come up with our electronics organization this year and used inventor to lay it out… unfortunately we had to do a lot of rearranging… I think that if I were able to compact things like this we would have a lot less trouble next year. If I am seeing things correctly your RC is elevated, right? therefore giving you space to work with underneath, where you keep your backup battery I assume? as well as maybe a spike or two it appears, and a few pwms run under there… right? haha maybe i’m assuming too much, that sounds like a lot of stuff under there, but i guess I wouldn’t doubt it seeing how much you fit in the area surrounding the RC.

The Cat Plate

I was in charge of inspecting the robot this year again and the inspectors loved that the brain was very organized and that is all they liked ;), they had some issues with our brain being mounted on top of our fuse panel (20A-30A) but after a flashlight and a screwdriver they lightened up, but insisted SEVERAL times to make everything more visible in the future.

Our reason for making it so small is because of our base. If you see pictures of our robot, we have a very low CG and we had planned the base to place certain key components in certain spots (the V6, Compressor, Battery, Brain). So to answer your question, we space elsewhere on the robot for other functions AND we wanted to make it compact after previous years of our “keep it together” strategy.

Yes sir you are correct, our RC is mounted higher but you are mistaken as to what is under there. Underneath lies our 20A-30A fuse panel. Also on our RC you might notice a piece of Velcro, that is where our backup battery was placed during competition.

that is definately the cleanest electronics board i have ever seen for as much stuff is on there!!


Yeah, something’s definitely up with the negative side. It looks like it’s split into two sections. What’s the deal?

Yes, It appears that one of the 4 (-) blocks is not connected to the others… and has a lot of stuff going in/out of it.

Now that I look at it better, on the (near) side, it appears there are 4 black wires, appearing to go to the Victors on the right. On the other side is a larger wire, and we can not see where this goes. Perhaps those Victors are grounded separately? for some reason?

Just some thoughts.

Take a close look at this picture. It is very cool to see teams planning ahead of time like Gabe said in the other thread.

That’s not the trick. The reason for having two of the jumpers was simply that the four wide jumpers were all but impossible to come by this year, and we had a source for the three wide jumpers. Apparently, the documentation for the jumpers says that stacking two jumpers (a three and a two) on top of each other like this is an acceptible way to make a longer jumper.

The trick Pavan’s talking about is the rigamarole we went through with the PDB to keep it from becoming loose at nationals. We went through a process of:

  1. Removing the crappy slotted screws from the PDB.
  2. Turning down nice caphead allen screws on the lathe so that they’d fit in the plastic housing.
  3. Crimping and soldering on the end of each power wire an Anderson Power Pole pin.
  4. Sanding and bending the pin slightly to become a hook that will fit flat into the PDB.
  5. Tightening down the nice new capheads on top of the modified APP pins.
  6. Locktite the screws from the side of each PDB section.
  7. Tape the part of the APP connector that sticks out from the PDB

This process took an entire fixit window to complete, and although it was tedious and slow, we had not a single problem at the championship, after constantly fixing it at both of our regionals.

Wow, that is much better than our electronics. Our mechanical components were all modular, but since the design changed a lot during build season, our electrical components were mounted rather haphazardly, and our wiring looked like a bundle of spit, with some desperate attempts at order. This is definately something to consider for next year.

I was finally able to obtain the CAD files of our brain box. If you would like more pictures, drawings, or anything else pertaining these files, I will try my best to get them to you. This is before we designed the cat plate and so there are no holes. I think this is wate Arefin and a few others wanted posted.



Those are 45 amp anderson powerpole connectors, right?