pic: Shot of the electrical board before it goes on the robot

The board is complete, and should be going on the robot on Monday!

No pneumatics? I don’t see any relays.

Also, I love your colourful ribbon cable!

What is the color coding on your resettable fuses for

If you notice that the associated PWM Cables share the same color code in electrical tape. This is a simple way to keep track of the wiring for a single component.

If you have a problem with motor “red-blue” you can easily check “red-blue” cables, fuses and motor controllers. It is easy and cheap to debug a system and replace components.

If your team does not utilize an on robot wire labeling system, I strongly advise you do before it is too late. Even if your wiring is neat and orderly.

That ribbon cable is just fabulous.

Edit: …And the electronics board is nice too

I like the colour coding, but be nice to your inspectors and leave the current ratings of the fuses uncovered.

Responses in order of the posts above:

  • No pneumatics. The last time the team used pneumatics was 2007!
  • As McGurky said, the color coding follows the entire path for a single motor or sensor. Marking tape was applied directly to every motor and sensor. It was then applied to the ends of the wires on the robot, near the connectors to the board. Obviously, you can see it applied to the wires on the board near the connector, to both ends of the PWM cables, on the breakers, and directly on the controllers themselves. For debugging purposes, you can’t get much easier than that!
  • We had two choices for ribbon cable… the rainbow one we got from FIRST Choice, or the plain gray one that was in the KoP. Needless to say, the students chose to go colorful.
  • The current ratings are a good point, they went a little overboard on labeling a few of the fuses. Fortunately, we only use 12 and 14 gauge wire, so there’s really no possibility of an issue with any of them!


Yup. The board will be mounted to the very bottom of the robot. While the important stuff is visible from above, it’s not very accessible. So, we can tip the robot on its side, remove a couple of bolts from the non-hinged side, and fold the entire electrical board down to work on it if something goes wrong. Note the PowerPole connectors… they run near the hinge, with built in slack to ensure they don’t get pulled tight or come apart when the board is lowered. They also allowed us to complete all of the wiring (on both the board and the robot) before putting the board on, and finish it by snapping a few connectors together.