Power distribution question?

Can i mount the power distribution board upside down, is this good, bad or no effect at all?

I suppose you could, but you might want to test to see if the breakers fall out during collisions.
As far as legality, it should be fine, but it might not be easy to work with.
(answer not official, ::rtm:: and Q&A)

There are status LEDs on the PD that you may want to use for troubleshooting. Also, getting at the circuit breakers to insert/remove when working on your robot is something that everyone will want to do.

Yes, it will function. No, you will regret the decision.


I would never put one upside down. The LEDs are too useful to hide, and I would worry that the circuit breakers and router power connection would be liable to fall out. They’re in there pretty well, though, and I might just be paranoid.

Keep in mind that the inspectors are going to want to see the circuit breakers. Be sure you don’t make it too hard for them if you do mount it upside down.

I addition to all the posts above, I have to ask if the PD is going to be facing the floor under the robot? If so this is one of the riskiest things you can do. There is a lot of debris that ends up on the floor during a match. Your robot will be kicking this mostly metallic debris up into the PD. In addition…
H. The PD Board and all circuit breakers must be easily visible for inspection.
Although circuit breakers are generally pretty tight when first installed, repeated installation and withdrawal does tend to loosen them enough for vibration to cause them to fall out.

It is mounted within the robot upside down, and it is no where near the floor. We have 2 peices of angle iron going across our bot at an angle aprooxiamatley 24 degrees to the horizontal and so the board was going to go right underneath those upside down.

OK Steve,
However, you still must satisfy the inspection rule. Inspectors are trained to check a breaker against the wiring to which it is connected for wire size and color codes. If it is buried and up side down, it will be very hard to inspect. Please treat the inspectors nice, they are your friend.

Ok that works then, i have to make the power distribution board very accesible then, by the way im christian not steve,lol

We mounted ours upside down on the underside of the electronics board last year and passed inspection. However we did have a few issues with the cRIO power connector detaching itself from the board. This year I have a bigger electronics board and can fit everything onto one side :stuck_out_tongue:

Sorry Christian,
If you update your user info, we will use that. Thanks.

With the screws to hold it in, that’s one connector I wouldn’t have expected problems with.

What about victors, spikes, the d-link and its power adapter upside down? I would assume the d-link would be fine but im not sure about the other 3 componets.

I like the idea of mounting the Victors upside down. They won’t collect debris as easily that way. As far as how the components function, upside down is not an issue. Inspection, service, etc are the big issue. I think the compressor is the only thing that needs to be mounted upright, and that is only because it needs to be on it’s isolation mounts, and they are designed to work in compression.

Is there a way to make it so the whole board hinges up easily so you can see and work on it? all the wires would need to enter/exit from one edge.

Were not using a compressor, so need to worry about that one, but as for now the electrical would be bolted upside down at an angle, when we go into inspection i dont how that will be for the inspectors…there really is no room for the board to swing since it is a an angle and has no room to swing at the bottom it.

If you could post some pictures of the robot we might be able to suggest something. Also you might be able to make a board with the PD mounted on top, and the victors/spikes/ etc mounted below, and wires go thru holes to feed power to the various parts.

just make sure your controllers can get air circulation or you may have issues there.

Hmm, kinda like the imagery of that idea :slight_smile:

As with most components, they don’t care which way they are mounted. Electrons are not as influenced by gravity when in the presence of battery. The Dlink needs to be mounted up and away from motors and steel so that the radio can handshake with the field. Rules require that the Dlink be visible from the front of the robot by setup crews. The Victors and Jaguars have indicators that you need to see as well as anyone helping you. You really need to consider a lot of other things as well before you really tie yourself into this design. If an inspector can’t complete inspection you can’t play.

Another side note. It is dangerous to charge the battery on its side. so make sure you remove it (which you should be doing anyhwho) before charging it.

Sorry not posting any pictures of our robot, because we dont want other teams in the region to know how we are going on our bot, sorry but i can give a small representation of it.