Protecting our cRIO

Okay so we have all of our electronics mounted under what we have taken to calling the truss. All of our electronics will be covered by a polycarbonate sheet represented by some rough cut cardboard in the pictures. What we are wondering is since our cRIO breaks the plane of our polycarbonate by a bit we just cut a hole. Any ideas on how to protect it? We are also thinking about mounting it on its side where it does not break the plane. Is that allowed?

Putting it on its side is fine, so long as you can easily access/troubleshoot it. You could put some standoffs on the polycarb and put another, smaller piece of polycarb above it.
What we are doing is using these right angle connectors to mount the analog and pneumatic breakouts in a lower height profile.

Use a heatgun to form a polycarbonate cover over the cRio, last thing you want is to disolodge any of the connections…

Where you have it (within the central confines of your frame) should be fine.

Last year we had our cRio on the outermost portion of our frame and after 36 matches at 3 different competitions it was only reset once. This was due to our lacking bumpers (we had small corner bumpers that exposed the meat of our frame at our Regional) and after this competition we switched to bumpers that fully encompassed our robot. We never had a problem at World Championships or at the Minnesota State Championships.

Being that we were primarily a defensive robot, we took A LOT of very hard hits throughout most of our matches. Our cRio only had problems when our bumpers were insufficient. We had other issues, but never with our cRio after the NorthStar regional.

However, that is our experience. Yours may be different - so take it with a grain of salt.

I would highly suggest you protect the CRIO we had a similar set up with the main breaker in 2012 and the bridge landed on it 20 seconds into a match both shutting off our robot and shattering the breaker. Luckily its an easy to replace component that is fairly common ( we had an extra just because). Although its illegal to hit within the bumper lines, it happens and i assure you that your CRIO is worth more than the penalty points. This year there is no bridges but a ball could land on it and its easier to fix a polycarbonate sheet then it is to find and replace a CRIO.

I assure you its better to take the precaution now then be sorry you didn’t later

Last year a robot that was unstable rocked back as we were going by. When it came down a wheel landed on our battery switch and turned us off. After the match I went over to their pit and congratulate and their driver for some great tactical driving.:). We then added some protection for our switch.

Personally, I’d repurpose a snow globe and mount the sphere over it. Turn what looks like a mistake into a feature. Bonus points if it still looks like it is snowing while the robot is moving.

But the other suggestions of mounting on its side will work too. Be aware that the clips need to operate in order to access modules. Be sure to add a spacer or plan for it in some other fashion.

Greg McKaskle

Perhaps you want one of these