Pressure gauges must be visible. Pressure gauges must be placed in easily visible locations
upstream and downstream of the regulator to display the stored and working pressures,
respectively. Pressure gauges must show pressure in psi or kPa.
Does anyone know off hand if this is at all times like the signal light and to some extent the main breaker or can we have it under the bot and only visible when the bot is tilted up?
I would definitely try for visible from the top on this one
Part of the inspection process is to fill and release the pressure from the system and verify the gauges read 0, thus, an inspector would expect to be able to read all gauges from the “normal” orientation of the robot.
It’s not like the signal light, which you should be able to see at a glance. You might have to look in just the right spot to see the pressure gauges. But you shouldn’t have to flip the robot over, or open anything, to be able to see them.
It may be helpful to your team if these gauges are easily visible for diagnostic purposes.
If I were your inspector I would be okay if it were hidden on the underside of your bot in normal operation as long as I could verify that the system was working as required during the inspection process. The gauges are often hidden and in tough to see places on many robots and not something that a referee or FTA could be expected to see during the match.
That being said if the inspector at your event and even more importantly LRI at your event say otherwise they have the final say.
If I were you I would do my best to make it pretty easy to see for the fact of what @philso stated. It makes it much easier to trouble shoot.
And for your pre match check to see that the tank is full…
When inspecting robots, I noticed quite a few teams had installed their gauges just behind a clear protective panel so the team members can quickly and easily verify the health of their pneumatic system, periodically. Often, they have also installed a small panel meter next to the gauges to monitor the system voltage.
Visual confirmation — it’s not just for Inspection any more.
Passing inspection doesn’t mean their pneumatic system won’t develop a leak later.
Many a team has learned this the hard way, my own included. The classic situation requires a team’s robot to hold onto its air, while a VIP is waxing eloquent with robots on the field prior to the day’s first match.
In 2019, we were in the first Einstein round robin match, meaning we had to set up our robot on the field and leave it there during all the introductions of each division winner. Despite having fully pressurized all seven air tanks, I think we were sitting around 70 PSI when we started the match. Fun times
This practice always annoyed me. The cost to the 6 affected teams seems to far outstrip the added spectacle of a VIP speaking from amongst robots.
Later, events seemed to recognize this problem, and would let teams tether and recharge their pneumatics prior to the first match. I’m not sure if this happened universally across FIRST, or just at smart events.
As an inspector, I would say avoid needing to turn the robot over to read them. When we get to that part of the checklist, we need to be able to read the gauges while the robot is turned on and enabled. Simply put, in that state, it’s not safe to have someone holding the robot tipped back, and you probably don’t want it sitting on its back unsupported either (especially given how most robots are going to look this year - it’s likely to put pressure on climbing arms and potentially knock them out of alignment or cause binding!).
They don’t need to be easily visible the same way the signal light (very easily visible) or the radio (something the FTA can find when there’s an issue) does. If you need to remove a panel to see them, that’s just fine! If I need to stand in a specific location to see them, that’s fine too!
One final note - look up the Automation Direct quick connect gauges. They are small, light weight, and have quick connect fittings on either side. If you’re used to bigger, heavier ones with brass fittings, you’ll find these are extremely easy to locate anywhere on the robot you want! They also have similar pressure regulators as well - all said, it can save a significant amount of space and weight, while giving you increased flexibility in where you put stuff! Pm me if you need help finding them on their site, I can pull part numbers from one of our old robots.
Our LRI has is look at pressures while checking robots in the queing line. So they need to be reasonably accessable.
They also have hard plastic U lines that can run between them.
Do you have a link to that mounting bracket?
It looks like this, maybe? Do you use two of these with long bolts going through the fittings?
Where do you get the U lines? I remember hearing about them, but forgot who supplied them.
I just found this page on AutomationDirect.
Looks like it has links to all the parts needed to make the assembly above. If you haven’t used your AutomationDirect voucher yet, this would be a good use for it.