Returning bad digital sidecar

Durring finals in atlanta, we suddenly loss all communication with the cRio. We were unable to connect with the First Driver station software, however we were still able to successfully send code. We noticed that also the orange light would never come on.Upon talking with a N.I. guy, he suggested that we replace our digital sidecar. We replaced it, and the robot was restored and working. We think we can safely assume it was the sidecar causing the issues, but i do not want to retest it on the cRio. I now have a bad sidecar on my hands, what should i do with it? throw it away, or is there someway i can return it to the company, like we could do with the jags?

The digital sidecar is a First supplied part in a round about way. I think there is info on returns on the First website. I would examine the sidecar and see if there is any obvious failures. Just connect it to a 12 volt power supply and see if all the power LEDs come on. You may have had some issue with wayward conductive material that took out the power supply on the board. The schematics are also on the first website.

We had a similar issue. It turned out the sidecar was filled with metal chips that kept shorting it out. I suggest opening it to see if that is the issue.

Several inquiries revealed that, unless it is a warranty issue, they are throwaways.

We had multiple sidecar failures, and determined they were due to metal chips and shavings getting into the unit.

At first we thought it was from drilling, even though we cover the electronics. But after a few failures and replacements, we determined at least part of the problem was that our wheels were picking up material from the playing field and it was ending up in the sidecars.

Short term fix - we added “mud flaps” behind the wheels to keep debris from getting into the electronics.

Long term fix - we will not mount the sidecars so low in the frame or in areas susceptable to field debris.

That was one of the main causes of our issues as well. Mounting the sidecar at the very bottom of the frame didn’t work out well.