Hello! as a rookie team, we are certainly under prepared and under-equipped when it comes to skills required for wiring an FRC-type robot. Any advice from veteran teams or mentors would be much appreciated on behalf of our whole team as to the necessary skills required by the electrical team before the build period. Thanks in advance
Welcome to FRC! Google search is your friend when getting started with the basics. You’ll find plenty of useful information that way. Here are some pointers to get you started:
- Guide to wiring the FRC control system
- Electrical tutorial by the Compass Alliance
- By Jan 11th, several FRC teams will have published Ri3D (Robot in 3 days) and MCC (minimum competitive concept) designs that will give key insights into how to apply electrical systems to the 2020 game. Be sure to search for them.
Just a few quick tips here:
- Tug-test everything. If you can easily pull it apart by hand, it won’t withstand a competition.
- Label everything so you know what it all is when something breaks and you have to fix it.
- Tight battery connections are life to your robot. If the battery wires rotate at all, they’ll cause brownouts.
- Your Electrical and Pneumatic systems will be the most scrutinized parts of your robot by a Robot Inspector at competition. Make sure you have a meticulous student and mentor handling it. There should be no exposed wire anywhere and the more clean and organized you can make it, the better off you are.
Download last year’s game manual and spend some time digesting section 10, the robot construction rules. There may me some differences this year but a large percentage will still apply.
If you’re going to practice anything prior to kick-off I would suggest wire stripping and the crimping of Anderson Powerpole connectors and the large ring terminals for the connections to the battery and PDP. A 100% reliable electrical system makes FRC a lot easier and more enjoyable.
Everything above is great advice, I’ll refrain from repeating it.
As a word of advice, find someone who has an artistic leaning to partake in the project. Anytime they said “Ew, that’s ugly,” that’s a good sign that your wires are crossing and mixed up in ways that are going to be headaches later. Let the people with good artistic skill find elegant ways to arrange or manage the project. Students who are habitually organized work too.
Don’t wait to get it wired until the last day, it leads to bad wire jobs that are rushed and fraught with sadness.
We’ve also used piping like this to hold together like wires. I’m certain there is a cheaper option, I’ll update this post once I ask the fellow mentor that bought it.
Here’s a great electrical resource:
All that was said above.
Use a real wire stripper to strip wire. If you nick or damage the wire, cut that off and do it again.
Never, ever use anything that isn’t as good as you can make. Re-do it.
Crimp terminals using a crimp tool. Pliers are not crimp tools.
If your team is planning on using Anderson Power Pole connectors this guide is helpful.
Actually, as of 2020 ScreenSteps will be no longer updated or supported, so follow the wiring guides at the new WPILib docs.
That is an excellent resource on FRC electrical and control systems and components! Thanks for sharing – we will use it to improve our training of new students.