The Camera's power cuts in and out when the compressor kicks on

Unfortunately, I have not had a problem like this with the camera in my four years with the team. The camera signal cuts in and out and the light on the camera flashes green, red, and sometimes orange depending on the situation. And on occasion it turns completely red, and just shuts off. I am a senior in an electronics program at my high school, and I don’t know what I could do to correct this problem without putting a COTS circuit in the robot with a buffer to pull the voltage to 5 volts. Is this legal? We are competing in New Brunswick NJ next weekend. If someone could please get back to me regarding this issue, that would be great.


How is your camera connected to your robot’s frame? You might be providing an extra path back to the battery through the camera. This would blow a self-resetting breaker on the PD and cause it to lose power.

Check your camera and your compressor for shorts to chassis.

That sounds like a good thing, actually… :slight_smile:

The camera is mounted to the frame via a plastic pole, which is not shorting out the camera. I do have it connected to the WAGO as I should as well. The 5V DC WAGO. I think it is still the original camera from the 2009 build season.

Could it be a loose power connection, and the vibration from the compressor is shaking it out?

No, I have also ruled out that possibility. Also have checked continuity on the wires. Nothing is wrong with the connection.

I saw behavior like this in one team’s camera. I didn’t fully isolate it, but I was able to run the camera using the standard power supply off AC and get it to misbehave stand-alone. Swapping in a new camera on the robot also worked fine in that one case.

That just eliminated the robot power system as a culprit. It still could have been anything from a bad power connector on the camera to a damaged camera.

Running a DC camera on AC will not work, and may even damage it more, if it is damages. So ordering a new camera may be the best bet?

Those 2009 camera’s were really touchy when it comes to the power connection - just bounding around normally seemed to be enough to cause power to cut out momentarily and cause the camera to reset (giving you the red/orange light around it, instead of the green “I’m ok” light). We’ve had our power connector hot-glued in ever since we first ran into the problem years ago.

I’m not sure I understand you, but if your camera won’t work using the AC power supply then it’s time to get a new camera.

Ok, when you say power connector, are you talking about the WAGO, or the connector going into the camera?

i think there’s confusion between using the power supply that comes with the camera (converts your wall AC into 5V DC to power the camera) and hooking the camera power input straight to an AC power source (like the wall, except without the Ac/DC converter in place).

OH, okay. Now I understand what you are saying, I thought you meant hooking up an AC power supply at 5V. We have not yet tried that. I will have to try hooking a direct DC powernsupply onto the wires to see how it performs.

We had a similar issue in the during 2011 during competition. When we submitted our robot for inspection, the inspector pointed out that our robot frame wasn’t fully isolated. The most obvious instance he found was the camera mount. To make to our match, we had to take it off to pass inspection. We had it mounted with the stock plastic pole.

I don’t remember how we fixed the problem, but I believe it involved the the wires supplying power to the metal base plate of the camera, and along a metal bolt in the plastic assembly.

However, our camera was still working properly, but we didn’t have a compressor.