Our TechnoKat robot does not want to cooperate. I’ll try to explain the situation and maybe there is someone out there who has seen similar happenings with their robot.
Our team’s electrical guys have not been able to check out the problem yet, so I thought I would let you guys chew on it and give me your opinion.
We recently had a demo in Chicago where I personally blew three Victors within 90 minutes… it was pretty frustrating. It was more like a demo on how to blow a Victor (ok, kids… here comes the magic smoke!). There is a root electrical problem that I cannot find.
Here is what has happened (with some history):
- The left side drill Victor blew at a previous demo.
- I replaced the left side Victor, and all was well (this happened before the Chicago demo).
- Once it started driving in Chicago, the right side drill Victor blew.
- I replaced that Victor with one that was already on the robot (in a different spot) but not being used.
- The newly added right side drill Victor blew. This was after it was operated successfully by itself, but it blew when the whole drivetrain was operated.
- I replaced the right side drill Victor again (this time, stealing from one of the Globe motor Victors).
- This newly added right side drill Victor blew again, just like the previous Victor.
So… I blew 3 Victors, all in the same place (the right side drill). With that info, you would think that the motor may be bad… but read on, it gets better.
Keep in mind that not only I was working on this, but also Darrel Noble, lead electrical guy from 71 was helping me. We both confirmed each time that we had the wires right before it was turned on.
There are a couple of things that are odd about when this failure happened:
- When I ONLY drove the right side, by itself, it worked fine.
- The Victor would blow when I drove both the left and right sides together.
- When I pulled all of the 40A breakers, except for the 1 that had the blown Victor, I would push the right joystick forward and backward. The robot would not move (since the right Victor was blown, of course), but the far left Victor’s light would light up. Darrel thought that it was from the motor acting as a generator, but the motor wasn’t moving!
- Looking back to the last time that the far right Victor blew, it happened when I had the right joystick about 1/2 way and the left at full throttle.
I seriously think that there is some odd electrical leakage between the far right victor and the far left victor. The far left victor is getting some sort of power or signal when the right victor is being told to move. This could lead to the cause of this problem.
My first suspicion is that there is some sort of short in the 40A breaker bar. Somehow, voltage is being leaked between these two Victors. When only one is actuated, they both work fine… but when both are being driven, one of the Victors is fried.
I have not taken a voltmeter to the 40A breaker bar… that is probably my next step.
I’m tired of wasting $115 Victors. We blew 2 at Championships, 1 at a previous demo, and now 3 more, for a grand total of $690. Something is seriously wrong. Help!