Victor PWM terminals are temperamental. Solutions?

My team is using Victor speed controllers this season (we normally use Jags). But we’ve encountered one major hurdle.

Whenever we insert the male PWM connector into the Victor, we rarely get the cable directly into the port, and it will frequently bend the pins on the cable, rendering it FUBAR until we remove the cable, bend the pins back with pliers, and reinsert the cable (very carefully).

This happens very frequently (maybe 80% of all times we change the wiring, and about 30% of times we cross the bridge). It is incredibly irritating (compounded by the fact that due to poor planning, our electrics are anything but accessible).

Has anybody else encountered this problem? Are there any known solutions?

This has always been the case with both speed controllers. It just takes some practice. Better to practice on a spare outside of the robot until you are familiar with the way it is inserted.

When you say 30% of the time crossing the bridge, are you saying they are falling out? If so, some teams use a drop of silicone or other soft, pliable adhesive like that once they are installed. This tends to “vibration-proof” the connection, but is easy to remove as long as you do not go overboard. Some teams will use electrical tape for the same reason.

What you could do is permanently secure a short extension cable into the Victor and just connect to that.

There’s no real solution to not bending the pins as you plug them in; it just takes practice, like Al said. Your pins shouldn’t be bending when you cross the bridge if they’re seated correctly though.

Practice practice practice.

There’s no substitute for having someone on the team plug these wires in repeatedly until they get a “feel” for how much pressure is required, and how straight the connector has to be.

If you have to push them in too hard, they aren’t completely aligned.

I usually like to wiggle them slightly, until they essentially drop in almost by themselves.

They are frustrating, but a great teachable/learning moment about attention to detail.

Practice is key, however, if there is something physically hitting the Jaguars and Victors directly, then you probably need a cover to protect your electrical board.

I don’t think that is the case though. Another nifty little trick that my old team picked up from a first class team a few years ago was hot glue guns. If you can manage to get the PWM Pins (or any other electrical connection for that matter) into a spot where you like them, and LIGHTLY run it around to make sure that they work properly, you can hot glue gun the tops to not only keep them from coming out, but reinforce them from further damage. Only a little dab of it would suffice to keep them from coming out during competition, and taking it up is as easy as prying it up with a blade.

Hope this helps!