WARNING - Keep those compressors cool or you may be slimed!!!!

Yesterday, I guess our compressor got a little to hot and started causing condensation in the tubing… oops! I guess when one of the team members went to unplug a tube, it sprayed “slime” all over them!!! iwwww…

Are you sure we aren’t allowed to use two compressors on our robot??? lol j/k

Keep them cool!!!

yes. our air compressor has been getting so hot that it will start to shake baddly and so hot that you will burn yourself if you touch it. we have to unplug the fuse after a while.

We had problems with ours stalling at 80 Psi or so if it was too overheated, it wouldnt work right until we had given it a half hour or so to cool.

Our solution was that we got a cheap heatsink for a computer and mounted it with zip ties to the top of the compressor (after scraping off the paint and using tons of thermalpaste).
Even without a fan on the heatsink we are yet to have overheating problems :smiley:

water in the lines is not from the compressor being too hot - its from the air being compressed - it causes the moisture in the air to condense out

professional compressors usually have a water trap - a little device that captures the water in a small cup, esp if you are using them for spray painting.

er, you guys ARE using the safty cut off valves and safety bleed valves, right :smiley:

I suspect that those of you who are having overheating problems with the compressor haven’t installed the new version of the ifi_aliases.h file. The relayx_fwd and relayx_rev aliases are reversed in the original version of the code, and that makes it highly probable that you’ve been running the compressor backwards. If the compressor polarity is reversed, it will still compress air, but its internal cooling fan will not work properly. Make sure the light on the Spike supplying power to the compressor is green. If not, either swap the compressor wires or fix the programming using the new version of the header file from IFI.

I’m rather confused… ha ha ha, programming newbie…

Our Spike connected to the compressor is hooked up to realay port 8, and the code under ifi_aliases.h consists of:

#define relay8_fwd LATDbits.LATD7
#define relay8_rev LATJbits.LATJ0

All the other ports say LATEbits instead of J, and Would have progressed consecutively, so, I think the bottom line should say LATEbits.LATE8, but I’m not sure.

Our spike is now running on red, and it is shaking and as hot as the above have described. Should I change this bottom line to what I thought, or what should I change it to?


The compressor shouldn’t get that hot unless you are constantly running it. The more you run your cylinders, the more the compressor needs to be on, but don’t ever keep it running constantly for long periods of time.

Your best bet is to use the latest ifi_aliases.h file dated 2-18-2004. The code that you supplied is wrong, and will in fact supply reverse polarity power to your compressor. Your relay will light red and your comprossor will be hot due to the internal cooling malfunctioning. This is the correct code (but do get the new file):

#define relay8_fwd      LATJbits.LATJ0
#define relay8_rev      LATDbits.LATD7

For those unsure, you can obtain the ifi_aliases.h file from the Innovation FIRST website. They are the suppliers of our control system. Their website is at: http://www.innovationfirst.com . The ifi_aliases.h file can be found in the zip file containg the defualt code; that can be found here: http://www.innovationfirst.com/FIRSTRobotics/pdfs/FRC_Code_2004-02-18.zip .

If the LED on the Spike is red, you’re running whatever’s connected to it in reverse. Installing the new IFI header file will fix the relay aliases, which will cause your compressor to run forwards. That will allow the compressor’s built-in cooling fan to run, which should help protect it and those who work with it from thermal damage.

After reading this tread we realized we’ve been running our compressor backwords since we got our pnuematics going a few days ago. The compressor kept heating up and we thought it was because we’re using a lot of pnuematics this year and it had to keep running. All we did was reverse the leads between the spike and the compressor and now it’s staying cool even though it still runs a lot.

You realy dont have to wory about heat in a 2 minute round. If you have to, make a booster tank and use an old compressor (unless your a rookie team :slight_smile: ). Then fill it as needed via a valve on both ends.

It reduces the usable life of the compressor. Machines don’t tend to be particularly fond of excess heat, and I suspect the compressor is no exception. While you certainly could get away with just running the compressor backwards, repairing the code to fix the problem is simple enough that refusing to do so would demonstrate an unbelievable amount of apathy towards the functionality of your robot.

Then I guess its a good thing we have ours right.