What is an Input Voltage Brownout?


I will try all these steps…

Comm may drop out if your OpenMesh radio is mounted where there’s a lot of metal around it shielding it. Try mounting the radio up high, even temporarily, to test for this. You can also try driving the ‘bot tethered with a USB cable to bypass both the robot radio and the radio in your laptop.

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It’s a very nasty phenomenon you want to avoid. I suspect you have a large number of electrical loads in your robot this year, mainly motors and probably one “mucho grande” onboard compressor for all those pneumatically driven mechanisms.
The other end of this problem is a bad battery unable to handle the robot mechanism’s electrical demands. Any battery has a limit of amperes (A) it can deliver instantaneously and maintain nominal voltage. If that capacity is exceeded, your battery voltage drops accordingly.
Also, teams using NEO motors for the first time will discover what drone builders and flyers have known for a while. Those brushless motors can pump the heck out of a battery, which is one of the reasons the drone world has adopted LiPo batteries quite a while back, for their capacity to deliver high currents to brushless motors fast.
In one word… brownouts are BAD, BAD, VERY BAD.
And given the complexity of robots I am seeing this year, we probably will see the Brownout Monster rear its ugly head quite regularly.

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Do you test the quality of your batteries using a “battery beak”? Batteries have a finite number of charges they can take before they start degrading. A battery beak will help you assess battery health and retire batteries that should no longer find themselves on the playing field.

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