Who has released the Magic Smoke!!!

We finally released our magic smoke that must be released from every robot every year!!! Who else has???:smiley:

haha we did once or twice lol!! once today to tell the truth :yikes: thankfully no serious damage occured lol

It does always seem to happen. Usually from the Victors, for some reason, but we’ve managed to burn out two cameras this year (before you let new members touch the camera, make sure they know that if you plug stuff in wrong, you can break it)

Magic smoke from alligator clips does not count, unless you vaporize the wires themselves (possible.)

Define “Magic Smoke”

I released the magic smoke from a servo durring prototyping, i tried running 2 servos together to perform a task not really suited for a servo … end result smoking, heating up, melting of plastic. Fun fun fun!

Magic Smoke is what makes electrical devices work. It’s put inside them when they are manufactured. If it ever escapes, the device stops working.

This is similar to the Magic Noise which makes mechanical devices work. If too much noise comes out of something like a planetary gearbox, it too stops working.

We’ve had numerous Victors go bad over the years and release magic smoke for no apparent reason. In 2004 we had a case where we heard a pop, smelled magic smoke, saw a spark, but everything seemed to work. (we later discovered that we had only destroyed one of the three transistors)

Be careful mounting components near your metal frame - the frames tend to build up quite a bit of static charge, and FIRST doesn’t like people to ground their frames, in order to cut down on shorts. We believe static discharge from the frame into a Victor caused the mysterious spark.

Actually, there are two types of magic smoke. Magic White smoke winds up in all the electronics, and Magic Black is in anything non-electronic, along with the Magic Noise. If you release the Magic Black, grab the phone and call the Fire Department if there is no fire extinguisher available.

(And then there are the stress sensors–too much stress on you and something stops working. Built in for all electronics; available as an upgrade for mechanical items.)

And there’s the magic spark that comes after the magic smoke and magic noise. Magic spark is not to be toyed with. Magic spark is very dangerous and should not be in contact with any robot parts and or human parts.

I was told not to operate any heavy machinery after inhaling the magic smoke.

This stuff might be a bit different… But still, might be a good guideline.

My opinion- your machinery probably isn’t operable if you’ve let the smoke out…

Last weekend I made Magic Smoke on purpose to show the effects of too much current flowing through a small wire to a person on our team that couldn’t grasp that idea. I was having too much fun!:smiley:

We had a little issue with last year’s light just before the season started: We were transporting it on a rolling chair, and the way it was wired meant we had to pull a wire to turn it off. However, that pulled wire then had a free end to do anything it’d like to: Including touch the opposite wire’s end. Burned a nice hole in the chair and battery. Not to mention the way-cool look of the wire after the event.

The wire literally melted itself into the battery and then re-sealed itself. I stopped it by kicking the chair over, because it’d be pretty stupid to touch anything at that point.

I arc’d a globe motor and a genie came out…

i still havent gotten my 3 wishes

Ha! no magic smoke yet, hopefully i won’t see any.

We were testing our arm and we thought a banbot motor would work. Nope. It released lots of magic smoke. But it was a good oops. Better now then at the practice rounds. We upgraded to the globe motor, works great and no back drive unlike the fried one.

It started out well, with the electrical engineer wiring, well, wires into a victor. I had complete faith in him. A series of twelve magic bangs, lots of magic sparks, magic smoke, and magic smell, and about twenty seconds, my faith faltered in him a wee bit. Luckily we had an extra speed controller, so no harm, no foul. I’m watching him though.:cool:


I used to work at a place that manufactured magnet charging equipment, among other things. An engineer was prototyping a new model that would be capable of generating a pulse with 40,000 Joules of energy. Talk about magic smoke! Components would disappear off circuit boards. Wires would vaporize before the insulation had a chance to melt. He was constantly invited to go work in different locations of the plant after a smoke incident :smiley:

Some magnet chargers go up to 110,000 Joules at 2,000 volts DC. Repair technicians call them “widow makers” :ahh:

I magic smoked a PWM control wire earlier this year…still don’t know how exactly.

Someone plugged the camera signal cable into the wrong port on the robot controller. On goes the power, up in smoke goes the ground wire (of all things) on that cable. Camera seems fine…the robot controller is a bit glitchy still (which makes me paranoid) but nonetheless, it seems to work still…

Never smoked a victor though. Three years so far and I’m trying to keep that going.

Had our first run of our robot today, and luckily no magic smoke; however, we have yet to wire up the camera, potentiometer, and diagnostic light.