(This is my first post so bear with me)
This year I have been working to make the footprint of my team’s electrical systems smaller. Before I start, I have to clarify some terminology that I will be using. The way I look at wiring comes from designing cities in the game Cities: Skylines, so that is where I get a lot of my terms.
This is something where all or nearly all electronics components are in one tightly-packed area
A small pocket of a few (2-4) electrical components
A bundle of a few wires
A bundle of a lot of wires
A bundle of wires and pneumatic tubes
The first thing that we did was an idea from our head of electronics, Peter Hall; he stacked the PDP on top of the motor controllers. We used Talon SRXs for everything this year, so we only used the simplest iteration of this idea, however in the future we will be using Victor SPXs and SparkMAXs so it will be done differently.
This allowed us to cut off the Anderson Power-Poles on the motor controllers and wire them directly into the PDP saving space and a slight amount of weight. The MCs on the left are offset from the ones on the right so the wires can be channeled between them.
This is the setup I designed for future robots. I have showcased only setups for SparkMAX, Talon SRX, and Victor SPX MCs
CAD File (STEP) Small form factor Wiring v3.step (49.4 MB)
PUBLIC LINK: https://a360.co/2WNHXCv
Another helpful thing I realized is that the holes on the RoboRIO perfectly match the VRM. While this does proclude the use of an MXP MoreBoard, it does not block the IO ports on the sides of the RIO.
Connecting Components with Wires (elevated highways)
Using standoffs, you can make elevated highways for wires. This allows you to use less space by going over a component rather than around it:
My new pneumatics board for our 2019 robot.
Using a highway system like this allows for cleaner, traceable, and efficient wiring.