Zip Tying Motor Controllers onto Robot?

Hi my FRC team was wondering whether or not there were any specific rules that prohibited us from securing our motor controllers with Zip Ties?

There are not specific rules that prohibit this.

There are no rules prohibiting this practice. It’s not exactly recommended you do so though I usually end up doing it on my really basic test robots and electrical boards.

If you have really really really good zip ties, and you remove the ends, you should be fine. If you can bolt the motor controllers down instead, then do so if you want to. If you do use the zip ties, bring plenty of extra for that just-in-case scenario.

Good luck! :smiley:

We zip tie our controllers every year. Fast, light, easily moved. Have never had a problem.

Likewise. Motor controllers aren’t particularly heavy, and zip ties are more than sufficient.

Generally speaking, motor controllers don’t experience much force, if decently protected.
Also, the wires (generally larger gauge), will assist in the retaining of the controller, as long as your crimps are properly done (or soldiered [as in wire to crimp, not ever crimp to MC, before I get hounded])

This year our electronics are fairly out in the open because there is literally nowhere else to put them. In our 1st match of Dallas a ball landed squarely on our right side electronics board, ripping out the (poorly crimped and not soldiered) right side drive motors and even SNAPPING A FAN IN HALF.

In the past we used plastic hardware to screw the MCs down to some corrugated plastic, which you can poke mounting holes into with just a precision screwdriver, so our mc mounting is hardly robust, yet we have never had a problem.

Zip-ties are nice for those on the “no velcro and no hot glue on the motorcontrollers” bandwagon, because they are 100% removable and allow for easy swapping of MCs if it becomes necessary.

We zip tye down almost all of our electronics and we have yet to have a single fail even though we play a very defensive position.

An advantage of using zip tyes over bolts is that they will fail under heavy forces that would normally damage the electronics if they were bolted down.

We’ve been using nothing but zipties on our motor controllers with complete success since 2006 , when we discovered that Loctite dissolves the plastic cases and they fall apart …

There are no rules that disallow it, but there are better methods. Personally, I prefer industrial Velcro. Its a godsend for making quick repairs (i.e. electronics swapouts).

I like Dual-Lock even better. That way, you only need one roll on hand, and I think it’s even stronger than industrial Velcro. It also keeps things from wiggling around, too.:wink:

We go even further to cut out our belly pan with all the mounting holes for ALL of the electronics and proceed to thread the holes of the .090 plate. I used the Hole Wizard tool in solid works to give all of the holes the proper dimension and then we thread them as soon as the plate gets back from the laser sponsor. The holes don’t even need drilling before we tap them. After the holes are tapped we bolt everything to the plate with plastic machine screws and then cut off the excess bolt with a pair of dikes. Super Simple after the cad is done. However. If we decide we need to add things later Zip Ties, are our number one choice. So zip ties work very well.

We’ve always had issues with the backs of victors and spikes falling off when we Velcro them down.

Sounds like you are using too much. Usually when I Velcro I try to use two thin(.25-.5) strips. Just enough so that when it’s removed the bottom plate dosn’t stay behind.

Zip ties ftw imo

Zip ties are a great way to secure your motor controllers. As others have said, they’re quick to put on, quick to snip off, and nearly unbreakable. Just to be clear though, you should be zip-tying them to something secure, like a lexan panel with holes in the appropriate places or a punched sheet metal mesh.

A few years ago, I became a fan of tapping the lexan mounting plate and using #6 screws to secure motor controllers. In places where you can’t easily reach around to the other side to push a zip tie back through a hole, this can be a lot more convenient.

Even though we have screw positions on our Talon platform we use zip ties. Saves weight, very sturdy, maintanace is easy. As long as what you attach to is sturdy it should work just fine. I should clarify of course, that you have to put the ties through the screw holes.