Posts about Electrical

Electronics in Review

First off: I had a great final build season with you guys! I’m pumped for competition!


I adopted the “80%” mentality this year. While working with the programmers, it is a build season rite to accuse each other of being wrong until red in the face. The “80%” mentality consists of one primary element, the admission that you might be wrong. After you have checked everything, double checked it, and checked it again you are only 80% sure you have your end correct. It leaves a margin of error for when the programmers are actually correct and everybody leaves the situation with their resolve (mostly) intact. It helped me remain at minimum to moderate stress levels, and as Mr. Donlon expressed, “I’m surprised you haven’t throttled anybody yet.”

Learn how to use your tools! A multimeter can be used in so many ways I cannot list them all. We have a quasi-fancy, compact Fluke multimeter that has all of the essential functions. For you future electricians, the essential settings include AC/DC Voltage and Current, and Resistance. If you can, get one with an audible continuity tester, it beeps when you touch things that are connected electrically.

If you are dealing with Spike relays and they are only firing in one direction, check that your signal cable is plugged in the correct direction. :/

Learning :D:

I learned a ton this year *gasp*, Mr. van Dyk was awesome! I learned how to use an oscilloscope, albeit 40 years old, I learned the benefit of having hook clips on the multimeter probes, and I learned more about the electronics and control systems than ever before. There is so much bouncing around in my head that I can hardly write it down.

More to come soon,

Torgeir Lindborg
Electronics FM
FIRST Team #3189

Posted in: Electrical

Electrical Components Being Used

As we anxiously await a robot that we can start testing with, we at least have the electrical components identified which means we’ve been able to program the control of the components in the robot code.  Working from the bottom up:

  • Drivetrain
    • 2 Jaguars controlling 2 CIM Motors
    • 1 Gyro (for balance)
    • 1 Accelerometer (for balance)
  • Funnel Arm
    • 1 Victor controlling 1 Window Motor
    • 2 Limit switches (to indicate ‘Full Up’ or ‘Full Down’ position)
  • Collector
    • 1 Victor controlling 1 Window Motor
  • Elevator
    • 2 Victors controlling 2 Window Motors
    • 3 IR Sensors (to indicate ball presence)
  • Turret
    • 1 Victor controlling 1 Banebots Motor (for rotation)
    • 1 Jaguar controlling 1 CIM Motor (for shooting)
    • 1 10-turn Potentiometer (for Turret angle)
    • 2 limit switches (for Turret rotation limits)
    • 1 Axis camera (for targeting)

Now all we need is an assembled robot so we can test the code.  We can dooo it!!!

Posted in: Electrical, Mentors, Programming