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  • Custom Circuit

    We want to use the digital I/O ports on the digital side car to drive some LED strips as an indicator for targeting. Essentially, the LEDs would flash red if off target and green if on target. The digital I/O can't handle the currect drawn by the LED strips. We design transistor drivers to drie the LED strips. Does this conflict with Rule 43?


    <R43> Custom circuits shall NOT directly alter the power pathways between the battery, PD Board, speed controllers, relays, motors, or other elements of the robot control system (including the power pathways to other sensors or circuits). Custom high impedance voltage monitoring or low impedance current monitoring circuitry connected to the ROBOT’S electrical system is acceptable, because the effect on the ROBOT outputs should be inconsequential.

  • #2
    Re: Custom Circuit

    Well, <R42> has been modified so you can now put lights on spikes; how many spikes you can have for this, i am not sure.

    <R42> Each power-regulating device (speed controller or relay module) shall control one and only one electrical load (motor, actuator, light or compressor).

    Exception: Multiple low-load, pneumatic solenoid valves or lights may be connected to a single relay module. This would allow one relay module to drive multiple pneumatic actions or multiple lights. No other electrical load can be connected to a relay module used in this manner.


    (this was in team update #8)

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    • #3
      Re: Custom Circuit

      Would we be allowed to use an LED being powered from a RELAY with a TRANSISTOR in between the RELAY and LED in order to pulse the LED rapidly?

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      • #4
        Re: Custom Circuit

        Originally posted by erichahn525 View Post
        Would we be allowed to use an LED being powered from a RELAY with a TRANSISTOR in between the RELAY and LED in order to pulse the LED rapidly?
        This is not an official response, you'd have to use the Q&A for that.

        [R47] says "Custom circuits shall not directly alter the power pathways between the battery, PD Board, speed controllers, relays, motors, or other elements of the Robot control system (including the power pathways to other sensors or circuits)."

        [R65] says "All outputs from sensors, custom circuits and additional electronics shall connect to only the following:
        A. other custom circuits, ..."

        Your transistor looks like a "custom circuit" and since you seem to want to use it to interrupt the power pathway to your LED, that would violate R47. Now if you had a custom "blinking LED" circuit that was simply powered from your relay, with no electrical outputs, that would seem to violate neither rule. It seems to depend on what the LED is. Is it a circuit element, mounted on the same board or the like, or is it a separate COTS item??

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        • #5
          Re: Custom Circuit

          The LEDs and associated drivers (in this case) would be considered a custom circuit. The digital outputs of the DSC can be connected to a custom circuit that may act as a decoder or LED driver. They may not drive an LED directly.
          You may not use a custom circuit to drive a Spike.
          Spikes can be used to drive LEDs and the only limit is the number of relay outputs on the DSC. As suggested, the Spike is capable of independently pulling both outputs to common or both outputs to +12 volts if you desired to drive to strings from a common power line. All other robot rules must be satisfied.
          Chief Robot Inspector, FRC
          Good Luck Everyone!

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