Battery Connector Issue

Jan 14, 2013 Written by FIRST Staff


We were alerted over the weekend to an issue with some of the battery connectors supplied in the Kickoff Kit and FIRST Choice. The wires and connectors were improperly assembled, creating the opportunity for a team to mis-wire the battery to the Power Distribution Board. Figure 1 shows properly and improperly assembled connectors, where the black cable goes into the positive position on the Anderson Power Products connector.

Assembled Cables

If an improperly assembled cable is connected with a properly assembled cable to complete a circuit between the robot battery and the PDB, damage can be done to the electronics in the robot (cRIO, Digital Sidecar, etc.). Figure 2 shows possible connection issues. Situations 2 and 3 require rework of the improperly assembled cable.

Potential Connection Methods

To correct this problem, the Supplier recommends using a small screwdriver to depress the spring-steel under the contact. This allows the wire and its contact to be removed. Once both wires are removed, they can be re-inserted in the proper orientation (i.e. red to the positive terminal on the Anderson Power Products connector, black to the negative). A short video showing the removal of the wire from the connector has been created and is available on YouTube.

If damage was caused to any control system components because of this error, please contact us at frcparts@usfirst.org.

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