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Author Topic: Power in the stands...  (Read 4451 times)

Firefly

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Power in the stands...
« on: March 29, 2010, 11:26:19 AM »

This is interesting, though I don't know about the idea of carrying 7 batteries into the stands (there's probably a rule against that too) :)

http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=84318
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Jason

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Re: Power in the stands...
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2010, 02:00:30 PM »

Even if there was not a rule against carrying 7 batteries into the stands we probably wouldn't have enough to then run the robot
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Firefly

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Re: Power in the stands...
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2010, 02:49:59 PM »

We would obviously have to buy more batteries.   And chargers.
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Bear

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Re: Power in the stands...
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2010, 06:53:03 PM »

However we do it, I think it would be a good thing to have our own portable power for the scouting laptops.  It opens up a lot more possible seating places for us and it protects us from "You can't plug in here!" surprises.

Technically, there are several possibilities:

1. More of the normal laptop batteries.  They're probably NiMh, which would be lighter than lead-acid cells, but more expensive.  We'd need external chargers, too, so we could charge them while the laptops were in use

2. One external battery per laptop.  Is a robot battery big enough to run a laptop for a day?  Using robot batteries means one battery type for laptops and robots.  That kind of parts compatibility would be good.  We could use our existing chargers and connectors.

3. A single big battery (or bank of batteries) to run all the laptops.  Will need lots of wiring.

Robot batteries, car batteries, and the like are lead-acid, and so are heavier than the NiMh or Lion batteries that laptops normally use. 

However we do it, it's going to be heavy.

Any external battery will have to either be the voltage the laptop needs or else have a voltage converter circuit. 

If we're sure we'll always have power in our pit, we could charge there during the day.  That would save us from needing enough battery power to run all day.  Also if we can charge in the pits, we won't have to lug them back to the hotel to charge every night.  And I wonder what hotels would think if we blew a breaker and they found half a dozen batteries charging in our hotel room?

To start, we should figure out how many amp-hours it takes to run a laptop for a day's scouting.

Bear

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dave_roc

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Re: Power in the stands...
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2010, 08:25:07 PM »

If we wanted to design our own power supply system, we need to know the DC input voltage to the laptop, its peak current draw, and its average current draw.  That's the starting point to figure out if we need DC-DC converters to change voltage, and how many laptops could run off of what size battery.
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