How to use a power expander

My team and I are soon going to a competition and we want to add a power expander for our robot. What are all the products needed to install a power expander? What is the process in installing? Will we need to change our program? The problems that might occur? I appreciate in advance to the person answer in my question.

The power expander is all that you need (aside from an extra battery), and it’s really easy to use. Where you have a 3 wire cable going from the cortex to the motor, just stick the power expander in between so that the cable goes cortex to power expander IN, power expander OUT to motor. The repeat that 4 times for each of the 4 ports on the expander.

There is no programming needed to use it, unless you want to read its battery voltage, for which you’d have to run an extra wire from the power expander status port to a cortex analog sensor port.

Kevin summed everything up quite well. This may also be of some use, specifically the diagram. Let me know if you have any other questions.

One of my teams tried to use a power expander this weekend. The team had problems with their driving base working consistently (expander was plugged into their driving base). Once they took it off they had no more driving issues. Is this something that anyone else has experienced? I hate to spend $49.99 to only have it mess up our competition matches.

I have not had any issues with the same power expander over the past 4 years besides a loose connection on the battery connector which can be easily fixed and is not normally a problem so I would not worry about using one. It is much better to have one on the robot because you can split the load of the motors onto two different batteries. The advantages of using an expander during competition matches far outweigh the disadvantages (if there are any).

I have had plenty of issues like this, especially 2 years ago. What it most likely is is a loose connection to the battery, because when there is no battery connected to the expander it won’t run. Try bending the pins in the battery conector on the PE a bit so that they fit tighter.

Power expanders are really bad, so bad that our club has completely stopped using them because they always stop working in the middle of a match.

I personally have never had nor seen any issues with powers both on my bot and my sister teams bots.

I also have never experienced any problems with a power expander, in competition or otherwise, that could be attributed directly to a problem or defect with the expander rather than user error (i.e., forgetting to connect the expander battery or somehow screwing up the correct wiring.

Maybe ours are just old