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Unread 12-28-2009, 05:37 PM
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Before we start - PLEASE read the Manual!

Before the season starts, we would like to take a moment and pass along a plea from practically all of the game designers, FRC leaders, lead mentors, lead team engineers, competition inspectors, referees, judges, and (most likely) your team mates.

Once it is released PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE read the FRC Manual!

The Manual is packed full of important information that pretty much everyone on the team will need to know. While not everyone will need to know every chapter intimately (e.g. not everyone on the team will be involved with shipping the robot, so not all of them will need to study the "Robot Transportation" chapter), there are a few sections that all will need to know and understand. Everyone should be sure to read – and probably re-read –the "Arena," "Game," "Robot," and "Tournament" chapters.

If you do not become reasonably familiar with this material, you will have endless problems during the season. These can range from wasting your and other people’s time repeatedly asking questions that are clearly addressed in the Manual, to showing up at a competition with an illegal robot and not being allowed to compete. I can pretty much guarantee that if you get caught up in a rules violation during the season, trying to use "but I didn't read the rules, so I didn't know that" as an excuse absolutely will not work with the referees or inspectors at the competition events.

As has been mentioned so many times, a big part of FIRST is about exposing students to the standards and practices of the professional world. To do this many teams structure their operations to mimic the organization and procedures of a professional engineering project. The Manual is the "requirements document" for your project. In a professional environment, EVERYONE on a project is required to know the requirements, be conversant with the documentation, and be able to extract information from them. Those skills are critical and expected. As a member of your team, practicing those skills will be fundamental to your ability to positively contribute to the success of your team. As an entire team, this practice will be critical to your – and your alliance partners - success at the competitions.

The Manual is your friend. Read it. Know it. Use it.

-dave



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Unread 12-28-2009, 06:43 PM
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Re: Before we start - PLEASE read the Manual!

*spys something at the end* omg - morse code

Anywho, good post. I shall share with the rest of my team.

-Tanner
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Unread 12-28-2009, 07:08 PM
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Re: Before we start - PLEASE read the Manual!

Can we have Dave's post "stickied" at the very top of the forum until about Jan 17?

Please?
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Unread 12-28-2009, 07:19 PM
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Re: Before we start - PLEASE read the Manual!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
Can we have Dave's post "stickied" at the very top of the forum until about Jan 17?

Please?
Done. And co-signed.
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Unread 12-28-2009, 07:30 PM
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Re: Before we start - PLEASE read the Manual!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisH View Post
Can we have Dave's post "stickied" at the very top of the forum until about Jan 17?

Please?
or Feb 17th or so? maybe April 17th or so?

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Unread 12-28-2009, 07:41 PM
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Re: Before we start - PLEASE read the Manual!

Thanks for posting this Dave and thanks for making it a Sticky Billfred.

As one of the frequent rules question responders I can definitely say that most rules questions I answer I pull right out of the manual. While I am more than happy to answer the questions, as it helps me drill the manual into my head, it would usually be easier and faster to look up the answer yourself.
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Unread 12-28-2009, 09:25 PM
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Re: Before we start - PLEASE read the Manual!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tanner View Post
*spys something at the end* omg - morse code

Anywho, good post. I shall share with the rest of my team.

-Tanner
I noticed the same thing, and it seems as though he's been including this little addition in a lot of his posts lately...but, Im probably thinking into it way too much...

And, this is indeed a very important post!
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Unread 12-28-2009, 09:59 PM
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Re: Before we start - PLEASE read the Manual!

I hope I'm wrong, but I have a feeling this thread might be the most linked to when build season comes along.

Instead of RTFM, we should just link this thread.
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Unread 12-29-2009, 12:52 PM
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Re: Before we start - PLEASE read the Manual!

I have this as sticky note on my desktop. I'm going to blow in up a tad bit and print it out; then hang it in the meeting room.
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Unread 12-29-2009, 01:53 PM
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Re: Before we start - PLEASE read the Manual!

And in some cases rules are unclear and need resolving from the GDC. Those questions should be posted in the FIRST Forums- http://forums.usfirst.org/index.php?
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Unread 12-29-2009, 06:44 PM
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Re: Before we start - PLEASE read the Manual!

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrendanB View Post
And in some cases rules are unclear and need resolving from the GDC. Those questions should be posted in the FIRST Forums- http://forums.usfirst.org/index.php?
...and NOT HERE, since Chief Delphi is NOT the official forum of FIRST.

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Unread 12-31-2009, 09:41 AM
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Re: Before we start - PLEASE read the Manual!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Rotolo View Post
...and NOT HERE, since Chief Delphi is NOT the official forum of FIRST.

--
However, if you do post a reply to a question here, please quote the manual section in your reply. It saves time for everyone and keeps Dave's request to "Read the manual" upfront in everyone's mind.
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Unread 01-05-2010, 12:30 PM
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Re: Before we start - PLEASE read the Manual!

Speaking of manual, I thought the encrypted manual was available for download, but I can't find it. I just don't want to try and download it on Saturday when the entire FRC community will be to.
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Unread 01-05-2010, 12:37 PM
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Re: Before we start - PLEASE read the Manual!

Quote:
Originally Posted by hipsterjr View Post
Speaking of manual, I thought the encrypted manual was available for download, but I can't find it. I just don't want to try and download it on Saturday when the entire FRC community will be to.
Any time now. They will put out an email blast and I'm sure the email will be posted here minutes after it happens.
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Unread 01-05-2010, 01:24 PM
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Re: Before we start - PLEASE read the Manual!

I have a couple of simple reccommendations to the team mentors reading this thread to help drive home why to read the manual to your teams:

1.) Put together a 10-15 question basic quiz for your teams to take in the first week of build. take the questions from the robot, game and arena sections of the manual primarily and give your team a pop quiz. - It will make you think about the rules more and encourage your students to read them if they are ashamed of poor performance on the quiz.

2.) Make simple lists while reading the rules as a team on day one.
Some examples:
a) How do we score points...
b) What could we be penalized for...
c) What can we do in auto mode...
d) What should the human player/robocoach/etc do during the game.

Doing things like this will help you think through the rules before asking questions and will be invaluble when forming a strategy.
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