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Unread 07-07-2012, 09:11 PM
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What do YOU want in the Kit of Parts?

What do you like about the Kit of Parts? What did you not like in it? Is there anything special you'd like to see in the future?

The 10 Dean's List Winners from this past season (myself included) are going to be having our chat with some of FIRST's suppliers this Friday (July 13) regarding their KOP plans for next season. If there's anything YOU would like us to pass on, we'll do our best to make the opinions we find here on Chief Delphi known.

Apologies for the somewhat late notice for this year in particular, but I figure it will be useful to have a thread going that future Dean's List Winners can take a look at as well, not to mention FIRST's suppliers themselves (if they spend time on Chief Delphi - we'll tell them about it ).

So, have at it! KOP compliments, comments, concerns, suggestions - anything is fair game.
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Unread 07-07-2012, 09:23 PM
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Re: What do YOU want in the Kit of Parts?

Super easy -

It will require a rule change from the past years robot rules though.

There should be a 12V 3 or 4 amp-hour sealed battery that is used to ONLY power the radio bridge.
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Unread 07-07-2012, 10:28 PM
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Re: What do YOU want in the Kit of Parts?

This one's been on my list for a while: improved window motor hubs. I've seen them in just about every FRC kit, going back to 2004. In the near-decade since, FRC has seen the kit landscape change greatly...and standardize on all the mounting interfaces that these aren't. Very few shafts on modern FRC robots are bigger than 1/2", yet we always have to throw some 5/8" keyed shaft on our McMaster-Carr order if we want to use them. The #10 1.875" bolt circle is the de facto standard for sprocket mounts, yet the hub is still taking 1/4" bolts in a square.

I appreciate a good engineering challenge, but these workarounds are more or less givens. I'd love to see them updated for what's out there to hook to it.
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Unread 07-07-2012, 10:49 PM
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Re: What do YOU want in the Kit of Parts?

Agreed with the above, great idea with the radio battery.
More victors and electronics in general.
More vouchers so we can pick and choose what we want for example we haven't touched the igus bag in the past 2 years.
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Unread 07-07-2012, 10:53 PM
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Re: What do YOU want in the Kit of Parts?

I don't know if anyone else noticed, but this year in the kit of parts we got at least 10 of the small fans used on victors. I realize that some teams do use fans to cool CIM motors and various other components, but i feel these fans are just so small they are pretty useless. We (team 1247) have a pile of fans, ranging from the older style metal chassis ones, 120mm fans, and a box load of these tiny fans.

Point: Less of the small fans, more of the larger, more useful(?) fans.

My two cents.
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Unread 07-07-2012, 10:55 PM
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Re: What do YOU want in the Kit of Parts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jp1247 View Post
I don't know if anyone else noticed, but this year in the kit of parts we got at least 10 of the small fans used on victors. I realize that some teams do use fans to cool CIM motors and various other components, but i feel these fans are just so small they are pretty useless. We (team 1247) have a pile of fans, ranging from the older style metal chassis ones, 120mm fans, and a box load of these tiny fans.

Point: Less of the small fans, more of the larger, more useful(?) fans.

My two cents.
Or just change it to rules similar to the servo rules; Allow any PC fan within X size range or airflow (spec'd in cfm, most are) as long as it is used purely for cooling and no mechanical attachment is made to the rotary output.
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Unread 07-07-2012, 11:04 PM
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Re: What do YOU want in the Kit of Parts?

The same amount of motors as this years kit. It made a world of difference.
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Unread 07-07-2012, 11:11 PM
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Re: What do YOU want in the Kit of Parts?

Well, I'll say what I WOULDN'T like in the KoP.

Software.

Make all software downloadable via a secure site.

OK, so maybe include a copy in the KoP, but make all software available online. It's really frustrating when your team loses a piece of software and has to get a copy from a local team.
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Unread 07-08-2012, 12:16 AM
daniel_dsouza daniel_dsouza is offline
does what needs to be done.
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Re: What do YOU want in the Kit of Parts?

A microcontroller would be nice:

Arduinos are great for testing sensors,
Beaglebones can be used for vision,
Pandaboards/micro-atx can be used for the Kinect.

It's not a crime to keep dreaming.
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Unread 07-08-2012, 12:31 AM
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Re: What do YOU want in the Kit of Parts?

We don't use much of the KOP anymore. Its getting emptier and emptier as every year goes on.

I would honestly like to see:

-More Victors! We use hella speed controllers.
-SMC Solenoids
-More Batteries!
-Additional Electronics
-The old compressor

More or less, I'd like to get the rookie KOP for veterans.

-RC
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Unread 07-08-2012, 12:40 AM
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Re: What do YOU want in the Kit of Parts?

More of a rule change than anything, but allowing for 1 or 2 more cim motors would be a nice thing to see since most teams use up all 4 in their drivetrain. The cim-sim and cim-u-lator are nice but why go through the extra hassle with dealing with those when you could just as easily use a cim. Possibly open up the motor variety as well. Would also put in a vote for more victors in the kit (especially for veteran teams like ours) or even a new motor controller option (we avoid using jag's at all costs). Possibly a new robot controller with a smaller footprint than the cRio, not to mention a less finnacy rc. Not asking for a return of the ifi controllers (even though I personally wouldn't mind that), but a newer/more reliable controller. That's just a few off the top of my head
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Unread 07-08-2012, 12:43 AM
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Re: What do YOU want in the Kit of Parts?

The option to choose Victors or Jaguars. Also better quality PWM cables, possibly with different lengths (12", 24", 36")
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Unread 07-08-2012, 12:49 AM
sanddrag sanddrag is offline
back to school ;-)
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Re: What do YOU want in the Kit of Parts?

New things I liked that we made good use of:

Expanded FIRST Choice through AndyMark
Banebots voucher
Digikey Voucher

What I'd like to see:

More Victor motor controllers. This is the big thing we always need many of and get shorted on every year, and our old robots are not functional anymore because we can't afford more Victors every year. I would gladly do without probably 50% of the rest of the kit for more Victors.

More CIM motors (can't recall a time when we didn't use the maximum allowed, which was more than what was included).

#25 Chain and master links, FR8-ZZ bearings, black zip ties and black adhesive mounts, heat shrink, some non-insulated flanged spade terminals that fit Victors (must be flanged), Sharpie markers (original type) since people always lose or take them.

A good chain breaker tool for #25 chain (the normal type aren't good for #25).

More game pieces if they're proprietary (we always need more, they always wear out/pop/etc, and it's always a wait).

McMaster Carr voucher.

Banebots CIM-U-LATOR gearboxes and/or P60 planetaries.

Home depot gift card, if the field requires anything from Home Depot.

Printed promotional materials for FIRST Robotics (a stack of brochures for instance)

or

Nothing in the kit except essential required things, and some money off the registration fee. (And I know the KOP is largely donations and is not entirely directly correlated to registration fee.) In terms of physical things in the KOP crate, I can't even recall using anything this past season that's included that's not required.

Anyhow, I do thank all the suppliers for their generous contributions. Even if we don't use a lot of this stuff right now, perhaps someday we may.

As a note on software, I actually like receiving physical install media. It's instant gratification, and it's easier for me to keep it locked up somewhere, than to remember or find a login to some online system. Ideally we'd have both.

Aside from all of the above, what I would like most is advance notice of specifications of key items that are both expensive and required but not included for veteran teams for the upcoming season (e.g. cRIO, motor controllers). This would allow the school district to purchase it for us and have it show up in time, rather than mentors having to buy it out of pocket. If someone can definitively tell me the cRIO that is available now is the exact one that will be used next year and there will be no new or better model available, I'd like to have my school's purchasing people order one now, so I get it before kickoff. Schools are notoriously slow at such things, so it helps when we know ahead of time that we need to spend big money.
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Last edited by sanddrag : 07-08-2012 at 12:57 AM.
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Unread 07-08-2012, 12:50 AM
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Re: What do YOU want in the Kit of Parts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chickenonastick View Post
Possibly with different lengths (12", 24", 36")
Why not make your own Its fairly cheap and a lot better than buying them.

-RC
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Unread 07-08-2012, 01:09 AM
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Re: What do YOU want in the Kit of Parts?

Quote:
Originally Posted by R.C. View Post
Why not make your own Its fairly cheap and a lot better than buying them.

-RC
We recently purchased all the necessary materials to do so at Hansen Hobbies! Still learning (poor terminals)!
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