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  #121   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 12-18-2008, 12:03 PM
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Re: 101 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First FIRST Tournament

Here's a rule that really makes FIRST about engineering:

Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss-Poor Performance.

This includes ordering standard parts before you need them. We're still having trouble with that.
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Unread 12-18-2008, 12:10 PM
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Talking Re: 101 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First FIRST Tournament

That FIRST talks in riddles when giving game hints
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Unread 12-23-2008, 01:00 AM
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Re: 101 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First FIRST Tournament

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoboMom View Post
Indeed, a paper with this title in on NEMO, and credits ideas posted in 2005-2006 on chief delphi and Rick Tyler right at the top.

http://www.firstnemo.org/PDF/first_competition_tips.pdf
I hope NEMO doesn't mind derivative work. Here is my take (pdf attached; 28.3 KB) at a condensed and edited version of these 101+ hints. The document is titled "FIRST Best Practices: Team Behavior during Build Season and at Competition."
Attached Files
File Type: pdf best_practices.pdf (28.3 KB, 78 views)
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Unread 07-26-2009, 02:59 PM
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Re: 101 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First FIRST Tournament

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Schreiber View Post
Murphy was a genius, the only time you cant connect to program your controller will be in the pits, at nationals, before your last match.
I just had to quote this. Team 1089 at Nationals this year is proof of this if there ever was. Despite all of the random non robot things that went wrong, our cRio died. Thankfully another team let us borrow one they just won and we went to upload the code and our programming laptop died. But our smart programmers backed it up on a flash drive... which they lost... so they had to reprogram the robot on Friday night. There's a whole thread about this somewhere. We ended up losing every match except for the one our cRio died in which we tied... this leads to my tip.

It doesn't matter what goes wrong as long as you have fun. We all thought this was one of our best trips, even though we were second to last in our divison.
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Unread 07-29-2009, 01:53 PM
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Post 101 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First FIRST Tournament

a robot is nothing like a race car, trust me i thought so, i had no idea where the spark plugs had to go...until someone pointed out their were no spark plugs lolz.

when your parents join your robotics team its not a bad thing, you get to have a bit more freedom on trips, and you can have takeout meals that are different from the teams, who doesn't love getting Chinese food or a grilled cheese after about most the build was all about pizza that you couldn't really stand anymore. Don't get me wrong i love pizza, but the Pizza hut near our build spot burns the pizza, and no where else will take a phone call from the school for the deaf seriously.
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Last edited by Dragon Princess : 07-29-2009 at 05:48 PM.
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Unread 07-29-2009, 04:14 PM
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Re: 101 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First FIRST Tournament

I have a couple to add if it's not too late. This year was my first (and last as a student) I learned a couple valuable lessons:

-Know EVERYTHING about your robot because as long as you're wearing your team name you're fair game for questions.

-When someone asks what language your programmers speak don't answer English (that was my rookie mistake to the Judges...somehow we still got Engineering Inspiration)

-People want to hear about your robot from you so don't be shy and let the mentors talk because frankly no one at the regional really cares what they have to say (Don't get me wrong I love our mentors but the senators, business execs, and misc. fans want to hear about how the program impacts students)

-Oh and you can never have enough buttons.
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Unread 07-30-2009, 01:46 PM
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Re: 101 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First FIRST Tournament

You WILL NOT have Presidents' Day off, and you can forget about having Saturdays off as well. Oh, and about halfway through February, you should be prepared for at least one week of staying up way past midnight, even though its a school night. Its often advantageous to just bring a change of clothes, and change in the locker rooms when you wake up on the shop floor at 7 AM.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 06:21 PM
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Re: 101 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First FIRST Tournament

I have some to add. Partly from talking to new teammates the night before IRI. Sorry if I missed some in the long thread.

Meet people and teams and talk to them, a lot. Don't focus TOO much on your own team, or one task, but incorporate a hefty chunk of social interaction with your experience. Not only is FIRST a great way to network and know interesting people, you'll have a lot more fun (and a marginally higher chance of getting picked if you look at it that way) if you interact with other teams at events. Be friendly and talk! Most every collaboration or partnership starts by meeting at regional events, and you'll meet friends you'll never have gotten to know otherwise.

Find a cool gimmick and abuse it! Sure it's silly, but I bet half of the attention 1714's gotten (not that we have that much notoriety in FIRST (yet!)) is in our cheeseheads, all-polycarbonate robots, and diamond plated crate. Don't let it compromise your competitiveness or fun, but it's certainly a way to improve your regional experience while simultaneously increasing exposure and notoriety.
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Unread 08-02-2009, 07:25 PM
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Re: 101 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First FIRST Tournament

1. make sure at all times you know who you are playing with, and playing against.

2. get ready to lose your voice

3. bring a water bottle
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Unread 08-02-2009, 08:47 PM
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Re: 101 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First FIRST Tournament

Quote:
Originally Posted by jmanela View Post
1. make sure at all times you know who you are playing with, and playing against.
I'd suggest teams bring a whiteboard in their pits for this very purpose, and the entire drive crew has an abridged schedule on them at all times.

Quote:
2. get ready to lose your voice
My voice is actually still cracking from IRI.
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Unread 08-03-2009, 09:36 AM
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Re: 101 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First FIRST Tournament

Personally, I like to bring a pair of ear plugs. It can get kind of noisy in there epecially when Dean shows up. Being able to have your own personal quiet space for a few minutes is very helpful for the adults.
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Unread 01-14-2010, 11:57 PM
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Re: 101 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First FIRST Tournament

Time to resurrect this old chestnut? For the newbies?
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Unread 01-15-2010, 08:34 PM
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Re: 101 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First FIRST Tournament

No idea if anyone has said this but:

No matter how geeky you are, or how not geeky you are - one FIRST competition and your hooked.
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Unread 02-18-2010, 06:54 PM
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Re: 101 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First FIRST Tournament

Quote:
Originally Posted by dqmot17 View Post
No idea if anyone has said this but:

No matter how geeky you are, or how not geeky you are - one FIRST competition and your hooked.
I completely agree, this entire organization is an amazing feat and idea. Dean Kamen is a genius
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Unread 02-18-2010, 06:58 PM
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Re: 101 Things I Wish I'd Known Before My First FIRST Tournament

Pretend its a 5 week build season, submit awards on Feb. 17th (for 2010) the day before they are due, read the updates in addition to the manual, read Chief Delphi daily, and practice extended periods of no sleep.
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