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  #31   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 10-06-2018, 01:50 AM
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Re: Steel and aluminum tariffs in the USA

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Originally Posted by CarlosGJ View Post
Furthermore, until it becomes possible to buy complete FRC robots or subsystems, I don't really see how the CAW limits serve to level the playing field (at least, not in a desirable way). Suppose Raytheon were to donate some kind of million-dollar miniature AESA radar to a team. In order to actually make use of it, the team would have to master several aspects of electronic, RF, and controls engineering. If furthering their education and experience in that way allows them greater success in the competition, then more power to them.
A seem to recall a series of products called "Greyt". The elevator kit was several hundred dollars.
I don't see a problem with having a spending limit. In some ways it's artificial, but I can see potential for abuse.
I don't think the tariffs will have a significant impact on the CAW staying or going, as the parts on an FRC robot shouldn't get too much more expensive as a result. We'll have to see where things go in the next few months.
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Unread 10-06-2018, 02:03 AM
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Re: Steel and aluminum tariffs in the USA

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Originally Posted by asid61 View Post
A seem to recall a series of products called "Greyt". The elevator kit was several hundred dollars.
Yes, that struck a sour note with me as well. I would very much like to see the reintroduction of a rule similar to
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2009 Game Manual
COTS items that provide a complete solution for a major ROBOT function (e.g. a complete manipulator assembly, pre-built pneumatics circuit, or full mobility system) that require no effort other than just bolting it on to the ROBOT are against the intent of the competition, and will not be permitted.
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Unread 10-06-2018, 02:06 AM
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Re: Steel and aluminum tariffs in the USA

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Originally Posted by dtengineering View Post
Apparently not so tired of arguing about it that you're unwilling to bring it up in a prominent way on the one forum where you're most likely to get an argument!

I'm unsure of why it is such an impediment to your enjoyment of FRC... it takes little time to do, and -- if it really, really annoys you -- then let someone else do it.
You mean like the students I work with year after year who turn it into a game of “let me see how low I can make this number?”. CAWst lawyering is one of my favorite parts of build season. Doesn’t mean I like having the CAW.

Quote:
I've seen teams held back from competing for a number of reasons, but I've never seen someone miss their first match because they weren't able to figure out how to complete the CAW...
That’s because inspectors don’t actually look at it fairly for all teams and we all know it. I’ve heard Al’s “it’s the first thing I look at” speech but the reality is that teams don’t have to account for motor controllers, motors, breakers, or any major parts of the control system on it so it doesn’t help inspectors at this point. It’s just a tool for them to wield power over teams with and that’s bad for the team experience.

Quote:
and if you're having trouble because you're getting too close to the dollar limit, how is that any different from having trouble on the scale because you got a little too close to the weight limit and added "just one more screw"?
The difference is that one involves countless hours spent pouring over a couple pages of spreadsheet that is scrutinized for some teams and largely dismissed for others. It’s not remotely enforced fairly, isn’t followed uniformly, and doesn’t have a place in FRC. I’ve said it a bunch before - Either make it a full BOM (thus turning it into the engineering exercise it purports to be) or make it go away. You can have a limit without having a CAW.

And the other... it involves a semi-calibrated measuring device placed on uneven surfaces and read by people in funny hats.

Quote:
Maybe the team needs to dial it back a bit on the blingy bits.
blingy is not a word anyone would use to describe a Zebracorn robot. Trust me.

Quote:
But in the overall context of this thread, you can probably disregard my comments about the CAW because I'm apparently a "strategic threat".
I have no idea what this means but you certainly seem less threatening than others around these parts.
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Unread 10-06-2018, 02:08 AM
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Re: Steel and aluminum tariffs in the USA

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Originally Posted by CarlosGJ View Post
Yes, that struck a sour note with me as well. I would very much like to see the reintroduction of a rule similar to

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2009 Game Manual
COTS items that provide a complete solution for a major ROBOT function (e.g. a complete manipulator assembly, pre-built pneumatics circuit, or full mobility system) that require no effort other than just bolting it on to the ROBOT are against the intent of the competition, and will not be permitted.
Yeah man lets ban the KOP chassis which literally is a godsend to thousands of teams yearly, I see nothing wrong with that.
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Unread 10-06-2018, 02:10 AM
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Re: Steel and aluminum tariffs in the USA

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Originally Posted by MikLast View Post
Yeah man lets ban the KOP chassis which literally is a godsend to thousands of teams yearly, I see nothing wrong with that.
Can we bring back drill motors and gearboxes too?
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Unread 10-06-2018, 02:16 AM
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Re: Steel and aluminum tariffs in the USA

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Originally Posted by MikLast View Post
Yeah man lets ban the KOP chassis which literally is a godsend to thousands of teams yearly, I see nothing wrong with that.
yeah but companies might sell precut metal to make things with publicly available designs
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Unread 10-06-2018, 02:20 AM
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Re: Steel and aluminum tariffs in the USA

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Originally Posted by bobbysq View Post
yeah but companies might sell precut metal to make things with publicly available designs
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Unread 10-06-2018, 02:22 AM
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Re: Steel and aluminum tariffs in the USA

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikLast View Post
Yeah man lets ban the KOP chassis which literally is a godsend to thousands of teams yearly, I see nothing wrong with that.
The 2009 KoP included the AndyMark c-base chassis, and was explicitly permitted by the rules. The "COTS items that provide a complete solution..." rule merely prevented fly-by-night companies from popping up in the middle of build season to sell premade mechanisms.

(Also, at the risk of being pedantic, "literally"? You think god bestows the KoP chassis on thousands of teams each year?)
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Unread 10-06-2018, 02:25 AM
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Re: Steel and aluminum tariffs in the USA

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Originally Posted by CarlosGJ View Post
(Also, at the risk of being pedantic, "literally"? You think god bestows the KoP chassis on thousands of teams each year?)
If Andy Baker is god, yes. And ill bow to him any day.
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Unread 10-06-2018, 02:26 AM
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Re: Steel and aluminum tariffs in the USA

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Originally Posted by marshall View Post
Thatís because inspectors donít actually look at it fairly for all teams and we all know it. Iíve heard Alís ďitís the first thing I look atĒ speech but the reality is that teams donít have to account for motor controllers, motors, breakers, or any major parts of the control system on it so it doesnít help inspectors at this point. Itís just a tool for them to wield power over teams with and thatís bad for the team experience.
My look is: Is everything under price? If there's something that seems off I might look deeper. 9 times out of 10 I sign off without further comment. Obviously I haven't inspected you guys, do I need to?


Quote:
And the other... it involves a semi-calibrated measuring device placed on uneven surfaces and read by people in funny hats.
I hope you also call the CSA hats funny. (Also... I've seen an entire regional placed on an uneven surface. Thankfully not in 2017.)
Quote:
I have no idea what this means but you certainly seem less threatening than others around these parts.
He's Canadian. Ask the "folks in D.C." why the Canucks are a strategic threat. (Could be the fact that a couple hundred years ago we each failed to invade the other successfully, eh? )
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  #41   Spotlight this post!  
Unread 10-06-2018, 02:33 AM
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Re: Steel and aluminum tariffs in the USA

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Originally Posted by EricH View Post
My look is: Is everything under price? If there's something that seems off I might look deeper. 9 times out of 10 I sign off without further comment. Obviously I haven't inspected you guys, do I need to?
Inspecting the Zebracorns should be a right of passage for all inspectors. Just remember, while you, the inspector, might find it amusing to spend an extra 15m making one of us dig out a manifold spec sheet or a receipt, you didnít make other teams go through the same thing and our students are still students and that missed practice match hurts us too.

Quote:
I hope you also call the CSA hats funny. (Also... I've seen an entire regional placed on an uneven surface. Thankfully not in 2017.)
The CSAs run away when I approach. Iíve never actually seen one.

Quote:
He's Canadian. Ask the "folks in D.C." why the Canucks are a strategic threat. (Could be the fact that a couple hundred years ago we each failed to invade the other successfully, eh?
I thought he might have been poutining me on.... that sounded better in my head.
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Unread 10-06-2018, 03:15 AM
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Re: Steel and aluminum tariffs in the USA

Yeah... in order to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum it was necessary to declare Canada a "strategic threat" to the United States.

I'll leave it at that out of respect for CD's policy of leaving politics for other forums, but if you want to know more you might start here: https://globalnews.ca/news/4355100/d...curity-threat/

Now poutine tariffs, THAT I could understand. Poutine is clearly a strategic threat arteries and waistlines everywhere.

Jason
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Unread 10-06-2018, 10:35 AM
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Re: Steel and aluminum tariffs in the USA

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Originally Posted by CarlosGJ View Post
My main point of friction with the CAW is that it discourages (or at least disincentivizes) clever scrounging. If a team is able to buy a $4000 widget on ebay for $60 because it's "nonfunctional, for parts only", and then repair it by replacing a diode, I think that they should be allowed to use it without worrying about the definition of "fair market value".

Furthermore, until it becomes possible to buy complete FRC robots or subsystems, I don't really see how the CAW limits serve to level the playing field (at least, not in a desirable way). Suppose Raytheon were to donate some kind of million-dollar miniature AESA radar to a team. In order to actually make use of it, the team would have to master several aspects of electronic, RF, and controls engineering. If furthering their education and experience in that way allows them greater success in the competition, then more power to them.
I don't think the CAW rules are perfect, but I do think that limiting the maximum cost for a single COTS part by fair market value is a reasonable rule. Otherwise, some teams that have good industry connections will start showing up with $10k GPS receivers that they happened to find in a dumpster. Though I wouldn't mind if the rules completely got rid of the cost limit all together, since teams last year were limited more by the physical capabilities of the battery/motors than by sensors in autonomous.
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Unread 10-06-2018, 10:52 AM
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Re: Steel and aluminum tariffs in the USA

In doing engineering work, one is rarely not constrained by costs so it is a fair aproximation of the real world to have the CAW limits.

While tarrifs can affect your BOM costs, it is not the only factor. Other factors such as changes in supply and demand have caused fluctuations in steel prices and in aluminum prices in the past that were larger than recent changes that may be partly due to the recent tarrifs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dtengineering View Post
Yeah... in order to impose tariffs on Canadian steel and aluminum it was necessary to declare Canada a "strategic threat" to the United States.

I'll leave it at that out of respect for CD's policy of leaving politics for other forums, but if you want to know more you might start here: https://globalnews.ca/news/4355100/d...curity-threat/

Now poutine tariffs, THAT I could understand. Poutine is clearly a strategic threat arteries and waistlines everywhere.

Jason
The quality of the poutine here in the Southern US is awful! I doubt that anything other than tarrifs that double or tripple the price of poutine will have a significant effect on the flow of poutine across the border. That may be the true "strategic threat"
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Unread 10-06-2018, 03:45 PM
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Re: Steel and aluminum tariffs in the USA

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Originally Posted by philso View Post
In doing engineering work, one is rarely not constrained by costs so it is a fair aproximation of the real world to have the CAW limits.
In the real world, when your boss is angry about why you went over $4000 BOM target telling them that a bunch of the parts are from the KOP probably wouldn't be the best answer.

If FIRST wants to do the CAW thing, then they should actually do it. The current implementation is the laziest excuse for a cost limiting system ever. The limit is so high that it's nearly impossible to hit, I've probably inspected 200+ robots at this point and I've never seen one within $1000 of the limit if the CAW was filled out correctly.

The exemption system is also ridiculous. Since any KOP item (including FIRST choice) doesn't count towards the limit teams and inspectors are expected to know the contents of KOP and First Choice inventories spanning back decades. How many people knew that this year Talon SRXs were KOP and Talon SPXs weren't. The answer is pretty much no one. I've inspected plenty of powerhouse teams and no one fills out the CAW correctly, my own team has two LRI's on it and looking back on it we still didn't fill it out correctly. Does it really matter? Nope. All these teams weren't going to hit the limit anyway, why put in the effort.

Don't even get me started on the fair market value system. If you don't know already, labor is free as long as it's done by a team member which includes "sponsor employees who are members of the team".

If I took 148's 2018 CAD files and brought them to a sheet metal company to be manufactured there is no way I'd find someone who would make them for me for under $4000 (If there is, please let me know. Seriously). That must mean every single employee involved doing sheet metal at IFI is also a 148 member I guess? Is the inspector expected to pull up TIMS and make sure all the IFI employees involved are signed up? What if the team forgets? Do you just stop 148 from competing? Do you get them to go around to sheet metal companies and get quotes to find out the fair market value?

Obviously I'd never want 148 or anyone else to be denied the use of their sponsor's resources. I'm not exactly sure what we're trying to achieve here. Are we trying to teach kids that they can get past the rules by gaining an institutional knowledge of KOP items? Are we trying to punish teams who have sponsors whose employees aren't cool enough to sign up on TIMs. Does this system make things "fair"? Is it even possible to make a system that is "fair"?

Any engineer worth their salt knows that 99% of the time labor costs more than materials. FRC is in this weird world where people spend 100's of hour of their life without any repayment. The CAW system in FRC isn't anywhere close to reality.

(Edit: I think the $500 limit is reasonable but I don't believe we need the rest of the CAW system in place to enforce that limit)

Edit 2: If you have a BOM that comes within $500 of the limit and you think you've filled it out correctly please post it. I'd really like to see one.)
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Last edited by Marcus Q : 10-06-2018 at 06:35 PM.
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