$0.73 per Flanged Bearings 1/2'' HEX and 13.75 mm Thunderhex


@Jon_Stratis Actually, the vendor didn’t get rid of them until Feb? Our team started this project to help other teams, and we made our attempt at it (on this CD post). However, with the negativity, we got the company and we simply did not inform the CD community or share about this.

Like any online shop… a few months ago… if you actually looked hard enough on google… you were probably able to find the bearing… I do not see any advantage taken… its like Fastenal or Mcmaster or any other vendor, if you actually searched for the item… you would find it…

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What you took for negativity was a concern over how the planned purchase would work within the rules. You were unable to address those concerns, so instead you went another route that was still dubious, just not as widely publicized.

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Why would you be hesitant to give people a link to a vendor?

Also you didn’t say how much the approximate shipping and import costs would be but if you were working with a vendor shouldn’t they be able to give you an estimate?


After we refunded everyone their money, we started to work with that vendor and shipping/tax info was later resolved.

I am very hesitant to release the vendor link or email… or even name…
I do believe that some people on CD will attack/harass/annoy that vendor.

The teams in our community have built good relationships with that vendor (note the vendor has no affiliations with any teams, if thats the next concern, my students literally walked into their office with this idea)…

But I would not like to release the vendor name or information for that specific reason.
Our team also has no further interest in getting more bearings from China or continuing with this project.


You might have the best of intentions here and be completely in the right but think about how this looks from other people’s perspective.

Firstly, you have labeled the criticism here as negativity when people had concerns about how this was going to be handled and probably just wanted to know what they were getting into before putting money in. Then, you never gave an update here as to why the order was canceled and the money returned and somebody else had to do that for you. On top of that you refuse to give out the name of the vendor our of fear of harassment which seems very sketchy.

Keep in mind that any sort of criticism or people asking for answers is not harassment. If you have received actual harassment from people on CD you should probably report it to FIRST.

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I mean, in a way you have probably already given people enough information to “annoy” the vendor (and several others in your area). From your posts, we know the vendor deals with bearings and “hardware” and we know they’re “local” for your team.

A quick Google search and a student with too much free time is all it would take to get a list of bearing suppliers in your area and proceed to “annoy” every one of them via phone calls inquiring for information. Not that I recommend anyone do this, just saying.


Out of curiosity, what was the final price per bearing? How was the quality? How quickly did you actually get them?


I don’t know why people are getting hung up on the vendor definition. It’s a COTS part because it’s available at VEX and AM, whether or not it’s purchased at VEX or AM. As long as it’s the same part, then it’s “a standard part commonly available from a vendor for all teams for purchase.” You could argue that it must be listed on the BoM at the VEX/AM price rather than the purchase price, but there’s no doubt in my mind that the parts would be competition-legal.

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Basel, the problem is that the parts probably aren’t identical. For example, Swyft started offering hex bearings this year, and having one in hand I can tell you it’s not the same as what we’ve gotten from Vex or AndyMark in the past. Talking with Swyft, they have more grease in their bearings to improve their lifetime use. Without actually seeing one, holding it in your hand, and doing a side by side teardown with ones available from somewhere else, how can you actually say these are identical to ones available from an actual VENDOR?

Also, I don’t read that line the same way you do. You see “available from a vendor” as being generic - something that someone can get from someone else, even if it’s not the same someone else as another team. I read it more specific - a part is COTS if any team can get it from the same vendor.


Imagine if we just got rid of some of these unnecessary rules? Most of the rules surrounding the BOM and allowed parts are pretty asinine imo and now that we have killed the bag hopefully eliminating some of these rules is the next step.


I ordered a sample of 10 at the end of last year, came out to being around $3.20 per bearing with shipping, but obviously the more you buy the cheaper things get. YMMV with all these awesome tariffs now though :roll_eyes:


In my experience, AM either has better quality or better QA for their hex bearings than VEX*. But I’d still say they’re the same part. You’re right that there may be real design differences, but at some point you have to draw the line as to what is the same part or not.

As for the rule reading, I think it’s pretty clear that it doesn’t need to be available from the vendor it’s purchased from. If I bought 1x1 tube and processed it such that it’s identical to versatube, it’s still “a standard part commonly available from a vendor for all teams for purchase.” I just happened to make that part myself. What part of that definition isn’t satisfied?

*Please don’t jump on me for saying this, it’s not really the point of the post.


If you bought regular 2x1x0.100" tubing from a bulk metal supplier and before kickoff drilled 1" spaced holes in it, that wouldn’t be legal for use in the upcoming season (according to 2019 rules). The COTS part you bought was the stock tubing. In modifying the part by drilling holes in it, you make it no longer COTS. Just because it’s similar to a COTS part sold by another vendor doesn’t make it a COTS part.

If you cut plates identical to the WCP gearbox plates on your CNC router before kickoff, you can’t use them for the next season. It doesn’t matter that it’s a copy of a COTS part, it itself isn’t COTS.


If it’s indistinguishable from a purchased part, then which part of “a standard part commonly available from a vendor for all teams for purchase” is not satisfied?


The fact that it’s not actually the same part that’s available from a legal vendor. Just because two parts look the same doesn’t make them the same.


Yoooo I’ve got some genuine watches in the trunk of my car that might interest you.


I said indistinguishable, not “looks the same.”

FWIW, VEX and AM bearings are probably not exactly the same (probably made by different companies, maybe with different processes maybe not), not sure if they’re indistinguishable (I wouldn’t be able to pick one up and tell which company it came from), but they’re definitely the same standard parts.


The thing is, AM and Vex’s bearings are not the same part. There are differences in how they act, feel, etc. They come from different factories. They weight slightly differently. They have different lubrication. I may not be able to say which company sold any given bearing, but if you gave me one of each I could certainly find differences. Both products are legal because both are sold by legal vendors (AM and Vex).

If you made your own bearings, they will also have slight differences from both the AM and Vex ones. Just because they’re “indistinguishable” to you doesn’t make them the same part.

@Taylor 's metaphor is right on point. Knockoff watches may look the same, do the same thing, and maybe even be built to the same specs as the authentic ones. And to many people off the street, they’re indistinguishable. But they certainly aren’t the same product.

split this topic #58

18 posts were split to a new topic: Should teams be allowed to reuse fabricated items and/or build before Kickoff


Not by the rules of FRC… That fact that you can take raw stock and fabricate a part that is indistinguishable for a purchased part, does not magically transform it into the purchasable and hence COTS part. As soon as it requires fabrication or modification on your side it is not COTS and have to adhere to the schedule based rules.