30 lb Withholding? for rookies?

Could some please explain the withholding limit? We know the basics: 30lbs fabricated and unlimited on bought items and COTS items. But what does that really mean to a rookie team?

For example: Say we wanted to raise our bot up a couple inches. We would need a couple machined parts probably weighing 1lb max, some spacers, and some extra chain. Now the chain would be broken eventually so that’s around 4 lb max of chain. So 5 lbs max fabricated we would bring, and some tools.

Is that legal? can we say that met the fabricated parts limit and COTS/bought limit? Also, are tool numbers unlimited on what we can bring? And can we cut/drill/sawsall anything in the pit? How/where would we do the fabrication on the actual machine and would we have to get it re-inspected everytime?

Can someone answer these questions for a rookie team? And don’t refer me to threads. I know how to use a search bar. :]

No sparks or flames are allowed in the pit, battery chargers that are rated for >6amps are often not allowed, even if you promise to use them on a lower setting. – your regional may provide a common machine shop where some tools and restrictions are lifted. Your pit is 10x10x10 with power provided, you can bring as as many tools as you want, and as much raw material, COTS and fabricated replacement parts as you want, 30lbs only applies to fabricated parts that aren’t identical spares for what is already in your bag. While the pits are open you build/modify like it is still build season, except of course for the spark/flame restriction.

Yes, it is legal. You are bringing <30 lbs.

Yes and yes.

You must do your machining in your pit, although as mentioned, most regionals provide access to a machine shop (usually equipped with numerous bandsaws, drill presses, and sanders).

Nothing you described sounds illegal, and I would highly encourage you to do what you’re planning. You have way less than 30 pounds of fabricated parts. I personally would count the roller chain as COTS anyway, but you’re well under 30 pounds, so it doesn’t matter. In the past, no one’s gone around checking the stuff we’ve brought in.

It’s to your advantage to use the 30 pound withholding allowance to upgrade your robot past the Stop Build Day. You don’t get access to your robot (it’s in the bag), but nothing stops you from getting 30 pounds of fabricated stuff plus unlimited COTS stuff ready to go.

Depending on the event, you may be able to find a veteran team with tools in their pit you can use, in addition to the regional’s public machine shop. Though, nothing says you can’t do any fabrication past Stop Build Day on the upgrade parts you “withheld” and plan to bring in.

I believe checking is done at some regionals. Regardless, follow the rules. I’d much rather have our team come in second, or even last by following the rules than win knowing we brought in 40 lbs of fabricated stuff. And what does this teach the kids on the team? If you going to bring in >30lbs, you might as well keep building past bag day and lie on the bag & tag paperwork.

I think it’s more of an honor thing. I’ve never attended a regional where anyone checks, but they at least reserve the right to check if something looks well over the limit.

One thing about the pits at a competition is the presence of so many robot experts. We like to help rookies and veterans alike. If you have forgotten to bring a tool, there will be a dozen or more offers to borrow a replacement item. More important than that, experienced hands often go along with those offers in most cases. We really want the highest level of competition possible. It’s very sad to have fewer than six machines on the field for any match, even for the first qualifying round.

Bolded emphasis is mine to point out THIS IS WRONG!

Nowhere in this rule does it say that identical spares are free to bring in not counting against your witholding. That rule hasn’t existed since at least 2009 when the witholding allowence was introduced. Please READ THE FIRST MANUAL (RTFM) and make sure you know the CURRENT rules.

BTW You can make spares and put them in one of you 2 available bags so that they don’t count toward the 30 lbs.

In the past there was a restriction against “floor mounted” versions of tools like band saws and drill presses, while “table top” models are fine.

…and remember, COTS items don’t count towards the weight limit. So bringing in spare motors, lengths of aluminum, wire and so on, are all OK.

I am not aware of any this year, but in years past some regionals didn’t have the space for the full 10x10 pits. They gave us ~8.5x10 and told everybody sorry.

10’x10’ is the “recommended” size but i believe the minimum is 8’x8’

Don’t bumpers also count towards the weight limit?

No and yes. There are 3 separate weight limits:

  1. 120 lb for the robot, minus battery and bumpers.
  2. 20 lb per bumper set.
  3. 30 lb withholding/carry-in fabricated item limit–bumpers are included in this weight, if they aren’t in raw-material form.

As for your chain counting against withholding, if you bring in chain that hasn’t ever been broken, that’s obviously COTS material. If you bring in chain that’s pre-broken to the exact lengths you need, that’s obviously a fabricated item. If you have a box full of random lengths of chain from previous years? Technically a fabricated item, but it’s a pretty gray area. I’d personally consider it COTS, since it’s not specifically fabricated for your robot, and you’re going to gain approximately zero advantage by using it. Also, I’m pretty sure next to no one even thinks about random lengths of chain being fabricated items, so everyone hauls in tons of chain anyways.

Yes if you carry in bumpers in instead of bagging and tagging them they count as part of that 30lb limit

I stand corrected. Thank you for pointing it out.

No problem. I don’t mean to seem harsh with my comments but this is a poersonal pet peeve because most so many people think we still operate under this rule and cheat by bringing these types of parts in not included in their 30 lbs.

If we take R26 extremely literally then its illegal to bring any COTS materials into the tournament other than what comes in the bags. To say this another way, it you assume that R26 dictates everything that can be brought into the tournament, Fabricated or COTS then you have to conclude that it is not permissible to bring in any COTS materials since R26 only permits Fabricated items.

Just sayin’

<R26> doesn’t “permit” Fabricated items. It limits them. No rule limits the amount of raw material or COTS parts.