Arena Controller Rental???

For those of you who have already done events or are working on getting one ready, maybe somebody can help me with this…I know last year, you were able to rent an arena controller set directly from Innovation First. Well, I e-mailed them yesterday, asking about what would be included in the package this year(stop buttons, comm to ScoreFIRST scoring app(to stop the timer), etc.) Well, when I got a reply from them when I got home from work today, it was that they were not involved with equipment rental, and that all of that went through FIRST. Anyone know anything about this?

I believe that you have to go through FIRST to rent the equipment. I’ve also been told that it’s rather expensive to do so but I didn’t get any specifics on it (I asked someone running a minicompetition if they were borrowing the controllers from FIRST and they said no because it’s too expensive).


I know someone who rented the controllers. You do get them from FIRST and they are expensive.

I don’t remember the exact figure but it was on the order of $5k-10k. There may have also been a much larger deposit (I don’t remember)

For IRI i know that we rented things from FIRST…although they only gave us enough controllers to run one side of the field…I am also pretty sure they are doing that for everyone…I also dont know about the price we paid to rent them, but u might want to email Andy Baker to see if he knows or to see if he can ask someone else on the TechnoKats who would know…


That may explain why Mayhem on the Merrimack was run only using one side of the field…

Though I have to say, last year going through Innovation First wasn’t bad…and so much less! With a cost like that, I think it’s going to limit what teams try to get post and pre-season events in their area started…

~ lora

For this year’s IRI, here’s what happened with getting field controllers:

We initially contacted Tony Norman at Innov. First, since that’s who took care of us with the rental in 2000. Tony pointed us to FIRST, since FIRST still had all of the stuff from Nationals, including the field controllers.

Tony referred us to Tammy Trimble, who did a great job of taking care of us. Tammy packed up three crates of stuff for us, and they didn’t even charge us for the rental. They may have waived the charge to use, since we are the “guinea pigs” for post-FIRST comps for using the Innovation First controllers. In 2000 and 2001, the IRI was right after Nationals, and was the first post-FIRST competition to use the field controllers (not including CDI). Both this year and last year our electrical gurus found a couple of bugs, but they got them worked out.

FIRST decided to only send out one side of the field this year, and it is no big deal. Actually, it makes match set-up easier and simpler. Teams start from the same side each time and exit the same way each time, lessening the confusion.

One thing that we did the I suggest the rest of you do is this… get the stuff back to FIRST asap once you are done with it. Since they are decent enough to loan the stuff out for only the cost to ship the crates, it’s the least we can do to send the stuff back to them via next day air. Shipping cost us $300.

Good luck with your comp.

Andy B.

Hello All,

I have heard that there is a $10,000 insurance rider involved this year. I was told that how it works is that u put $10,000 in some kind of bond or whatever while you have the field. This way if something goes awry FIRST has the $$ for it upfront…and if you hand them back a nice field you get the $ back…like a security deposit type of deal almost. This is what I was told by a non-FIRST source w/a team that I kinda know from a source whose information I wouldn’t call the most accurate in the world…so take it with a grain of salt.


I contacted FIRST for a field rental on the 4th of July, they told me I need to get a $10,000 dollar insurance rider, so your information is correct :). For the insurance rider you only actually have to put out around $300 dollars to purchase it is what I’ve heard from Tynsboro when i asked them how to go about getting the insurance rider taken care of. These year with the feild you get EVERYTHING!!! Last year when i rented the field we go tno electronics or balls, so this is alot better I think!

yeah…the insurance rider is not actually 10 grand that you need to come up with. Rather only a few hundred (I remember going over all this last year…)

good luck to all holding competitions!

~ lora

*Originally posted by Pamela *
**These year with the feild you get EVERYTHING!!! Last year when i rented the field we go tno electronics or balls, so this is alot better I think! **

Kinda reminds me of Bash at the Beach, when certain things were missing from the field and we ran out of black balls so we had to color a yellow ball “black”.

But Im not complaining, I had a blast…and I know a bunch of people that would agree with me :wink:

For the IRI, we only used a few components from FIRST. We had our own field and bridge, so we only borrowed these components:

field controllers & switchbox
e-stop switches
electronic number displays (for team numbers and time)

They didn’t require us to give them a deposit, probably because we only used this partial system. Also, like I said above, we did do some debug with the field controllers and switchbox.

Andy B.