[BB] FIRST Choice, Second Year!

I apologize if there’s already a thread for this.

Good Afternoon Teams,

Based on team feedback on the 2011 Kit of Parts Survey, I think you’ll be happy to hear that FRC will be working with AndyMark to offer FIRST Choice again in 2012. Like last year, veteran teams will receive a standard KOP and rookie teams will receive a standard KOP plus the “Rookie” kit. (Watch for details regarding KOP size and weight as we get closer to Kickoff). Then, in addition to the physical KOP distributed at Kickoff, all 2012 registered teams will be invited to select items through FIRST Choice.

FIRST Choice is an online extension of the traditional KOP that allows teams to pick and choose a select number of items to add to the 2012 KOP. The items are free, but teams incur the cost of shipping. There won’t be enough pieces for everyone to have one of everything. Instead, items will be issued to teams on a first come-first served basis.

Although FIRST Choice is an FRC initiative, the actual site will be an extension of the AndyMark, Inc. website. Teams will log into the FIRST Choice website using individual secure usernames and passwords (provided to the teams when we get closer to Kickoff) to see the choices, select the items they wish to receive, and pick a shipping option. Teams may add other AndyMark, Inc. products that they purchase to the FIRST Choice shipment.

Mark these dates on your calendar:
12.12.11: FIRST Choice site opens for viewing only.
01.09.12: FIRST Choice site opens for orders.
04.30.12: FIRST Choice site closes.

I’ll be looking for your feedback on FIRST Choice in the 2012 Kit of Parts Survey (available after FIRST Championship in April.) Thank you for your patience and participation as we explore the potential of this distribution model.

88 days until Kickoff
See you then!

I wonder if we’ll see Tetrix kits in FIRST Choice again…

I think mini-bots are here to stay… maybe.

I hope not. Minibots were cool, but I’d rather stay away from them for a while.

Agreed… I really don’t want to deal with Minibots again…

Any “simple task” that takes 20 iterations to get right because the bar gets raised so high is something I don’t want to see again.

Also, any “simple task” that requires nearly as much attention as the primary game objective probably isn’t a simple task…

Not to mention the spending war that seemed to erupt once teams knew sub 2 second minibots were possible…

And don’t even get me started in the minibot scoring…

I lost count of how many tetrix motors and batteries we bought and burned up trying to get it right. We showed up with a sub 2 second minibot week 2 and everyone who didn’t have one copied the 3 of us who did.

Getting sub 2 seconds for regionals was important to master, but for championship you had to be below 1.5 for divisions and below 1.1 for Einstein, because thats how things elevate.

I am not looking forward to giving Tetrix another cent of my money ever again.

Minibots were a fun and interesting idea but from kickoff on the rules were a complete disaster. If they come back I hope FIRST had learned their lesson.

Back to the OP: Congrats to AndyMark for being the FIRST Choice distributor again!

Glad to see FIRST Choice coming back, hope it continues to give us the option of rounding out kit so we don’t just add more stuff to the bin of things we will likely never use that used to come in the KOP.

I just hope they learn from last year and stock up on items that “sold out” immediately… It sucks not getting what you want just because you logged in an hour late!

Every year on our team, we have a discussion about how past competitions and designs are behind us, the slate is now clean. There’s no need to bring up ills and failures from the past. Learn lessons, move on.

The minibot horse is dead. Stop trying to beat it. Glue is too cheap.

There were lots of things available through FIRSTChoice that were not made from Tetrix. I for one am happy to get the opportunity to add to our inventory in a manner of our choosing. Last year was a learning opportunity on many levels - I’m looking forward to seeing the improvements in the FC program implemented. I’m also glad for the job security for Brant.

And they weren’t easy to ref, either!

I am hopeful that any future developments will be positive.

Am I mistaken, or were Batteries available via FIRST Choice last year?

If they’re available again this year, at least we’ll know what batteries are legal a month or so ahead of the season…

You remember correctly, (2) batteries were one of the possible selections last year.

2011FirstChoiceList.pdf (1.62 MB)

2011FirstChoiceList.pdf (1.62 MB)

I thought we knew that from simple physics on day one.

Anyhow, back to the thread. It’s nice to see FIRST Choice back.

EDIT: Maybe not day one. I think we didn’t have motor specs until later. It’s all becoming a blur now.

Agreed, depending on which spec was accurate, and how much friction existed, our calcs put a minibot at about .7-.8s on the pole. Our minibot was champs was about 1 second dead on including deployment, so the theoretical number was pretty close to actual.

Yes, but they were offered with a caution: They were 2 years old and hadn’t been maintained. Lead-Acid batteries don’t like that much, and so they were likely in mediocre condition. OK for testing or cart lighting, but not for competition.
I would imagine/speculate that the batteries will be the same as always for 2012.

Don, I didn’t remember the two year old part… Haha.

I’m just looking to avoid a 2007 (I think that was the year) when the batteries changed from one model to another leaving teams like 816 with two competition batteries and a half dozen batteries that were only good for practice and charging our pneumatics.