Beware of Charge Station Deterioration

As we go further into the season and reuse charge stations at events, be ready to adapt your approach.

At our current event (sundome) there seems to reports in addition to our experience of really inconsistent charge stations. This seems to be a result of the charge stations taking a beating from multiple events, meaning that it’s difficult to drive up the charge station as it shifts the “wrong” way in addition to being harder to push down.

As a result, it has messed up a lot of balances in autos and made driving up the ramp a lot more inconsistent. (Some teams report red charge station being broken, others report blue being broken and red fine)

Hopefully FIRST releases a solution to make these a lot more consistent as it’s very frustrating at our event as there’s a ton of failed balance autos, but for now, teams need to figure out a solution to adapt for inconsistencies.


I think 1323 solved it with their intake. Teams may need to think of how to incorporate a bar that pushes down on the ramp enough before the bumper hits.


We might test driving up with our intake out tomorrow, will report results.

Two words: battering ram.


Can vaguely confirm this is happening at Humber in Ontario. Volunteers were switching out the panels last minute and we noticed they felt way stiffer here.

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I have watched teams that we have competed against and with struggling on the charging station both tele and auto. Either they can’t get on…or it “flattens” when they try to get on.

I think they MAY have to replace them for the finals at respective areas…and of course world championship. Just like the carpet. Between the impacts, the scuffing of lexan or polycarb…and friction of the bottom plates…Things are not looking good.

And IF they just replace the charging stations at District Championships and World…it may give teams an even chance from the abuses at District and Regional comps.

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And by finals…I mean District/Regional/Whatever you call them before world! LOL


just beat it into submission


Something we experienced in our event was that a side of the red charge station seemed to be dirtier, mainly with small bits of scrubbed rubber.

Even though to the touch it was minor, that caused our robot to spin when doing the engage auto on that specific spot and almost fail the engage. Thankfully the effect was small enough that the bot could still handle it. On our case we notified the field personnel and made sure to run that auto on the good side so it would climb straight up.

This is a very specific case, but it’s good to keep in mind that this might happen too.

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The Field Supervisors at our event are using glass cleaner on the ramps (but not the top) every morning to help remove the built up rubber that came off wheels and is causing this. I haven’t seen any matches yet myself, but it certainly makes those ramps look nicer!

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