Changes to budget constraints for 2019 season

Please make sure you read ALL of the rules - the budget and fabrication schedule section is one that is typically looked over, but spoiler alert: there are changes this year!

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Oh man. No unlimited quantities of items from previous KOPs. Well, that sure simplifies my life as an LRI, now I don’t have to try to remember what stuff might have once been in a previous KOP.

OTOH, I’m not seeing any significant changes in fabrication schedule. Which I thought Danny was hinting at in the video, but maybe I misread that.

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These changes would have been really nice to know before the first round of FIRST Choice.

This forces teams to obtain new motor controllers and other reusable parts each year in order to avoid having to put them on the BOM.

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I agree that the change should have been publicized earlier as it would have changed teams ordering behavior. However, the old rules made absolutely no sense, as @marshall was quick to point out. The rules now are more fair between new teams and old teams.

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This forces teams to obtain new motor controllers and other reusable parts each year in order to avoid having to put them on the BOM.

No, I don’t think so. R15-D and the blue box (specifically blue box example 2) seems to allow teams to reuse motors/motor controllers/etc from previous years. They would still count on the BOM* but the team wouldn’t need to purchase a new one just for it to be legal.

*From my interpretation though, they wouldn’t count on the BOM if an identical component is included in the KOP and they use the KOP quantity or less. For example, if I use two CIMs - which is what is supplied in the kit this year - but one of them is old, both are excluded even though one is old.

It looks like the total limit was increased by $1000 to compensate for this, which should work out for the average team. The teams with 16 Talon SRXes might need to make some cuts.

Also, I wonder what would happen if a team used an old part from the KOP that was never sold outside of it, like the 2012 analog gyros. I guess it would be illegal or it would need to become a fabricated item somehow?

I think that those gyros may be covered by the end of 10.1? Could be a Q&A question.

“Items that are no longer commercially available but are functionally equivalent to the original condition as delivered from the VENDOR are considered COTS and may be used.”

I have always considered items that could be purchased with a voucher (but may not have actually been purchased with the voucher) or items that could have been acquired through FIRST Choice (but may not have actually been acquired through FIRST Choice) to be excluded from the CAW. I didn’t think it was responsible use of sponsor money to buy an item we already had 5 of with a PDV just so we could excluded it from the CAW. We have always used vouchers and FIRST Choice to maximize financial value and not for maximizing robot CAW exclusions. For instance, this year we selected to use our FIRST Choice credits to purchase a PDB, PCM, and VRM that have no additional CAW exclusions and a high financial value. In addition, teams may have selected to get the AndyMark drive base kit instead of the AndyMark voucher to use for off season practice or other purpose. Now these teams, every rookie team that isn’t going to use the drive base kit (but were required to get it) , and teams that have already used the voucher for parts that may not go on their robot are at a $450 disadvantage on the CAW (that is almost 10%). I don’t mind the idea of the change to only allow items in this year KOP and in quantities that are in this years KOP. I can see the good that comes from these changes. I do have a problem with the fact that these changes were not announced before FIRST Choice round 1, the AndyMark drive base opt out, and the release of product donation vouchers. This is functionally equivalent to a mid season rule change that is going to have a huge negative impact on some teams. I would propose that FIRST changes the rule to allow for teams to exclude products that could have been obtained using a PDV (including the AndyMark PDV regardless of if the team received one or not) or through FIRST Choice to be excluded from the CAW. Obviously the dollar / credit amount would limit what could be deducted. I would also suggest that FIRST adds the AndyMark drive kit as an exemption on the CAW for everyone. I think implementing these modifications would make these rule changes a lot more fair. The new budget constraints this year are more restrictive then in the past and without knowing about the rule changes before hand, it is really not fair to teams who have already made decisions with their PDVs and FIRST Choice credits that will now negatively effect them. In addition, this rule is unfair to rookies who aren’t going to use the AndyMark drive kit and can’t use the AndyMark $450 voucher exclusion on their CAW.

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Suggestion,

Why don’t some veteran teams do a rough BOM on last years robot, under this years rules? If you’re concerned about going over, you need to do this anyways to have a better understanding of your design constraints. Posting the BOM here will cost you 5 extra minutes and give rookies and CD in general a better handle on the issue. I’d suggest going with the worst case and assuming you didn’t get and $0 parts from FC or PDVs.

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I wish I could like this post more than once. HQ really screwed up with this one. We really need a manual that is released prior to the season starting that contains rules like this and the CAD/Software release rules.

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This is explicitly called out as not allowed this year (blue box under R12):

Example 3: Part ABC is available in FIRST Choice, but a team decides they have enough already on hand and does not acquire any through FIRST Choice. All of these items used on the ROBOT need to be accounted for at Fair Market Value as they did not come from the current year’s KOP.

…though this is one of those things that is likely on the honor system.

*From my interpretation though, they wouldn’t count on the BOM if an identical component is included in the KOP and they use the KOP quantity or less. For example, if I use two CIMs - which is what is supplied in the kit this year - but one of them is old, both are excluded even though one is old.

The KOP is different than FIRST Choice…You obviously get everything in the kit of parts. You only get a subset of the items in FIRST Choice.

Blue Box R12

Example 3: Part ABC is available in FIRST Choice, but a team decides they have enough
already on hand and does not acquire any through FIRST Choice. All of these items used
on the ROBOT need to be accounted for at Fair Market Value as they did not come from
the current year’s KOP.

Unless you received 2 Talon SRXs from FRIST choice you can’t exclude 2 old Talon SRXs from last year. As @mdraear stated we wouldn’t have wasted FIRST Choice credits on already $0 CAW/BOM cost items. We would have gotten Talons SRXs and other non $0 CAW cost items.

Another example of how this is unfair: FIRST Choice contains other items not intended to go on a robot. Multimeter, tools, etc. Teams that chose those items are going to have a much more difficult time getting everything on their CAW.

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While no actual math was done, 4513’s head mentor is confident that the 2018 bot would still fall far under the limit.

I can promise you that the number of teams that come close to $5000 on the BOM is going to be small.

For grins, I priced out 10 2 stage VPs + 775s and encoders, 6 CIM shifting drivetrain, some wheels, belts, framing, 4 SPXs, and 12 SRXs. It came out to $4000 in the Vex shopping cart. I know it’s possible to push the $5000 limit if you start adding pricier things like pneumatics, coprocessors, etc. But the vast majority of teams are going to be okay. The teams that end up actually pushing $5000 just have a new constraint to deal with, just like weight and size.

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That’s the problem though, they were KOP exclusive as far as I know and never were commercially released.

I added Talon’s (14), 550s(4), 775Pros(2), Redlines(2), Photoelectric Sensors(4) and got rid of the AndyMark voucher for last years robot and that put us at $5585. If we had the voucher and useful items from FIRST Choice we could slide in under $5000.

Keep in mind that last year we had to machine replicas of the 221 Systems Revolution Pro 2 swerve modules (4*$275). Had we not done that we would have been approx. $6685*

When it comes down to it, building a swerve drive with off the shelf modules, components, and gearboxes it is not going to be easy under the new rules. So in general I disagree with the new limit given all the the additional restrictions.

  • There was some cost to make them ourselves but it was no where near the $275 per module given we were using raw stock.
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If you’ve haven’t priced aluminum recently, I can tell you where the extra budget will be spent.

Our 2018 BOM would have increased $990 with the new rules on a very quick glance of the CAW from last year and that is a light year since we only had 8 Talon SRX speed controllers. 2017 when we had a full 16 would have been a lot more.

Hopefully HQ will implement the changes suggested by @mdraear they are sensible, reasonable and fair.

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Interesting. So the amount of our $450 voucher that we use on shipping (possibly close to half, depending on what we get - yesterday I ordered two cargo balls and the least expensive shipping was more than the cost of the balls) is now basically wasted, and there’s no way for us to use it without incurring that cost. Also, using it to get game pieces was really stupid.

Example 2: A team uses FIRST Choice credits, or a voucher, to acquire part ABC. This
part, in the quantity obtained by the team via the KOP may be accounted at $0.
Additional quantity of the same item would have to be accounted at the Fair Market Value.

If something is NOT in KOP but you get it through FIRST Choice, do you account it for BOM or should it be $0?