Driver Station Dimension Limits?

I have been wondering about this for a while, I am building a new drivers station for my team and I need to know what the dimensions of the shelf where you put your controls are and if it is legal to overhang the 12in. depth of the shelf 4 inches or if it is legal to overhang any dimension at all. Any help is appreciated! I am going to be building it this week and laser etching some of the parts so please help me out!

From my observations in the past, the general rule of thumb seems to be “If it stays on the shelf, its ok”, though someone may correct me on that.

There was specific information in the 2013 game manual, under “player station”, you might consider reading it?

Of course, the 2014 rules may be different.

Trust me I have read it. It has exact dimensions of the shelf itself but says nothing of the sort in accordance to other rules such as hanging over it or being bigger than the shelf.

Read the rules from the past few years.

I would suggest reading it again.

Don, ya steered him wrong. The proper search term would be “Operator Console” (found in Section 4). “Player Station” will put him into Section 2.2, which doesn’t cover operator consoles, just the shelf.

Cash, try R93 instead–I think that’s what they’re trying to tell you that you missed.

Edit: Also to be noted is that this is for the 2013 rules. As pointed out by Don, 2014 may be completely different. There have been some changes from time to time.

Ahh. Okay, Finally somebody could give me an answer, that is all I was looking for. So even though that rule states you can’t be more than 12 deep, didn’t some teams go over that depth rule? I could have swore some teams had deeper operator consoles than 12in deep.

It could be that the console was simply hanging over the shelf, or that the inspectors judged it not to be an issue. With so many robot and bumper rules to enforce and so little time, I would suspect that anybody with a “close enough”-sized board and the proper firmware would probably pass that part no problem. I know when I was an inspector, I rarely looked at the console, except to check voltage readings and firmware revision–then again, they weren’t quite as strict with the size back then (I last inspected in 2010, before the 2012 maximum size introduction).

Depends on your inspector. Follow the rules as written it’ll save headaches.

I’ve been told its pretty important to be under the maximum size and that they do check.

We do. Oversights happen, and sometimes they happen on the rules a team happens to miss, but I’d advise against counting on it.

That said, I know quite a few people who’ve reported it’s a rather arbitrary rule, and I hope it doesn’t come back next year. If it does though, follow it.

I required two teams this year to reduce the size of their operator console in order to pass inspection. One at Championship. It’s on our inspection worksheet, we will check.

Nothing sucks worse than to have to cut up a beautiful operators console because rules were not followed.

It was impossible to hold teams to the 12" rule as new laptops exceed that dimension by quite a bit. (15" when open is not uncommon) If the driver’s station fits within the 6’ width then the responsibility of the station becomes the the teams should it fall off the shelf. Securing the driver’s station to the shelf using the supplied velcro or something else is in your best interest. Keeping it small, light and easy to use is the best bet.

I understand that many laptops overhang the 12" mark, but I must ask. What driver station needs to be 16" deep?

One that includes a 15" deep laptop, perhaps?

Ours this year was 12.5"-13" because of a nice briefcase that it was in. The inspector at the Boston regional was very nice and said that although we technically were over the limit by a small margin he did not see it as being a hazard or having the possibility to fall off the shelf.

Moral of the Story: We were ok with being slightly over-sized as I believe the vast majority of teams were. However, it is always better to know for sure that you are in accordance with the rules than to live on the edge and chance it.

Yeah, this year when we went to our regional, they told us we couldn’t use our drivers station (just a laptop in a briefcase) because the briefcase was too long (more than 12 in) and it would hang over the edge. It kinda stinks because we totally made our drivers station look awesome with lights and stuff, but whateves.