**FIRST EMAIL**/ FRC 2009 Control System Early Release Update

Greetings Teams:
We are pleased to confirm that the 2009 FRC Control System will be made available to teams prior to Kickoff this year! Here is how it will work.
FIRST will ship a 2009 FRC Control System to teams who have registered, paid for an initial event, and requested a system to be shipped. Acceptable forms of initial registration payment are located on our 2009 FRC Payment Terms at: http://www.usfirst.org/community/frc/content.aspx?id=460 <http://www.usfirst.org/community/frc/content.aspx?id=460> .
Please read the following Q&A so you fully understand the process.
How do I request a 2009 FRC Control System be shipped to my team?
When you register for your initial event in the Team Information Management System (TIMS) you will be prompted to indicate YES or NO to: “I would like to have the new 2009 Control System shipped early to my shipping address at the expense of my team” If you answer YES you will be added to the list of teams requesting early shipment. If you answer NO you will receive your Control System in your Kit of Parts at Kickoff.

I have answered “Yes” - when will I get my Control System?
Shipping is anticipated to start the last week of November; however, in the event we are able to ship earlier we will do so. Please note the systems will be packaged and labeled “FRC Robotics Controls Kit.” These kits will be shipped to teams in order of request on an as available basis– that is, demand may exceed the number available for early shipment.

Does my team pay for Shipping?
Yes, each team is responsible for paying the shipping (i.e., transportation) costs. Teams must provide a valid FedEx or UPS account number via TIMS to which the shipping costs will be charged. Please go to the “Kit & Kickoff”, Shipping Company & Account Number, section to enter this data.

Important International Teams (Outside of U.S.) Shipping Note:

Shipments to countries outside of the U.S. may be subject to import taxes, custom duties and fees levied by the destination country (i.e., import fees). These fees are determined once the shipment reaches the destination country. FIRST has no control over these fees, and cannot predict what they might be as custom policies vary widely from country to country. Please check with your local customs office for further information.

Where will my Control System be Shipped?
Systems will ship to the Shipping Contact Address you provided in TIMS. Please make sure this information is correct and up to date!
We apologize in advance but we cannot take any manual edits to the Shipping Contacts address (e.g., special requests via emails, faxes) due to the anticipated high volume of orders.

Is there a deadline for requesting an early Control System?
Yes. In order to receive the 2009 FRC Control System prior to Kickoff, your team must be registered for an initial regional event with payment and shipping request received no later than December 5th. After this date Control Systems will be included in the Kit of Parts.

If you have any questions please contact us at [email protected] <mailto:[email protected]> .

Go Teams!

FIRST Robotics Competition

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Hype +10,000,000!!!

Dave always brings news of joy.

And apparently snorkeling gear…

Is labview shipped with the control system if it is shipped early? I’ve done some searching and can’t seem to find a list of what all is and is not included. I would assume that it is, but I want to be sure.



this rocks causesit helps level some of the playing field 4 young and rookie teams

I can’t speak for FIRST, but you can always download the LabVIEW 8.6 EVALUATION from the ni.com website, install it on everyone’s laptops, and use it immediately. I would hope that the FIRST robotic subVI library would come with the new control system, but if it’s not yet available you’re probably still OK. The cRIO itself is standard, and the drivers for all of the standard NI plug-in modules are free downloads from the web.

You can definitely start with that. That’s about 90% of the learning curve right there, and it can all be done now with free downloads, even BEFORE you receive any hardware! Once you get your cRIO, the only thing you’d then need for the contest would be an updated subVI library download for any FIRST custom boards or widgets.

BTW… Though only good for 30 days, your local NI office can easily extend your LabVIEW 8.6 Eval key for up to 90 days. Our local NI office is already doing that for our area’s teams. As we’re now less than 90 days from Kickoff, one round of key extensions at this point will easily keep all of your students in LabVIEW 8.6 software until you get your fresh kit copy. If LabVIEW is still Version 8.6.0 at Kickoff, simply use the new KoP key to reactivate your current installation, toss in the updated libraries, and you’re done.

Either way, downloading the 8.6 Eval now would allow you to immediately start LabVIEW 8.6 training. You can also download everything you need to learn how to put programs into the cRIO and run them from ni.com, all without requiring anything else from FIRST.

For educational material: Get the Bishop book “Learning with LabVIEW - Student Edition” from Amazon.com, or use NI’s online FREE downloadable lessons. I would also highly recommend the book “LabVIEW Graphical Programming”, by Johnson and Jennings (black and purple cover - be sure it says “Completely revised for LabVIEW 8.0” in a yellow triangle on the cover!). In addition to helping with certification exams, the J&J book also covers the history of the language, teaches proper programming style, and shows how to optimize for execution speed and avoid common programming pitfalls (and other cool topics, like even how to write your own device drivers!), all in a readable “plain speaking” manner. (IMHO a great read.) FYI Borders Books also gives all Educators 20% off on educational books, which includes both the Bishop and the J&J books, so there are many ways to get a discount on the books.

BTW, note there are MULTIPLE versions of the Bishop book on Amazon, but only TWO are of interest: “LabVIEW 8 Student Edition (Book Only)” $81 list], and “LabVIEW 8 Student Edition” $106 list] which is WITH a CD. Note also that the CD is 8.2 software, NOT 8.5 [the FIRST 2008 KoP version], 8.5.1, or the latest, 8.6. But if you follow all of the New&Used links, you MAY find that getting a NEW copy of the Bishop book WITH the 8.2 CD is often CHEAPER than getting it WITHOUT !!! :slight_smile: You can then turn around and sell the uninstalled CD on eBay or Craig’s List, to further defray your costs! (After all, “8.x” is still considered “current”, but the wrong version FOR US, and you won’t need it anyway…) :smiley:

If you can’t find the NI link to the 8.6 eval download (or any of the other links), let me know and I’ll post it.

I hope this helps! (If so, hey, positive rep is always appreciated… ;))

  • Keith


The Beta teams received LabVIEW 8.5.1 for their cRIO’s.


Well, that now makes even more sense.

UPDATE: At a LabVIEW seminar today, I found out that we will NOT be receiving 8.6 in the kit in January.

A NI instructor stated that since 8.6 was just released in August, for “stability assurance reasons” we all will be receiving a “FIRST Labeled Version” of 8.5.1 in the kit. (They consider 8.5.1 to be “very stable”.)

It is still OK to load up the 8.6 Eval now though, and develop code in it throughout the fall. There’s a “save as” option which allows you to save anything developed in 8.6 in the 8.5 file format. That will allow you to use it with the KoP version of LabVIEW.

  • Keith

Does anyone know approximately how much the shipping cost will be to receive the control system early?

Also does anyone know when the early shipment will begin, considering a team has already registered and paid?


I believe we were told that shipping would be somewhere between $50 and $200 depending on how they end up doing it.

Good luck!!