**FIRST EMAIL**/Important Kickoff Information and Reminders/KOP Dimensions

Greetings Teams:

As all of you know, the 2011 FRC Kickoff is this Saturday, January 8th! We have lots of important Kickoff and Season Information to share with you, so please read carefully and be sure to subscribe to the RSS feed of our 2011 FRC Season News and Email Blasts Page for the most up-to-the-minute information this season! http://usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/emailblastarchive.aspx.

FRC Manual Q & A System: FIRST recognizes that teams may have questions about game rules, robot construction, event logistics, and more. * FIRST* asks that teams use the Question & Answer System (Q&A) on the FIRST Forums to post questions pertaining to a specific section within the 2011 FRC Game Manual. Your posted questions will be reviewed by the appropriate moderator and answered in a timely manner (usually within 2-3 business days). The 2011 Question & Answer System, http://forums.usfirst.org/, will go live on the FIRST Forums Wednesday, January 12th at Noon EST.

In order to access the Q&A system, your team’s specific login info can be found on the Team Summary page in your TIMS record. Please assign one individual from your team to act as the Team Rules Expert and only share your team’s unique Username and Password with him/her. This Team Rules Expert should be the only person responsible for posting questions to the Q&A System.

Before posting a question on the Q&A System, we encourage teams to look for the answers to questions first within the 2011 FRC Game Manual and Team Updates. You can review these documents here: http://www.usfirst.org/community/frc/content.aspx?id=960 .

Don’t forget to take inventory of your Kit of Parts (KoP) after Kickoff: After receiving and checking all items in your Kit of Parts (KOP), should you determine you are missing a part(s), or need a replacement part(s) you must use the FIRST “Replacement Parts Request” system to order replacements.

Parts requests will be handled through this online system only.

The Replacement Parts Request system will be accessible via the Team Information Management System (TIMS) at noon (Eastern Time) on Saturday, January 8.

To begin the process of submitting a Replacement Parts Request, team Main or Alternate contacts will:

  • Login to TIMS

  • On the right side of the Team Summary page, under the “What’s New” header, click on the link to “Submit a Replacement Parts Request HERE”

  • Follow TIMS instructions to complete a Replacement Parts Request

This is a “one time only” opportunity to submit a Replacement Parts Request. Please make sure your request is both accurate and complete prior to pressing the “Confirm Request” button.

Once the request is submitted and confirmed there can be no changes to it.

Replacement Parts Requests will be processed and shipped to teams in a timely manner. Please make sure your Shipping Contact information is accurate and complete in TIMS as this is to whom the parts will be shipped.

Please note the system will not allow teams to request a quantity of parts higher than the number originally sent with the KOP. This system is also not to be used to order additional or purchased parts.

Deadline Date and Time
All requests must be placed by 8:00 PM ET on Wednesday, January 12th, 2011.

Software Updates for the Kit of Parts: Updates to the software you will be receiving in your FRC 2011 Kit of Parts have been released for early download here: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/content.aspx?id=18758

Please follow the instructions on this page carefully. These files have been encrypted with the same password used to encrypt the FRC Game Manual. The password will be released at Kickoff.

Encrypted Sections of the 2011 FRC Manual: The encrypted sections of the FRC 2011 Game Manual are available for download. Please find the FRC Game Manual page here: www.usfirst.org/frc/competitionmanual. To download the encrypted sections, you will right-click on the .pdf file and select “Save Link/Target As…”. The password for accessing these documents will be available at the end of the Kickoff broadcast.

Prior to Kickoff, make sure that your computer has the proper software by following the instructions for the 2011 Decryption Test found here: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/content.aspx?id=11570.

Consent and Release Forms: If you haven’t done so already, please consider which 2011 FIRST Consent and Release form your team members will be utilizing this season. Remember, electronic Consent and Release forms “cover” individuals at all 2011 FIRST competition events (students and their parents access the electronic form in STIMS; adult mentors in TIMS). If anyone on your team opts to do the hard-copy Consent and Release form, the form must be presented at BOTH the Kickoff event, and your initial Competition event. Full details on the process can be found at http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/content.aspx?id=8128

Print your Team Roster! No matter which method you choose (electronic or hard-copy), you MUST print off your Team Roster from TIMS and bring it with you to your Kickoff, and your initial competition event. To print your Team Roster: 1) On the Team Summary page, scroll down to the “Student/Roster” field.

  1. Click “View” next to Team Roster.

  2. Click Printable Roster.

  3. If you have any students/mentors who are providing hard-copy forms, please write in their names on the printed roster and attach their consent and release forms.
    For more information about the 2011 Consent and Release Form, including FAQ’s and a helpful Process Overview, please visit: http://usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/frc/content.aspx?id=8128.

FRC Team Support Available on Kickoff Day: Team Support will be available the day of Kickoff from 9AM-1:00 pm EST. For assistance, please call 1-800-871-8326 x 0.

NASA: FRC Kickoff Broadcast: For those of you who will not be attending a Kickoff this weekend, NASA will broadcast the event live on their site. Here is the link that you will need to view the broadcast: http://robotics.nasa.gov/

NASA will make two versions of the broadcast available through the regular nasa.gov page—one without closed captioning and one with closed captioning already built-in to the video feed. People that need closed captioning will be able to click on the feed with the integrated captioning—each feed will be clearly labeled here: http://robotics.nasa.gov/events/2011_kickoff.php.

Kickoff Webinars: There will be webinars available for each of the 2011 FRC Kickoff Workshops taking place at FIRST Headquarters in Manchester, NH on Friday January 7th. For more information about the workshops, as well as links to pre-register to attend the webinars, please visit: http://www.usfirst.org/roboticsprograms/firstplace/content.aspx?id=15787.

KOP Dimensions: Here’s what you can expect when you pick up your Kit of Parts…

Veterans will receive the following packages: 1 tote
[INDENT] - 49 lbs

  •   27” L x 18” W x 13” H

1 box

  •   25lbs
  •   36” L x 8 ½” W x 4 ½” H

1 battery

  •   14lbs each
  •   7” x 3” x 7” each

4 separate items, each weighing less than 5 pounds and smaller than a paperback book.
[/INDENT]Rookies will receive the items listed above and an additional tote: - 31 lbs

  •   27” L x 18” W x 13” H

an additional battery

  •   14lbs each
  •   7” x 3” x 7” each

Teams attending bag and tag events will receive 1 box: - 6lbs

  •   14” x 14” x 6”

Teams attending traditional events (non-bag & tag) will receive a FedEx Envelope (goes to teams attending standard events) - <1lb

  •   About the size of a big envelope

Go Teams!

Has anyone else looked at the Software Updates yet?

Did you happen to notice that although the FIRST updates page indicates that the LabView Update is “Only for teams using LabVIEW as their programming language”… the actual National Instruments page where you download the file from indicates “Because this software also contains the update to the FPGA images, teams using Java and C/C++ will also need to install it.” :confused:

Confused… me too.

I guess we will just install it anyway just to be safe…

The LabVIEW update doesn’t appear to be necessary if you aren’t using it, but it was wrapped that way the past couple of seasons.
The Installation Notes direct us to load all three in a particular order.

The most useful thing for us to do would be a test installation of Java/C++ leaving out the LabVIEW to see if the correct image showed up. Then report back to the rest of us.

Install Notes

There are 3 mandatory updates for the NI FIRST Robotics Software 2011 and they should be installed in the following order:

  1. LabVIEW Update
  2. Utilities Update
  3. Driver Station Update

“This software update is meant to be installed ONLY after installing LabVIEW FRC from the DVD that comes with the 2011 Controls Kit or on the Classmate computer that comes with the kit.”

You can try testing it now, but it’s all password protected. It’s the same password as the manuals.

Our team is the other way, using LabVIEW but not C or Java. But we’re installing everything anyway, as it’s easier to try it out later (say next fall) without having to find the discs and install it all (and find all those post-kickoff updates too!)

How will teams install the new software on the Classmate? The new Driver Station software requires the LabVIEW updates, which in turn requires the new LabVIEW software. The Classmate doesn’t have an optical drive.

New thumbdrive, maybe? That’s what we got for the first year, a thumbdrive with (I believe; knock on wood never had to do anything with it) an image of the harddrive.


New restoration key will load Windows 7 on 2010 classmates

The last few years, C/C++ and Java teams have needed to install LabVIEW updates in order to get the new image, which was the same for all languages. This year, there are separate cRio images for each language (cleaning it up a good bit), so C/C++ and Java teams shouldn’t need this update. The note on the NI website is probably sticking around from previous years.