my team is looking to hook up a flashlight so we can line up with the goal.

We were wondering which flashlight will allow us to do this from full court.
And we were also wondering how to hook it up

As a rule of thumb, light gets exponentially more dim as the distance between the source and a surface increases. That being said, there probably isn’t any flashlights which fit your needs. Maybe you want to look into a hard stop against the human loading station.

What do u mean by hard stop

Physical. Something you don’t have to write code for.

FRC Team 2848 (The All Sparks) used a really bright light to line up their shooter at the Hub City Regional. You can ask their mentor, Greg Needel (aka RoboGreg), what they used.

we used a cheap 3W led flashlight that normally used 3 aaa batteries for power. We had it hooked directly to the 5v output on the digital sidecar with a couple resisters to limit current draw. We had it shine through a 6 inch piece of pvc pipe to limit its effect on the opponent drivers and we only lit it up when we were about to shoot. Worked pretty well from < 20 ft.

He’s looking for a light that will be bright at > 100 ft, which is a little bigger than 20 ft. Team 2512 had their drive team line themselves up by sight and shoot, which was pretty effective in Week 2. Maybe you just want to have the drivers practice lining up so the human player can sit there and load discs while they’re shot out of the shooter.

our team used a high powered flashlight for alignment. it has an adjustable lens that can focus down to a visible dot about 2.5" in diameter from full court. How we power it, is we soldered wires to the terminals of the flashlight’s battery housing. we ran power from the PDB to a spike, and from the spike to a 12V-7V DC step-down transformer.


It’s basically something integrated with your design so that lining up for shooting is foolproof. For example, we drive right up to the pyramid and make sure both parts of our arm are touching the pyramid (as we shoot through the pyramid from the back) before we shoot. That way we know we’re lined up right, and then we shoot.

I don’t know of any flashlights that would work from full court, but I bet you could find one on Amazon.com.

Zip ties would probably make a sufficient mounting device.

[LEFT]We bought a very high lumen outdoor flashlight from bass pro. We then put it in a six inch tube also. We only used it when lining up to limit effects also. It would work from full court easily. We use a spike to turn it on and off. It is actually a 6v, but we are using one of the 5v outputs to send power. In the end our drivers stopped using it, because they found they could line up from the pyramid. It fell off in one match, as zip ties can break. We never put it back on. The goals are pretty wide this year. Someone noticed us testing it in 1986’s reveal video if you want to see it in action.

If you are looking for a flashlight, might I recommend this? My family has a couple of these and they are amazingly bright… I think I saw a team at Troy who used the same type of flashlight. It shined on the wall behind the goals and nearly blinded us in the stands (and mind you, we were the highest up. On a second level :ahh: ).

694 used something like a car headlight that could put a nice halo around the FIRST logo on the goals; you can see it in a lot of our NY match videos.

Team 1649 used two 6 volt flashlights in order to reduce the current from the 12 volt battery. We used it to aim at the three point goal in both the Bayou and the later matches of the Orlando Regionals and they were pretty bright but make sure you tape down the flashlights if your robot shakes from your shooter wheels so your flashlight(s) doesn’t shake out of focus.

I just bought 2, 500 lumen CREE flashlights from costco for $30. I assure you they will light up the reflective target from across the field. They are currently powered by 3C batteries, but they could easily be changed. I would also create a smaller “pin hole” in front of the lens to focus the beam a little better.

When I talked to Code Red (2771) at Traverse City, they had an infrared filter over their camera and an infrared light next to it. The said it produced an image where only the goals were visible making image processing easier. I am sure they have more information, but I will be trying it this summer.

This is the wrong approach to create an aim point. You want to collaminate as much light as possible, not reduce the emission with a pinhole.

We actually use a line on a camera image to get it close and then do adjustments as needed.

It has worked well for us and I would recommend it.