FRC 3136 ORCA 2023 Open Alliance Build Log

We are team 3136: Official Robot Constructors of Ashland (ORCA for short) from Ashland, Virginia. We’ve been around since 2010, making it to districts for the first time in 2018! We had a significant team rebuild back from 2016/2017, and are on our way to becoming a stronger team! Our current mentors are mostly alum or parents of alum, so we are a very tight-knit community over here. We loved participating in Open Alliance last season, so we are excited to continue with it!

We currently operate out of a small closet in the engine workshop of our local high school. We also have access to spaces like the cafeteria and gyms that we use for testing. We currently have around 12 members, but we’re growing!

Even though we have a small team, we are well known for our team spirit, especially our infamous ORCA Squats (pictured below)! We’ve won many spirit awards, including winning them from both of our main competitions last season.

Last season we did extremely well! Our alliance placed first in the playoffs of our first competition, and we made it to the finals in our second competition. We made districts and placed 30th overall in the event.

Our main goal this season is to work off our amazing momentum from last season, and bring ourselves to even greater heights! We did extremely well last season so we want to learn from what we did and improve ourselves even further.

Our events this year are as follows:
Blacksburg (Week 1)
Portsmouth (Week 3)
(And hopefully CHS districts and worlds!)

We’ll post updates in this thread and in our channel of the Open Alliance discord. We will try to keep it weekly, and may even update more frequently. Here is a linktree that will link to all sources relevant to this thread, including our CAD and Code that will be referenced in the logs. You can easily reach out to us through a reply to this thread, a message on Chief Delphi, an email, or a message in our discord for the fastest response. If you have any suggestions for what we should add to it please let us know, feedback is always appreciated!

Important links (also in linktree):
Google drive link to this season’s build logs
Open Alliance Discord Channel



Build log #1

Bingo (1/6)

Our team hosts monthly bingo nights at our local community center as outreach and fundraising, and overall, this was our most successful bingo yet. We had the largest turnout yet, as well as many new people saying that they’d love to come again! This turnout also meant that we got the largest profit yet, overall the future of bingo is looking promising! We even had someone ask about a potential sponsorship. All of these added up to create our most successful fundraising event yet!

Kickoff/Meeting #1 (1/7)

Kickoff day is finally here! We had a joint kickoff with other teams in our county, namely Team - 1599 Circuitree and Team - 1522 Defenders of the Multiverse. It was tons of fun! Before the livestream started we had a student social where we just hung around and made friends.

  • We used a teamwide notes page for all of us to write down anything we found interesting in either the livestream or the manual.
  • After the kickoff event we went back to our school to discuss the new game and what we might do, here are some ideas we came up with
    • Using traction wheels (like last year)
    • Telescopic arm for placing game pieces
    • Jointed arm for placing game pieces
    • Using an angled circular movement for game pieces
    • Turret of some kind
    • Pincers for universal game piece control
    • Same frame design as last year
    • Using 2 neos per drivetrain side rather than 3 like last year
  • Started work on a CAD mockup of one of the arm ideas (Angled circular movement), here’s a video showcasing the idea, it’s also in our public CAD file.
  • Some things that we discussed include:
    • Will we go for top scoring or mid scoring? Are the extra points worth the extra effort?
    • Should we go for a thinner bot than normal? What’s the benefit/deficit?
    • What will defense look like this year? How can we combat its presence/absence?

Overall, we spent a majority of our kickoff day, learning the game rules, the scoring mechanics, throwing out ideas, and figuring out the basics of what we should strive to do.

Meeting #2 (1/8)

Today had a low turnout, so we focused on some other items

  • More general robot discussion, we ended up deciding on a few things (listed at end)
  • We started taking apart last season’s robot, the PHantom Tinguisher, for parts. We plan to keep it mostly intact so we can have a robot that we can use for testing, drive practice, and for learning new code functions. We took off our over the bumper intake and our climbers, but we left our shooter and internal intake so people could use those to learn coding.
  • “ORCAnized“ our workspace and parts from last year in order to help us be better “orcanized” during our future meetings
  • Edited our base frame CAD model to begin designing our frame for this year.

We had to make a lot of decisions about our robot, so here’s what we decided:

  • We aren’t going to decide on an arm design yet, any ideas we had always had some caveat that we aren’t prepared for, so we’re going to wait until more ideas surface to finalize a design.

  • We want a smaller robot. The charging station is only 8 feet wide, which makes it nearly impossible to have 3 robots on the platform unless at least one of them is smaller, so we want to make our robot narrower to make it easier to get the Activation ranking point bonus. There’s also not a need for a bigger bot, as the only thing we’ll need to score is an intake and outake, we don’t need all that space for a climber or anything like that.

  • Traction wheels. We discussed 4 wheel options, Mechanum, Omni, Pneumatic, and Traction wheels.

    • Mechanums seemed appealing due to the nature of this game and how it’s similar to a tank drive replacement for swerve, but we would get pushed around more than a swerve bot, and we would lose traction on the charging station.
    • Omni’s didn’t really have any advantage over others we were considering so we decided against them due to past experience.
    • Pneumatic wheels work great, but they were overkill, they were too big and heavy for any benefits they would provide.
    • We ultimately decided on traction wheels, they’re simple and effective, and we have lots of past experience with them.
  • We want to be able to score both game pieces, it wouldn’t be too much more work but it would help us significantly.

  • We want to find a way to turn cones the right way, otherwise any cones that are flipped over essentially become dead game pieces and a waste of time.

  • We want to be a sturdy robot. In previous years, all our downtime was spent fixing broken parts of our bot, while last year, our robot barely ever broke. We want to replicate the sturdiness of last year so we can continue to be a reliable robot.

That’s the end of our first build log! I haven’t written one of these since the end of last season so I’m probably a bit rusty, let me know if there’s anything I need to change! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. Now that the open alliance channels are closed for discussion, the best way to contact us would be a reply to this thread, an email ([email protected]), or a message on chief delphi. You can also directly DM me on discord (noah’#9040) for the fastest response. We always appreciate feedback and options!


Build Log #2

Meeting #3 (1/10)

Today was a pretty simple meeting. We wanted to get closer to a decision, but not all of the Robot in 3 Days concepts were published yet, so although we looked at the ones that were out, we held out on a decision about what design to go for yet again. We instead spent the meeting:

  • looking at robots, namely the few Robot in 3 Days concepts and past robots from 2018, and 2019, due to the similarity of the game and what it required.
  • Brainstorming out any idea we had, we made a document so anyone could put an idea on there.
  • Discussing many of the ideas on the document.

Some things brought up in discussion:

  • Gravity rotating intake, inspired by this Ri3D concept (demonstration of it at 15:50 in the video)
  • A sweeping cone righter (a bar that sweeps out and rotates into the base of a flipped cone to right it)
  • A telescoping arm of some sort
  • An elevator of some sort
  • Angled arm
  • Scooping intake of some kind

We spent most of the meeting discussing these options and really hashing out their pros and cons.

Meeting #4 (1/12)

Before we started this meeting, we made sure we wanted to fully decide on something today. A decision had to be made today in order for progress to be made over the weekend meetings. We made a list of 17 concepts that had elements we liked from the 2023 Ri3D and robots from 2018 & 2019. We voted on which concept we wanted and here were our top 3:

After another round of voting, we decided on the elevator arm. It’s simple, we’ve done an elevator before, and it’s well documented due to the nature of Ri3D. Cranberry Alarm’s robot uses the end of the elevator as the intake, but we wanted to use a 3 stage elevator with a separate intake attached to the middle carriage.

Meeting #5 (1/14)

After finally deciding on what we wanted to do, we got to work on how we wanted to do it. Today we:

  • ‘Orcanized’ our closet (our closet can never be ‘Orcanized’ enough)
  • Rewired last season’s bot, since we detached the climber and over the bumper intake, we had to rewire some of the can bus so one of our new coders could learn how to start coding the robot.
  • Sketched out our elevator in onshape so we could learn what we needed to do before cadding the actual elevator.

And we learned:

  • The first stage cannot be bigger than 56 inches to fit within the frame perimeter

  • Our elevator will have to be at an angle of ~35° to score within the extension limit

  • We will have to pivot the elevator from ~60° to ~35° to fit within the frame perimeter

  • To score a cone, we will need control of the elevator angle so the cone doesn’t hit the poles as it goes up

  • We thought of an idea for an intake mechanism where it uses pneumatics to push and pull a pivot point to activate the arms. (The mates in onshape broke so I couldn’t get a video of the idea, so enjoy my annotations.)

We decided not to use it, as there is no point to using pneumatics for only this small mechanism, and designed something else.

  • Created our first iteration of our intake, here’s our idea:

  • We took inspiration from team 3636, Generals, and their intake with how it activates with a plate (to the left) and custom gears bolted to the arm to hold it in place.
  • The top of the intake is flat for holding cones, while the diamond inner area is for the cubes.
    • Side note, while designing this we came to a shocking realization. The cubes are not cubes, they are rectangular prisms. The top (side with seams on all sides) is a square of 7.5 by 7.5 inches, while the side (side with FRC logo) is a rectangle of 7.5 by 7 inches. We were devastated after finding this, but it did manage to spawn a potential robot name of “~kubed”, poking fun at it being approximately a cube, and the fact that our frame will be a rectangle this year instead of a square like normal.
  • Each bearing hole has compliant wheels to get better grip, we printed and cut the parts overnight to test at the next meeting

Meeting #6 (1/15)

Today’s focus was to test our new intake design, but overall, we:

  • Built and tested our intake, here’s what it looks like.|267x474.5938864628821|326x401.5

We liked it, but it was just over engineered. We didn’t need a perfectly sized inner cube area since we are hardly going to pick up cubes in that specific orientation, and any shape can grab the cubes. And the area at the top for cones required too much precision. So we went back to square one.

  • We designed a new intake, this time with generality in mind. Here’s what we came up with. (enjoy my lovely annotations again :slight_smile:

The red represents 2 inch belting that will go between the layers to grab the cone, and the blue represents compliant wheels that will be used as “claws” to prevent the cube from coming out. We haven’t been able to test this yet, but we have high hopes!

  • Got started on our T-Shirt design
  • Finished designing our custom gearboxes for our drivetrain, we wanted a flipped gearbox this year to save space in our thinned out robot.
  • Our new coder got his code working on the robot!

That’s the end of this build log, let me know if there’s anything I need to change! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can reach us by creating a thread in our Open Alliance Discord Channel, with an email ([email protected]), or with a message on chief delphi. You can also directly DM me on discord (noah’#9040) if you want. We always appreciate feedback and options!


Build Log #3

Quick reminder! We have a linktree for all our resources, including our public CAD that’s mentioned throughout this week and last week’s build log. Check it out if you want a deeper look into our models and ideas!

Meeting #6 (1/17)

Today’s meeting focused around testing new parts, but overall we:

  • Reached out to potential sponsors
  • Searched for bingo materials as we were running out of some supplies
  • Built v1 of our custom gearboxes


  • It worked well, we just needed to adjust a lot of small things, such as hole sizes, placement, etc.

  • Adjusted the gearbox to re cut

  • Built V2 of our intake

  • It worked, but not as well as we would have liked. It grabs cubes perfectly, the wheels at the front hold it in well, but cones are different. The belts are too far apart to grab a cone consistently from over our suspected bumper height. But another feature, being able to suck in and spit out objects works well! Here’s a video!

  • Started working on our v3 intake, focusing on taking up less space and grabbing cones better.

Meeting #7 (1/19)

Today was again focused on prototyping new parts, here’s what we did:

  • ORCAnized our space
  • Tested v2 of our custom gearboxes, it again needs many small adjustments
  • Edited the gearboxes
  • Tested v3 of our intake


  • This works really well. We added 3 inch compliant wheels to the bottom of the back (as opposed to the 4 inch ones on the rest of the intake) to grip the slant of the cone, the issue is that the plastic there is too thick for the wheels to do anything, but it’s a small, fixable issue. Another issue is that the grip is a bit loose at the front of the intake for the cones, but when we run the intake inwards, the cones get sucked into a grippier spot. Videos of this are in our Discord Channel.

Meeting #8 (1/21)

Today we set the goal for the weekend, to get us into a spot where we could finalize our frame and start building next week, as next week is the halfway mark to our first competition. We also wanted to get the grasp of concepts that we’ll be using for this season. We:

  • Designed our elevator, we ended up deciding on a fixed angle, as it’s just easier for us to make, and with other design choices, it becomes unnecessary to control our angle.

  • Using our sketch from last week, we were able to determine the angle and sizing of our elevator. We made a few edits as we went forward, but we are overall happy with what we had.

  • The intake will attach onto the middle carriage in some way and move along the elevator.

  • Started work on a “test” wiring board, something we could use to test motors and pneumatics before we start building our robot.|450x599.9373860383532

  • Built the next variant of gearboxes,|418x557.5575851542595

    • Again, minor adjustments are needed, but we’re getting closer!
  • Started working on how we will deploy our intake.

    • We decided on a four bar linkage and began researching. We used this video by Nick Aarestad to design our linkage in CAD.
    • I don’t have images as we scrapped this version of the linkage because of an issue
      • Not enough space, our intake is pretty tall, and it’s 16.5 inches long, after tons of testing and adjustments we realized, we just didn’t have enough space to store 16+ inches of intake.
    • So we made the robot longer. Because we made the robot 24 inches wide, we had the wiggle room to make our robot up to 36 inches long, so we made it 34 inches, giving us plenty of space to work for the next meeting.

Meeting #9 (1/22)

Today’s goal was to work off the last meeting and keep moving forward. We:

  • Continued our test board
  • Set up our new Rio2
  • Flashed our limelights
  • Ordered some shop supplies
  • Added details to our overall robot Cad
  • Wired neos to spark maxes
  • Another gearbox version
  • Fully modeled our intake in an assembly
  • Redesigned our linkage around our newfound space, this along with the intake model made us realize somethings

  • It won’t work. The intake is too big in an uncontrollable way. With the limitations of our thinner frame and therefore thinner elevator, there’s no way the linkages don’t hit the intake as it moves. We have to rethink how we deploy this.

  • Rethought how we deploy our intake. We’re looking at an elevator currently, yep, an elevator on an elevator.

    • But an issue came up, how does the intake attach? We came to the decision that the “second stage” of the elevator will be a 2x2 box aluminum with a 2x1 aluminum below (so our intake is in line with the game pieces) and in between the elevator bearings.
    • The intake will be positioned at the “bottom” (of the elevator) of the 2x2, which will mean that the elevator’s default position will be extended, and it will extend backwards. The second stage goes to the bottom of the elevator, or the front of the robot, the intake will be moved forwards.
    • The only way to make this work is for the second stage to go through the middle carriage of our elevator, yep, an elevator in an elevator.
    • We don’t have a full design yet, and the idea overall is just that, an idea. We still need a sturdy attachment and to work out weight issues, but overall it looks promising. Because it’s not a full design yet, enjoy a sketch with annotations.

That’s the end of this build log, let me know if there’s anything I need to change! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can reach us by creating a thread in our Open Alliance Discord Channel, with an email ([email protected]), or with a message on chief delphi. You can also directly DM me on discord (noah’#9040) if you want. We always appreciate feedback and options!


Build Log #3

Meeting #10 (1/24)

Today was focused on working off of what we did over the weekend, and we set the goal of the week to be ready to build or start building. We:

  • Made progress on our test board, working towards getting pneumatics working as we have an idea on how to use them.
  • Began to flesh out our “elevator in an elevator” design, or as I like to call it, the minivator.
  • Hit a roadblock on getting our programs to work, but it ended up being because our driver station was set to “test” mode instead of teleoperated, so our code made for teleoperated mode wouldn’t work.

Meeting #11 (1/26)

Today was focussed on continuing what we did last meeting, such as:

  • Working towards finishing our cad
  • Finished the minivator design in cad and attached it to the robot in cad

  • So far we have no major problems with this design, we had to add a cutout in our frame in order to properly house the intake, as well as make the middle carriage longer to compensate for the minivator being needed to be higher.

  • Added retaining rings to our gearboxes

  • Started to learn cascading and continuous elevators

  • We got pneumatics to finally work with our test board

Meeting #12 (1/27)

Since we had school off today and we weren’t able to have a sunday meeting like normal, we held an extra meeting today. we:

  • Worked on figuring out how to power our intake.
    • Our biggest concerns were whatever we used needed enough power to clamp a cone, and it had to be lightweight to avoid having a lot of weight at the end of a long elevator. We decided on a JE PLG 149 motor, as it’s compact and should hopefully hold enough power to drive the intake. We also needed to drive the belts on the intake, which we decided on 2 neo 550s, with their gearboxes lodged between the plates of the intake. This adds a lot of weight but there’s not much that can be done.
    • We added these and their attachments and edited any other aspects of the CAD accordingly
    • This also means that we don’t need pneumatics, yay!
  • Cadded out our eboard
  • Cadded frame parts for future cutting and build

Meeting #13 (1/28)

Today’s goal was to finish our week’s mission of getting ready to build. We:

  • Began to cut parts for our frame. Although we never got to building, we still felt we made substantial progress towards building the robot
    • This included our belly pan, and that specifically gave us a real scope on how rectangular our robot is.

  • Worked towards finishing CAD, by now it’s small things like gussets, bearings, and others like that.

  • Worked on vision processing, mainly with the new apriltags.
    • We managed to get the april tags working amazingly!
  • Worked on creating skeleton codes

  • Wired more spark neos

  • ORCAnizing, it never ends.

  • Booked hotels for our competitions

  • Edited our elevator.

    • We made a sketch of the scoring zone and our robot so we could test different intake lengths, heights, and many other aspects. After putting the aspects of the minivator into this sketch, our intake didn’t reach the high scoring zone. We had to change the angle of our elevator to 55 degrees, and make it a little bit longer.
      • This came with one issue, it removed any wiggle room we had. We are barely against the frame perimeter and it still feels like we need more room while designing.
  • Started thinking on how we will power our minivator, and we came across some problems.

    • Anything we do cannot extend past the back of the elevator, or else it will hit elevator parts on it’s way up
    • It has to fit on top of the minivator, which limits it’s room because of the angle of the elevator.
    • It cannot go past the front of the minivator, because then it will extend past the frame perimeter.
      • We decided on a chain system similar to a normal sized elevator, specifically the design we’re using which is the thrifty bot elevator. We ran into the issue of the limited space caused by the angle of the elevator, but we have ideas to circumvent this that we haven’t yet implemented into cad.
    • We still need to put more thought into this, but it’s one of the last hurdles we have to cross in the planning of our robot, the rest will come once we start building.
  • Created the playlist

    • This part has no bearing on the rest of the build log, and is the final thing I cover, so feel free to skip it, but it’s a crazy experience that our team wants to share
    • In previous years we’ve created spotify playlists to play during meetings, and last year, ours ended up being 11 hours long, which was perfect for our 10 hour long weekend meetings.
    • We decided to create a new 2023 playlist, with the goal of it being 10 hours long again.
    • We created it last meeting, but it didn’t hit 10 hours until overnight between meetings. Then today, it got longer. It wouldn’t stop getting longer. People kept adding from their massive library of songs. It hit 15 hours, then 20, then eventually it hit 40, and we reached the breaking point.
    • This breaking point hit during our lunch, where one of our members added the playlist to itself, raising it to 80 hours in one fell swoop.
    • After this, people started to add other playlists to it, anything they could think of was fair game. Adding your entire personal playlist, the entire discography of an artist, anything was added just to pump this playlist to its limit.
    • It reached 100 hours effortlessly, then soon hit 200, then almost 300, all in the span of one lunch break.
    • Our discord for the day was full of people just posting images of the length of the playlist and reacting to how obscenely long it is.
  • It eventually hit 300 hours and at that point we thought of it as dead, there’s no point in trying to fix this mess of a playlist, so we decided to let it be this joke of a playlist and create a new one for next weekend with some rules to prevent this from happening again. Here’s a link if you want to see it for yourself, add to it if you want, it doesn’t matter anymore.

That’s the end of this build log, let me know if there’s anything I need to change! Something I want to work on as meetings go on is posting more content to our discord in addition to our build log, so keep an eye out for that. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can reach us by creating a thread in our Open Alliance Discord Channel, with an email ([email protected]), or with a message on chief delphi. You can also directly DM me on discord (noah’#9040) if you want. We always appreciate feedback and options!

Build Log #5

Meeting #14 and #15 (Tuesday, 1/31 and Thursday, 2/2):

We had a lot to do, our first competition is on march 3rd, only a month away by this point, and we have nothing built, stuff needed to happen. Unfortunately, our main mentor was away for the bulk of the week, meaning we couldn’t actually do a lot of what we needed. Because of this, not much got done on the weekday meetings, which is why I’m combining them. During the week we:

  • Reached out to more sponsors and started finalizing our sponsor list
  • Continued to fix small parts of our cad
  • Prepared for our bingo fundraiser
  • ORCAnized
  • Finished the mock up of our minivator

    We’re powering it with a neo 550 that has a special attachment that attaches a circular shaft (it’s a hex shaft in the cad for some reason) to the back of the neo, so you can power it with a small footprint.
    We have a 9 tooth sprocket we found on amazon for the neo end to further decrease the footprint, and a normal 18 tooth sprocket on the end.
    We’re going to attach something to the middle to run it, similar to the thrifty bot elevator design. We don’t know what we’re going to use, and we can’t test what will work and what won’t until we build it.
    The neo is fastened to a 1x1 L bracket, it sticks out the back a little bit, but it still goes under any parts of the main elevator.

Bingo! (Friday, 2/3):

It’s bingo night! We had a great showing, even though we had less people than last time, there were still a lot. We made over a thousand dollars, so overall a very successful event!

Meeting #16 (Saturday, 2/4):

Progress needed to be made, that was our only goal. We:

  • Recut parts for our frame, we miscut some holes on some of our original parts

  • Started building our frame! Our main issue was that some holes on the gearbox’s were misaligned, meaning we need another version, yaaaay.

  • Worked on camera code for our new robot

  • Worked on 90 degree gearboxes for our elevator

  • Cadded gussets for these gearboxes

  • Began to add/create gussets for the main elevator

  • Created a support bracket for our elevator

    Because they needed to be big, we used the space to add some personal flair to them with a team engraving. Since our elevator is flush with the frame, we needed 2 layers of bracket to get good support, one to attach to the elevator, and one to attach to the frame. We’re going to use rivets to hold it all together.

  • Added more elevator parts to our cad

Meeting #17 (Sunday, 2/5)

Today’s goal was to finish or get close to finishing our frame, so we:

  • Built yet another gearbox version

    • This probably still won’t be the final version as there are some edit’s we’d like to make
  • Continued to build our frame. Unfortunately we did not get very far, we realized we had some hole alignment issues way too late into the meeting and it stripped us of a lot of progress. We know how to fix them, but it’s unfortunate that we could not make the progress we wanted.

  • On the up side, we added more small parts/made some more edits in our cad, and we’re pretty much finished! We’ve got some extra things to do but we’re reaching the end of it, most further adjustments will hopefully be after testing something concrete

  • Began to code button functions for our robot’s functions.

  • Made great progress on our T-shirt design! It’s pretty much finished! Here’s the current design:

  • Revised our meeting hours

    • We are running out of time, we still don’t have a frame and our first competition is 3 weeks away. As a team we decided on adding Friday meetings and extending the time of our weekend meetings.
  • “Finished” the playlist

    • Just like last build log, this has no bearing on the actual build log and you can skip it, this is a continuation of the events from last build log, so read that if you haven’t.
    • We made a new playlist, and overall it’s pretty standard, nothing out of the ordinary.
    • But today, one of our members tried to add the old playlist to itself again, only for Spotify to stop them with a limit message.
    • So we pushed the limit, specifically with different versions of the song “Sexyback”, by Justin Timberlake.
    • The playlist went from 320 hours to 580 before we hit the limit, all by adding Sexyback to it over and over.
    • We eventually hit the limit, and after adding up the songs, the limit of any spotify playlist is 10k songs.
    • The playlist is nearly a month long, clocking in at 24 days.
    • Because Sexyback was already on the playlist a bunch, this new wave meant that approximately 45% of the total playlist is just Sexyback. This means that if you were to listen to the playlist in its entirety, you would listen to a total of about 10 days worth of sexyback

      -The message you get when you hit the limit

      -An image of a shuffled queue of the playlist

      This is most likely the end of the playlist saga, or at least the end of any major events in its story. Hopefully.

That’s the end of this build log, let me know if there’s anything I need to change!. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can reach us by creating a thread in our Open Alliance Discord Channel, with an email ([email protected]), or with a message on chief delphi. You can also directly DM me on discord (noah’#9040) if you want. We always appreciate feedback and questions!


Build log #6

Meeting #18 (Tuesday, 2/7)

We’re pushing our luck with this robot. The first prototype HAS to be done this weekend, there’s no alternative, it needs to happen. So that was what we set our sights on for the week. With the extended meetings, we should have plenty of time, right? Anyways, for today we:

  • Cut parts for our elevator
  • As always, ORCAnized!
  • Build yet another gearbox variation
  • Cleaned up some parts
  • Designed printable drill guides for all the weird holes we have

Meeting #19 (Thursday, 2/9)

More preparation, we:

  • Remade our belly pan
  • Placed some more elevator parts in cad
  • Started building Intake v4, very similar to the last rendition, it has some minor edits for our new gears and new mounting areas for the motors
  • Lots of filing, we filed every part we had cut in the course of the past few weeks
  • Merged skeleton and codebase
  • Cut a few more parts, and filed them of course

Meeting #20 (Friday, 2/10)

The extra day proved helpful, because no one else would be using the shop before our weekend meetings, we didn’t have to clean up then get what we needed back out on Saturday, we could just get right back into the swing of things, which we desperately needed. We were pretty confident in where we were at, but then our motivation skyrocketed with one promise. The promise that our mentor would take us all to Waffle House if the robot could drive by the end of the Saturday meeting. We had our sights set, we wanted one thing, to dine upon waffles, knowing that our progress is sound, and we can move forward. To achieve this vision, we:

  • “Finished” the Cad. We’re missing a few things, but it’s pretty much done. Our Cad team can switch their efforts to the upcoming build filled weekend.
  • Poked some holes into our cut pieces for ease of assembly later
  • Finished Intake v4
  • Started to learn PID code for our elevator
  • Get our motors ready
  • Start planning for our wiring

Meeting #21 (Saturday, 2/11)

I’m going to ditch the typical bullet point of everything we did for this meeting because we just did so much. And all of it was toward the goal of building the robot.

We started by separating our members out into teams. Drivetrain team, Intake team, and Elevator team, we also had someone working on code and wiring so we can actually drive the robot once it’s built

Drivetrain team dug right into building the frame and drivetrain. It was smooth sailing until we realized that our wheel’s hex shafts were too long, and the intake could not fit with them in the way. So we sawed them down until they were at an adequate length. Overall, everything went well

Intake team had to finish a few more things on the intake, then we began to put all the parts of the janky intake together. We came to a few decisions about the intake.

  • It needs to be lighter, it’s so heavy, so when we do our next iteration, lightening will definitely be on the mind.
  • We added furniture sliders in between the bearing blocks to lift the rivets holding them in place away from the stage of the minivator.

Elevator team had a lot. We messed up one of the gussets, resulting in the holes being in the wrong spot, meaning we had to recut one piece. The middle carriage of the elevator had some of its parts too long, so they had to be shaved down. But after painstakingly adding over 20 gussets, we had all of the elevator parts put together. Then we had to add the bearing blocks, which used nuts inside the 1x2 aluminum to attach, so that was fun. After adding 8 of those, we had to attach the minivator arms to the middle carriage. Because of the limited space and everything being slightly off, it took about an hour to get 10 bolts in.

Finally we were ready, all of the teams combined into one, Build team, and we started.

We added the first elevator stage first, which was a painstaking process due to our holes being just off enough to where one single bolt refused to fit. So we just cut that bolt out after about 20 minutes of attempted fastening to no avail. We then attached stage 2, which required us to take the bearings off of their blocks to attach, but it went smoothly. We then attached the middle carriage the same way. And finally, we slid the intake on.

After some final wiring, and some really sketchy wire and battery placements, we turned it on, and the motors made sounds but didn’t move. They were fighting each other, and as we were editing code to fix it, one of our members realized that the wiring was backwards. So after a quick fix, we got it ready again

And it drove. After a long 10 and a half hours of straight building, we did it. It moved. Waffle house here we come.

We ate like champions, tired champions, at 9 pm, at waffle house. Oh boy was it worth it.

Oh and here’s a video, feel free to insult our probably unsafe battery placement and crappy wiring, we were tired. (The video is also linked in our discord channel)

Meeting #22 (Sunday, 2/12)

Super Bowl day! Or for us, elevator day! Our one goal was to get the elevator and minivator working, here’s what we did to further that goal

  • Filed down elevator gussets
    • The gussets were just slightly off, causing the middle carriage to not go all the way down, and needed to be filed down to allow the bearings to pass
  • Start working on a temporary e-board and a way to attach said e-board
  • In the chaos of the section for yesterday I failed to mention that we completed our t-shirts! We got an order form ready for students and parents and are hopefully getting the order in over the week!
  • Counted and cut chains
  • Attached more minivator parts
  • Wired more motor
  • Greased up our drive train gearboxes
  • Fixed some code button issues inverting one side of the drivetrain
  • Cut parts for and attached the pulleys for the elevator
  • Tested everything. Here’s how that went
    • Unfortunately we did not have the time to get the minivator or middle carriage working
    • But we got the elevator working well. The only issue we had was how chunky the motors are, we don’t know what’s wrong, but for now it runs, and that’s all we can ask for.
    • Here’s a video of it.

That’s the end of this build log, let me know if there’s anything I need to change!. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can reach us by creating a thread in our Open Alliance Discord Channel, with an email ([email protected]), or with a message on chief delphi. You can also directly DM me on discord (noah’#9040) if you want. We always appreciate feedback and questions!

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Build Log #7

I’m combining 2 weeks into one build log just due to me not having the time to flesh out the previous week, this build log contains meetings from the 14th to the 26th.

Meeting #23 (Tuesday, 2/14)

Today was focused around 2 main things;

  • Getting to work on building our field elements, specifically starting with the cone grid today
  • Rigging up our elevator
    • We found a major problems
    • The elevator does not move as far as we thought it would.
    • We used the Thrifty Bot elevator design, and in their official CAD document, their elevator can go past where it actually can with the rigging.
    • This was a major issue and it caused us to have to rethink most of our elevator
    • We came up with a few ideas, but we didn’t have time to enact anything yet

Meetings #24 and 25 (Thursday and Friday, 2/16 and 2/17)

Our head mentor was away, leaving us unable to really do much with our elevator problem, so we spent these meetings finishing our cone grid and working on some code.

Meeting #26 (Saturday, 2/18)

Today was focused on fixing our huge elevator problem. We:

  • Began to test new elevator rigging options, we made a basic version that just uses as simple pulley mechanism that we can further control by changing the diameter of the pulley, but it’s pretty slow and we would like it to be a last resort
  • Our second option was using a sideways pulley rigged to both the second stage and the middle carriage
    • We tried 3 materials: rope, chain, and polybelting
    • The rope was small and nice, but it didn’t create any friction, making it pretty much useless as a rig
    • Chain was clunky but it worked, we didn’t like it but it worked
    • Polybelt sprung itself, creating slack and making it so our elevator couldn’t move all the way down.
      • We ended up using chains, but this testing took up a majority of the meeting, and most other things revolved around it
      • After figuring out the right sprocket ratio to get our elevator perfect, we realized we don’t happen to have a 21 tooth sprocket laying around, much less 2. So we ordered some and had to deal with losing a bit of height until the new parts come.
      • Here are some videos of some of our tests with chains, and a video of us dancing to Barbie Girl, just for good measure
  • Cadded and printed new parts for this new rigging system
  • Some small cad edits relating to this system, but we didn’t have the time to add it fully to the cad
  • Redirected the wiring on many batteries
  • Fixed a lot of spacing issues on our intake, it was about half an inch bigger than it should have been, purely because of assorted extra spacers
  • Added motors and belting to the minivator, it moves!

Meeting #27 (Sunday, 2/19)

Today we:

  • Finished our elevator, we added the chain drive to move the elevator, and our rigging works! There’s a few smaller issues, but we’ll work to fix them over the next few meetings
  • Added a piece of plastic to the front of our minivator as a hard stop to avoid the minivator flying off
  • Installed a battery holder
  • Started building the cube grid, or as I like to call it, the cubicle.
  • Cut and filed more parts
  • Added our elevator brackets, and they’re great. Not only do they look cool, but we were having minor angle issues on our elevator that these perfectly solved
  • Lots of wiring
  • Began to plan and design our eboard

Meeting #28 (Monday 2/20)

We had school off today, but we were happy with how our general build went today, so we designated this extra meeting to coding and wiring, we:

The build log would normally have ended here, but as I explained at the start, it continues.

Build Log #7.5

Meeting #29 (Tuesday, 2/21)


  • Added brackets to the corners of our frame for bumpers
  • Speaking of bumpers, we had an issue. We never planned our intake around the bumpers, meaning it can’t open with our bumpers on. So we redesigned the bottom of it to accommodate
    • The evolution of our intake is wacky
  • Finished the cubicle
  • Some smaller work on the elevator

Meeting #30 (Thursday, 2/23)

Today our head mentor was in our shop all day, allowing students to work on the robot during class. A lot happened in this time, so I can’t fully document it, just know that we made many improvements on code and build. We:

  • Started work on the charging station
  • Lots of code work and testing
  • More wiring
  • More eboard planning
  • Realized our intake was just barely too low to have only a cutout in the bottom plate for the bumpers, so we planned to cut another set for the top
  • Began bumpers. We decided on having split bumpers, as we had to lift our bumpers over our robot last year, and we really don’t want to do that with this huge elevator.
  • Figured out a preloading strategy, stuffing the cone tip inwards rather than standing up, we can even score by shooting it out.
  • Swapped our intake to a 500:1 gearbox, we needed more power, so we got more power. Since our intake is run by 2 gears, technically it’s a 1000:1 gear ratio, we can pop a cube with this kind of power if we really want to, but we don’t.

Meeting #31 (Friday, 2/24)

Today we had a presentation to a local air filtration company! All in all, we:

  • Presented our program to Porvair, the company I just mentioned. We talked about our program, our robot (this year’s and last year’s), and demonstrated last year’s robot.
    • We had a lot of fun, and everyone was super enthusiastic and kind, we hope we can continue stuff like this in the future!
  • Remade our intake based off of our issues mentioned yesterday
  • As always, code and wiring
  • Continued bumper progress
  • Designed a camera mount for our minivator, so we can see what we are picking up
  • Figured out a preloading strategy,
  • We were able to finally test scoring! Here’s some videos
    • A major issue we have is that we can’t score high cones. The reason for this is because the ratio that we calculated isn’t what we have, our ideal ratio is 21:18, but we had to order 21 tooth gears and we just don’t have the time to fix the ratio. But on the bright side, if we pick up cones fallen over, with the tip towards our robot, we can score on the high poles by shooting it out.
    • We plan to get the gear ratio fixed by next comp, and it should allow us to score high normally while also keeping this new functionality

Meeting #32 (Saturday, 2/25)

We wanted a fully working robot by the end of this meeting, we want to be able to strip all prototype elements off of our robot. This is our last weekend before the competition. We:

  • Raised our intake higher, we hoped this could fix our high scoring issue, but it only could from picking up from the shelf. We decided that it was better to be able to pick up fallen cones and score them high, but in general try to stick to mid scoring for this comp, so we planned to reverse it next meeting
  • Cut and attached new parts for our intake to help with the new 500:1 gearbox
  • Got our belly pan, eboard, and miscellaneous other parts ready for attaching
  • Attached our Eboard, it uses 3 pegs on each side to hold it up, so we decided to add our sponsor logos to each peg.
  • Attached the camera mount.
  • Lots of coding stuff
  • Lots of wiring stuff because of the new eboard
  • Continued work on our charging station
  • Added extra nuts and bolts to our elevator rigging to prevent chain getting stuck
  • More testing, and everything works! We didn’t have time to attach the belly pan, but everything works.
    • During testing we broke our plastic hard stop, it came right off. So we planned an aluminum one
    • We also went to Waffle House, cause why the heck not, our robot works!

Meeting #33 (Sunday, 2/26)

We had the goal of farthing last meeting’s progress


  • Added our belly pan, and it came with a lot more wiring
  • Switched some janky connectors with soldering, if we left these connectors then we would most definitely lose communication with a lot of our intake mid match
  • Finished our charging station!
  • Lowered our intake back to 2 inches, for reasons described yesterday
  • Lots and lots of testing!
  • Our main issue is that our minivator was somehow getting stuck, we thought it was burrs getting stuck but then we found the issue
    • The pulley was melting itself to the polybelt. By the time we figured this out, we could nearly see the metal the pulley was attached to. Because we have no gearbox on the neo, it just spins so fast that it’s melting the polybelt and the pulley. Oops
    • We ended up figuring out a way to get chain working, here’s a video
  • Made massive progress on our bumpers, all that’s left is the hardware

That’s the end of this build log, let me know if there’s anything I need to change!. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can reach us by creating a thread in our Open Alliance Discord Channel, with an email ([email protected]), or with a message on chief delphi. You can also directly DM me on discord (noah’#9040) if you want. We always appreciate feedback and questions!

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Build Log #8

Meeting #34 (Tuesday, 2/28)

Today was mostly drive practice, and then fixing the problems that came up. We broke:

  • The aluminum gear that runs our intake, the teeth got torn straight off, by the time we got around to fixing it, there were 6 teeth left, on a 22 teeth gear, yikes
    • We eventually got steel gears to replace this and the other gears
  • Bent our elevator bearings.
    • The bolt that the bearings attached to bent due to the weight of the elevator, we had to drill out the holes to quarter inch and add some quarter inch bolts to prevent this from happening again. We only replaced the two that broke, but others are also under lots of stress so we need to keep a sharp eye out
  • Our right side of the drivetrain is chunky, it fixed itself after more practice, but we should keep an eye on it.
  • The motor on the left of our intake got loose, an internal screw came out so putting that back fixed it for now, but later it broke again so it just needs a full replacement
  • Our intake is slightly angled, will be easy to fix when we put the steel gears on
  • Crushed the 500:1 gearbox for our claw, we had to swap it to 450:1 to not break it again

Meeting #35 (Thursday, 3/2)

More practice and preparation for comp! Not much to note here, really just practice and packing. Except:

  • While trying to tighten our chains we ran into a problem. One of our Versablocks is stuck, one bolt just wouldn’t loosen, we suspect cross threading as the culprit. We ended up just tightening the other blocks, but it was still an issue
    • We also had to file out chunks of our belly pan as we didn’t accommodate for access to these bolts

Meeting #35.5 (Friday, 3/3, before leaving for comp)

Not really a full meeting, but since we were leaving mid day for comp, any kids who finished their work early could come down and help a bit. We did basic code improvements and packing, but also:

  • Our Autonomous finally works! Here’s a video! due to our wacky preloading, we can score a high cone in auto then get the taxi points
  • We also fiddled around with the charging station, but we haven’t gotten a balance yet

Competition #1, Week 1, Blacksburg. (Friday - Sunday, 3/3 - 3/5)

Comp was AWESOME!!! We truly had an amazing time and did so much better than we expected, we can’t wait until our next competition (Week 3, portsmith :wink:


Today was simple load in and inspection. Luckily, we were the first to get inspected! So we made some quick fixes while we waited.

  • Removed a few links of from our elevator, they got worked an stretched too far for our tensioners to be effective
  • Added a reset button to our claw and elevator PID, since we had minor issues with it before.
  • Added a missing spacer into our intake


First full day at comp! Here’s how it went:

  • Did pretty decent on our first few matches, nothing extraordinary
  • After these few matches, we got practice field time, so we tested a charging pad auto, we didn’t get it working until another practice field session, but once it did, our average auto points doubled, and we became incredibly consistent at balancing during auto
  • Halfway through the day, we were in the match with our district’s first triple balance from both teams, it was awesome!
    • We were with 540 and 1262, 540 was barely hanging off the corner, and 1262 had to counter balance by having 2 wheels off the pad, but we managed to hold the balance!
  • Ended the day at 4th! WAY better than expected!
  • Had no major repairs, another year of reliability!


  • Finished up quals in 6th, guaranteed playoffs, awesome.
  • We ended up on the 3rd seed alliance, due to the 5th ranked team choosing us for their first pick
    • Our alliance was:
      • 6802, Mean Caimans, the captain of the alliance
      • us :slight_smile:
      • 1885, Comet bots, a defensive choice that we had a good match with earlier and we really enjoyed playing with them!
    • Playoffs were not the best, we got knocked to the loser bracket first round, won once in the bracket, then got eliminated
      • The top seeded alliance’s main bot fell over so they got knocked into our match for the loser bracket, and we got crushed
    • During our matches, we got every team member from our alliance to orca squat, and we modified the cheer to include one of Caimen’s cheers, and got 1086, Blue Cheese, to cheer with us as well! So much fun!

What we learned:

  • We are best at cubes right now, cones take a lot of precision and time that can be spent getting points with cubes, but we still have cone access to finish mid and low links
  • We are very consistent at balancing in end game
    • As mentioned earlier we partook in the first double triple balance
    • We consistently triple balanced in play offs
    • The one time we didn’t (due to a powered off bot on our side), we quite literally balanced at the last second.
  • Once we get high cones working, we will do even better
  • Charging station points are VERY important. Getting points from it in end game makes or breaks matches
    • I personally saw mostly 2 kinds of matches. 1 sided matches where balancing just furthered the difference between the teams (less common)
    • And more equal matches where it all came down to the charging station (more common)
    • In playoffs it became decently common for the charging station points to be relatively equal, and the cycle time and link construction being important
  • Links are the hardest ranking point to get, with good teamwork the charging station one is easy and is pretty much required to win the match, but the links are hard to get without 2 or 3 fast scoring bots and tons of focus and teamwork.

That’s the end of this build log, let me know if there’s anything I need to change!. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can reach us by creating a thread in our Open Alliance Discord Channel, with an email ([email protected]), or with a message on chief delphi. You can also directly DM me on discord (noah’#9040) if you want. We always appreciate feedback and questions!

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Build Log #9

Meeting #36 (Tuesday, 3/7)

Today we:

  • Unpacked from comp
  • Started path planner learning
  • Messed with limelight
  • Some minor repairs

Meeting #37 (Thursday, 3/9)

Today we:

  • Made some adjustments to our intake, some bearings kept coming loose so we switched their direction to prevent it
  • Continued path planner
  • More limelight

Meeting #38 (Friday, 3/10)


  • Finished the edits to our intake
  • Continued code work and tested path planner, unfortunately we couldn’t get it to work properly
  • Planned the ORCAfication of our robot
    • We wanted to push towards the imagery award, so we had some ideas
    • Because our elevator is a fixed angle, it kind of looks like a mouth
    • So we planned teeth to add to the sides of the elevator
    • Big googly eyes on the side of the bot
    • A fin on the back
    • And a pink minivator for a tongue
      • The materials don’t arrive until monday, so we will have to wait to decorate

Meeting #39 (Saturday, 3/11)

Today we had a low turnout, so we narrowed our focus, we:

  • Got PID drive working
  • Started work on auto leveling, it works on a button! But not in auto
    • While making many code adjustments, one of them managed to change how fast our auto moves, making our auto go way to far and too fast
    • Unfortunately, due to not testing often, we didn’t know what caused it, and we had to go back to our code from competition
  • Swapping our sprocket ratio on the elevator, finally we can score high!!! Or, maybe not
    • We used a 3d printed part to hold our sprockets together, as the 21 tooth sprocket is a 15 mm hole and the 18 tooth sprocket is hex. We couldn’t find alternatives to either, so we made a part to link them.
    • unfortunately, this part couldn’t hold under the weight and bent, creating too much slack and causing the chain to hop off the sprocket
    • We had to go back to the old ratio
    • But we had an idea, we also had 8mm hole sprockets, and shaft adapters to change 8mm to hex. So we found the only 8mm shafts we had, the ones inside our old sim motors
    • So off we went tearing apart 2 sim motors for their shafts
    • We glued it together and waited for them to dry overnight, but we realixed that we really don’t want to have to use them
    • The 8mm shafts are bigger than the ¼ inch bolts that we currently use, so if we fail we have to redo our top elevator bar, which we don’t want to do
    • So we have to hold off on doing it, meaning no high cones for us, or maybe
    • Our drivers found out how to semi consistently pick up cones from their side, which we can score high on from that position, so not all hope is lost

Unfortunately today was sort of a failure, both of the things we wanted to do (auto leveling and ratio swap) failed and we had to go back to what we had already done, two steps forward, two steps back

Meeting #40 (Sunday, 3/12)

Today we focused on drive practice, lots and lots of drive practice. After accomplishing almost nothing yesterday, we decided the best thing we could do was practice practice practice, and practice we did. Besides practice we:

  • Added handles to our robot! It sucked to pick up before, you had to lift in between the wheels, but one set of bumpers wouldn’t let you so you had to awkwardly grab the bottom, it sucked, but we handled it
  • Started work on auto leveling again, we made some decent progress, but we didn’t finish it

That’s the end of this build log, let me know if there’s anything I need to change!. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can reach us by creating a thread in our Open Alliance Discord Channel, with an email ([email protected]), or with a message on chief delphi. You can also directly DM me on discord (noah’#9040) if you want. We always appreciate feedback and questions!


Build Log 10

Meeting 41 (Sunday 3/14)

Today, we ORCAfied our robot, we

  • added teeth to our elevator, it’s angle looks like an open mouth
  • added pink tape to our minivator so it looks like a tongue
  • added huge googly eyes to the side of the bot
  • added a fin to the back of the eboard

the robot looks like an orca, what more can I say

Meeting #42 (Saturday, 3/16)

Today we:

  • Packed our cabinet and toolbox for comp
  • Made auto changes
    • We added a mid cone auto, since we can more easily capitalize off of a mid link
    • Made our auto less violent, the elevator used to slam downwards, but now it’s smoother.

Competition 2, Week 3, Portsmouth. (Friday - Sunday, 3/17 - 3/19)

We did even better than last comp! And we are LOCKED into districts, yay!!!


Today was simple load in, first inspected, again!

After inspection, we spent the rest of the time helping other teams fix issues on their robots.


Today was weird. For the first half of the day, no teams were performing as well as they normally would, we had our own dip in performance midway through the day.

We did pretty well at the beginning, hovering anywhere between 8th and 3rd, as the first few rounds typically go. But we had a massive dip later in the day, falling down to 15th. Then, towards the end, we picked up steam and landed ourselves in 4th.

One problem that persisted the day was our auto, the slight difference in the field made our auto balance from blacksburg not work. We tested many things, none of them working completely. We eventually figured out a consistent positioning that made it so we didn’t have to change much code, but after getting it once we never had to use it again.


We had a very favorable schedule, with no unwinnable or extremely difficult games. We even managed to get the high score of 191, only because the other team racked up 76 points in penalties due to a robot malfunction, but hey, we’ll take it. We still scored a ton of points on our own.

Due to this favorable schedule and some amazing teamwork, we moved our way up to 3rd by the end of quals

For alliance selection, we were a captain, and since the 1 bot chose the 2 bot, we were the captains of the 2nd seed alliance, holy cow. We chose 1599 (Circuitree), as they helped us get the high score earlier and they are a good friend of ours due to being in our county. Our second choice was 1793 (The Aviators), they were the best defense left, and we had experience working with them from last season, where they helped us make it to finals.

Unfortunately, Aviator’s bumpers fell off from a bad collision our first match and we got knocked down. They fixed it, but they broke again (in a different way) during our next match, so we called in a backup bot, as we wouldn’t switch colors (and therefore switch off the broken bumpers) for another match. This backup bot was 2068 (Metal Jackets), who happen to be the sister team of 1885 (Comet bots), who were on our alliance last comp.

We pushed our way through the rest of the loser bracket, making it back to finals. But before finals, they had awards, and we won Excellence in Engineering! I assume it’s due to our minivator, seeing as a lot of judges commented on how clever they thought it was. A judge talked to me later, and they said we were also high in the running for imagery due to our recent ORCAfication, but we were the best fit for excellence in engineering so they gave us that and gave imagery to another well suited team.

During finals, we lost 2-0, but considering the alliance was made up of the 2 best bots in the district, it checks out, but boy did we have fun.


We brought our spirit stuff that we forgot to bring last time, so we had inflatable orcas, orca hats, and an orca costume. It was awesome

We did so many orca squats, I’m writing this on tuesday and my knees still hurt whenever I do anything. By the end of the comp we had half the stands orca squatting with us.

We gave one of our orca hats to the MC, he wore it all of playoffs, and we let him keep it since we’re getting new ones for districts.

Whenever they had to fix the field, they played dance music, and you know our orca mascot was dancing with everyone else, it was awesome.

All of the teams from our county made it to playoffs, go us!

We made so many friends, from helping teams to orca squats, we had no shortage of fun with nearly every team.

One last thank you to 1599 (Circuitree), 1793 (The Aviators), and 2068 (Metal Jackets) for playing with us in the playoffs. We truly had a blast with you all and we seriously couldn’t have made it all the way to finals without you.

There are a ton of images and peeks of our comp experience in our Open Alliance Discord Channel, so go check it out, that’s why there aren’t many images in this build log, they’re all already there.

That’s the end of this build log, let me know if there’s anything I need to change!. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. You can reach us by creating a thread in our Open Alliance Discord Channel, with an email ([email protected]), or with a message on chief delphi. You can also directly DM me on discord (noah’#9040) if you want. We always appreciate feedback and questions!

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Build Log #11

This build log covers 3/21-4/2, 2 weeks.

Meeting #43 (Tuesday, 3/21)

Today we did drive practice, that’s really it.

Meeting #44 (Thursday, 3/23)

Our swerve modules arrived! We

  • Began building the modules, we got the REV Modules.
  • Drive practice
  • General orcanization

Meeting #45 (Friday, 3/24)

Today we wanted to further our swerve work, we:

  • Finished constructing and wiring modules
  • Cut new frame pieces for our 2022 robot, which we’re converting to swerve.
  • 449, Blair Robot Project, visited us! They were on their way to their week 4 comp, and they arrived early so they stopped by. We really just hung out for the rest of the meeting.

Meeting #46 (Sunday, 3/26)

I wasn’t at this meeting, but I was told that today was just drive practice, nothing else.

Meeting #47 & 48 (Tuesday & Thursday, 3/28 & 3/30)

I’ve combined these days due to the similar goal, swerve. We

  • Attached the back modules
  • Began to attach the front modules, but one of them was inexplicably chunky so we weren’t able to fully attach them.
  • Fixed our frame, during comp it got hit and hour bumper brackets got bent, we re-riveted them.
  • Drive practice

Meeting #49 (Friday 3/31)

Today we:

  • Started work on our autonomous
  • Fully attached swerve to our old robot, but we didn’t have time to finish wiring so for now it doesn’t work
  • Drive practice

Meeting #50 (Saturday, 4/1)

Today we completely tore apart our swerve bot and put the modules onto our actual robot, get ready districts, here we come. Today we:

  • Realized it was april first, I lied in the intro for today
  • Repaired our intake, it was getting some wear and tear from 2 comps and a bunch of drive practice
  • Finished wiring and attaching swerve to our swervebot! It works, and it’s awesome! Here’s a video.
  • Got auto balancing fully working! We will probably need to tweak it at districts with the metal charging station, but so far it works perfectly! Here’s a video.

Today was hugely successful, we finished 2 things we’ve been trying to do all season.

Meeting #51 (Sunday, 4/2)

Today was drive practice and fixing any issues that came up from it, which were a fair few, we

  • Fixed the chain on our minivator being too loose, but when we removed links it was too tight
    • The issue ended up being the bracket holding the motor on was loose, after tightening it up, it seems to be mostly fine
  • Made button designs! And got a new button maker, it’s 10 times easier to use than the last one
    • The bottom left is a redesign of last year’s button, but now it’s pride.
  • Designed a new business card holder, now with module sticker holder additions!

That’s the end of this build log, let me know if there’s anything I need to change! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out.
We’re reaching the end of our build logs, next week is districts, so I’ll cover a meeting or two then cover the comp. If (when) we make worlds, then the build logs will continue, and end with worlds, otherwise next week’s log will be the last.
You can reach us by creating a thread in our Open Alliance Discord Channel, with an email ([email protected]), or with a message on chief delphi. You can also directly DM me on discord (noah’#9040) if you want. We always appreciate feedback and questions!

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