FRC Blogged - FIRST Choice, 2013 Control System, and Regional Slots

Taken from the FRC Blog, 11/16/12

Blog Date: Friday, November 16, 2012 - 11:16
FIRST Choice

In case you missed it, FIRST Choice opened for a little pre-holiday window shopping on Monday. Check it out:

And don’t forget to look at the 2013 FIRST Choice Ordering Rules:

Remember one of the changes this year – teams will be able to place orders starting December 10th.

2013 Control System

I wanted to give you a quick update on the 2013 Control System. The majority of the Control System hardware will not change from 2012 to 2013 (with the exception of the Jaguar modifications disclosed earlier in this blog), but there are two more exceptions we thought you should know about now.

First, the list of approved motor controllers will be expanded. Specifically, Cross the Road Electronics’ Talon and Innovation First’s Victor 888 motor controllers will be legal.

Second, all teams will receive in their Kickoff Kit, and be required to use, a new wireless bridge. The new bridge is still a D-Link DAP 1522, but only the hardware Rev B version will be permitted. More details about this change as well as other changes being made in response to the Einstein investigation will be shared in the next few weeks. Keep your eye on this blog for a pointer to a document that details progress on the “Next Steps” defined in the Einstein Investigation Report.

Regional Slots

The following regionals still have team slots available. Note that for some of these, the Regional page on our website shows zero open capacity – but this capacity does not include the handful of slots typically kept on reserve. So, if you have any interest in going to these events, please register for them! Also, please make sure to check the Regional page for specific dates of these events – some do not follow the Thursday-Saturday pattern.

Greater Toronto West
Western Canadian
Hub City
Las Vegas
Pine Tree
Central Valley

I’ll blog again soon.


I for one am hoping that that regional list is incomplete, since the regional director of NYC said that there is room for 64/66 teams, but only 54 are shown as signed up, with 0 spots showing as open…(and we are waitlisted :eek: :confused: :ahh:)

Yay for legal 888s AND Talons(I knew they wouldn’t be a risky purchase…). Interesting about Rev B… Hopefully it’ll help solve the control problems.

And does anyone know/ever hear anything on the Davis relay module to replace spikes from Beta testing last year? Will we see those in the kit this year?

Those are the events that have open spots left. All other spots are kept for if late-registering rookies need them. NYC has some spots that haven’t been filled yet, and only rookies will fill them until the waitlist clears.

As Frank said, “Note that for some of these, the Regional page on our website shows zero open capacity – but this capacity does not include the handful of slots typically kept on reserve.” Isn’t he referring to those kept on reserve for rookies, meaning that even if they have spots reserved they should be on that list? That’s what confused me. ::rtm:: :yikes:

I look at that to mean that those are the regionals that even counting the teams on the waitlist they will not fill all the spots they have reserved.

I can tell you that we haven’t heard anything about them in Beta this year.

I believe you mean the David. Wednesday night FIRST had their ‘Ask an Expert Call’ on the Controls System with FRC engineer Kevin O’Connor. I asked about the David (because we too beta tested them last year and have heard nothing since) and I’m pretty sure he said that he can’t give a definite yes or no but that don’t expect to see them. It was a nice little piece of hardware but I don’t think we will see it in the kit this year.

My guess on the Rev A/B thing is that HQ + Dlink/Cisco may have found a vulnerability or other problem that wasn’t just limited to the method of the Einstein FCA attacks, one that couldn’t be rectified in software alone, but that the Rev B hardware fixes.

That could be the case. However keep in mind that a huge number of consumer wireless networking products undergo numerous hardware iterations during their lifespan - I’ve seen Linksys, Netgear, and D-Link products go through 6 to 7 versions before being replaced by a completely new product/model number. Perhaps some of it motivated by cost reduction/efficiency improvements, some by security, some by performance/reliability improvements.

Does anyone know where we could purchase the Rev B version of the Dlink?
I looked on Amazon and Newegg and the picture is still the same as the old one.

Any ideas?

Well, AndyMark appears to be the only retailer that guarantees the Rev. B but they do charge a bit more.

Also keep in mind the difficulty of an automated solution that could program both RevA and RevB. Last year, the self-serve kiosk they had set up for programming your Radio could only work on RevA. Standardizing on RevB will help reduce complexity AND help simplify diagnosing issues.