FRC Pit Equipment Recommendations

When I have seen teams do this, it looked great from outside the pit. Unfortunately, once one starts working on the robot, one creates a lot of shadows, making it difficult to see what one is trying to work on. Perhaps if there were many light sources distributed around the pit, the shadows could be overcome.

None of my trucks fit in my tiny little 1930-era garage so I use one in the driveway for underhood work. I have 8 led bars under it. With 8 linear sources, shadows aren’t an issue. Lighting is definitely sufficient (and then some – way more than makes it though my trees).

Steering back towards FRC, I’m not sure how practical it is, but team 5006 “Apophis” has one of the coolest themed pits I’ve seen.

4 Likes

It may work in your application. Your truck is much larger than a robot and you probably have fewer people to block the light. The times I have seen teams do this, they got shadows, especially when there were several team members and mentors crowded around the robot.

1 Like

FTC teams concur (especially pre-REV control system).

Is this drawing of flight case the same as the ones produced by the omega cases?

I took the 4414 prints & drawings and created this OnShape assembly…there might be some differences in assembly? Could use another set of eyes on it

1 Like

This is great, thanks!

I’ve been toying with the OnShape model all afternoon to see if I can improve the design.

On that note - can someone tell me why 4414 and others chose 60" as the maximum collapsed height of the case? I’m debating shrinking the whole thing so it will fit in a UHaul trailer (< 58" tall opening) if necessary. I’m also looking at narrowing the wheelbase a smidge so that it can be pulled up a 24" wide U-Haul box truck ramp.

1 Like

We have a very similar setup that’s just a tad smaller and can fit in a trailer. We tend to use the road case side with a typical husky toolbox and use the provided table on the side for programming related things with spare part storage underneath. This gives the pit a more open feel, and is a breeze to pack and unload (takes up half a uhaul trailer at the max).

Yes, please improve it! I wouldn’t say it’s in a releasable state, but hopefully it’s useful enough for some teams to do some rough planning/design/mods. I originally put this together for @Tostadinator who bought a set of the 4414 Omega cases.

@nuclearnerd a lot of teams with these road case pits (1323, 1671, 1678, 4201, …) have 14’ trailers that have full-width ramps. You may want to check those Uhaul dimensions in person…I know the roll-up door on a Uhaul truck doesn’t clear the opening completely and takes away interior ceiling-volume (also need to think about the ramp angle). Going narrower on the wheelbase could make it more tip-able? (something to watch out for, safety first! when securing the cases, make sure you ratchet strap flush against surfaces and put the weight forward of the axle/wheels: https://youtu.be/4jk9H5AB4lM)

1 Like

We put these on a open flatbed truck via a lift gate so none of this was a thought for us. You can probably squeeze 2” out if you needed but would be careful going any more than that, the clear bins fill the top shelf pretty optimally. Omega case should be able to adjust our design as needed I’m sure they got it down by now…

1 Like

We built our pit out of 80/20 framing. It wasn’t cheap, probably around 5-7k in 2020. This doesnt include bins, tools, chargers etc. but it is a phenomenal setup, includes a banner stand integral to the structure, and 80/20 gives FRC Teams a discount. If you are interested let me know, I will post a picture.

I like the idea of an elevating top shelf like 973’s super pit. That way no one has to do any manual lifting. I’ve been trying to think about how to have that and still allow the top shelf to be removable (so that it fits under a 41" tall Prevost H3 underfloor bus bay if needed).

Here’s a potential solution: Does anyone see any issue with using two of these motorcycle jacks to lift up the top shelf in a 973 style superpit?
https://www.princessauto.com/en/1100-lb-motorcycle-atv-lift/product/PA0008667818
image

Man, now I really want a massive gryphon head for my team to work in :stuck_out_tongue:

1 Like

Some teams added gas springs into the flip-top shelving portion of their road cases to assist lifting.

Millennium Falcons use this Husky Mobile Workbench with an adjustable height wood top in their Omega road cases: Husky 72 in. W x 24 in. D Heavy Duty 18-Drawer Mobile Workbench Tool Chest with Adjustable-Height Hardwood Top in Matte Black HOLC7218BB1MYS - The Home Depot

4 Likes

That’s interesting. Do they use the elevating table top to raise the upper shelf? It would take some adapting (move the work surface to the fixed top of the base unit, reduce the shelf depth), but it could work I think.

Crates with shelves on the inside works pretty nice sometimes, they have room to transport your stuff and we’re probably pretty convenient at comps. Lately us and robonauts/other RAP teams have been using a lot of the Milwakee pack out stuff and it’s been pretty convenient so far, really great for transportation. The boxes are good to label by subsystems, you can get them to look pretty nice by throwing a coat or 2 of spray paint on them in your team colors and just labeling them for various tools and COTS parts. Olympia also has some pretty nice hardware boxes that transport pretty well. The best FRC pit I’ve seen is team 4414 hightide’s pit which they work out of during season to easily figure out what they need in their pit and other helpful things Team 4414 | HighTide | Pit Writeup. Team 973 made a cool Super pit in 2014 which is just a bunch of welded tubing with shelves that easily packs up for transport but is bulky and may be unceinant for out of state events Super Pit - Team 973 | The Greybots. (Super old pic from like 2008 but you can see the crates in the background)

I highly recommend aiming to build a super pit of some kind eventually. Being able to roll in 2-3 items and have a well organized pit set up in 5 min is huge. Especially the well organized part. Designing in lights and banners will handle all your branding and light needs. The road case pits seem to be all the rage on CD lately (and they are making me jealous), but we use a welded aluminum pit, and I’m sure a super pit could be made out of just about anything given time for design and fabrication. If you have access to a CNC router, you could design a plywood pit with tab and slot construction (try to consult an engineer from the commercial furniture industry on design if you don’t have much tab and slot design experience).

Before the super pit, you can get a tool chest/ workbench that can be integrated into a later super pit. You can also start building out small parts bins, safety kits etc that will be able to go into a super pit later but can go into totes or on wire racks in the short run. I recommend against wire racks in the long run, we used to use them but they will only survive a few seasons in FRC.

I have watched many teams spend a bunch of time setting up elaborate truss structures and decorative pit entrances. As far as I’m concerned they are a (often expensive) way to waste time at events, and serve no practical purpose. If you want some branding but don’t have a super pit or rack to attach it to you can easily buy something like this https://www.vistaprint.com/signs-posters/retractable-banners We still use ours so we have a banner that is independent of the pit.

2 Likes

With roadcases that’s a different lifting to raise the upper shelf. It’s more of a pivot not a straight lift.

This style would be neat, but the reviews on the capacity of the lift seem mixed. You might need to remove the heavy items from the shelf when lifting and scale down the size of the shelf. Something light and simple to fit under would be a great for many teams.

1 Like

A lot of good pit setups. When I took over the team in 2017 we didn’t have much. After going to comp we built a RoboStore Cart. Its a great starting point for teams being easy to build and a great way to keep things together for easy transport. We have better pit setup now but we still take this to some off season events. Also good for storage at the shop.

1 Like

This is kind of what I was thinking with the motorcycle jacks. Thoughts?