[FVC]: Couple of Questions

Howdy everyone i have a few questions about FVC rules.

The First question I have is about labeling. Is it legal to label wires. I cant see where it would be illegal but please tell me if it is illegal. We have some problems with wiring and such. A couple of times plugging the wrong wire into the wrong port causing all kinds of problems.

Also. We attended the Connecticut Vex Tournament and we noticed a robot that had white wire ties. I cant remember the teams name but the wire ties were pure white. And we were wondering where you can get these because we have not seen them sold off the the vex website.

Thank you for your replies :slight_smile:

zip ties of all colors are legal only if they are the same size and length.
(back me up on this?)

Rule <R9a> “Motors, extension cords…may NOT be altered from their original state in ANY way.” might be a problem, as labeling might be interpred as altering from the original state. I would post on the official FVC forum for clarification.

One legal way that I could see to distinguish wires is that we have some (from the original Vex kit) that are orange, black and white, and others (purchased separately from vexlabs) that are red, black and white. The red vs. orange distinction could be utilized.

Rule <R5> d. “Teams may add non-functional decorations from parts not on the above list, provided that these parts do not affect the outcome of the match, and must be in the spirit of ‘Gracious Professionalism’.”
The label is and non-functional “decorations” and it will “not affect the outcome of the match.” I personally think that paper and tape are considered to be decorations. By logic, paper and tape could be use as labels.

Not only is labeling your wires not illegal, I personally highly recommend it. Especially when you have up to 10 motors, several pwm extension cables, Y-connectors, sensors, etc. They can get pretty mixed up if you have to make some changes on the fly. We usually use a small piece of masking tape to mark which motor, or interrupt or IO port they plug into.

I would also suggest that you label both of the yellow receivers. When you plug-unplug-plug-unplug them in and out going back and forth between crystals and tethers, you could mistakenly plug receiver 1 back into port 2 and vise versa. Your driver then ends up controlling your manipulators with a remote that has been pre-trimmed out for driving, and your operator is now the driver with his remote setup for your manipulators.

This could be very frustrating during a match, and very embarrassing afterwards when you realize what the problem was. Trust me, I know from experience.

Just be very careful that the tape isn’t being used to secure cable extensions to each other, because in that case the tape has gone from being decorative to functional.

I don’t now about all this. I personally agree with all the posts, but on the forum an example was given about a plexiglass shield screwed over the microcontroller to protect it. The answer given was that this was not legal because the plexiglass was not decroration, as it had a purpose. Labelling the wires seems a little close to this situation too. The labels have a purpose. Maybe you can label the wires with tie wraps. 1 wrap for motor port 1, 2 wraps next to each other for motor port 2, etx. Then you’d be using competition legal parts as labels.

In this case, the plexiglass was used as a structural part for the specific purpose of protecting a robot component and was therefore ruled as illegal. Using a small piece of masking tape (or similar) for identifying wires is not a problem as long as it is not used on your robot for…

  1. Structural reinforcing
  2. Securing wires
  3. On wheels to provide extra traction or reduce traction
  4. Used to build functional parts
  5. As a filter for your light sensor
  6. To hold softballs in place on your robot
  7. Etc… etc… etc…

This is not a difficult issue for the robot inspectors to make a determination about legality. If there are still those of you out there that are concerned about this issue however, I suggest you ask this specific question on the official FVC Q&A forum.

You are correct. I asked the question on the forum and received an answer that it is a good practice and legal to label the wires. We used a silver sharpie to do it.

Thank you for all your input. As of a couple of weeks ago we labeled all of our wires. Ods’s Motors and ports and it is much more organized now. We dont make the mistake of puttingin the wire into the wrong port