Yesterday at the final FRC off-season in Minnesota I brought home the 4 loading stations and I’m really excited by this. I wanted to share my thinking with the rest of the teams here in case someone else wants to do this.
The group I’m working with is trying to bring an AndyMark field to the area so we have a have a fully to 2020 game specification field available for all of the teams in the area to use. The thing about field corner elements or loading stations is that they are almost generic, one side needs to connect to the field side rail, the other needs to connect to the end driver’s station, the height is almost always 70" since that’s the height of the driver’s stations.
If there are loading stations next year like there have been for the past decade and they happen to be 48" wide we’re set. If they are narrower, we can cut the horizontal 2" square tubing, place some smaller square tubing inside to reinforce it and pin the two halves together. If the loading stations are 8’ wide like they were in 2012 we insert 92" long 1.5" square tubing into the cross pieces, pin it together and we’re set.
The upshot is, we now have 4 loading stations that can be quickly sized to whatever is needed over the next years that if we were to have a local shop weld up for us it would likely cost $500 to $1000.
There may still be other loading stations available from other forward deployed fields. Even if you don’t have a full FRC field, these are potentially a huge head start on building game elements for next year. I don’t know if anyone else out there is in a position to capitalize on this year’s loading stations but I wanted to get this idea out there in case someone else could.