New lights this year

Interesting language in the RC documentation:

There are four team color connectors which all output identical signals. Each connector is meant to drive one team color LED unit for identifying which team your robot is on. Team color LED units are included in your kit or are available from Innovation First.

By default, these LED units will display red if you are using the default practice channel of 40. If you use a channel adapter to change to another radio channel, the team color will differ. Channels 4, 22, and 40 will cause a red team color to flash, while channels 13 and 31 cause blue. In general, the user cannot control the team color, because it is set by the Arena Controller during competition.

So we’re finally getting rid of the rotating light, but the interesting thing is the LCDs allow the team color to change at any time. Will the game involve changing teams during the match?

hmmm that would be very interesting. Thank God no more rotation lights maybe the lights will be smaller htis year :0 hopefully

When your robot goes insane during autonomous mode, the fastest you can ram the LED’s into the diamond plate wall is 10 ft/s!!!


Joe J.

no rotating lights this year?

say it isnt so!

when I grow up, I wanna be a firetruck!

If the rules don’t change significantly this year, you can always put a rotating light on as a non-functional decoration.

But now, if this is actually to put one dual color red/blue LED on each side of the robot as it seems… How would that be easily identifiable from the stands?

Well I’m one who will miss the old loud rotating light. Our previous rotating light was smashed into a dozen different pieces at WPI

LED’s can be very bright so it shouldn’t be a problem. It will probably be a bank of LED’s much like the stop lights they’re now making out of LED’s.

Wasn’t there a rule wayyy back about how your alliance color had to be visible from many points on the field? That might bring mounting issues into play, no matter how bright it is.

Either way, LED’s are great news!

Ahhhhh more LED’s. Right now, the entertainment lighting industry is going through an LED revolution, they are popping up everywhere, and let me tell you this, they can be extremely bright, are normally very expensive, but are also extremely robust. Just to get an idea, go check out or I could see them putting in an RGB array into the same sort of enclosure that has been used in the past, but with a clear lens and the color comes from the LED’s, you could theoretically have 16.7 million different colors!!!

Ok sortof off topic(not that this thread is on topic, but if you have a spare rotating light around short circuit the resistor and it spins like 3x as fast. It just looks odd.

We were messing around last year, and hooked the light up to a speed controller. That was (somewhat) amusing.

These LEDs might make the light visibility problem much less, as you could place the LEDs all over your robot, instead of just having one big light (though I hope they are for mid-game alliance shifting, though if it is, I hope the alliances randomly change to prevent total domination by power teams).

I’m gonna miss changing the cover every match. I find that these new lights may or may not be difficult for spectators to see from the stands. This game will be huge for everyone. Just for the simple fact that all teams have been equipped with a new RC this year. I think its 2 much change just my opinion

Last year I was the driver for our team (among other things), and we managed to break both covers.

I won’t miss them.

Of course, I also broke the light itself, so I hope these are a little more robust.


Hey and even better, they wont use as much battery power as the rotating light, right???

Oh, back in '99 308 used something similar… except then all’s we had to use where the colored cards, which didn’t work too well. So we had setup a large bank of led’s on each side of the robot, that with a flip of a switch would display red or blue. I can’t find any good pictures of it on, but you can see it at You had no problems telling what team we were on that year :smiley:

Although changing teams mid-game is an interesting concept, the RC reference guide does state:

In general, the user cannot control the team color, because it is set by the Arena Controller during competition.

Certainly the “in general” makes it a little hazy, but I think its straight forward that the LED’s are just to replace the rotating light, and not for anything else.

Yay, I guess I will be able to build a light-a-pult without having to worry about being disqualified :yikes:

i am not saying that we may be getting rid of the rotating light but also i do not see anywheres yet that the light wont be there, so not till i see that the light is gone, is it gone.

[edit] ok i got a comment that said that this added nothing to the thread, i just wanted to say that you all are so sure that the light is gone just by ifi adding a socket for leds on the rc, i just think for some reason that the light still may be here. Please dont take this the wrong way.[/edit]