New Team Needs Old Parts!

#1

I am proud to be the co-founder of a new community based FRC team in Ottawa, Canada! It’s so new we don’t even have a team number yet, but we are a group of existing mentors and hopefully many students from an existing team. (Thus, we will NOT be considered a rookie team.)

As we navigate through the steps (incorporate as a not-for-profit, find sponsors, find a meeting space) we also would like to start our own collection of parts for prototyping. We should have access to a kit drive frame and RoboRio borrowed from our previous team.

As we await all the goodies in our 2016 kit of parts, we are hoping to start getting a variety of the following so we can start playing in the fall off-season:

  • motor controllers
  • motors
  • gearboxes
  • wheels

So, my questions:

How did your new team outfit itself with these bits and pieces? Did you have much when you first started?

Were you able to fundraise enough in your first year to cover all your fees and expenses PLUS enough to buy tools, supplies, and extra parts?

Do you keep a lot of non-FRC-legal motors and controllers in your parts bins? I can start visiting thrift shops looking for old power drills etc.

Do you have parts that you would like to sell or donate to us? :smiley:

Thanks guys!

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#2

I’ll talk to my team about maybe sending you guys a little care package. The only thing is you guys would have to pay shipping as shipping heavy items to a different country is pretty expensive regardless that Ottawa is decently close.

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#3

That would be awesome :slight_smile: Thanks so much! Yes, I’m happy to pay shipping costs (within reason, of course :wink: ) out of my own pocket while we get things started.

I’m sure once we get the ball rolling with sponsorships and get the one-time costs out of the way we can start to buy parts each year to build out a collection. Still, it will definitely be cheaper to buy used parts than order everything brand new from AndyMark etc.

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#4

I talked to my team and everyone’s fine with sending over some wheels some motors and some other parts you need that we have an excess of. Just need our head mentors final approval.

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#5

Thanks so much to you and to another fellow who offered help. Our team really appreciates this!

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#6

For the simple robots a rookie team should be building, you might not necessarily need all of that stuff in advance of building your robot. You can prototype with drills instead of motors, use the KOP speed controllers instead of buying a bunch just for prototyping, etc.

But ideally, you want to fundraise as much as you can so you can stock at least a few parts ready to go. VersaPlanetaries are a prototyper’s dream tool. I don’t know of any simpler or faster way to prototype mechanism gear ratios than with VPs. Get two if you can, and several ratios. Hex shafts, collars, bearings are easy to play with for rollers, intakes, etc. Banebots wheels are very cheap and can prototype well for many games.

My team didn’t really start by stocking anything, but of all the stuff we just accumulated over the years, these tools have been by far the most useful.

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#7

The old power drills actually aren’t a bad idea. For the past 2 years at least (could be more) 2386 has used the gearboxes off cheap cordless drills combined with a 775 or similar motor. They make for a great, durable and generally cheap gearbox. Keeping in mind that for this application, the motor doesn’t need to work on the drill, you don’t need the battery and the case can be in rough condition/slightly damaged and still work as an FRC gearbox. Also the adjustable chuck on it can be useful as well for prototyping.

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#8

Thanks for the tips guys. I’ll look into drill gearboxes. I’ve also just ordered parts from AndyMark’s “Cheap and Dirty” control system so we can at least get some things moving, even if they’re not FRC-legal.

Yes, we definitely will be playing with the Kit of Parts stuff – I’m just hoping we can get a few things to play with before next January kickoff.

I hope my first post didn’t sound like I was looking to hoard a stockpile of components right off the bat. We hope to pick up a couple of motors, a couple of gearboxes, and a couple of controllers in advance of receiving the KoP so we can start experimenting and coding. We’ll be fundraising in earnest soon and buying more stuff as we go.

Thanks again for the advice :smiley:

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