pic: Modified AM Shifter Gearboxes



I apologize if I’m missing the obvious, but aside from the gold coloring what modifications have been made to this transmission, and why did you make them?

Appears to be a 1st generation shifter, with its internal double sprocket, with the addition of an external extended output shaft, like a super shifter.

This is an AM Shifter. It is normally gold.

I didn’t see the extended shaft on the first time around - thank you for pointing that out.

This looks surprisingly lightweight. Perhaps replacing the cylinder with a smaller one would be good though.

We made them simply for the fact that we had two given to us by a retired team, and it was a much cheaper process than buying new ones. I agree that a smaller piston would be desirable, but I’m not sure what would work as a replacement.

If your looking for something more compact I’d recommend either:

Bimba Flat - 3/4 Bore (due to #10-32 male thread), could do 9/16" bore as well
FO-040.5-MTor
VEXpro Pancake

You will probably have to modify spacer length as an FYI when switching to a pancake cylinder.

These older gen-1 shifters are almost entirely steel (sideplates, gears, sprocket, shafts, dog, bearings, bolts) so they are actually quite heavy, but they are durable.

I like it as an engineering exercise. Were you planning on using these for next season?

Yes, we are planning on using them for next season, and are currently in the process of building an off-season drive with them! It was a great way to learn Solidworks for my team, as we had to not only modify the gearboxes but put them on a WCD.

My team will definitely look into these, thanks for your help! The current cylinder is much larger than it needs to be, and would take up a lot of space at the bottom of the drivetrain.

To obey fab schedule rules, you will need to disassemble them to their original COTS state, and replace and redo any modified parts.

I agree, this is the legal way of doing this.

A separate discussion altogether is, how many teams actually follow that vs teams that don’t.

Funny you should mention this. It was about 1 year ago when I was looking a little closer at possible FRC participation and as a total FRC noob couldn’t figure out why everyone on CD was showing off their new drives before kickoff. So I asked a question on CD and was politely told how off-season work could be done. Got a much better understanding now :rolleyes:

Still trying to figure out if it’s really worth stepping up to FRC… seems to me like the odds are stacked against 1st, 2nd and maybe even 3rd year teams.

Not really. Remember this: You can ask any veteran team for advise, assistance, and anything else you can think of (and that includes all of CD, by the way, just watch out or you’ll be trying to drink out of a firehose). Hint, these gearboxes were a donation from a veteran team. Sure, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd year teams to tend to struggle–that’s kind of the nature of the beast in every kind of sport. On the other hand…

Struggling against stacked odds is a common complaint among some veteran teams, too (ask anybody in the Toronto area since 2056 started playing). And there are some teams that just take to FRC really well. I can think of 3 separate rookie teams who won their first event as a key contributor to their alliance, or even as alliance captain.

Now, whether stepping up to FRC is worthwhile is something for you and your team to decide. I’d encourage you to do it if you think you can; otherwise, nobody’s forcing you to, so you don’t have to.

Thanks for the encouraging words. Who knows maybe we’ll set a target to compete in the 2016 FRC season! I guess the key here is not going in without being fully prepared and as you say CD and existing teams are a vast resource.

A discussion repeated many times. As with most rules in FIRST, the answer is “probably some.” FIRST is an open organization which is self-regulated by the principle of Gracious Professionalism, and that principle is made perfectly clear to all participants. Every team must decide for themselves whether they buy in to that principle.

Are there technology/design competitions where years of experience provides no advantage?

After we’re done testing and possibly running it through an offseason event, we’ll restore it back to COTS condition and then re-modify it during build season. It shouldn’t be too terrible a task.

While the experience of multiple seasons is a huge asset, it doesn’t mean a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd year team can’t be competitive - if you have a good group of mentors, students and resources, you can accomplish a lot. Also, as EricH said, there are plenty of veteran teams who want you to succeed and will help you. All in all, FRC is a great program for any team, regardless of age.