Does any one know if First will be posting a shopping list early again this season for the playing field components? If i remember corectly there was one last year for the three goals.
a BOM has not been released yet, I would expect it to come just before kickoff, somewhere between 12/26 and 12/31
*Originally posted by D@ve *
**Does any one know if First will be posting a shopping list early again this season for the playing field components? If i remember corectly there was one last year for the three goals. **
If it works as in the past you will get the BOM (Bill of Materials) along with the plans for the field with your kits handed out at the kick off.
To my knowledge the BOM was recieved prior to kickoff and the actual plans were given at kickoff so people could start building their field right away
Last year a BOM for the goal was released just prior to kickoff. All of our rookies have been warned that if this happens again, they should buy everything on it as fast as possible. There is always some item that is hard to get and makes building difficult if you don’t have it.
Last year it was the pipe flanges. I figure FIRST needed about 38,000 of those country wide, far more than the typical consumption for a single weekend. We had distributors asking us “What’s up with the flanges?”. In years before that it was KEE-KLAMPS.
Last year they tried the early BOM release as an experiment. I think it went over well, and hope they do it again. If nothing else it supplies more fuel for the speculative fires. But as far as I know they haven’t said anything one way or the other.
Last year I made a boot leg goal. I found it was cheaper not to follow the BOM list and use creative solutions to build the field.
*Originally posted by D. Gregory *
**Last year I made a boot leg goal. I found it was cheaper not to follow the BOM list and use creative solutions to build the field. **
If you’re designing a machine that interacts with the goal or playing field in such a way that it may affected by their characteristics, it’s probably important that your pieces match those that will be used by FIRST as much as possible.
Otherwise, you risk designing for conditions that won’t exist in the game environment.
It was an exact replica. I just used made my own wood flanges. I realize that if you aren’t extremely careful you risk different conditions. My team was dirt poot and couldn’t afford flanges so I had to improvise. I managed to get it exact and very strong.
*Originally posted by D. Gregory *
It was an exact replica. I just used made my own wood flanges. …] My team was dirt poor and couldn’t afford flanges so I had to improvise. …]
At my old “rookie” team last year, we had virtually no cash as well, AND we were short on labor. The way we handled that one was a special fund raising trick I came up with: “Material Open Account Sponsors”. BEFORE the contest, you find a string of local stores, such as a local plumbing supply, hardware store, lumber yard, builder’s electrical supply (wire), plastic supply (sheet stock), hobby store (Dremel stuff), carpet store, industrial supply (safety goggles), etc… For each CLASS of “thing” you need, simply find a few local vendors.
You now ask each one for the donation of an “open account” ticket, valued at about $200-$500, for “materials to be specified later”. They love it. They’re involved, they write off the retail, and it only costs them their TRUE COST, which is a FRACTION of retail. In addition, the school is a govt agency, and thus donations to it are tax deductible. What a deal… Around here I’ve found $200 is about the average to shoot for per vendor, with $100 the absolute minimum, and $500 the max. (YMMV…)
You have your PR person keep them informed of “their team’s progress”, and thank them by putting them on your shirt back, invite them to the Sponsor Thank You dinner, and/or send them a frame-able certificate of appreciation. We collected about 20 MOAS’s BEFORE Kickoff.
Worse case, during the build, each night after build is done the “signature adult” can run and fetch whatever raw materials we’re short on or missing from the appropriate vendor, and keeps an eye on the account levels. As soon as the $200 (or whatever) is used up, we’re done with that vendor, shift to our “alternate”, or start paying. This gave us more time to fund raise, AND helped guide our build technology so we weren’t trying to make things out of stuff we couldn’t afford as a rookie team.
It didn’t cost us a CENT out of pocket to build our goal, because we simply tapped three of our prearranged accounts: a plumbing supply account for the flanges and pipes (THEY pulled from a warehouse within days), a lumber yard account for a couple sheets of plywood, and the casters and box of bolts as a piece of our hardware store sponsor’s open account. We didn’t mess with the perimeter flange since we weren’t depending on it, and thus reserved more hardware store credit for the robot. But we could’ve done that too if we wished.
BTW, Our practice playfield carpet was also a donation. A local carpet store simply donated a remnant with similar nap to the playfield carpeting. Same with the safety goggles, etc… We even had MOAS’s that we never tapped, but still added them to our shirts, etc…
Congratulations on building with what you could find at hand. Great job!
However, my moral is: If your team is “cash poor” AND “labor poor”, it STILL doesn’t mean you’re stuck. If you get creative, you can find OTHER ways to obtain the parts you need make something.
Thank you very much, that is the most helpful sponsor tip I have recieved.