Please Only Answer Questions if you know the Answer!

I hate to come down on people but recently i have been seeing more and more people answering questions like:

“i think that is correct but i am not sure”
“I am pretty sure you would be fine with that”

Those posts are useless and potentially harmful.

In a perfect world everyone would read the rules and search before they post but i have come to accept the fact that doesn’t happen, but the biggest problem i see now is people giving wrong information in posts. Answering questions from what they think they know or from a previous year. So i ask you all if you don’t know the answer for sure please just don’t post. There are some teams out there that will take everything written on CD as the truth and this could seriously affect their season, if they never follow up on the answer received here.

Here is my suggestion: If someone posts a question that is in the rules, directly quote the rule. If you can’t do that or can’t find the exact rule DON’T POST.

Question: “Can we use 4 small CIM motors?”

Answer: " yes you can because of rule <R43>, Teams may utilize one or two additional small CIM motors (part #FR801-001) in addition to those provided in the kit of parts. This means that you may use up to four, and no more, small CIM motors on the robot."

Thank you all for your time and hopefully you will heed my recommendation.

Hey, this should be a sticky!

One word for Greg… Amen.

Listen to Greg, or his battle bot will come after you. I can’t agree more we just want to know whats right and whats wrong, rules have no grey area, and any of the Refs and Inspectors will tell you that.

This Year seams like the most of these etiquette posts. Thank you to all the mods and other people writing these posts! Keep up the good work!

I think you’ve got a point here, but I’m really not positive.


uHMMMM! Please search before you post:


“I Kid! I Kid!” (Triumph the Insult Comic Dog voice)

seriously just joking (looks to window for ChiefDelphi etiquette swat team) … you beat her to it by 6 minutes

(puts on negative reputation Kevlar vest)

Better to let someone know that you are not 100% positive about the answer you are giving them, then to give them an answer that you think is 100% correct and you turn out to be wrong (as that could be far more harmful).

Just my $0.02.

Not really. His (entirely valid) point is that it’s better to just not post at all.

Sciencenerd senses a certain… irony in this post. :slight_smile:

But I agree with Greg. If you can’t cite your sources, you don’t know it.

thanks for the answer to my question from another thread. i agree with you man. all the way. no maybes ever.

hey greg, when you coming to visit 340?

I agree partly, but half an answer might be better and more useful than no answer if nobody is 100% sure.

It is a problem if someone says that they’re sure but they really aren’t. As long as the poster says that they’re not sure, the asker can be wary of that and will have a place to start.

Very Much in agreement with you. I see what this thread is about often around here in CD, but that in of itself is not enough for me to want to impose any set of rules on anyones answers or questions on CD because no one is paid to give anyone great answers here, CD isn’t Customer Support its created by people willing to give there time and talent to further the cause of FIRST. whether its because you read the manual but cant quote it so you tell them " Yeah you can use them… but I’m 89% sure so check the manual too!" or if they want to try something new and wacky that you might have seen before or never thought of so you give them your opinions " Sure, The Hover Craft will work but it seems in your setup someone will die before it gets off the ground". Examples of not 100% Great Answers. But if theres anything you would want to come away with after reading the CD forums shouldn’t be “I Wish there was Less Spamming” but instead " People Try to Help when they can, wow :slight_smile: )

as for Information that may result in harmful or misleading, Insecurity in an answer is its own disclaimer. Start to worry when people give you the wrong answer on Purpose!


I wish I could agree with you but…
Many of those that are posting questions here have exhausted their ability to find the answer somewhere else. In many cases they are looking for quick answers that support their own thinking or interpretation. When the first answer that appears to be in agreement shows up, they stop reading the thread or ignore all other posts that have the answer. In the years that the moderators have been watching the forums I can tell you of many incidents were the answers were not only misleading but downright harmful if implemented. For team members who have not made themselves familiar with reading the rule book or getting a team member to post the question on the Q&A, the answer provided here may get implemented to the detriment of the team. I am particularly vigilant of false beliefs showing up in the motor, electrical or technical forums as these tend to produce the greatest effect on teams and robots. However skilled we are at watching the answers, we are all working on teams and have other interests that may keep us from seeing a post that has received 20 replies in an hour, and all of them untrue.
For a real world example, a poster of several years ago specified that a 50 amp charger not only charged the battery faster, but that it was completely safe. He went on to state that it was allowed by FIRST and that his team had used it for years without any damage or ill effects on the battery. His signature was “electrical engineer”. What this post was, in fact, was a young student in his first year on the team after a few days on the electrical sub team, who had heard something about 50 amp charging and filling in the blanks assumed it referred to his teams charger. Readers of that post immediately began ordering 50 amp chargers and some went out and purchased them that same day. All of this took place before a moderator was able to check out the post. Then, as now, 6 amp charging is the max allowed. Any current higher than 6 amps will damage the battery and 50 amps will likely result in battery damage or explosion. Not only were the higher current chargers not allowed, the rulebook specified that only the provided KOP charger could be used. Thankfully that charger did not end up at a regional event where an explosive battery could have harmed other students or caused a fire in the pits. If you don’t know specifics hold off posting until a knowledgeable person can respond. If you are only vaguely familiar with the rule book, state “Rule Rxx states … but I am unsure whether that fits your situation” or “That has been answered in the Q&A” and give the link.

Jumping into the fray of public, I’ll add my own, mostly counter to what is posted here.

Though I may not have extensive CD experience, I have used forums quite a lot for looking up information for various purposes. Part of the hard part of using them is (no offense) that any idiot with an internet connection can post in them. This is just what forums are. There are various systems (such as reputation on CD) that help to determine how knowledgeable someone in the community is. However, the bottom line is that your results when searching a forum will be only slightly better than your results using a “poll-your-audience” method on Millionaire. Again, that’s just a fact of forums.

When people post things saying, “I think you can use 4 CIM motors but I’m not sure” there is some information that can be gleaned out of that. Smart forum usage means that you take everything with a grain of salt. However, if everyone says “I think (x) but I’m not sure” then they are probably right.

Everyone is free to pay very close attention to these types of posts or ignore them completely, as they please. It’s our job as responsible and intelligent forum users to pick the good from the bad and base it around our own knowledge.

If someone were to ask an incredibly obscure rules question, especially if it were (to a certain extent) interpretable, and only people who were absolutely sure posted a response, that would not be as helpful as a general concensus from the community as a whole.


Go aaeamdar!!!

You are absolutly right. If you only want perfect responses, you aren’t going to get any, because no one wants to look in the rules for each and every thing. People have the right to post how they want, and you shouldn’t restrict them.

Also note that not everyone is perfect, and this definetly isn’t a perfect world.

well im pretty sure about that but i could be wrong but who cares its for ppl posting advice

HI im sorry and i do agree with you when i posted my last post i was just jokeing around and your right if you arent going to help then you shouldnt post anything up. If you can forgive me i would like to ask for your help and can you give me a positive reputation only if u forgive me.

forget about that reputation thing u dont have to

im posting to everyone because i was kinda of rude before so just to everyone