(Split Thread) Switching from VEX to FTC

Genuine question because I don’t really know - how hard is it to switch to FTC?

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On one level fairly easy. Just sign up for FTC instead of VRC. You will have a lot of new hardware to buy. Depending on where you are, you might have more or less competition in the area. Depending on how your school supports the program, it might be an option. So it really depends a lot on local factors different for every team.

Fixed that for you Daltz3. I meant VRC not FRC.

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Note that, to make the best usage out of FTC, you should limit the team to < ~8 students. Beyond that, you start assigning “busy work”. It’s a small scale program by FRC standards, and it’s totally okay to make multiple FTC teams.

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All VEX components are legal in FTC other than the control system. It wouldn’t be that bad of a switch over.

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This is completely impractical for almost all VRC teams. FTC is significantly more expensive and less available than VRC is.

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What’s your budget for the VRC teams? Many FTC teams here in MI have run years mostly parent -funded. I could probably operate mine reasonably well on $3k.

Could you provide some details on this statement? I’ve run a few FTC teams in the past so I’m familiar with building a championship-qualifying robot on a budget of about $500-$1000/year after we invested in the control system our first year. I’ve never run a VEX team so I’m completely unfamiliar with the pricing structure.

Happy to have an offline discussion as well, perhaps we can put together a document describing the cost structure differences and the true cost of switching from VEX to FTC for the community?

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Considering the fact that I already owned and am able to reuse a lot of my parts, building a robot this year was only about a $500 expense. Registration is $150, and each tournament is about $70 in my region.

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Issue is there’s some areas where FTC in unfeasible due to location. Some countries only have VRC, it wouldn’t be possible for them to go to competitions, especially with their budgets.

Getting hold of the control system for FTC is likely to be difficult. It is going to be out of stock for the rest of this season, and stock is probably going to be limited next season.

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We were having this discussion among some VEX teams earlier that I know. The problem is bigger as you have more students and want to register more teams. FTC as far as I know has a flat cost per team registered but in VEX you save a ton by registering multiple teams at once.

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Overall it is fairly late to register for an FTC team this season, if you (reader) is interested in becoming an FTC team this year, be sure to reach out to your region’s PDP (Program Delivery Partner).

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As someone who has done both, I have to reiterate the FTC control system problem. There are teams that ordered in May still waiting, and teams like mine are stuck with a half functioning robot because control and expansion hubs are impossible to get. You need 1 to run four motors and another expansion hub on top of that to run 4 more.

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In theory you could also use a REV Spark Mini (Which also seems to be out of stock) allowing a team to run 5 motors off on one control or expansion hub.

Not really related to the previous posts but Vex 393 motors are legal in FTC as a servo so long as they are used with a VEX motor controller 29.

I really, really hope that FIRST wakes up and improves FTC. They need to pull a program together that’s remotely competitive with VRC if they want to draw students/schools away from Vex.

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Based on your team number it appears you’re a veteran team for FTC. Have you only had one Control/Expansion Hub in the past, or did the ones you previously used break? I ask because my experience with the teams in my region is that the veteran teams are fine while the rookies have scrambled to see if they find someone to loan/give them an Expansion Hub to pair with their late-arriving Control Hub that they got with their initial registration.

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Probably a program that doesn’t artificially cap its Championship event would help.

That was one of my gripes with FTC. My school could never afford FRC but we scraped by in FTC… but winning States as a 2nd pick and not being able to go to Championship because Worlds was like 160 teams was disappointing.

FTC growth could be even greater if they wanted it to be.

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I honestly think that it is pretty hard. Someone please correct me if I am wrong (I am trying to figure out this question too and these are my results)

Vex seems to cost $200 dollars for the first team you register and $150 for every additional team.

FTC has its registration costs at $295 per team. Additionally, if a team wanted to switch over, they would need to purchase a control hub, or an expansion hub with a phone. They would also need to get new robot batteries, chargers, and new wires. They would need to get a driver station(a phone or the new hub). I am not sure if they would need to purchase a controller, or if the Vex controllers work.

They would need to buy a bunch of new wires and new motors. For the motors, they would need to buy new wheels, axles, shaft collars, etc. Also, they would need to get new gears and other motion mechisms, as the vex ones wont fit on the existing axles. They would also need to watch where they buy their materials because of the different standards of measurements.

Did I forget anything? Did I get anything wrong?

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Uhhhh can you point me to where you found the number $6,000. Because that sounds like the FRC registration cost.

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