Team 2611 Jacktown Vectors 2023 Open Alliance Build Thread

Hello everyone!

Thanks for checking out our build thread! Doing this on Chief Delphi is totally new to us, but the idea of an open alliance isn’t. As with many other teams we work with several local teams and learn a ton from them, so this year we thought we’d make it more public and have a thread on here! I have to give huge shout out to @Ty_Tremblay for being a major part of this! We were lucky enough to be picked by 319 in 2019 (when Ty was drive coach) in Detroit at the World Championship and I have been following this ever since then! We learned a ton last year from openalliance so we thought the best way to show that appreciation is to do this ourselves this year and hopefully someone else can learn from us!

Here are a few things about us!

• We are located in Jackson, Michigan and are out of the Jackson Area Career Center. In Michigan Career Centers are the “old school” Career and Tech Education (CTE) Schools or as some people may know it the vocational school. We are very proud to have the facilities we have there!

• Here is a link to a walking google map of our career center. If you navigate to Engineering, you will find our work space and lucky for me, my classroom. Jackson Area Career Center - Build Matterport Virtual Tour |

• Since we are out of a career center, we pull students from multiple schools in our county. Although nowadays, thanks to the generous grants from the State of Michigan and the hard work at FIM, most schools do have a team of their own. That just allows us to work together with more teams locally!

• We have a full field (see the link above) to do our drive practice and testing which we open to any teams that want to make it!

• We have multiple machines with which to do work; A knee mill, saw stop table saw, dewalt “chop” saw, drill presses, mini-mills, lathe, multiple 3-d printers, multiple band saws, sheet metal / polycarbonate shear and brake, and our work horse and baby a Shop Sabre 23 CNC router!

That’s most of the basics of who we are! We will have several other students and myself that will be updating this thread as the season moves along. My hope is to get a viewpoint from myself the lead mentor, and the student viewpoint on how we execute our program. We will be sharing our prototyping process, our build schedule, any details of our designs, manufacturing processes, programming, and anything else we think of or anything anyone else thinks of!

Here’s our current projecting project timeline of the build season in a .pdf file and as a Microsoft project file.
2023 Build Timeline Jacktown Vectors V2.pdf (481.2 KB)
Microsoft Project Timeline: Team 2611 Project Timeline

Thanks everyone for checking this out and I look forward to many more updates!


I wanted to share a kickoff strategy worksheet that another team had posted several years ago (sorry I can’t remember who had posted it!), that we adopted and have continued to use and modify over the years. I make enough copies that every student has one at kickoff and we start filling it out that day. It does a good job at getting us up to speed on what the rules are, how the game is played, what the field is like, etc. It also gets every student involved right from the start. It leads into two different key components for our season: 1) the strategic design sessions that will take place over the first half of the first week (thank you to @Karthik for sharing this many times over in the past) , 2) scouting before and at the events. Understanding of the game has been a key component to our scouting and the buy in of students to do scouting.

2023 2611 Kickoff Strategy Worksheet.docx (40.2 KB)
2023 2611 Kickoff Strategy Worksheet.pdf (150.4 KB)

Thanks again for checking in on our Build Thread!


For day two of the build season:
We started off with finishing tearing down the field from the 2022 competition. This included taking apart the hangar and the hub whilst also taking measurements and laying the grounds for the 2023 Charged Up field. Whilst some of the members continued with that many of us went to the whiteboards and began to talk and think about the strategy of point values and cycles for each strategy I will have the pictures of what we talked about down below). Then we began to design some ideas for transporting the cones and cubes and also ways to balance them. We made a decision that for our week one competition we wanted to get cones from the human player station and transport them across the field and onto the middle and high peg. After that, we quickly organized the snacks provided by the parents. Then we wrapped up today by talking about everything we accomplished today and our steps going forward.


February 9th 2023
We have made huge progress! We have multiple groups working on different thing. First off, we have our programming team who have been working hard on an auto balancing program for autonomous and end game. In the past few days they have programmed out any bugs or mistakes in the code, as well as texting the program on our robot from last year.
On top of this, we have a team working on our arm for picking up from both the floor and the loading zone. There was a lot of time spent on calculating the best and most efficient lengths of all three parts. We refer to the three parts as arm A, B, and C. Our A arm is the arm attached to the robot, our C arm is the middle arm, leaving the C arm to be the one that has the claw attached to it. We worked on many claw designs including a scissor hand, a sliding hand, and a pneumatic hand. None of them worked well enough to pick up both the cube and the cone. Just as we were started to rethink our designs Rembrandts posted their claw design which was exactly what we wanted. We are now working on that and iterating it, only slightly, to make it work for our robot.
Another team that has been working extremely hard is our scouters. Our two main scouters have been working on perfecting our scouting system. Our team has always believed in scouting heavily. One of the ways we would do this was prescouting. However, because of our week one competition we will not be able to prescout this year. This makes it especially important for our scouters to perfect the program we use to scout each individual team. We have also finalized our logo for this year and have started working on buttons and finalizing our website for many different things including T-shirts, sweatshirts, zip ups, water bottles, socks, lanyards, sweatshirts, and more.
On top of all of this we have been working on building a full field to invite other teams to practice on, and to give students an opportunity to follow a specific design. As of right now, we have one side of the field completely built, charge station and all. On the other side, we have finished the loading station, the nodes and are working on the loading station.
We also have a couple students working on bumpers, spare bumpers and checking all of our batteries to make sure they are set for competitions.
Everyone on the team has been doing an amazing job doing everything that needs to get done, and fixing any issues that have come up, and let’s just say there has been many.
Everyone is so excited to compete at Spring Arbor and we wish you all the best of luck!


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And here are just a few pics and videos!

Testing of auto balance:

Auton 15 pt path:

Teleop robot 2 on screen with robot 1 in auto balance mode:

Robot 1

Electrical panel:

I don’t allow chairs, and this is how I can tell they are getting tired!

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Request for all non omnidirectional teams. Please practice driving up into the charge station and turning 90 degrees. It makes balancing so much easier if one robot does not move.

Here is a video of not turning 90.

And here is a video of the first robot turned 90.

Here’s another combination we came up with today!

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So we finally got our double jointed arm moving yesterday! All of us were so excited to get it moving, no one got a good video of it. Monday programming will be working with it tweaking the controls and adding a PID use with the encoders.

We did get this short video picking from the load station. Team 2611 pick from the load station! - YouTube

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Finally realized I need to get a video of out V1 robot driving. We have found lots of issues with this one and will be building a V2 for our week 1 competition, even though we will be cutting that timeframe close! But there are some pretty significant improvements we need to make for then and I’m confident the students can pull it off.

We do a lot of work via white board. We are in the middle of several upgrades to build our V2 robot and just wanted to show one of our major communication tools that we use. Here are pictures of 5 different white boards that I have in the room and what we are doing to communicate among the different teams of students and mentors.


February 21th, 2023

Hello!! Much has been happening sense you last heard from us. We have been so busy working I almost forgot to update!

Our programmers have been perfecting our auto balancing program, which you can see in this video Team 2611 Auto balance with another KOP turned 90 - YouTube Our programmers have also gotten all 6 of our autons down to 13 seconds. In our auton our robot can leave the safe zone and balance on the charge station giving us 15 autonomous points. However, we are working to get cubes and/or cones on the lowest node in auton as well. They have also finished working on getting an absolute zero on encoders, along with finishing pneumatics for our claw.

Speaking of the claw! Our claw crew has cut out many iterations of it onto polycarb and are working to get it functioning as we hope it will. Here is a video of our most recent working claw Team 2611 pick from the load station! - YouTube It has been working as we need to, however we will keep trying new designs until it is perfection. Along with this, we have connected arm A to the robot and made sure all of the motors are correct and B and C are coming together.

On top of all of this, we have made 886 buttons! Don’t forget to come to our pit and grab one!


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