Thank You FIRST HQ for Power Up! Preparations

After two weeks of Power Up! game play for FRC, I want to give out a huge thank you FIRST staff. My guess is that many event coordinators, field setup volunteers, and logistics managers agree with me.

During the last two years of Stronghold and Steamworks, field setup, management, reset, tear down, storage, and transportation has been difficult. This past off-season, FIRST received much feedback requesting improvements in these areas. During the Festival of Champions and the Supporters’ Summit, FIRST told us that they have improved in this area and they are making things better for 2018.

They said it and they delivered.

Sure, we have a few imperfections (bad welds on scales, cube covers not being as available as we all wished, ESD issue with the scale lights), but these issues are minor compared to the issues during the past two years.

I can’t speak for them, but I hear that the FTA’s and event coordinators for international events are happy.

This is a big deal. This is huge. FIRST staff deserves a big pat on the back.

Please join me by providing a congratulatory .gif for FIRST.

Andy B.

Great, now they can address Bag Day.

+1^. (To Andy Baker’s OP, not the one above.)

Thank you, FRC HQ Staff and GDC. Smiling faces of field volunteers tell the story of your success.

Our Week 2 event (MISJO) ran very well. No field problems apart from the minor stuff Andy mentioned. Set-up and disassembly were quick and easy, especially when compared to the previous two years.

Like normal, week 1 was a bit hectic. But their fix for the light string issue, while perhaps not ideal, is certainly effective. Matches at the two regionals in Duluth last week went almost flawlessly - it was actually too good, as both fields ended at pretty much the same time on both days, affecting speakers that were needed for both ceremonies! But honestly, I’d rather have that issue than have fields being delayed by hours!

We had someone with 35+ years of welding experience working on the field parts during setup on Wednesday, which was a huge plus. Whoever is getting those fields next should have a good time!

I have been pleased with how easy the field has been to set up and how it has run. The game has potential to be the best game FIRST ever had too. I can’t wait to see it at MSC and IRI!

Just want to point out that Andy has been thoroughly out-gif’d by Michael. :smiley:

Posts like this make me look forward to field setup tomorrow at NYTR! Thank you FIRST.

Thank you FIRST HQ!!!

…for creating such an efficient and relatively trouble free field that has us thinking about 13 or 14 matches for teams at District Events?

While I am not a field volunteer, I would like to thank FIRST **from the perspective of a team competing **for working on this and making it happen.

Last year in particular was exceedingly frustrating. At the week #1 district event in 2016 we had no practice matches at all and started the competition matches several hours late. Although the field volunteers and the teams present truly came together and figured it out to make it happen, it was a long arduous process for everyone. Crazy long days to deal with missing parts, etc and trying to make up for all the lost time.

This year it was smooth sailing (although I will note that we attended week 2 not week 1 this year). For the team experience improvement this year I want to say:


As Frank and NEFIRST know full well, last year was a nightmare during week 1. This year my team had basically 0 field issues that weren’t addressed in minutes. This made week 1 much more bearable.

On that note, I’m not sure if it has something to do with updates to the Rio, AP firmware, default code, or just better wiring on our part, but I do greatly appreciate the fact that for the first time in the 12 years I’ve been doing FRC, my teams robot did not have a single disconnect during a match (hopefully that remains the case at our next event).

I’ll also add that the inclusion of the REV PoE adapter in the Kit of Parts was an excellent idea on the part of FIRST/REV and should definitely help teams avoid loosing coms as often (though I do wish there was a male-to-male version of it so we could connect it directly between the Rio and the Radio without an extra cable, for those of us who mount them close enough together to do that).

Andy - thanks for putting this out there - this event coordinator definitely agrees. FIRST HQ deserves a lot of credit for providing us with a simple and functional field design (at least compared to the past two years) that allows the district events to be successful and adhere to the tight schedules.

After the last two years of events, I wasn’t sure that I would want to continue volunteering for the program. After having a successful event this past weekend I am finally excited about this again. It was nice, for the first time in several years, to be able to take the volunteer team out to dinner after we finish loading the trucks because the field worked, we were able to stick to the schedule, and it didn’t take us 5 hours to tear down and pack up the field.

I agree. Radio dropouts were not a significant problem so far this year.

I think it was designed backwards, though. The way it is, the power wires go directly to the AP, and teams can’t just run a single network cable to a faraway device.

(though I do wish there was a male-to-male version of it so we could connect it directly between the Rio and the Radio without an extra cable, for those of us who mount them close enough together to do that).

(It’s easy enough to splice power into the correct wires of a standard Ethernet patch cable yourself, if you want to be that elegant about it.)

Ehh, I don’t trust myself to make something durable enough TBH. We tried making a set of 1in long (yes, you read that correctly) male to male cables, but even those were of somewhat dubious quality, so we went with a 6in patch cable instead.

There are plenty of cheap alternatives on Amazon that are wired this way. For example, each of these costs about $8 and you get 4 of them (Note: The only difference between a POE splitter and a POE injector is the type of plug on the power side. Once you cut those off to stick the wires into the VRM, the two are identical.)

I’ve seen these ones run just fine on robots with no issues.