Where can we get Power Cells?

A quick heads up, I rant a bit about the lack of Power Cells supplies

We got only one Power Cell in the KOP and its outrages as the robot can carry 5 at a time.
Andymark is out of stock for the offical Power Cells and buying a similar ball isnt an option as the shooting mechanism might work with this offbrand ball but not with the Power Cell.
Anyway when AndyMark gets the Power Cells back in stock, the shipping (at least to Israel) is way way way way overpriced at 666.06$ for shipping alone (24 Power Cells)
I think First MUST include more game pieces in the KOP especially when each time (at least in Israel) pay over 15K$ for registration (for 2 district event, not including any championship)
AndyMark (or any First supplier) MUST prepare a large stock of Game Pieces especially because there is such a big demand of Game Pieces after the kickoff and during the build season ( they are quite overpriced anyway)

Anyways, is there any alternative to get Power Cells?
Are we going to let this supplier slow many teams down during the build season because they didnt prepare enough Power Cells?
We can’t do proper prototyping and designing for the robot since we have only one Power Cell


The game manual states the supplier they suggest:

You may be able to get cheaper shipping from the manufacturer of the balls, FlagHouse, Inc. Here is a link for their pack of 24 balls. I also agree that power cells should be easier to obtain.

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Also, as with all things international shipping: If you think something is way out of whack, it never hurts to contact AndyMark and ask them to verify the shipping. The shipping calculator is programmed by humans.

Source: I worked there.


I really wish we could pay an extra fee to get extra game pieces in the KoP. I would pay a significant premium above market price for this. It just stunts your prototyping for weeks to not have access to game pieces.


Really all they have to do it provide multiple if the game calls for multiple game piece interaction.
One cargo and one hatch was fine. I think in 2012 and 2013 you received more than one ball/frisbee in the kit but maybe I’m misremembering.

Thanks for these suggestions,
Im still very disappointed that AndyMark, First’s exclusive supplier for this Power Cells cant handle the demand for game pieces and runs out of stock
I have contacted AndyMark about shipping yesterday but they run out of Power Cells so it will be delayed

Its more than reasonable to include 3-5 Power Cells in each KoP but 1 is simply unacceptable


If there is a limit on the number of game pieces a robot can carry, that should be the absolute minimum in the KOP.


Instead of a random vent into CD, why not provide useful feedback to FIRST? Reach out to those who put a lot of work into assembling the KOP each year. Kate Pilotte, Senior Kit of Parts Manager at FIRST is a very reasonable person. I am sure that she would appreciate suggestions to improve the usefulness of the KOP from year to year.


In 2017 there was no limit on the amount of Fuel Cells allowed on a robot (apart from a volume limit that will physically be IN the robot). First decied that 8 will be enough ¯\(ツ)

Sure we can contact them but I wanted to see that there were more teams that think like I do, that there are not enough game pieces on the KoP and at the Supplier.
Would it be better to contact them during the build season or after it(as there is nothing they can do for this build season)?

I wonder if AndyMark was trying to avoid the Fuelpocalypse and overcorrected. They still have over 40,000 in stock from 2017.


I wonder what happened with VEX carrying game pieces? Didnt they have them last season?

I believe that IFI (which owns VEX) made the game pieces last year. Thus VEX carried them and Andymark carried generic ones.

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Perhaps another option in the future would be to partner with a US team to purchase items such as the Power Cells.

As soon as I could after the kickoff was over, I placed an order for a 6 pack of the Power Cells. They are scheduled for delivery today.

I could have easily ordered more and passed some on. I can’t imagine shipping for 24 is really $666!

FIRST Choice Round 2 is open, with a 4 game piece limit as opposed to previous seasons of 1 game piece limits.

Put four game pieces as your first choice and you’ll be likely to get at least some of them.

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I see this blog post from September mentioned that teams in areas without good game piece availability were supposed to be given the option to get extra game pieces in exchange for FIRST Choice credits up front. Was that offered to Israel teams this year? If not and there is no good local supply option it seems like a miss.

I think it was a good move by FIRST when they started offering this as an option a few years back, though it has always been limited to International and very remote teams. With some teams really not needing many of the parts available in FIRST Choice and simply taking up valuable items to keep their BOM costs down it would be great if FIRST could extend the option to order extra game pieces in exchange for FIRST Choice credits to all teams for the 2021 season.

I have no idea how things translate to international shipping of large boxes, but in the US my shipping was still over $40 for a 24 ball box.

The quoted shipping price for 6 balls from Andymark to Virginia was over $40.

As I said I just ordered a 6 pack but my shipping was still $14 to Erie PA.

I should have captured a screenshot of it, because its now out of stock so I cant get a quote now
Maybe there was a problem with the algorithm calculation of the shipping price or something. I will contact AndyMark once the Power Cells comes back to stock. They are probably being bombarded with orders and emails right now.