Why is no one spinning the control panels?

I feel as though it might be a bit weird to ask this. Perhaps my team and I are missing a “memo” here. But I rarely see anyone spin the color wheel. I would assume it is one of the easiest tasks to complete. My team and I have successfully built and tested our wheel with ease. So why is this function not as popular as I thought it would be?

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It’s just not worth it right now. It’s not worth more than a cycle for a high goal team, and so far no one has had enough power cells scored in a match to move on to the final stage. Expect to see a few teams start spinning the panel at later events, maybe it’ll happen in 5% of DCMP matches.


There’s no point spinning it unless you score enough balls, which is where most teams are falling short.


It is uncommon for alliances to get the 29 power cells scored in a match. In addition, once the alliances who are scoring that much get there, it is usually time to climb at that point. Strategically, it also might be less efficient if you’re able to score more than 10 points a cycle on average, unless you’re confident you’re going to get to stage 3 CAPACITY.


A lot of teams weren’t hitting the point where they could spin early on - the spins will come as the scores rise.

In Durham Final 2 this weekend both alliances completed the stage 2 spin but I don’t believe anyone hit the balls needed to do the Stage 3 spin.

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At Glacier Peak PNW, I remember seeing stage 2 capacity twice, but no one bothered with the wheel.

Our team decided that we were clearly outmatched in our last match (Q74) and were going to spin the control panel just to show we could do it for alliance selection, but then it was a close and feisty match and we ended up losing only because our generator switch wasn’t level.


It takes more time to spin the color wheel than it takes to score an equivalent amount of points for a high goal team. The only way that the color wheel is useful is for a ranking point and small point bonus in qualifications, but that ranking point requires 49 power cells scored, which I doubt will happen until Worlds.


It didn’t matter in week 1, as if you were at the point where you could spin for stage 2 your alliance had already won. It will be come more common to need the spin as the weeks go on.

Also side note, at Glacier Peak we had one match where the teams could have gone an extra RP for the spinner.

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It seems like it just isn’t obvious that the control panel can be activated for points. 1678’s alliance realized it a full minute after it was available in one of their SF matches. There are two tiny lights that denote a control panel can be activated. The team in the “1st pick” driver’s station is the one which can most-easily see it since it is constantly in their FOV. The rest of the alliance is likely completely unaware.

Maybe FMS can send something to the driver’s stations for the rotate indicator, similar to the position control? That would give teams a chance to make a custom SmartDashboard indicator.


Well they send the color over the game data, would admit rotations would be nice but I am using how many times we pass the desired color. Remember to keep in mind, your color sensor does not sense what theirs does.

I think I see what you’re getting at. I’m thinking more along the lines of a flag (true/false) which indicates the power port has reached capacity, therefore the control panel can be rotated 3-5 times for points. The actual rotation is still up to the team.

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I just want FIRST to use a sound que of Mark Hamill or Daisy Ridley asking R2D2/BB8 to do something whenever the color wheel needs to be activated. For the immersion. LOL

Smartdashboard/NT variable would be nice too.


Aha… Doesn’t the led strip on the goal indicate that?


Generally when alliances achieve Stage 2, they are close enough to the end game to not want to bother, or they seem to be in a zone of some sort.

For a lot of teams, scoring another cycle is about the same amount of time, which is 10-15 points versus 10 for rotation.

Later on in the season, I suspect we will see spinning the wheel as a thing that second round picks do to contribute without interrupting the flow of ball scoring as much.

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Eh, the problem is that it blocks the trench for the fast-cyclers. Unless you’re desperate for the rank point you’re almost better off not spinning it. I can see it becoming common to spin it right before hanging though.


Briefly. Those LEDs are also very difficult to see due to the massive super structure in the middle of the field.

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“A Phillips Color Kinetics LED light string around the OUTER PORT indicates CAPACITY progress. The string fills from the top center toward the side bottom nodes and is mirrored on the left and right. Nodes 1-4 and 27-30 fill per POWER CELL scored. Nodes above them light up in sections that differ depending on the CAPACITY of the current stage, as defined in Table 3-1. A node map is shown in Figure 3-18.”

Makes sense, I’ll make sure to have my drive coach paying attention to that.

Yep. I was reading down the thread wondering if anyone would mention this. Before I hit your comment I was composing a post that starts like this: Because it’s the equivalent of stopping your car on a 4 lane highway to pick up a quarter…

In the car after the competition the drive team agreed that the only useful wheel spinning robot would need to do it from the side, not by blocking the trench.


The 973-1678-4 alliance exceeded 50 power cells in several matches at LAN.