Thursday, January 3, 2019

Spectrum 2019 Resource Collection

Every year we try to document a little bit more of our knowledge and procedures for other teams to use and benefit from. This year we have released a varieties of guides that teams can learn from. We have collected them all here so you can see them in one place.

Protopipe - Blog Post - Documentation - CAD Files


Protopipe is a system of 3D printed parts that allow you to easily connect 1/2" PVC pipe into robot mechanisms and test fixtures. It's designed to be cheap and easy to use so that teams can iterate their designs faster. Several teams have been printing out the connectors and testing the system this off-season and we have gotten some positive feedback. There is still room for improvement but we think it will help us and other teams develop better systems this season.

Guide to the FRC MCC


We have been asked a lot about which parts teams should buy before the season. That's a really hard questions because you need to know the goals of the team. So in this document we outline the concept of a Minimum Competitive Concept Robot, give examples of teams that successfully build MCCs, and also a list of items that we would use to build an MCC. If you are just starting out or have limited resources these are the robots you should view as your inspiration. 

FIRST Choice and Voucher Recommendations

We made a list of our recommended items to use your Vouchers and FIRST Choice credits to subliment your KOP.

Spectrum-Photon LED Animation Driver - Documentation - GitHub



Simple addressable LED control for FRC robots. This uses mostly COTS electronics and software to allow teams to add addressable LEDs to their robot and control them easily from a RoboRIO. This allows teams give feedback to their drivers using the LED strands or rings placed on their robot. Animations are handled on the microprocessor with the RoboRIO just sending simple serial messages to choose animations, colors, and other details.

Advanced Pneumatics Guide

We have gotten a lot of questions about our pneumatic system from our 2018 robot. We made some quick notes about the techniques we used to get a small and light system and also how we were able to use pneumatics to launch the cube. There are also some suggestions from other teams, special thanks to FRC#5406 for helping out with suggestions and edits.

Powder Coating Guide - PDF

This guide gives you a quick overview of the equipment and process we use to powder coat our parts for our robots. We have been doing this for 2 years now and spoke to several teams before starting to do it ourselves. The process isn't that complicated and you don't need to buy or build a large oven to be able to do most of the parts you need on an FRC robot.

Spectrum Recommended Software

A quick list of the most common software we use on Spectrum. There are alternatives to all of these but these are what we found works for us. 

Printable 500 Hex Collar 

Useful little printable hex collar. Great for load load applications and prototypes. Same thickness as a VEXpro Hex collar.

2018 3847 Robot CAD

CAD of our 2018 robot Infrared. Solidworks and Step file.

Updated FIRST $1000

We did a quick update to our FIRST $1000 list to make sure all the products were available to teams.

Spectrum 2018 Resource Collection

Here is the list of resources we released before last season, lots of that information is still useful today. 

- Spectrum

"You get a new year, you get a new start, you get a new opportunity." - Billy Butler

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