Second Regional Event Registration
Registration for second events will begin on October 25th. Spots for many regionals will fill quickly so be sure to register early if you plan to attend a second event. If you have not yet registered for your first event, please do so as soon as possible.
Upcoming Training Opportunities
1. Saturday, November 3: BAA Workshops at JHU APL
The Baltimore Area Alliance will host an Education Day on Sat. Nov. 3, 2012 sponsored by the JHU/APL STEM Program Management Office. The workshops are free, but registration is required. A $5 pp donation is requested to cover lunch. The workshops will be held from 8:30am – 4pm at the JHU/APL in Laurel.
To see the tentative agenda and location, and to register, visit: http://www.eventbrite.com/event/4463482396
These workshops are open to students, mentors, parents, and supporters of FRC in Maryland.
Kickoff registration has begun. The Chesapeake Regional Planning Committee is planning a local kickoff event at Capitol College again this year. Teams can register through TIMS. You’ll also be able to choose your delivery method for your kit of parts. Keep in mind that if you elect to have your Kit of Parts shipped directly to you, you are responsible for the cost and you will receive your kit well after kickoff. It is highly recommended that you choose to pick up your kit of parts at your local kickoff event.
Registration for the Championship waitlist will open on October 25th for those teams that did not compete at the 2012 Championship event. Not many of the waitlist spots are expected to be released this year so your best chance is to get as high up on the list as you can.
Preparation for Build Season
There are several things teams can do in the next few months to prepare for the build season ahead. Here are a few ideas:
- Familiarize yourself with COTS suppliers: AndyMark, Banebots, McMaster-Carr, IFI, Online Metals, Speedy Metals, etc. Many teams use these suppliers as a starting point.
- Setup purchase orders with the suppliers you plan to use, or plan to pay by credit card. Contact the sales teams for each and see what your options are. If you plan to use credit cards, work out reimbursement procedures ahead of time.
- Find local suppliers for metals (6061 aluminum tubing and plates) and plastics (Polycarbonate sheets). One local example for central Maryland is EJ Enterprises.
- Contact local machine shops to establish a working relationship and possible labor donations. Figure out how to communicate your machining needs (CAD, drawings on paper, etc.) and your timelines now to avoid issues come January.
- Set up test boards for pneumatics and electronics for use during prototyping. If you are a rookie, you won’t have the parts to do this yet but you can read up on the technical documentation from last year so you’re ready to do this as soon as you receive your parts.
- Standardize your hardware and pre-order several sizes. My recommendation would be to use 2-3 sizes of socket cap screws such as 8-32, 10-32, and ¼-20 and order many lengths of each. You may also want to familiarize yourself with aluminum pop rivets as a great, lighter alternative to screws.
- Pre-order electrical quick connectors and ring terminals. I would recommend fully insulated connectors for 10-12 and 18-22 gauge wire at a minimum.
- Purchase commonly used wiring. I highly recommend using red and black zip cord to minimize the number of electrical runs; one supplier is MCM Electronics. Minimum required wire size is determined by breaker size- for 40A breakers: 12 AWG, 30A breakers: 14 AWG, 20A breakers: 18 AWG, sensors: 24 AWG. I would recommend using 10 AWG for 40A and 30A breakers to reduce resistance.