Saturday, February 6. 2010
Ice Cream for Breakfast Day!
This is a special entry to capture our celebration of Ice Cream for Breakfast Day. This is actually a “real,” well kinda, celebration and one of my favorite team traditions.
Here is a website with a great explanation of the history of the day: Ice Cream for Breakfast
Starting at 9 am, we had two giant tubs of ice cream – chocolate / vanilla / strawberry and one giant tub of rainbow sherbet. Toppings galore! Chocolate sprinkles, rainbow sprinkles, fresh bananas, blueberry toppings (two types), strawberry jelly, chocolate syrup / sauce / topping in many styles, whipped cream, Reeses pieces… all the makings for a great sundae! Some students made root beer and coke floats.
Stay posted for the rest of today’s blog including the second half of our special food day, Breakfast for Dinner!
And now for the rest of the day!
After the team was settled in for its daily activities, a small group headed to McQuaid HS to spend some time with Rookie Team FRC 3173. Mentors Larry, Kim and Tom K. joined student Becca in sharing some of our mechanical expertise. They were pleased with how well the young team was doing, and reported that it had about 30 active members. While Becca taught some Inventor skills, the others helped with some structural design and with some of the calculations for the winch that the team is considering. We are glad that they invited us to visit!
What we had for Lunch! Vaughn’s family provided us with cheese and pepperoni pizzas, chicken wings (which turned out to be a popular item) macaroni and cheese, cookies and brownies. Thanks for feeding us!
Integration notes: (Even though I was at robotics, I’ve decided that Parentor Val does such a great job with the notes…)
Field – Carpet is being put on the bumps. Test the robot today if possible – cafeteria may not be available tomorrow. Should have tower and ball return done tonight.
Electrical – Received Digi-Key order (Jaguars, PWM materials). Tested whether electromagnet would interfere with other components – it won’t if it’s more than 3 inches away, which shouldn’t be a problem. Need to see if it’s worth trying to split the electrical board in two, in order to keep mass centered. Need to actually build the board(s). Need more CAN bus parts. Need to order Lexan ASAP. Need to check servo supply.
Controls – Parts are in. Should be done by the middle of next week!
Mechanical kicker – Creating drawings in Inventor and sending to Harris (80% have already been sent). Should finish drawings for welded parts today. Team 340 may be able to help with welding if Harris is backlogged. May go to Van Bortel on Monday evening for milled parts.
Mechanical hanger – Finished drawings and winch assembly in Inventor, need to send to Harris. Gave drawings to Mechanical kicker team and discussed where to mount the hanger mechanism.
Drivetrain – Need to work on bumpers! Will have a solid plan by Tuesday.
Programming – Drove the robot over the bump! Debugged a bunch of stuff. Will finish autonomous – high-level is done, low-level is still needed. Need to test kicker. Need to be ready to test controls when done, which should be soon!
Things going on today!
My favorite phone call overheard… Mike H. (student) to voice on other end of the phone, “Hello, I’m looking for 6 pin, RJ 16 modular telephone connectors.” I don’t know why, but it just tickled me.
The Chairman’s essay was still in the process of being pared down even as others kept suggesting things that needed to be in it. I keep thinking I should explain this. To submit for the Chairman’s award, FIRST’s highest award, the students write an essay of no longer than 10,000 characters, including spaces and punctuation. Not a lot of characters to tell it all!
Patron Drive Parentor Melinda reported that we were over $7000 in receipts with more still coming in!
A whole row of students were working on our web pages today, checking links, filling in blanks, updating photos and information. Mentor Kim joined then to provide some technical expertise. This was just the boost that our web site needed to get it ready for competition!
The t-shirt design was finalized! And the shirts have been ordered for this year. You can see part of this years logo on the Who We Are page of our website. Team Leader Larry also placed the order for the lunches for the team @ FLR and was working on sorting out the drive-team applications.
What we had for dinner! Breakfast for Dinner Day! We decided that we would cook in the cafeteria today and not make Mrs. Martina’s room smell like bacon for the next few weeks. We had problems as we do every year with popping breakers when we plug in all the griddles and waffle makers, but were finally successful when we tapped into the outlets in the school kitchen. Paul’s family provided us with egg casseroles: broccoli and cheese and ham and cheese and a boat load of sausage links! On top of that we cooked pancakes and chocolate chip pancakes, waffles, scrambled eggs and bacon, turkey bacon, facon and fausage (fake bacon and fake sausage). Our traditional bacon cook, Rob, joined us and yes, he cooked the bacon! There was numerous toppings for the waffles and orange juice, apple juice, and milk to drink.
The team made a presentation to the mentors of these adorable little robot trophy awards!
We celebrated Alex W’s birthday with cake from his mom and sang again (badly).
While the mentors and parentors were not paying attention, several students, Jason, Crystal, Tom G. and Calvin sneaked into the kitchen and cleaned it up! Beautifully! I love our students!
After we all rolled away from the tables, the team returned to finish up some activities for the evening. Here are some of the daily updates:
The programming team fixed some PIDs, worked on the autonomous modes and worked on kicker programming. The drive programming is being tested on Thunderplucker.
Hooks to wrap the cords for the joysticks on the control box have been made, and Mike H. made a right-angled USB cable. Mentor Eric A. had programmed all the remaining controls students and has placed them in autonomous mode to complete some of the soldering.
The press release for the Rochester Rally was completed.
The field team was very productive today, sprawled all over the cafeteria. The goals were painted and the foam was installed. The towers were built, painted and then taken apart again. The ball returns were assembled and mostly complete. One was put up in place and tested. Since the field team is taking the next week off, they made sure that ALL of the bumps were carpeted. Then they packed everything back away into the pod. Jason was hoping not to have to take pieces apart and wanted to try to stack things three high!
Mechanical was in the icebox all day long in Inventor. Another 9-10 parts are ready to send to Harris. The vice got mounted on a bench in the shop. Several students worked on fabricating parts in the shop.
After joining us for dinner, Alex, a mentor for the Pittsford team, came and shopped at Thunder Mart (went through our inventory looking for parts that the rookie team needs, but are surplus to us). He was impressed by our organization in the shop closet!
Ok, now I’m really done!