Datalog and graph screenshot

February 14, 2018 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Programming

RobotC's datalog functionality allows you to see your numerical data in complete detail, captured as your program is running. You can scroll through every iteration of a function and see the value of variables at each step. Plus one-click download to CSV, and one-click, customizable graphs. I love it.

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February 12, 2018 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Electrical

Did you know you're allowed to use 2 batteries on your VEX competition robot? Learn more to improve your robot's performance!

Close-up of zip-tied motor

February 9, 2018 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Competing, Mechanical

Here's a tip from the experienced teams: remove all the screws from your robot's motors, and instead hold it all together with a large zip tie. This method allows super-fast swapping out of motors and gears, and allows quick access to cool down your motors in between matches.

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February 5, 2018 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Programming

There is much information on the VEX Forum and various websites concerning PID, and most of them do a better job of explaining how it works and how to implement it than I could hope to achieve. Here's a post with links to the resources I found useful.

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January 27, 2018 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Mechanical

High-strength gears come with 2 kinds of inserts: metal ones with a square hole in the center, and plastic ones with a round hole. Read on to learn where and why you want to use those green inserts.

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January 27, 2018 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Programming

RobotC tasks are a powerful tool that allow you to write code that can run simultaneously (sort of faux-multitasking, since the cortex cannot actually do two things at once). This is pretty high on the list of why we switched to RobotC from easyC; if your robot can handle several movement instructions at once, you can do a lot more, for example, in those 15 seconds of autonomous.

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January 23, 2018 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Competing

The VRC Hub app is a great way to simulate match play in your lab, but the app itself is a little hard to find when searching. Tournament sound effects make it clear to everyone when time is up!

RobotC logo

January 19, 2018 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Programming

The ternary statement in RobotC is a way of writing an if-else statement all in one line, comprised of a (condition check), (what to do if true), and (what to do if false). Read on for some samples and explanation. While no one *needs* to write code this way, *everyone* should be able to read it to take advantage of code snippets available online.

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January 18, 2018 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Programming

Here are a few new (to us) programming concepts, courtesy of George Guillard. Read on for breaking in auton, slowing down as you approach a target, and an elegant button coding scheme.

RobotC logo

December 11, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Programming

Sign up for a free online class during 2017 December school vacation. Read this post for complete details about what is covered and how to enroll. Geared toward the newbie.

Bolts

November 29, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, General, Running Your Team

Most things in VEX robotics need to be purchased from VEX directly or through one of their resellers; many products used in VEX are custom/only-to-be-found at VEX On High. However, there *are* some items—identical to VEX parts—that can be purchased elsewhere, and are thus legal to use on a competition robot. Here's a listing of those cheaper sources, organized by type of part, with links.

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November 12, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Programming

Here's a simple programming concept that was new for me this year, which grew out of moving to RobotC. However, this method can be used in (and recommended for) any language; examples are given here for RobotC and easyC.

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November 11, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Programming

This post is part of my journey from easyC to RobotC. I will post things here as I learn them, that might be helpful to others who are also new to this language. This week, I learned how to program a joystick to drive a chassis. Unlike easyC, the standard text-based RobotC does not have […]

Autonomous driving path

October 31, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Competing, Programming, Running Your Team

Testing a robot's 15-second autonomous program will likely take several hours, even for a simple task. Here are some tips on managing the process for greatest efficiency, as well as managing people's expectations, and getting the whole team on board for what's needed.

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October 31, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Competing, Programming

If you're new to using sensors in your autonomous code, you'll want to read this. A kill timer can break your robot out of a while loop if it's been running past a reasonable length of time, preventing gear-grinding, stalling, and the like.