Ikea Bag

August 2, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Competing, Running Your Team

This robot coach's tribute to the trusty 99¢ IKEA bag, so helpful for team travel.

Life saver ring

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

As competition season approaches, I thought I’d pass along some tidbits to new mentors about how to make your first tournament as stress-free as possible for yourself and your students. Be sure to look down at the bottom of this post for info on volunteering, and supplies you may not know to bring. (A big […]

RobotC logo

July 14, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Programming

Teams checking out RobotC might be confused about the software's graphical interface versus text-based, versus what-the-heck-is-Natural Language. Read on to get the scoop!

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July 7, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, General, Running Your Team

I thought I’d tell everyone about a few larger-ticket items that our team has purchased, that we are very happy to have spent the money on. If you miraculously find your team with excess funds, you might want to splurge on one of these. SunLabz Battery Charger for Joystick AAAs Can’t say enough how much […]

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July 6, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Programming

I’m starting a new segment of this blog, with posts devoted to our transition from easyC to RobotC, sharing resources and tips that I learn along the way. DIscussed here: Why are we switching? and RobotC resources. Why are we switching? There are several reasons that we are making the move to RobotC. We’re ready. […]

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June 20, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Competing, Running Your Team

In our first season (Nothing But Net), our team zeroed in on a double-flywheel design and ran with it; we didn’t know enough (or own enough parts, honestly) to brainstorm and prototype different designs. In our second season (Starstruck), we figured out some missing steps and did a more thorough analysis of the game rules […]

In The Zone - field view

May 12, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Competing

If you are a coach or mentor out there reading this, I implore you to learn the rules like the back of your hand. (Act fast! Download your rule book today!) As a mentor, you should know the rules at least as well as any student on your team, and hopefully much better than that. […]

VEX Joysticks

May 5, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Programming

In doing my research on motors and motor controllers, and following various threads in the VEX Forum, I came across one that totally blew my mind—mapping joystick movements to custom motor power levels to achieve a linear, one-to-one connection between the joystick’s motion your robot’s actual movement, eliminating dead zones, and making full use of […]

VEX robot battery

April 24, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Electrical

Here's my latest epic post, this time on VEX robot batteries, their performance characteristics, and ways to evaluate their health & capability over time. I hope coaches & mentors out there find it to be a useful reference/resource.

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April 7, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Electrical, Programming

Today I want to relay some more useful information from the awesome jpearman on the VEX Forum regarding motor ports 1 & 10 that will affect the way you’ll want to allocate ports in your robot design. I seem to be writing encyclopedic posts lately, so here’s today’s table of contents: Inside the cortex: 2 CPUs […]

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April 6, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Electrical, Programming

Slew rate refers to a programming method to slowly increase the power to a VEX motor, in measured steps over a set period of time, to reduce the possibility of current spikes which can trip the motor's internal circuit breaker.

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March 31, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Electrical, Mechanical

Here are some easy-to-implement tips from our team on labeling VEX motors and wires to save your team some time.

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March 12, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Electrical, Mechanical

This post was originally going to be a more advanced discussion of uses for IMEs, but in my research for this post, all of the random problems we had with our robot this year got connected together into one big AHA (or something) moment, and thus the new title of this post.

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February 27, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Mechanical

Thanks to the coach of Team 3547: Virus for offering us this list of must-have tools for the lab, beyond the list of wrenches in the VEX catalog. I learned a few new things today that will go on our next shopping list!

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February 16, 2017 by SuperRenegade | Coach's Corner, Electrical, Mechanical

Integrated motor encoders (IMEs) have many uses, but the myriad of details can get the beginner a little tripped up. Here's the basics.