The Tahoma Robotics Club recently purchased a CNC mill that we got delivered to us yesterday. Today, we got the mill moving and running GCODE via the Mach3 Mill control interface. When we first connected to the mill, we were unable to move the X axis but after a complete reset of all the machines (mill controller and computer) and reseating of the parallel cable, we got control of that axis and ran a program that was cutting in mid-air.
Unfortunately, we cut a lubricating tube because our Z-limit switch didn’t function. Thankfully, that part is easily replaceable.
The mill is actually a manual -> CNC conversion done by IH CNC. Kudos to them as they gave us help over the phone, even at 21:00 their time zone.
I’ll eventually post pictures.
I’m back home again, after a slightly disappointing Autodesk Oregon Regional. There were some Super Bowl XL like calls, but we did fairly well nonetheless. We lost in the semi-finals to the eventual winning alliance.
We are working on making improvements to our robot, that hopefully will give us a better performance on the field.
Today, the qualification matches at the Autodesk Portland Regional finished up, with us performing much better. We ended up in 34th seed. When the top 8 seeded teams were choosing, we were lucky enough to be chosen by Team 8, The Vikings, and Team 1983, Skunkworks.
At the beginning of the elimination tournament, our first match we touched the opposing alliance’s tower during the finale, and judges are deciding h0ow to handle that situation during the elimination, they are claiming our entire alliance got disqualified, after they had said our robot just got a red card, which meant only our robot could not complete next match.
I’m slightly confused by the situation, but I am very pleased that we made it into the elimination tournament.
Here at the competition, because of certain pieces not coming together correctly, and our head programmer makes some very bad decisions. He blows off time that could be used. We’ve had so many issues, that we thought all the problems were fixed before the competition.
Also to facilitate more ranting, one of the mentors decided he has so much knowledge and that he needs to take over the club’s website. Thing is, he ain’t smart, at all. He doesn’t know about the PulseAudio exploit and went and used Fedora 8, a vulnerable version, in a world facing environment. The opposite of a good idea.
So now I’m debating whether I should just quit the club because I can’t get those two problem people out of my way from participating the way I want to.
I’m in my bed at my hotel, in Portland. Tomorrow starts the practice day for the Autodesk Oregon FRC Regional. We have some work to do on our robot, but we hope to be in practice matches by 13:00 (1:00pm). We brought our CNC mill, so we’ll have peak efficiency and ability.
I’m waiting for the school announcements to end, or mention the competition I’m going to. Oh look, they didn’t mention it. I’m still excited for the competition.
We got a loaner trailer for our stuff, while our own trailer is finished being made and decorated. We were packing it last night, and we must finish that today.
I’ll post from Portland.
Yes, I am again going to Portland for a robotics competition, again at Rose Quarter.
I just need two more teachers to sign my permission form, then I am leaving on Wednesday, after school.
I’m driving down with other robotics club students, and we’ll make the drive fun.
There will be more when I get down there.
EDIT: All my teachers have signed my permission form, so I’m good to go!
The date for FIRST Robotics Competition teams to ship off their robots is drawing nearer. I’m in the Tahoma Robotics Club, and I am getting to see our robot come together. We hope that our robot will do very well at the Portland and Seattle Regionals, taking us to the National Competitions at Atlanta.
The Build Season started on January 9th, with the season kickoff. On that day, FIRST announces the game robots are to play in competition that season. After the announcement of the game, our club went back to our school to think of strategies to play the game this year. We get 6 weeks to design and build the robot from scratch.
Our team has a fairly long way to go, and only 8 days to get there. I’m feeling that we’re going to finish just barely ahead of time, and we’ll do very well at competitions.
Yes, the Holidays draw closer. Today is the last full day of school for Tahoma students, and tomorrow is a half day.
How are you celebrating your Winter break?
I don’t know about you, but in our school, if everyone does bad, the grades of everyone are adjusted. I can understand that the teachers want students to do better in school, but this is NOT the way to do it.
Class curves are intended to raise students’ grades above the fail line. Many students see this as a way of slacking off. We’re not talking about just one student slacking off, we’re talking about hundreds of students failing the class and hoping for a bailout from students. Class curves inspire students to slack off, not do better in school. Here’s why:
The moment that students hear that the class has a curve, many of them are inspired to slack off. They know that, even if they do bad, their grades will automatically improve by a few percent and not look as bad. Everyone starts failing, and then the teacher doesn’t want students to fail, so a curve is introduced to bump up everyone’s grades.
I like to compare this with lowering the standard. Allowing students with a D average to pass. Admitting students with a 2.0 GPA to get in college. We’re lowering the standard by arbitrarily raising everyone’s grades. Get rid of this!