Whew! We had an exciting Kickoff weekend here at AndyMark, with staff spread across three time zones attending events.  All the competition field preorders are on the way to teams eagerly awaiting them, and our web team has been working nonstop on adding new products and improving a few more product pages we're eager to share with you!

One thing we didn't do last weekend was travel to Florida for the Robot in 1 Weekend build, which was postponed due to Hurricane Irma.  Nick did, however, join in on a strategy hangout with the crew on Kickoff day from here in Indiana.  The build is happening this weekend, and Nick's bringing a 49-pound suitcase full of parts to make sure this robot can sling some glyphs!  Watch the Robot in 3 Days YouTube channel for updates through the weekend.
Are you getting the right newsletter?

We know that FIRST Tech Challenge teams have unique needs in their robot parts, so we're running a special FTC-focused newsletter from now until somewhere around Super Regionals in the early spring.  If you're receiving this, we think you're in the right place...but if we're thinking wrong, click one of the links below.  It'll take you to our FTC landing page, but it'll also update our records.

I don't want the FTC-focused newsletter, send me the one aimed at larger robots.

New S3 Tubing frames your robot quickly!

We let some details trickle out over Kickoff weekend, and now we're telling you all about our new Simple Super Structure system!

S3 is built around 16mm tube and gussets that will let you package more into the tight confines of an FTC robot.  Each length of S3 tube sports a common hole pattern, based on multiples of 16mm for compatibility with TileRunner and other building systems popular in FTC. (Yes, we use 6-32 screws as well!)  The fully-enclosed extrusion allows for greater strength than channels, and slots on two faces allow for adjustment with the safety factor that a loose bolt can't go more than 16mm out of alignment.

On the other two faces is a hole pattern with 8mm holes that pilot a Nub or  PicoBox gear, and when you use a double-boss Nub it opens up many more products too! This versatile tube will make it very easy to assemble arm structures we expect to be very popular this season.

A note from the engineering office regarding half-fields

This year, we offered full, half, and quarter field game sets.  We got a few calls from teams asking why a half field has one Cryptobox and Balancing Stone of each color, rather than all of one color like last year.  Here's the scoop.

By getting one red and one blue, you ensure that two half fields will always create a full field.  It also keeps our inventory levels more even between red and blue elements, which helps us keep everything in stock throughout the season.

And yes, there is a performance benefit to this too!  Color sensing is a big part of the game, as the jewels are a healthy scoring opportunity and distinguishing glyph colors may factor into some strategies for speeding up Cipher completion.  Depending on how you set your robot up, it's not impossible that light reflecting off a red or blue field element could affect sensor readings.  By having both colors available, you've got a way to verify if it matters for your robot.
New NeveRest Sport Gearboxes - Perfect for mechanisms!

The new NeveRest Sport planetary gearboxes are going to shake up your FIRST RELIC RECOVERY build! These gearboxes, designed in collaboration with BaneBots, offer lots of features explicitly for FIRST Tech Challenge teams.

Each of the mounting holes on a NeveRest sport is 6-32, familiar hardware to FTC teams.  The top and bottom mounting holes are on a 16mm spacing to match TileRunner, S3 Tubing, and many other popular building systems.  The face mounts are on a 28mm bolt circle, same as our NeveRest Orbital gearmotors.  And the output shaft is a Nub, complete with tapped holes for optimum torque transmission.

NeveRest Sport gearboxes accept a NeveRest motor without the standard integrated gearbox, and they're available in ratios from 4:1 up to a beefy 256:1.  With proven internals derived from the P60 many teams used last year for ball shooters, it's sure to be a popular choice among teams for all kinds of manipulators.  NeveRest Sport gearboxes are in stock and shipping now!
What's on Deal of the Day next week?

We've got parts for robots big and small, all on sale for one day a piece!  Here's what we've got planned for next week, so mark your calendar now.

We're here to help!

If you have questions about our products, we're here five days a week with hundreds of years of combined FIRST  experience--don't hesitate to give us a call or an email .  Keep checking our  new products page  for fresh releases, and be sure to check each day for our Deal of the Day .  You never know when you're going to find a steal!