C-channel in Hardware and Metal kit

In 2005, when Vex products were first released, the Hardware & Metal kit contained some of the most widely used pieces. The “foundational” structural pieces were L-shaped angle bars, bumpers, and chassis rails (also L-shaped), the longest and sturdiest pieces of metal available. But since then, the release of C-channel and the greater heights (in inches) of the competition challenge goals has made L-bars far less useful than they used to be.

I think it’s time for an update of the Hardware and Metal kit that includes C-channel of both kinds (2-wide and 5-wide). The H & M kit is the foundation of many other kits, including the Classroom Lab kit and the Booster kit. Chassis kits are also made of L-shaped metal, but these days, I see a predominance of 5-wide C-channel on chasses, as not many teams build a rectangular chassis (more H and U chasses) for competition. I think most people would appreciate more C, less L.

Our team learned this the hard way at the last competition. Most of our parts were bought pre-2008, and though we’ve bought some C-channel along the way, it never seems to be enough. In our most recent competition, our chassis had the dubious distinction of being the wobbliest one around, and as I looked at the robots, I could not find a single piece of L-channel on chassis, support bar, or lift (other than short pieces < 8 inches or so) besides the ones on ours.

Next year, we will stock up on extra C-channel from the start, even if it means having to live with dying motors, ream out the holes in our bearing blocks (again), and re-use lock nuts.

Thanks for the feedback. This is something we can look into.
The Booster Kit (276-2232) was formulated with more recent components.

A lower cost booster kit (like the M&H kit) may be an appropriate thing for us to look into.