This year is my last year in vex robotics so naturally I began to work on full drive from the very beginning. My team has always had a good notebook and we’ve won a good amount of design awards at local competitions. I (the notebook designer and writer) wanted to make an exceptionally good engineering notebook this year, but I fear I’ve went a bit overboard.
I want to sort of ease my anxious mind and seek reassurance or some solutions to my problem. Currently we have 301 pages in the notebook and we still have about 3 months of competing. But to be fair, we rebuild the entire robot 3 times and have made many changes to the design along the way. We also changed drivers and went through a lot of skills strategies. Our school is pretty new to robotics (only 4 years in) so when I started there was no one I could look up to for guidance. That can probably explain why we keep rebuilding the robot over and over again, but we’re stubborn and want to make it better. Consequently, all of this redesigning adds a lot of pages.
However, the journal is formatted extremely well. The table of contents can be used to find any information using a system of colors and/or numbers. We also have video documentations of a lot of steps we’ve taken throughout the year, as well as some really in depth sketches. There might be about 20 pages of fluff that I don’t really need in the notebook, but other than that the rest of it makes sense and follows the rubric perfectly.
Now, I have a couple of options. I read on forum and I’ve been told that judges strongly dislike long notebooks. I also read that most good notebooks are only up to 200 pages long. Since I’m already 300 pages in I have a couple of things I can do to make my notebook better.
- Minimize the design process documentation of the third robot into as little pages are possible (keep full book under 400).
- Write in the same fashion for the rest of the year and deal with the consequences of a 500 page journal.
- Rewrite the entire 300 pages into a smaller and more concise version. (Maybe on digital)
- Also, there are a lot of sketches in the journal (over 60) since we don’t have CADD so I’ve had to implement the CADD process into sketches.
Anyway I’m just looking for some type of an advice. I’m eally hoping that 400 pages wouldn’t make the judges disregard our notebook.