New team help needed

In either appendix A or B (if u know please respond), there are field specifications. One of the pages shows the distance of objects from the field perimeter

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Foam floor tiles from most of the manufacturers are very similar with one side being smooth and another having some sort of the ribs or dimples. VRC field has them smooth side up. It might be hard to describe the difference in texture and firmness of the tiles, but once you see and touch official tiles, it will be very easy for you to recognize if specific tiles are compatible. I think you could find such tiles in any of major hardware stores.

Also, most of the beginner teams don’t have any autonomous until January - February time frame, so you will have plenty of time to get your field setup.

It is more like $250, because with Super Kit you don’t get a second battery, which I think is very important to have. If you can afford a total budget of $2500 - $3000, then I would suggest to buy Super Kit.

But if you want to try to stay under $2000 then, in my opinion, Starter Kit plus some extra parts is a better choice because it lets you concentrate your funds on the items that are important. Also Starter Kit has some nice pre-cut structural pieces that are not included with larger kits.

Later in the season, you may want to buy additional items that are not included in either of the kits (like longer standoffs, limit switches, potentiometers, or ultrasonic sensors) and you will need those saved funds.

Additional, highly recommended, items like antistatic spray and magnetic micro-usb programming cables (1), (2) will quickly eat into your reserve funds.

You also need to plan to attend one or two early competitions as a spectator and talk to mentors on some more established teams to give you tips and/or let your kids follow their students for a couple of hours.

On the limited budget, you really want your money to have the largest impact, and that will ensure that your $100 registration fee for the first competition is not wasted if your kids are not familiar with the process.


Ok, I will get the starter robot kit. Should I order all of the miscellaneous parts you listed up front or order as needed? I think there is going to be a price increase 11/1.

I wish Vex has the option of ordering tiles for half the field which would have been more economical.

This website sells them individually and it states they are “official”

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Yes, it would make sense to order all items at once, to save on shipping and handling, unless your local VEX reseller offers free shipping (

Those SoftTiles still look expensive. I think we got ours in Harbor Freight for $8.99 for the package of 4. Got total of 8 tiles and that is plenty for building and testing.

I would give higher priority to getting antistatic spay and magnetic microusb cables rather than the tiles.


What is anti static spray? I have never seen that used before. Though you may want to get some compressed air for your motors to prevent overheating.

Antistatic spray is used to prevent accumulation of the static electricity on the field tiles, robot wheels, and any other non-conductive surface.

During the winter months when HVAC heated air gets dry inside the buildings, static electricity can accumulate and ESD (electro static discharge) could damage sensitive electronics.

V5 brain and motors happen to be missing robust ESD protection and this resulted in a lot of damage last season:

V5 brain ports break continually
How Do You Fix Broken Ports For v5?
V5 Ports Keep Dying
V5 White Screen Call for Replay?
Broken V5 Smart Ports
… and more …

To avoid costly equipment damage VEX recommends using antistatic spray in their Knowledge Base article:

Getting large bottle of spray makes perfect sense if you have full field and/or hosting competitions.

For the small setups (like 8 foam tiles sitting in the basement) there are cheaper alternatives. For example, we use laundry dryer sheets that contain some antistatic to wipe our tiles and robot wheels every couple of weeks, once we start heating the house.


Based on seeing this I can see why one would want anti static spray

Is Harbor Freight tiles, the same quality as the Vex ones? Did you get it and the anti static spray at a store or online?

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@enothecool How do you use the compressed air?

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@cdcosta Do you have access to a 3d printer?

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You just get a can and spray it (not too close) to the motor if it’s getting hot or has been working hard. We had two motors burn out at our first competition this year from overheating.

I’ve got the tiles many years ago and not even sure if they were from Harbor Freight or Lowes. They are pretty beaten up at this point, but for the type of testing that is done at home this doesn’t really matter.

I would imagine you can get antistatic spray in some hardware stores but, as I said before, we use laundry dryer sheets to regularly wipe the field and robot wheels, like this one:

The focus of the first year team should be on learning vex parts, vrc competition process, best building techniques, and staying organized. The last one is the most overlooked part and this is where adult guidance is extremely important.


whatever u do have fun it is the only way to keep people engaged


Hi all,

Since we are not purchasing the entire field we are planning to simply get a few elements. I am not clear how many come with the registration. Could you guys please clarify.

Also we plan on getting just about 5 cubes (random colors). These are $8 each.

We were also looking at getting a corner bracket where the cubes are dropped and three towers of varying heights. However it appears we have to buy the field element kit 1 & kit 2 as these are not sold individually. This is $200 for both.

Could you guys advise what field elements make sense to purchase if not purchasing the entire field. In order save on shipping time and expense, we are looking to purchase these up front.

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that kit comes with one cube

It looks like it would be fine with the #1 kit, cube assortment(thought I would probably get two if it’s in the budget), off brand field tiles, and a basic wood perimeter. That should be all you need to get a functional and working setup for practicing/autonomous.

I have a few extra towers which I don’t need I could ship to you, depending on where you’re located.

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also get like 10 cubes if ur team gets real good theit intake/tray could hold like 6-10 cubes but the motors may not be able to hold them (without adjustment) and if uf intake has space for like 8 but can only hokd like 2-3 that will really mess yall up so if u can get like 10 cubes
also it will let them see/stack a whole stack

@CarCar I am in Chantilly, VA. Where are you located?

Toronto Ontario let me check how much it costs for shipping there