Summer Upgrade - Low Cost Field Perimeter

Our team has been steadily upgrading our resources as funding allows. In January, we were able to purchase a full set of field tiles which made a significant improvement in our ability to program for Autonomous and Programming Skills. In June, we were able to purchase Game Elements for In the Zone and our first set of Field Elements. After looking over all the hardware, it became apparent that we really needed some sort of field perimeter. Being limited on funds, the official Vex field perimeter kit was out of reach. In addition, we do not have enough space at our school to keep a field set up on a permanent basis. What we needed was a low-cost, portable/temporary field perimeter. After some brainstorming and summer construction, here is what we have:

The perimeter is made up of 8 individual panels, each measuring 70.5 inches by 11.75 inches. The panels were constructed from Masonite attached to a framework of 1" x 2" furring strips using #10 wood screws.

Each wall consists of two panels, held together with hinges in the middle. This allows each wall to be folded in half for easy storage. Once the field was set up, we added short sections of L channel to prevent the panels from folding. This was only necessary on the perimeter walls not supported by the walls of the room.

The four walls connect at the corners using hanger studs with Nyloc nuts that drop into slots in aluminum L channel attached to the end of the mating wall. We left the nuts snug, but loose enough that the panels can still be separated without the need for tools for quick setup and teardown.

This perimeter is lightweight (less than 15 lbs per wall) and easy to setup. Even with the ITZ field elements attached to the perimeter, we can disassemble quickly by loosening the bolts clamping the 10-point zone poles in their brackets and slipping the poles out. With the ITZ 10-point zone poles in place, the perimeter is reasonably stable and rigid. It is not as stable or robust as the official Vex field perimeter, but it makes for a useful practice facility and the total cost for materials was less than $140. I will update this thread as we get more practice time in and determine if there are any modifications or updates needed.

Looks nice. I like the slotted corner connections

I like it, seems like a good team project too.

Nicely done.

Very nice. I keep telling my wife: no living room or basement is complete without a Vex field and a heap of parts always at your feet. Wooden construction makes it easier to integrate the field into the furniture.