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Samantha Module - Future Plans

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  • Samantha Module - Future Plans

    We have 4 teams and 4 Samantha modules. Last week one of our Samantha modules failed, won't power up. The question is, should we buy a new Samantha module so that the teams can all compete for the remainder of the Cascade Effect season, or should we try to borrow a replacement to get us through the season? Our thought is that if the Samantha will still be used during next year's competition, then the correct answer would be to purchase one, if not, it seems smarter to borrow one.

    Any ideas on whether or not the Samantha module will be used after the conversion to EV3?

    Thanks!

    FTC 4644

  • #2
    I'd second the motion for us to know ASAP.

    All speculation and rumor: NXT is a retired product, retail is NLA, and I don't think there will be educational kits around much longer. Rumor was that with the EV3 the FCS goes away and is replaced? Be nice to know what all new hardware to budget for next year , that is IF it happens next year. FWIW I was talked out of spare samanthas at the beginning of the season. My trusty gray NXT batteries have been failing at an alarming rate this year, anyone else had that? I'm thinking I should just invest in a brick of AA batteries rather than the Lego rechargeable version.
    Last edited by korimako; 01-21-2015, 01:41 PM.

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    • #3
      Ditto.

      We had one of our Brand New Samanthas fail at Worlds last year, and was going to replace it this season as we never got around to it last season. But rumors have also been spreading around here that the Samantha was disappearing next season, so I have held off. Our V1 Samantha Module has outlasted any of our V2 Samantha's.... Nothing is built to last anymore... Its sad.

      Another rumor is spreading around here that the IR Beacons on the fields (360 ones) are changing again next year, which is a reason Arizona still uses the 180 beacons. Our team has access to both, but my point being, it sounds like there may be new budget items that we will HAVE to buy next year, raising our already tiny budget the school gives us. (Not enough...)

      I would hold off. We are on our dead Samantha. (then again, we have 3 others that work, more or less, for two robots)
      2015 FTC World Champion - Valley X Robotics 2844 - Founding Memeber

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      • #4
        According to their initial blog post on the EV3 at http://firsttechchallenge.blogspot.c...3-and-ftc.html, the NXT will be supported for the foreseeable future, which I assume means the Samantha module would also be staying around. Of course, that was a year ago, so things may have changed by now....
        Burning Lights Programming
        FLL Team 341 Brick Chick'N Boys - Programmer (2009-2010)
        FLL Team 263 Brainy Bricks - Programmer (2010-2011)
        FLL Team 5028 Fellowship of the Brick - Youth Mentor (2011-2012)
        FTC Team 6100 Chariots of Fire - Programmer (2012-2013)
        FTC Team 7468 Blue Chariots of Fire - Programmer (2013-2014)
        FTC Team 7468 Blue Chariots of Fire - Mentor/Coach (2014-2017)

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        • #5
          Originally posted by FTC Ringer View Post
          According to their initial blog post on the EV3 at http://firsttechchallenge.blogspot.c...3-and-ftc.html, the NXT will be supported for the foreseeable future, which I assume means the Samantha module would also be staying around. Of course, that was a year ago, so things may have changed by now....

          Supported is true, but new teams will not be able to purchase a product that is NLA. So change will have to happen. I imagine the Tetrix motor controllers will be compatible with the EV3? I too have some preliminary budgets to submit soon. Anyone from FIRST/FTC out there care to comment?
          Last edited by korimako; 01-21-2015, 01:54 PM.

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          • #6
            New FTC stuff is usually on display at the world championship so whatever's coming next will be there in April.
            Broken samantha modules are for the most part a result of wiring issues so watch out you don't fry a borrowed module!

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            • #7
              My understanding is that the Tetrix motor controllers are incompatible with the EV3. That is the reason I have heard for not switching to EV3. That is not a trivial problem to solve. Maybe NXTs, although discontinued to the general public, will be available to FTC teams. I am not an insider, so take this info with a grain of salt.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by NEOFTC View Post
                My understanding is that the Tetrix motor controllers are incompatible with the EV3. That is the reason I have heard for not switching to EV3. That is not a trivial problem to solve. Maybe NXTs, although discontinued to the general public, will be available to FTC teams. I am not an insider, so take this info with a grain of salt.
                There is nothing special about the Tetrix motor controllers from a hardware point of view, they appear to the NXT and the EV3 as I2C devices. So if they are "incompatible" then that is only a statement about software. In fact the leJOS project for the EV3 already has support for the Tetrix motor controllers.

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