Greetings Florida FTC Teams, Volunteers, and Sponsors (Please distribute this email to your team members, parents, and mentors):

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of the Florida FTC teams and volunteers. We have complete 30 events across the 7 Florida FTC leagues and we only have 20 more until the state championship. As we enter the Christmas break, I have a number of important topics for all of the Florida FTC teams and volunteers.

1.                  Congratulations to Team 9770 PIEaters

2.                  Updates State Ranking

3.                  State Championship Hotel Information

4.                  Team Recommendations

Newsletter Details:

1.      Congratulations to Team 9779 PIEaters – Congratulations to Florida FTC team 9779 PIEaters for making it to the semi-finals of the FIRST Parody Song Competition. I hope everyone has taken the time to review and vote for the FIRST Parody Song Competition.  You can still sell all of the semi-final winners by going to the following web page:

2.      Updated State Ranking – A new Florida FTC state ranking has been published that includes the results from all league meeting that were completed December 17, 2016 and the video judge scores. We will publish two more state rankings this season: (1) after all of the league meets have been completed on January 14, 2017 and (2) the final ranking once all of the league championships have been completed on January 28, 2017.

3.      State Championship Hotel Information– As a reminder the Florida State Championship will be held at Western High School in Davie, FL on February 25, 2017.  There are a number of events happening in this area during the week of our state championship and hotel capacity has been limited. However, we have been able to negate a block of 120 rooms at the following hotels and I encourage volunteers and teams to start booking hotel rooms early:

La Quinta Inns and Suites
8101 Peters Road, Plantation, FL 33324
TEL: 954-476-6047 (TEL), 7 miles East of Western High
Room price:  $159 per room with breakfast (40 double-beds rooms)

Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites (Jackie Suer, General Manager)
14651 NW 20th Street, Pembroke Pines, FL 333028 (7 miles South of Western High)
Room price: $169 per room with breakfast
TEL: 954-430-9404 (30 doubles and 10 kings available)

Courtyard Ft. Lauderdale, Weston
2000 North Commerce Pkwy. Weston FL 33326 (3 miles from Western High)
Room price: $165 per room without breakfast. (30 double-beds rooms)

Comfort Suites Weston (Michelle Yopp, Director of Sales)
2201 N. Commerce Parkway, Weston, FL 33326
TEL: 954-659-1555 (3 miles West of Western High)

4.      Team Recommendations – There has been a recent post to the FTC forum about latency issues caused when using a number of sensor in autonomous mode.  Please review the information below to better understand this issue:

Please review the following threads on the ftcforum:

The more devices (sensors, motor controllers, servos, etc.) the more likely latency is a significant issue. These two forum threads have in depth discussion on the issue. The FTC Robot Controller App has made some recent improvements to help reduce the latency from the devices. It is highly recommended for teams using Gyros, Color Sensors, Optical Distance Sensors, etc. to update to the 2.61 Beta that is currently available and monitor the progress being made to reduce the latency of the data from the sensor.

They have added the ability to register/deregister some of the sensors. That way you can deregister the color sensor when using the gyro during a turn to reduce the latency on the gyro data.

The other part is you can disable the sensor during teleop when not used. Here is some of the test data:

Configuration: 1 Gyro, 2 color sensors, 4 Motor Controllers, 1 Servo Controller.
(170 mSec) SDK 2.3 and 2.4
(65 mSec) SDK 2.5 
(25 mSec) SDK 2.5 with Color sensors disabled while driving.

Note - Any item that is in the Robot Config will add to latency even if not used by the OpMode.

Follow Florida FTC at:

Florida FIRST Tech Challenge website:

Florida FTC Facebook page:

Florida FTC Twitter page:   #FLFTCRocks

Florida FTC Forum:

FIRST Tech Challenge Blog:

Visit FIRST in Florida at for more information and resources about FIRST statewide.

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