Greetings Florida FTC Teams, Coaches, Volunteers, and Sponsors:

Please Read this update carefully and completely!

Attachments: Dean’s List Submission Guide

As we approach the mid-point of the Florida FTC season, our teams and volunteers have learned a lot about Relic Recovery and we have seen significant improvement in team progress.  Teams, Coaches, and Volunteers this email newsletter has several important topics to help you prepare for the second half of the Florida FTC season. The following topics are covered in version #11 of the Florida FTC Newsletter:

1.            Dean’s List Nominations Due in December

2.            Volunteer Registration for Florida FTC Championship is Open

3.            Match and League Results Published on

4.            Improving Robot Connectivity at Events

5.            Upgrade to Version 3.5 of the FIRST Tech Challenge Software (FIRST Repeat Announcement)


Newsletter Details:

1.    Dean’s List Nominations Due in December – Does your team have a 10th or 11th grade student?  If the answer is yes, they are eligible for the FIRST Dean’s List Award. The first step in the Dean’s List Award process is for each coach to submit up to two nominations through their FIRST team account on the website. All Dean’s list nominations will be interviewed at the league championship and therefore the deadline for the nomination is 30 days prior to your league championship. You can learn more about FIRST Tech Challenge Dean’s List here. I have also attached the Dean’s List Submission Guide document to this email.

2.    Volunteer Registration for Florida FTC Championship is Open – A couple of weeks ago in Florida FTC Newsletter #10 we announced that the Florida FTC Championship would be in Jacksonville on February 3, 2018 and that 32 teams would be invited to attend. The Florida FTC Championship has been added to VIMS and volunteers are encouraged to sign-up as soon as possible.  We will need approximately 55 volunteers to help us manage the Florida FTC Championship.

3.    Match and League Results Published on – Meet and match results are now being published on the website. There are three new submenus under the Season dropdown list: League Rankings, Match Results, & Team Stats. Meet results are published on these pages as soon as we receive the scoring software output for each league meet.

4.    Improving Robot Connectivity at Events – The two most common reasons robots either fail during a match or are not able participate in a match when they arrive at the field are (1) we are not able to connect the Robot and Driver phones through WifiDirect when the team arrives at the field or (2) the USB connection into the ROBOT phone is not stable.  Therefore, we have the following recommendations for teams to help you overcome this issues:

  • Validate phone WifiDirect connection at the queuing table -- As soon as your team arrives at the queuing tables in preparation for you next match grab your red or blue alliance flag and turn on your Robot and Driver station phones.  Validate that the two phones have been connected so that this is not something you have to do when you arrive at the competition field.  You should not power on your robot when on the queuing tables and should only focus on validating the WifiDirect connection between your ROBOT and Driver station phones.
  • Use 3D printed mounting cases -- The second recommendation is to ensure that your Robot phone and control modules are mounted on your robot such that the USB connections are easily accessible and more importantly are stabilized.  In the last few years, many teams have posted 3Dprinter templates that can be used to secure USB connections into your phone and other electronic components.  You can download some of this 3D printer templates at the following web page:
  • Consider Using OnBot Java – One of the big advantages of the OnBot Java programming environment is that you can download program changes or new programs (OpModes) to your phones through the Wifi connection.  Therefore, it greatly reduces the number of times you have to unplug and plug-in the USB cable into your phones. No more connecting/discounting your phone USB cable will reduce the amount of damage that the USB port on your phones receive. Therefore, reduce the potential of connection issues when operating your robot on the competition field.  Teams that are using OpenCV, custom I2C, or advanced Java should stay with Android Studio.

5.    Upgrade to Version 3.5 of the FIRST Tech Challenge Software (FIRST Repeat Announcement) – I encourage all teams to upgrade to version 3.5 of the FTC software as soon as possible as it has an important fix that can help ensure your robot does not experience the OpMode stop issue that has been reported by a number of teams. Version 3.5 of the FIRST Tech Challenge software is available.  The new software includes the following important changes:

1.    Fixes were implemented to prevent random Op Mode stops.

2.    The file size of the Robot Controller app has been trimmed to reduce the required install time.

3.    A fix was implemented to ensure that log files get properly updated and saved.

4.    Support for using the Modern Robotics Touch Sensor as an analog device was added to the FTC Blocks Programming Tool.

Instructions on how to update your FIRST Tech Challenge software can be found on the Programming Resources web page:

Detailed information regarding the release can be found at the following link:

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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