jgraber
Comments to help out teams that asked or are interested in these Q&A questions:
Also other observations from earlier competitions.

327: Interesting concept.  Just because the reef box has a handle doesn't mean you are required to use it. 
Setting a reef box on on top of other reef boxes on their sides on the transfer shelf (294) means you don't have to reach so low.
Setting a reef box on its side means you can pick it up with a stick, into the top center triangle between box wall and bottles/cans;  this gives you a 4" width grip on the box, rather than just a 1/4" cardboard thickness of the handle
Unless it is obvious that a bottle is falling out, I doubt that refs judgement would not accept an installed reef box sitting on its side.

63, 108, 165, 198, 233, 243, 247, 307 and 323: how to reach 36" with only 8" above the beam rule?  
  Just because the upper limit is 8" above the beam doesn't mean you can't still be up to 23.5" vertically (perpendicular to the top surface of the beam.)
 Stop thinking of it as an 8" tall driving game on top of the beam, and start considering a sloth or gondola hanging beneath and beside the beam.  You can mount a 12" arm wheel at the downstream edge, hanging partly 5" below the beam,, and a 24-30" arm from it diagonally down the gyre side of the robot.    You only need to reach the top reef if the other reefs are full.  The first reef is just ~18" above the beam, and you can place at least 2 boxes wide, and 2 boxes tall on top of it.  That is enough for the level 3 bonus.
  If you want to reach the 36" top shelf, you'll probably need a double arm, starting from the top corner, just like any other long reach driving game.  Note that the top shelf could be 8" taller if the rule 3.6.5 Current Surge is chosen for finals or regionals as the Advance Competition Challenge.

321: Notebook rubric requires "discussion of evaluation points",  or "explicit description of Engineering Design Process";
  The best way to show the notebook judges you are doing this, is to have a paragraph or sentence that contains each of the evaluation points or keywords in the rubric.   Here is an example of what "Explicit..." means to me;  say what you are doing with 
same keywords as rubric, and show evidence of doing it:
  " N.3.1  Our Engineering Design Process consists of these N steps, with the flow between them shown in fig N.1    
    N.3.1.1 EDP step1, Gather requirements, including offensive and defensive game strategies, and important metrics for decision matrix:  We identified the following requirement.....  We identified the following possible strategies.... We identified the following DM metrics: simplicity, low weight, Ease of building, Capability, multi-purpose
    N.3.1.2 EDP step2, Brainstorming :  Our brainstorming process is ... ;  We spent X amount of time and to generate this list of Brainstorms 1..N, for a productivity metric of N/X brainstorms per hour;   
    N.3.1.3 EDP step 3, Evaluating best brainstorms and game strategies with decision matrix metrics
    N.3.1.4 prototyping and testing,    N.3.1.5 Integration and retest,  N.3.1.6 Continuous improvement"
You do not need to include a diary "on tuesday we did this, boy was that hard".
You do not need to include people discussions "Bill wanted this, but Mary wanted that"
Judges prefer writing in active voice.   It was decided that judges downgrade notebooks when passive voice was used.

316, 319: Setscrews:  By far the best setscrews in the consumable kit are listed in the threaded fasteners section as
"#10-32 x 1" socket head screw, high strength (150 KSI min) steel**"
These are black metal screws.  There are similar looking slightly larger plastic screws that fit the IGUS eyebolts; dont use those.  Socket head means they use an allen key hex bit, which doesn't cam out,  instead of a phillips head or slotted head.   150K PSI means they are much stronger than the Aluminum, and maybe even stronger than the hardened steel motor shafts.

312: You can make a net on your robot from kit string without calling it a TCP (Team Custom Part)  
A net made of one length of mono-filament fishing line, that can be rolled up to fit 2x4x4" TCP size would be legal as TCP, since the "use shape and size" does not need to be TCP size compliant.  Note that non-kit, multi-fiber string is not legal TCP material.  Note that most 3d printed claws that look similar to https://cdn.thingiverse.com/renders/bd/34/65/67/6d/39026d1b4e9a8670372ba58f26d42981_preview_featured.jpg" target="_blank" rel="nofollow noopener">this one from thingiverse have too many parts to be legal TCP.

Duck numbers for current flow:   Generous sportsmanship-like teams who think ahead will have spare current flow decoder papers to share with newbie field scientists in the queuing line, and explain how they work, and what hand signals to use, since you probably can't hear each other over the crowd noise. 

Turtle stomachs:  You don't have to open the turtle to get the turtle bonus.   Knowing the turtle bonus is only useful if your robot has the ability to get every kind of game piece from where it is located, and you don't need that time to get bigger bonus for reef stacking.

Starting pin rule " 3.3.4.1 :  It is the responsibility of the Field Scientist to remove the starting pin during the 30 second startup period."
If you are short, you could ask the ref to do it for you, during setup time, not after match starts.
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