Apr 242012
The FIRST Robotics World Championship is this week. April 26-28, 2012 in St. Louis, MO.
You can watch the matches live on the following webcasts from NASA.
I will be with team 3476, Code Orange, from Dana Point, CA, since Team 980 ThunderBots will not be there.
Team 3476, Code Orange, is a 2nd year team mentored by Andrew Hedge, the Mechannical Engineer. They won the San Diego Regional and plan to make themselves known in the Archimedes Division of 100 robots.
I will be mentoring the students doing the Scouting.
Gary Hedge
Mar 302012

Throughout the Los Angeles Regional, both the student drivers and the robot
improved. (Translation: we were still finishing getting the robot to work
and we were not picked to be in the Elimination Tournament.)

But, now with much better chances, the team is traveling north of Fresno for
the first Central Valley Regional in Madera, CA to compete April 5-7, 2012.

Gary Hedge, 818-352-9412
The ThunderBots, Team 980, is featured on the cover of the La Cañada Valley
Sun March 18!

A photo of Team 980 in the pits at the Los Angeles Regional Competition
appeared on the front page of the Sunday March 18, 2012 edition of
the Valley Sun! The caption mentions Karpis, a student team member,
describing our robot!

I’ve attached a scanned copy of the story! Please pass this
on to parents, classmates, teachers, friends, potential
sponsors, and the winner of the Mega Millions lottery!

Go Team 980!!

David Brinza


Mar 152012

It is FIRST Robotics season again.

Team 980 ThunderBots will be in Competition in Long Beach starting tomorrow Friday 16 March 2012 at the Los Angeles Regional.


We were late getting the robot completed, so anything may happen.

We are in Match # 5, 21, 33, 41, 54, and 62 on Friday and #73, 81, 99 on Saturday.

You can follow us on a webcast at:


The Results will posted at

Gary Hedge, 818-352-9412

PS/ Andrew Hedge mentored a team from Dana Point, Orange County called Cose Orange, Team 3476.

They were the highest scoring robot, the first to picked for an alliance in the Elimination Tournament and the San Diego Regional Winners.

They also won the Engineering Excellence Award.


Sep 212011

On Saturday, Sept. 24, the 10th annual Southern California Regional Robotics Forum (SCRRF) Fall Classic competition will be held at John Burroughs High School in Burbank. This is the fourth straight year Team 980 is hosting the event. We’re playing the 2011 FIRST Robotics Competition game, LogoMotion (with just a few rule modifications). Over 20 terrific teams have signed-up, including the 2011 FRC World Champion Greybots (Team 973) from Atascadero, CA.

Team 980 members will meet at the John Burroughs HS Gymnasium on Friday at 4 pm to start building the competition field. We will be laying down carpet, carrying field elements into the Gym, assembling the field and setting up pit area. The more students involved, the faster and easier the set-up will be. Please be there!!

Team 980 will also bring it’s robot and tools on Friday evening to set-up our pit and check-out our robot. We expect to finish around 8 pm. On Saturday morning, we will arrive by 8 am to direct teams for load-in, meet with volunteers and get ready to compete.

We will allow for a few practice matches starting a 9 am and will get the qualification round underway by 10 am. The elimination rounds will be in the afternoon, leading to the finals and award ceremony. After the competition, we’ll have a team social to share our experiences with other teams.

I’ve sent this message to our mentors, recruits, new students, current students and prior year team members. Please come to the event and invite anyone you think might be interested in participating in FIRST Robotics. Please pass the flyer on!!

See you soon!

-- David Brinza
FRC Team 980 Lead Mentor
Jan 272011

Team 980 examined the game, developed our strategies, and made key design decisions. We’ve moving into the detailed design and fabrication phase of our robot. Our students are eager to turn plans into reality. Let’s do it! In just three weeks, we plan to attend the SoCal pre-ship scrimmage at Harvey-Mudd on Sat. Feb. 19: a “shake-down” exercise for our robot.

Our meetings at the Burbank rose float barn are growing in importance. While building the 2011 robot, we’re using the 2010 robot for control system testing. We’re starting driving practice with that robot, leading to try-outs for the drive team.

We’ve kicked-off our team fund-raiser: FIRST Green LED bulbs! Members selling two cases of bulbs (60) will cover their travel expenses for FIRST Championship. We’ve set a sales goal of 980 bulbs to realize over $12K for this year. More information regarding these energy-efficient LED bulbs can be found here.

Beside building the robot, we’ve got work to do on our Chairman’s Award, designing team shirts and give-aways, and publicity.

Team 980 is kicking it into high gear!

Come join the fun!