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Unread 05-29-2009, 06:21 PM
Happyisgood Happyisgood is offline
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Wireless Router to Connect with Driver Station

Hey everyone,

I know its a strange question, but I know the Linksys WRT610N Router shipped with the starter kit but I was wondering if it was possible to use a different router to connect to the robot. Any advice you could provide would be much appreciated. I can't imagine it making a difference as long as I configure the router and the game-port the same way as described in the control system manual.

Thanks in advance!
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Unread 05-30-2009, 08:51 PM
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Re: Wireless Router to Connect with Driver Station

You can use any router you have. I've used WRT54G/GLs with no issues. You don't even need to configure the devices as suggested in the manual. So long as the router and the game adapter can connect it will work.

The only issue is that if you use a G router or a low end (single band) N router you'll need to enable the 2.4ghz band on the game adapter.
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Unread 05-30-2009, 09:26 PM
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Re: Wireless Router to Connect with Driver Station

All you have to make sure is that you have the same:

SSID (Network name)
Security type (WEP, WPA)
Frequency (2.4Ghz/5.8Ghz)

On each end. and it should connect fine.

I would not recommend and old A or B routers just G or N as a minimum (more bandwidth available) Disclaimer: i don't know the required bandwidth but it cant hurt to have too much.


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Unread 05-30-2009, 09:31 PM
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Re: Wireless Router to Connect with Driver Station

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Originally Posted by fimmel View Post
I would not recommend and old A or B routers just G or N as a minimum (more bandwidth available) Disclaimer: i don't know the required bandwidth but it cant hurt to have too much.


...Forest
In my experience, unless you are streaming video from the robot, even a B network is sufficient for a single robot.
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Unread 05-31-2009, 02:53 PM
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Re: Wireless Router to Connect with Driver Station

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Originally Posted by EHaskins View Post
In my experience, unless you are streaming video from the robot, even a B network is sufficient for a single robot.
OK, That would make sense i just was not sure, hence the disclaimer. Also it would be an interesting test to measure the bandwidth used, I'm not sure how you could do it but im fairly positive DD-WRT has bandwidth monitoring, however im not sure if that only between LAN and WAN not two LAN devices.

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Unread 05-31-2009, 03:14 PM
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Re: Wireless Router to Connect with Driver Station

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Originally Posted by fimmel View Post
OK, That would make sense i just was not sure, hence the disclaimer. Also it would be an interesting test to measure the bandwidth used, I'm not sure how you could do it but im fairly positive DD-WRT has bandwidth monitoring, however im not sure if that only between LAN and WAN not two LAN devices.

...Forest
Each communication packet between the robot and DS is aprox. 1kbyte, and the robot replies once to each message. Then add in dashboard data, which is also 1kbyte, and communication to/from the FMS, again aprox. 1kbyte each direction. All of this communication takes place at 50hz.

Even leaving significant margin for error, by my calculation the total bandwidth required for a robot is less than 0.5mbyte/sec/robot. Or less than 5mbps, which is well below the 11mbps B provides. That calculation has an even larger margin since in most situations the dashboard data and FMS data will not be sent over the wireless link, reducing the required bandwidth by more than half.

That said, latency could potentially become an issue with lower bandwidth signals.
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Unread 06-01-2009, 11:18 AM
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Re: Wireless Router to Connect with Driver Station

Thanks. As for the gaming adapter that's attached to the robot. Its there a cheaper version thats out there? We're trying to keep costs to a minimum as this bot will only be to train a new future team tow to do electrical and programming and they aren't rolling in money to say the least.
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Unread 06-02-2009, 11:13 AM
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Re: Wireless Router to Connect with Driver Station

Quote:
Originally Posted by Happyisgood View Post
Thanks. As for the gaming adapter that's attached to the robot. Its there a cheaper version thats out there? We're trying to keep costs to a minimum as this bot will only be to train a new future team tow to do electrical and programming and they aren't rolling in money to say the least.
If you have someone who knows a little about wireless networking and can spend some time reconfiguring the router and the wireless bridge (generic name for the gaming adapter) that you buy, you might be able to get a cheaper one with less features.

When I was searching for a bridge for my home theater system, I was amazed to find that wireless bridges were more expensive then wireless routers, even though routers have more functionality.

If you're really savy, I would recommend getting a router and installing custom firmware like dd-wrt that can make it act as a wireless bridge

Last edited by Joe Ross : 06-02-2009 at 11:20 AM.
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Unread 06-02-2009, 11:29 AM
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Re: Wireless Router to Connect with Driver Station

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Ross View Post
If you have someone who knows a little about wireless networking and can spend some time reconfiguring the router and the wireless bridge (generic name for the gaming adapter) that you buy, you might be able to get a cheaper one with less features.

When I was searching for a bridge for my home theater system, I was amazed to find that wireless bridges were more expensive then wireless routers, even though routers have more functionality.

If you're really savy, I would recommend getting a router and installing custom firmware like dd-wrt that can make it act as a wireless bridge
I'd encourage anyone that does so to post a whitepaper on their experiences. There are many many possible technical solutions, and it would be great for teams to be able to easily use left-overs for practice.
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Unread 06-02-2009, 12:56 PM
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Re: Wireless Router to Connect with Driver Station

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Originally Posted by Happyisgood View Post
As for the gaming adapter that's attached to the robot. Its there a cheaper version thats out there?
On of my favorite oblique strategies is to turn the problem around and come at it from the other side. In this case, how about using an inexpensive Wireless Access Point on the robot, and a wireless laptop running the Virtual Driver Station software to control it? Assuming you have the laptop already, you could probably pick up a used AP for $20 or so -- or less, if someone has one sitting around unused and would let you have it.
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Unread 06-02-2009, 02:00 PM
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Re: Wireless Router to Connect with Driver Station

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Ross View Post
If you have someone who knows a little about wireless networking and can spend some time reconfiguring the router and the wireless bridge (generic name for the gaming adapter) that you buy, you might be able to get a cheaper one with less features....

If you're really savy, I would recommend getting a router and installing custom firmware like dd-wrt that can make it act as a wireless bridge

I can confirm that this approach would work perfectly.

My son was moving off to college and didn't want to spend the ~$100 needed to buy a gaming adapter for his X-Box360. I was already running two Linksys WRT54g routers in home, both re-flashed with dd-wrt . One was configured as a standard wireless router, the other as a Repeater-Bridge in my garage. We re-configured the second unit as a client-bridge and Bingo, for $65 we had a fully functional, stable (and signal boosted) gaming adapter.

Now, would I recommend this for a robot?? You bet! Just make sure you understand what you are doing.
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Unread 06-02-2009, 08:08 PM
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Re: Wireless Router to Connect with Driver Station

Thanks for all the input. I'm actually afraid as anything to even hook up the cRIO for fear of breaking it or blowing it out in some way. I'm going to use a different router, but I'll be using the recommended bridge. Thanks for all your input.
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Unread 06-03-2009, 06:46 AM
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Re: Wireless Router to Connect with Driver Station

If you are being serious, then I'd like to point that it will be difficult to build a robot without being able to connect things to the cRIO. The more you learn about how it works, the more comfortable you will be with it.

The good news is that the cRIO is pretty protected, and you can treat it like almost any other household electrical device -- no liquids, no metal shavings, don't stick things into outlets, etc.

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Unread 06-04-2009, 12:06 PM
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Re: Wireless Router to Connect with Driver Station

We're getting the cRIO to start working with tonight, we also put the purchace in for the driverstation and some breakers for the PDBoard. We're buying the wireless bridge from TigerDirect. Any clue why nobody's selling the bridge anymore? Thanks for the advice about the cRIO, we know how to use it, but it's going to be a fun learning curve for me in the way of programming. Anybody have any suggestions of some idiot-proof tutorials on LabVIEW for FRC?

By the way, for reference, I'm going to use last years AirPORT Extreme Base Station as my router, the Linksys Bridge as my wireless and a Toshiba Satelite as the main computer.
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Unread 06-04-2009, 12:15 PM
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Re: Wireless Router to Connect with Driver Station

For LabVIEW training, check out http://www.ni.com/first. Also, I've heard nothing but great comments about http://www.lvmastery.com.

Russ
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