View Full Version : Replacing the classmate?

01-13-2011, 10:48 PM
The classmate we used last year is pretty much broken due to several team members yanking on the ethernet cables, so we decided to scrap the classmate, and get a real netbook to compete with in competitions (allowed due to <R75>)

<R75>The Driver Station software provided on the FRC website (www.usfirst.org/frc/kitofparts) is the only tool permitted to collate driver/operator inputs and communicate them to the ROBOT. The Driver Station software must be revision or newer.

Teams are permitted to use a portable computing device of their choice (laptop computer, PDAs, etc.) to host the Driver Station software while participating in competition MATCHES.

However, I recall (from kickoff) that if teams use another portable computing device, they would need to contact first to get a special update to flash or to install the driver station. I tried finding this link in the rule book, and on the first site, but I can't seem to find it.

Has anyone else found (or know) where I could find this page to contact FIRST for the updates for my new netbook (Dell Mini 1018)? Or would I just have to download the driver station from here: http://usfirst.org/WorkArea/linkit.aspx?LinkIdentifier=id&ItemID=18758 ?

Alan Anderson
01-13-2011, 11:29 PM
I think the "contact FIRST" advice was specifically for veteran teams who purchase a new Classmate matching the one in this year's Rookie kit.

01-14-2011, 08:34 AM
Ahh, thank you!

Joe Ross
01-14-2011, 09:43 AM
Here's what NI says to install to run the driver station on another computer: http://decibel.ni.com/content/thread/8794?tstart=0

01-28-2011, 03:59 PM
We are having problems with our 2010 Classmate - and may want to get a netbook instead. The Classmate SAYS it has a 16 GB harddrive - but, when imaged with the FIRST flashdrive - it sets up as a 10 GB - which leaves very little room to work.

Anyone have a solution or have instructions for setting up a netbook instead?

Also - Do we need to use Windows 7 or is XP OK?

Mark McLeod
01-28-2011, 04:57 PM
You can regain the missing 5GB

Classmate Drive Space Recovery Procedure (http://www.usfirst.org/uploadedFiles/Robotics_Programs/FRC/Game_and_Season__Info/2011_Assets/Kit_of_Parts/Classmate%20drive%20space%20recovery%20procedure.p df)
Updated Classmate Installation Files (http://www.usfirst.org/uploadedFiles/Robotics_Programs/FRC/Game_and_Season__Info/2011_Assets/Kit_of_Parts/Updated_Classmate_Installation_Files.zip)You can leave it as XP or upgrade to Win 7

Doc Wu
02-06-2011, 11:44 PM
The images (supplied on the USB flash drives in the KOP) are only for updating the two Classmate models that were issued in the KOP over the past two years. You do not want to try to use them on any other computer!

Almost any laptop can run the driver station and be used as a replacement for the Classmate. We do it all the time with our development computers. (Dell and Toshiba laptops running XP and Win 7)

You want to be sure to do the updates that install the latest Driver Station. (and any future ones) You'll probably want to install this year's LabView, the updates, and utilities. It'll take an hour or two.

Use the version of Windows that you have. If you're buying a new computer, it will probably be some version of Win 7, and should work fine with that. Vista and XP should do as well. Be sure all service packs have been installed.

To make the computer, such as a netbook, work like the Classmate did, create a user account and name it Driver. Then put a shortcut to the FRC Driver Station in the Startup folder in that user's account. When it boots into that account, the Driver Station and Dashboard will open and tile just like on the Classmate. If the screen size is similar, it should look the same too. Exiting the Driver station will log out of the account just like the Classmate did too.

I've done this on my Acer One netbook, running XP, and it works just fine. It'll make a backup just in case.