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Unread 11-16-2002, 09:56 AM
Andrew Andrew is offline
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Little Rock, AR
Posts: 393
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Think about all the good experience you're getting finding glitchy little problems. This will stand you in good stead come competition time.

One of the things that hasn't been mentioned (though I'm sure this is not your problem) is to make sure you're not running two OIs and RCs at once.

In our second year, we were testing the new OI/RC in one room and driving the previous year's robot in a nearby room. The robot kept acting as if it were being controlled by some "higher power." Turned out, it was getting commands from both OIs. It was also experiencing cut out problems, etc.

We also had problems this year with Robot Reset Cut Out problems. We're now pretty sure that, because our robot drew buckets of current to operate the various devices, the battery was getting pulled down below the RC operational threshhold or the modem was not putting out enough signal for the OI to continue "hand-shaking." We only use fresh robot batteries now. On another thread, it was posted that the 2002 batteries couldn't pump out as much juice as earlier year batteries. Perhaps that's part of the problem.

It's really hard to figure out these problems when they only occur in competition. Now that we are really beating on our robots in demo season, we're starting to pick up more clues as to some of the weird behavior we saw during competition.

The other spooky problem that we experienced at 2002 Nationals turned out to be our tether cord (although this same problem could occur with the radio modem cord). Someone probably stepped on the cord and broke one of the connections. During competition, all was well. In the pits on tehter, the commands from the OI seemed to be randomly turning on some of our devices. We thought it was a programming error and spent countless frantic hours trying to debug it. One of our engineering students got the bright idea to scope the cable. Viola! No continuity on one of the pins. The cable made it into the trash can in record time.

Andrew, Team 356