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Pit network for scouting

Posted by Tim Railey.

Coach on team #45, TechnoKats, from Kokomo High School and Delphi Delco Electronics.

Posted on 4/14/2000 3:39 PM MST



With all of this talk about GMCIA and different scouting systems, I think we should lobby FIRST for getting a Network setup in the pits at Regionals and the Nationals for next year. With the changes in how the game is played and the number of teams, etc. I think we really need to do some improving on the sharing of data with each other. Plus I feel this is what FIRST is all about.
I spent most of the entire National Competition, along with some other great folks, working in the GM tent trying to get scouting info gathered and entered, and though I enjoyed the company,(Martin, Mike, Nate, and others), I would have liked being in the pit area so I could talk to more teams and make more friends and see some old ones.
If we get started now and work together to push FIRST to let us get this thing going, I think we could have a pretty good system for next year.
With a pit network, we would be able to send messages to a particular team or team member and ask for specfic help or info, maybe ask if a certain team has that much needed special fastener that we need, and the list of possibilities goes on and on.
Please everyone, tell me if I am to far out there, or is it time for this?


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Re: Pit network for scouting

Posted by Justin.

Other on team Blue Lightning Alum from RWU sponsored by FIRST-A-holics Anonymous.

Posted on 4/14/2000 4:24 PM MST


In Reply to: Pit network for scouting posted by Tim Railey on 4/14/2000 3:39 PM MST:



Tim,

I will only speak to what I know as I wasn't at Nationals. But I think the way to go would be to get FIRST to allow you guys to implement your solution in the pits. It sounds like you guys have a good system and why I would push for is for FIRST to help by providing space, etc. and allowing you to implment your prooven solution to the problem! I hope we see this kind of setup in the future. I would also be great if FIRST shared their scoring database, even in readonly so that things like current stats could be incorporated into the scouting data for a team.

Good Luck,
-Justin


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Re: Pit network for scouting

Posted by Nate Smith.

Other on team #66, GM Powertrain/Willow Run HS, from Eastern Michigan University and GM Powertrain.

Posted on 4/14/2000 4:25 PM MST


In Reply to: Pit network for scouting posted by Tim Railey on 4/14/2000 3:39 PM MST:



: With all of this talk about GMCIA and different scouting systems, I think we should lobby FIRST for getting a Network setup in the pits at Regionals and the Nationals for next year. With the changes in how the game is played and the number of teams, etc. I think we really need to do some improving on the sharing of data with each other. Plus I feel this is what FIRST is all about.
: I spent most of the entire National Competition, along with some other great folks, working in the GM tent trying to get scouting info gathered and entered, and though I enjoyed the company,(Martin, Mike, Nate, and others), I would have liked being in the pit area so I could talk to more teams and make more friends and see some old ones.
: If we get started now and work together to push FIRST to let us get this thing going, I think we could have a pretty good system for next year.
: With a pit network, we would be able to send messages to a particular team or team member and ask for specfic help or info, maybe ask if a certain team has that much needed special fastener that we need, and the list of possibilities goes on and on.
: Please everyone, tell me if I am to far out there, or is it time for this?

While I would love to see a LAN wired, based on the reply that I got from FIRST when asking about getting a setup at nationals this year(I think they thought I was asking for a wired pit), I got this reply:

Additionally, FIRST cannot supply this type of resource and expense to each team since 270 teams will be there.

However, for next year, I am hoping to get a few tables to set up in the pit, similar to what SOAP did this year...I'm giving FIRST a little time off(I don't think anybody's in the office right now anyway,) then I'm going to get ahold of them on this...

Nate


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Re: Pit network for scouting

Posted by Anthony Lapp.

Engineer on team #221, MI Roboworks, from Michigan Technological University.

Posted on 4/15/2000 11:00 AM MST


In Reply to: Pit network for scouting posted by Tim Railey on 4/14/2000 3:39 PM MST:



I dont that it is out of the question for FIRST to run network cables and some hubs to all of the pits. It takes a little bit of extra effort, but if they want us to cooperate we need their help too. We worked with the GMCIA this year and I absolutely loved it. We have an extremely experienced group of scouters and team supporters, but we can't scout everyone by ourself. A pit network would be a dream come true.
Anthony Lapp
Team 221



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Re: Pit network for scouting

Posted by Leon Machado IV.

Student on team #88, TJ≤, from Bridgewater - Raynham Regional High School and Johnson & Johnson.

Posted on 4/16/2000 11:30 AM MST


In Reply to: Pit network for scouting posted by Tim Railey on 4/14/2000 3:39 PM MST:



I think it's a great idea, but it's going to take a lot of money and expertise to set up. And it would probably be Disney who would need to set it up. Maybe if we push for it, or their might be another way. We have some time to think.

Lee
Team Leader of TJ≤, Team #88


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Re: Pit network for scouting

Posted by Ryan Shanley.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]


Student on team #191, The X-Cats, from Joseph C. Wilson Magnet High School and Xerox.

Posted on 4/16/2000 2:23 PM MST


In Reply to: Pit network for scouting posted by Tim Railey on 4/14/2000 3:39 PM MST:



I don't think it would be too difficult at all to put a list of questions (agreed upon by all teams involved) in each team's pit area, which they would fill out and hand in to the registration desk on the practice day. This would save us all the time we spent this year asking and/or answering questions of hundreds of teams. Every team could be provided with a databank of this information, and with some additional work, a picture of every team's robot.


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is wireless LAN possible?

Posted by Ken Patton.   [PICTURE: SAME | NEW | HELP]


Engineer on team #65, The Huskie Brigade, from Pontiac Northern High School and GM Powertrain.

Posted on 4/16/2000 2:43 PM MST


In Reply to: Pit network for scouting posted by Tim Railey on 4/14/2000 3:39 PM MST:




Tim, I think you are right, its time for this. I don't know a lot about the technology, but wouldn't it be possible to have a wireless LAN? That would eliminate the need for FIRST or Disney to do any work, and it would get rid of the logistical nightmare of wiring the pits.

With such a system, it might be possible for teams to share whatever files they want with whoever they want, as well as for FIRST to give real-time information as they see fit.

Perhaps there is a LAN supplier who would donate the use of a server, and any team that wanted to could buy the equipment needed to wirelessly connect to the server.

Is something like this realistic? Does anyone know of a specific system we could use?

Ken



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Re: is wireless LAN possible?

Posted by Nate Smith.

Other on team #66, GM Powertrain/Willow Run HS, from Eastern Michigan University and GM Powertrain.

Posted on 4/16/2000 2:47 PM MST


In Reply to: is wireless LAN possible? posted by Ken Patton on 4/16/2000 2:43 PM MST:



: Perhaps there is a LAN supplier who would donate the use of a server, and any team that wanted to could buy the equipment needed to wirelessly connect to the server.

: Is something like this realistic? Does anyone know of a specific system we could use?

At the home improvement store I used to work at, when they updated our register/computer system, they used, in many cases, a wireless LAN system to connect the department computers to the server. While I am not sure of the name or cost of this system, I will find out what I can the next time I am home. Of course, the question is, what is the range, how much traffic could it support, and would it interfere with the control systems? I'll find out what I can then let everybody know...

Nate


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Re: is wireless LAN possible?

Posted by Kyle Huang.

Student on team #192, Gunn Robotics Team, from Gunn High School and Sun Microsystems, Nasa/Ames and Xerox PARC.

Posted on 4/16/2000 10:30 PM MST


In Reply to: is wireless LAN possible? posted by Ken Patton on 4/16/2000 2:43 PM MST:



we had a wireless LAN ready to wear at nationals. wasn't used much, however,
because we didn't have a need for it (i actually used it a lot, but if i told you all
about that i'd have to kill you =)

i think the biggest issue is making sure everyone has a wireless network card
they can use, and that they all WORK. that was one issue for us, some of the
network cards didn't plug & play. i ended up using a big modem that was
wireless, except for the power cord. it was reliable. so i think the biggest issue
with that idea is hardware compatibility. otherwise, i'd say it's a great idea!
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Re: is wireless LAN possible?

Posted by Justin Woodard.

Student on team #105, Minutemen, from Bay Path and NESS ELECTRIC CO./ MORGAN CONST./ SHIPLEY, CO..

Posted on 4/18/2000 9:15 AM MST


In Reply to: is wireless LAN possible? posted by Ken Patton on 4/16/2000 2:43 PM MST:



I like the Idea but how realistic is it. If you fond a company that would donate cards, and a server. You would still need people to run the server, people to help team to get up and running. I think to get all the competitors up and going it would be real hard, not saying it canít be done, but on a small scale it could work. A small-scale network would be a grate start to a full-scale network at first.
On the idea of interfering if you can get a system that run at 900mhz it would be about the same as a cell phone and cell phones are permitted. But it just varies on the system.





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900MHz = Radio Modem Band (EOM)

Posted by Nate Smith.

Other on team #66, GM Powertrain/Willow Run HS, from Eastern Michigan University and GM Powertrain.

Posted on 4/18/2000 9:16 AM MST


In Reply to: Re: is wireless LAN possible? posted by Justin Woodard on 4/18/2000 9:15 AM MST:



: I like the Idea but how realistic is it. If you fond a company that would donate cards, and a server. You would still need people to run the server, people to help team to get up and running. I think to get all the competitors up and going it would be real hard, not saying it canít be done, but on a small scale it could work. A small-scale network would be a grate start to a full-scale network at first.
: On the idea of interfering if you can get a system that run at 900mhz it would be about the same as a cell phone and cell phones are permitted. But it just varies on the system.




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Re: is wireless LAN possible?

Posted by Mike King.

Other on team #88, TJ≤, from Bridgewater Raynham and Johnson & Johnson Professional.

Posted on 4/21/2000 11:22 PM MST


In Reply to: is wireless LAN possible? posted by Ken Patton on 4/16/2000 2:43 PM MST:



I've dealt a little with wireless LANS. They are a great solution for what they are desinged for.

On the downside, I remember hearing the number 250 as the max number of clients on the same wireless network. (more or less depending on the utilization of the network)

Also, you looking at a very expensive solution.
Each AccessPoint cover an (ideal) 500' (at 1000 dollars each)

Each PCMCIA card is about 150-200 dollars each.

(I'm working off of Cabletron Roamabout Specs, considered the leading wireless tech as of last month)

What ever they go with should be 802.11 complient (the 11meg/sec standard). (It's an industry standard, as opposed to the 'Open-Air' standard)

But by next year, all the trade papers are predicting the new 25 meg/sec wireless spec, so it's really a moot point to discuss how expensive it is, when it may not even be sold next year.

So I guess this post was sorta useless. It's 1am, I'm going to bed.


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Re: Pit network

Posted by Justin Woodard.

Student on team #105, Minutemen, from Bay Path and NESS ELECTRIC CO./ MORGAN CONST./ SHIPLEY, CO..

Posted on 4/17/2000 8:35 AM MST


In Reply to: Pit network for scouting posted by Tim Railey on 4/14/2000 3:39 PM MST:



I think a pit network would be a grate addition too first. I now that this year I was in the pitís most of the time and having a network would be a tremendous help. Being able to talk to people, do some scouting, or get that part that you canít find from the pit, I think it would be great to have. You have my vote.



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Re: Pit network for scouting

Posted by Janna.

Student on team #349, The RoBahamas, from International Academy and Ford Motor Company.

Posted on 4/18/2000 2:47 PM MST


In Reply to: Pit network for scouting posted by Tim Railey on 4/14/2000 3:39 PM MST:



Hey everyone,

Ok, I am not a computer person or anything, so I'll apologize right now if I'm misunderstanding anything you all have said...but I just wanted to bring up a reason FIRST might not go for that plan. I think it sounds great, personally...but I think FIRST would probably cringe at the thought of all that nice high-tech computer equipment being set up right where so much machining and robot work is taking place. Now if they just had the computers and stuff in one place or in only a few places throughout the pits, they could reasonably protect everything. So yeah...the idea sounds great for all of us on the teams, but it just might not sound so great to FIRST or any companies who want to donate equipment. Really, I like it though!

Janna


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