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Unread 04-28-2012, 11:01 PM
DominickC DominickC is offline
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The communication tides are shifting...

After today's lack-luster performance from the FMS on the Einstein field, many people are beginning to lose faith in the FMS and current mode of communication. I happen to be one of them. Problems began at Regionals, and were exacerbated on Einstein. Common sense says that if a robot and DS ran fine in Match 1, if nothing changed between Match 1 and Match 2, the robot should preform just as well in Match 2. Unfortunately, this was not the case.

It might be time for FIRST to shift from their current setup to a more robust and reliable way for robots to talk with the field and DS's.

What say you?
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Unread 04-28-2012, 11:04 PM
Racer26 Racer26 is offline
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Re: The communication tides are shifting...

Never should have moved away from the IFI system.

The current cRIO is a solution akin to using a sledgehammer to drive a finishing nail. Sure, it works, but its clunky.
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Unread 04-28-2012, 11:05 PM
DominickC DominickC is offline
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Re: The communication tides are shifting...

Wasn't the cRIO initially designed to be used in an industrial setting as a data logger?
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Unread 04-28-2012, 11:06 PM
shawnz shawnz is offline
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Re: The communication tides are shifting...

I think the idea of using Wi-Fi is mostly fine, but the hardware we're using for it (d-link consumer products) isn't the most robust ever. I personally think the cRIO is a godsend over the old PIC18 stuff.
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Unread 04-28-2012, 11:11 PM
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Re: The communication tides are shifting...

If they really want to stick with a TCP/IP based solution, they should run it on the licensed 3GHz band, using gear like the stuff made by Ubiquiti Networks.
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Unread 04-28-2012, 11:23 PM
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Re: The communication tides are shifting...

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Originally Posted by DominickC View Post
Wasn't the cRIO initially designed to be used in an industrial setting as a data logger?
It's a real time industrial control system. It's plenty hardy enough for what we're doing and the treatment we're giving it. I'm seriously doubting this is a hardware problem with the cRIO. It's possible it's a software problem with the cRIO or FMS, but the most likely answer really seems to revolve around our consumer-grade WiFi radios. The fact that a firmware change on the router causes massive communication problems is pretty troubling, really.
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Unread 04-28-2012, 11:28 PM
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Re: The communication tides are shifting...

/sarcasm/ Yes, let's get rid of the crio and never again using vision processing or any of the cool advanced things introduced with it. /sarcasm/

The crio isn't the problem. It's the connection with the field.

I'm all for a new piece of equipment that better connects to field, but first we have to find one. Something we implement in our team is "don't shoot down an idea unless you have a better one".

So, get your heads a cracken and those brains a moven. Let's find us a new bridge.
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Unread 04-28-2012, 11:29 PM
Steven Donow Steven Donow is offline
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Re: The communication tides are shifting...

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Originally Posted by Kevin Sevcik View Post
It's a real time industrial control system. It's plenty hardy enough for what we're doing and the treatment we're giving it. I'm seriously doubting this is a hardware problem with the cRIO. It's possible it's a software problem with the cRIO or FMS, but the most likely answer really seems to revolve around our consumer-grade WiFi radios. The fact that a firmware change on the router causes massive communication problems is pretty troubling, really.
Exactly. We're having data processed on an industrial-grade controller with a consumer-grade transmitter. That's the problem I see. I think the best we can hope for right now is that next year in the KOP we get a nice new radio that's much much more powerful than the one we currently have.
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Unread 04-28-2012, 11:30 PM
DominickC DominickC is offline
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Re: The communication tides are shifting...

If the issue actually does stem from our radios, why was this issue not uncovered in 2009 when FIRST switched over to TCP/IP?
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Unread 04-28-2012, 11:36 PM
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Re: The communication tides are shifting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperNerd256 View Post
/sarcasm/ Yes, let's get rid of the crio and never again using vision processing or any of the cool advanced things introduced with it. /sarcasm/

The crio isn't the problem. It's the connection with the field.

I'm all for a new piece of equipment that better connects to field, but first we have to find one. Something we implement in our team is "don't shoot down an idea unless you have a better one".

So, get your heads a cracken and those brains a moven. Let's find us a new bridge.
Not sure how your team is doing vision processing... Most teams use the laptop for that to not reduce robot performance... Also, there was vision processing before the C-RIO. Look at Rack 'n Roll (2007)...

Anyways, C-RIO needs to stay. The kit needs some updates with more safety protection (built in) for the thousands of dollars in electronics we have. WI-FI will stay. It's secure and quick. The current problems lie within the field system. Also, the paranoia about wireless work in the pits needs to stop. If the system can't handle wireless pit work, then they are doing something wrong...
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Unread 04-28-2012, 11:36 PM
shawnz shawnz is offline
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Re: The communication tides are shifting...

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Originally Posted by DominickC View Post
If the issue actually does stem from our radios, why was this issue not uncovered in 2009 when FIRST switched over to TCP/IP?
Well, aside from the fact that different wireless bridges were used in 2009, the problem may represent a more complete usage of the platform by teams now than there was then.
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Unread 04-28-2012, 11:37 PM
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Re: The communication tides are shifting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DominickC View Post
If the issue actually does stem from our radios, why was this issue not uncovered in 2009 when FIRST switched over to TCP/IP?
a new model came out this year. so they obviously activated the code to break old ones so everyone byes new ones.


a team by us had random communication issues from the beginning of the year. They tested the bridge on two separate robots, made a thread here asking for advice, but nothing stopped it. the communication seemed to drop out randomly
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Last edited by 372 lives on : 04-28-2012 at 11:45 PM.
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Unread 04-28-2012, 11:39 PM
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Re: The communication tides are shifting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DominickC View Post
If the issue actually does stem from our radios, why was this issue not uncovered in 2009 when FIRST switched over to TCP/IP?
We actually lost in CT that year to comms issues only uncovered well after the regional, albeit due to irregular coding structure.

In 2010, the radio used was much simpler. The question, really, is what changed between 2011 and 2012 that caused this disaster.
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Unread 04-28-2012, 11:40 PM
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Re: The communication tides are shifting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by DominickC View Post
If the issue actually does stem from our radios, why was this issue not uncovered in 2009 when FIRST switched over to TCP/IP?
a few reasons:

1. there were packet size rules, which limited bandwidth, hence why until 2011 nobody really used a live camera feed.

2..they were using different radios (linksys gaming adapters) 2009-2010. 2011 was the introduction of multiport bridges, which allowed the bypass of the cRIO for camera feeds. The reason it became an issue this year might be because the bypassed camera trick wasn't stock in the code in 2011 but was in 2012, resulting in more team using the live camera feeds and in turn increasing the load on the communication equipment.
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Unread 04-28-2012, 11:41 PM
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Re: The communication tides are shifting...

I think we need find a radio supplier that will show up at each of the competitions to help us through our troubles.

Also, there needs to be a better way to diagnose the entire system. Event logging in the radios would help.
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