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Unread 11-06-2009, 10:33 AM
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[OCCRA]: OCCRA Vex Net Please read 11_06_09

In an effort to get all teams up to speed with VEX Net please read below. We want ALL teams to be successful with our new VEX Net system. Many have it working great.... a few are lagging in effort and need a little push.

WE NEED YOU TO COME PREPARED TO RUN THE VEXNET SYSTEM AND WE WILL ONLY ALLOW TEAMS TO RESORT TO THE USE OF CRYSTALS FOR SITUATIONS WHERE WE ARE UNABLE TO GET THE VEXNET WORKING.
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Unread 11-10-2009, 07:10 PM
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Re: [OCCRA]: OCCRA Vex Net Please read 11_06_09

Mike,
Good news. The 3 original VEXnet units that were sent to VEX robotics are in the mail returning to us. If they arrive by tomorrow evening, I will bring them to the Waterford Tournament on Thursday. After testing, I would like to return them to their rightful team owners. See you Thursday!
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Unread 11-10-2009, 10:29 PM
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Re: [OCCRA]: OCCRA Vex Net Please read 11_06_09

For what it's worth, we ran a 27-team VRC tournament last weekend with two or three VEXnet robots, and they worked flawlessly. After this, we are ordering VEXnet for all of our team's robots this week. Crystals are too much hassle by comparison.

I hope your experience ends up just as positive.
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Unread 11-11-2009, 06:28 PM
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Re: [OCCRA]: OCCRA Vex Net Please read 11_06_09

You must not have heard about the problems OCCRA has had with VEXnet. Around half of us have killed our RC upgrade units or they were faulty. That is why OCCRA still allows us to use Crystals if we can't get our VEXnet working. I would agree though, that VEXnet helps with competitions, and I was in favor of the VEXnet upgrade until I fried my VEXnet upgrade. I no longer like VEXnet, as it has been show to be unreliable. Hopefully Innovation First will fix this in the future.
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Unread 11-15-2009, 12:32 PM
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Re: [OCCRA]: OCCRA Vex Net Please read 11_06_09

What did you do that fried your Rx Upgrade? I want to make sure I don't screw up the new one Mr. Center gave us.
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Unread 11-15-2009, 04:17 PM
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Re: [OCCRA]: OCCRA Vex Net Please read 11_06_09

No idea.
Marc Center seems to think that an error in the firmware caused something to get corrupted when we loaded code. Other than that, it just died when we were working on it before a competition.
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Unread 11-17-2009, 03:02 PM
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Thumbs up Re: [OCCRA]: OCCRA Vex Net Please read 11_06_09

Andrew,
When a VEX microcontroller goes down I have generally found that
1) Student programming error is major cause (> 80%)
2) Student programming with low battery may be potential cause. A firmware
reload appears to fix this "anedotal" problem. ( < 10%)
3) VEX microcontroller hardware error is very small percentage of the cause
(1 unit from all of our OCCRA units so far < 30 units).

This year OCCRA is using VEXnet. We are using the older style VEX transmitters upgraded with VEXnet hardware. Some competitions are using newer style VEX transmitters that are different from our units.
Our VEXnet transmitters and receivers have received a firmware update from IFI. We need to experiment with them a little more before we jump to any conclusions about their behavior.
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Unread 11-17-2009, 05:49 PM
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Re: [OCCRA]: OCCRA Vex Net Please read 11_06_09

1.
How could code cause problems for the VEXnet? If the code encounters an error, and does not update the master by the time the master receives the next data packet (18.5ms), then the PGM STATUS light will turn red and the master will kill the user. As far as I can see, this does not cause any problems (I actually use this as a stop switch). It the VEXnet system can be killed by student programming error, then the system is not designed correctly.

2.
If the battery is low, the only reason for a problem is if the battery is low enough to cause the processor to reset. This *shouldnt* cause a problem for the VEXnet since you would only need a new battery and to reload the code. As far as I know, the VEXnet dosen't actually store any data except possibly to buffer it in RAM while transfering. Once again, if it can't handle a normal situation, then it is not designed well.

3. Hardware problems are reasonable. I understand that these are early models and may have a few bugs.

New VEX transmitter? I can't seem to find that on the VEX site... Seems like they still sell the 75mhz system and VEXnet upgrades, no new transmitters yet (although they have hinted on one to be released next year). Unless you mean they released a firmware upgrade on the VEXnet upgrades for the transmitter, I can see no difference... Although they did hint to the release of a new VEXnet transmitter that is more like a ps2 joystick, which will have VEXnet only operation. That will come after the Cortex microcontroller, which has not yet been released.



Could you possibly be thinking of the RC and not the RC Upgrade? I am talking about the RC Upgrade, not the RC itself. The RC works fine.
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Last edited by apalrd : 11-17-2009 at 07:48 PM.
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Unread 11-23-2009, 09:32 AM
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Re: [OCCRA]: OCCRA Vex Net Please read 11_06_09

Andrew,

1) Previous post was discussing VEX microcontroller issues. When a VEX microcontroller goes down I have generally found that .You jumped over to VEXnet issues. In this case, we are now comparing apples to oranges and your comments do not apply.

2) ditto with 1)

3) Information regarding New VEX transmitter units comes from personal source who attended 2009 World VEX competions in Dallas, TX and was involved in Beta testing the new systems. I have not seen/touched one of these units but have been told that other VEX competitions have used these units. So, don't base your information on only what you can read on the VEX Robotics website.
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Last edited by marccenter : 11-23-2009 at 09:39 AM. Reason: continue
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Unread 11-23-2009, 10:14 AM
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Re: [OCCRA]: OCCRA Vex Net Please read 11_06_09

There is apparently still some confusion about VEX product futures. Most new mechanical products aren't announced before they start shipping, but in the electronics and control world, here is what is coming and the announced expected delivery.

1. VEXNet upgrade to the 75 Mhz transmitters and the V.5 controllers: shipping now. Our team just ordered and received 10, but IFI does say they are still in short supply.

2. VEXNet upgrades to the competition field electronics. While this is mostly of interest to event organizers, the VEXNet field upgrade is in very short supply, but some units have been shipped. According to IFI, another batch is going out in December.

3. The new 32-bit Cortex VEX controller: the last announcement was that these were going to be available this calendar year. These controllers work with either the VEXNet USB device or with 75 MHz receivers.

4. The new 32-bit ARM9 controller: shipping in 2010. No specific date.

5. The new VEXNet joystick transmitter: this is a VEXNet transmitter which looks something like an X-Box control, and was announced for first shipment in the first quarter of 2010.

The current V.5 controllers are being continued as an entry-level option, and (although I haven't seen a public announcement) the current transmitters should continue, also. Most VEX users are in the classroom, not on the competition field, and the crystal-controlled solutions are a less-expensive alternative that works fine for most applications.

IFI has not announced any other new transmitters or receivers. IFI has not yet announced whether or not the new ARM controllers will be legal for VRC this year. IFI has announced that VEXNet will be required on all robots competing at World Championships.

EDITED TO ADD: Link to IFI announcement: http://www.vexforum.com/showthread.php?t=16311
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Last edited by Rick TYler : 11-23-2009 at 10:18 AM.
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