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Unread 03-14-2018, 07:51 PM
MrRoboSteve MrRoboSteve is offline
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paper: Driver Station Best Practices

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Driver Station Best Practices by MrRoboSteve
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Unread 03-15-2018, 09:21 AM
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Re: paper: Driver Station Best Practices

Since the topic is the driver station in general, here are a few lessons learned the hard way:
- Use game controllers or other input devices that are hardwired, not with micro USB ports in the controllers.
- Your drivers will be most efficient if they never are required to remove their eyes from the robot during the match to look down at the driver's station. Use tactile feedback, if your controllers have that function, or status lights (LED light strips work well) on the robot as visual indicators.
- Enable software logging for everything you can, including controller inputs, feedback devices, limit switches, motor currents, etc. This can be invaluable when troubleshooting unexpected controllability issues or hardware failures during a match.
- Be sure your driver station and controllers are treated with care, and not abused, between matches. Build a protected spot on your robot cart if you have to.
- Use velcro to attach the drivers station to the shelf.
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Unread 03-15-2018, 12:18 PM
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Re: paper: Driver Station Best Practices

Here are the powershell snippets I made last weekend. Start Powershell as an administrator on the driver's station and cut/paste the appropriate bits.

Code:
# Turn off the currently enabled firewall profile, 
$CurrentProfile = Get-NetFirewallProfile
Set-NetFirewallProfile -Profile $CurrentProfile.Name -Enabled False

#disable WiFi and Bluetooth
$adapters = Get-NetAdapter
foreach ($adapter in $adapters)
{
    if ($adapter.PhysicalMediaType -like "*802.11" -or $adapter.PhysicalMediaType -like "*BlueTooth")
    {
        Disable-NetAdapter -name $adapter.Name -Confirm:$false
    }

}

#Pause Windows updates
Set-Service -Name wuauserv -Status Stopped




# Turn on the currently enabled firewall profile, 
$CurrentProfile = Get-NetFirewallProfile
Set-NetFirewallProfile -Profile $CurrentProfile.Name -Enabled True

#enable WiFi and Bluetooth
$adapters = Get-NetAdapter
foreach ($adapter in $adapters)
{
    if ($adapter.PhysicalMediaType -like "*802.11" -or $adapter.PhysicalMediaType -like "*BlueTooth")
    {
        Enable-NetAdapter -name $adapter.Name -Confirm:$false
    }

}

#start Windows updates
Set-Service -Name wuauserv -Status Running
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Unread 03-15-2018, 06:50 PM
MrRoboSteve MrRoboSteve is offline
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Re: paper: Driver Station Best Practices

Thanks, Doug.

I know the quality of the driver station is kind of a boring topic when compared to robots and game strategy. At week 1 and 2 events I saw/heard about enough bad driver station situations that teams should really pay more attention. It's particularly sad when the FTA has to bypass a team because of their driver station not working well.
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Unread 03-25-2018, 11:10 PM
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Re: paper: Driver Station Best Practices

Just had a chance to browse through this. Great document, thanks for compiling.
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Unread 03-26-2018, 02:40 PM
GreyingJay GreyingJay is offline
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Re: paper: Driver Station Best Practices

Apparently in the driver station USB configuration screen, once you've scanned for your USB controller devices, you can double-click them to lock their assignments?
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Unread 03-26-2018, 02:47 PM
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Re: paper: Driver Station Best Practices

If you are looking for cheap but solid drivers stations, I use arrow direct. They are mostly business computers coming of leases. I strongly prefer the business class lenovos with real (not the collapsible) Ethernet ports.
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Unread 03-26-2018, 03:09 PM
MrRoboSteve MrRoboSteve is offline
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Re: paper: Driver Station Best Practices

Quote:
Originally Posted by GreyingJay View Post
Apparently in the driver station USB configuration screen, once you've scanned for your USB controller devices, you can double-click them to lock their assignments?
Port locking has some key constraints that people don't always think about, so I don't recommend it.

Quote:
Note: If you have two or more of the same device, they should maintain their position as long as all devices remain plugged into the computer in the same ports they were locked in. If you switch the ports of two identical devices the lock should follow the port, not the device. If you re-arrange the ports (take one device and plug it into a new port instead of swapping) the behavior is not determinate (the devices may swap slots). If you unplug one or more of the set of devices, the positions of the others may move, they should return to the proper locked slots when all devices are reconnected.
https://wpilib.screenstepslive.com/s...-by-ni-labview
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Unread 03-26-2018, 11:34 PM
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Re: paper: Driver Station Best Practices

Iíll add that itís fine fine to use a reputable* USB hub if you need more ports for joysticks or Ethernet dongles if you need. If you do use one, be sure to tie it down and properly strain relieve it so if you take a hit you donít lose all of your joysticks.


*Donít use one you found in a dollar store, spend a good $10-15 in an electronics store for one you know you can trust. It should have a built-in cable, not a separate micro USB port and cable.
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Unread 12-02-2018, 06:46 PM
MrRoboSteve MrRoboSteve is offline
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Re: paper: Driver Station Best Practices

I've updated this document based on feedback I've gotten since the 2019 competition season.
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