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Unread 12-11-2011, 04:12 PM
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Driver's Stations

Hey guys and girls. I was curious about driver stations. How has your team approached them? Pictures are much appreciated.
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Unread 12-11-2011, 04:21 PM
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Re: Driver's Stations

We have had many iterations of our drive station, 2009-2010 a piece of ply wood painted blue and gold with the 2009 control system/ the 2010 classmate siting on a smoked piece of lexan. (sorry no pics) Last year (2011) we used just a piece of lexan, didn't work out to well. Right now we are coming up with a new one!
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Unread 12-11-2011, 04:33 PM
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Re: Driver's Stations

From what we've learned, a good driver station should have the following things:

1) Be light. Not fun waiting in line holding a 20 pound driver station.
2) A place for the PC, controllers, etc. Clean, and evenly spaced out.
3. A place where the wires can be organized. (Messy wires are a pain in the chassis)
4) A place where all input and output wires can be easily accessible.
5. Preferably have the controls bolted down if possible, or a place for controls to be set.

Overall, something that can be set up quickly, with little to no hassle.
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Unread 12-11-2011, 04:41 PM
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Re: Driver's Stations

Previous to me on the team, they made an elevated platform from an old KOP.
But this year we just simply used a peice of plywood with velcro to hold the joysticks and zip ties to reduce the wire clutter. This wasn't that great because when we sat it down the wires always ended underneath and we had to pull them out.

Things I've learned,
-definately secure your joysticks or other light parts
-elevated surface is nice for carrying and placement (make sure the legs fit on the provided space)
-if you can secure the wires down or contain them, that helps
-and pls, pls, pls do not make one that is a disaster every time it has to get moved: Several times I have seen teams make a whole folding mechanism that folds into a box for carrying but it took forever for someone to do it and wires would always dangle out and have to be crammed in; so both alliances would be all ready at their DS while one team was still waited for the team from the previous match to get out of the way
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Unread 12-11-2011, 04:47 PM
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Re: Driver's Stations

We make a new one each year for some inane reason but my favorite one was just a plywood frame with a sheet of red-painted regolith. Then we placed two long strips of velcro on it like racing stripes and attached everything to those.

Light, modular, and as neat as we needed it to be.
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Unread 12-11-2011, 04:54 PM
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Re: Driver's Stations

How does everyone secure the laptop to the driver station. Last year we just had it sitting there and could have easily fell off. I dont want that again.
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Unread 12-11-2011, 04:57 PM
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Re: Driver's Stations

Quote:
Originally Posted by akoscielski3 View Post
How does everyone secure the laptop to the driver station. Last year we just had it sitting there and could have easily fell off. I dont want that again.
Zip ties? Duct tape?

Duck tape?
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Unread 12-11-2011, 05:00 PM
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Re: Driver's Stations

I think zipties is the way i will go lmao. I dont think the programmers will want duct tape on their brand new laptop... I was thinking of Velcro but then there would be Velcro on the bottom of the laptop forever.
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Unread 12-11-2011, 05:03 PM
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Re: Driver's Stations

Quote:
Originally Posted by akoscielski3 View Post
I think zipties is the way i will go lmao. I dont think the programmers will want duct tape on their brand new laptop... I was thinking of Velcro but then there would be Velcro on the bottom of the laptop forever.
We use Velcro.
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Unread 12-11-2011, 05:16 PM
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Re: Driver's Stations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallry View Post
We use Velcro.
Do you leave the Velcro on after The season? If so does it get annoying? and if you take it off isnt there sticky stuff left on the bottom of the laptop?
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Unread 12-11-2011, 05:21 PM
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Re: Driver's Stations

We have made lexan buckles that hold the laptop down. The joysticks are also held down with lexan. The buckles screw into a plywood DS. For the past two years we made ours into a fold up box with a handle. We are pretty fast about getting in and out. It is a little heavy but in our next iteration we plan on adding back pack straps.
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Unread 12-11-2011, 05:21 PM
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Re: Driver's Stations

In the pre-2010 years, 1126 had a big driver station: a long sheet of diamond plate, on which sat the sensitive electronics, with a plate of some transparent material (I'm almost positive it was lexan, but it was a while ago and I was never really involved in that stuff. On that sat the controllers and everything else.

Well, after several generations of operators (who were charged with carrying that monstrosity and setting it up) hating it, we upgraded. In 2010, our driver station consists of three sheets of lexan hinged together, so it can be folded up. We had a strap connected both ends, so the operator can carry it on his/her shoulder. The joysticks were velcroed(?) to the end panels, with the center panel having sort of a "pedestal", on which sat the classmate with velcro to secure it, and underneath were all the connectors.

2011 brought yet another iteration: affectionately known as the "Box of Wonder". Because we made the jump to PS2 controllers this year, but didn't need as much space. Our drive station consisted of a box with a flip-out lid held shut by a caraveener when not in use. The box had strips of velcro inside of it to hold the controllers when not in use, as well are large strips to hold the Classmate. Again, we had a shoulder strap for ease of carrying. We've been very happy with this iteration.

That's pretty much our drive station history for the last few years.

I hope this helps. Feel free to ask if you need to know anything else!
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Unread 12-11-2011, 05:31 PM
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Re: Driver's Stations

Thanks guys. We made one in 2010 that was a sheet of lexan or plexiglass with 1inch square tubing around all sides the wires fit nicely underneath. The classmate was velcroed on and there was velcro on the bottom of the station.
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Unread 12-11-2011, 05:36 PM
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Re: Driver's Stations

Everything on our driver station (laptop and joysticks) are held down with Velcro. It works out well for us
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Unread 12-11-2011, 05:39 PM
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Re: Driver's Stations

Quote:
Originally Posted by akoscielski3 View Post
Do you leave the Velcro on after The season? If so does it get annoying? and if you take it off isnt there sticky stuff left on the bottom of the laptop?
I'm not certain, but I believe we keep the velcro on the laptop all year (or on the laptop safety case that it's in when we use it).
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