5G Home Internet Router at FRC Events

Hello, I was wondering if it would be allowed to use a 5G Home Internet Router in the pits during the competitions. The rule in the game manual specifies Hot Spots but doesn’t say anything about hosting a legitimate wifi network. I would imagine it is not yet specified in the rules as most wifi in the past has been fiber or broadband.

as long as it isnt a wireless wifi network, but a wired tethered network, its allowed iirc

I think this is very clearly illegal per the 2024 rules.

E301 No wireless communication. Teams may not set up their own 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax/be wireless communication (e.g. access points or ad-hoc networks) in the venue.

This may change with the new radios next year though.

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I have used my T-Mobile 5G home internet device at competition, for it to be legal you need to disable the wifi radios on it. You have to tether via USB or Ethernet, no wifi allowed.

Edit: For anyone who wants to do this I used an app called Hint Control and it lets you easily turn off the wifi radios on the hotspot.

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Possibly, these radios also use 2.4GHz for untethered connections, so we might get the 5GHz band. I know they tried untethered at Chezy Champs, did they try it at worlds this year?

No, 2.4ghz was not used at champs and teams had to tether via ethernet.

I doubt the rule on hotspots or other wireless networks that are NOT THE FIELD will be relaxed, even with the new robot radios.

Many phones and devices (as far back as the pixel6), are wifi 6E capable, which could potentially throw up networks in the 6gHz space inadvertantly and cause interference.

Wifi7 of which newer devices are getting hardware for will use MLO combining 2.4, 5, and 6gHz spectrum to optimize the WiFi spectrum and actively select which band will give you the fastest result in real time, or split traffic from one source across the spectrum to optimize latency…

Although there are more and wider channels in the 6gHz spectrum space, I can forsee interference continuing to be an issue when you get 70 teams all throwing up multiple networks in the pits, the stands, etc…i just don’t see this rule relaxing in the near future.

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This year, I made it a point to get some quality of life upgrades to our pit, and this was one of them.

I setup a router with a 4G SIM card in it. You can easily buy the router online, but getting an activated SIM card is more of a pain, I was able to borrow it from my work (I’m an IT sysadmin). From there, I had wired internet drops going to where the programmers sit, so they can get internet access for github and general troubleshooting, and also going to a little computer I had setup in the pit for internet access (blue alliance, statbotics, twitch, match video replays, etc…)

Let me tell you, it’s life changing. Just gotta make sure no wifi is enabled. But frankly, even if it was allowed, that would just mean that every student would be connecting their phones and sapping the bandwidth, so probably better that it is off.

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I’ve looked into these a few times, but when I read the terms and conditions, they usually say something to the effect that if you move the modem to a different address (outside a given area) it won’t work and you have to actually register the new address and see if the service is available in that area.

Have you encountered any issues with this?

This year I brought my own wired network switch and a USB-C to Ethernet adapter to the event. Then I provided wired Internet to our pit using wired tethering on my android phone.

It cost $30 (though you might already have the necessary parts on hand), worked well, and helped us a few times. One downside was that I sometimes needed my phone. I would definitely recommend a setup like this to have wired internet in the pits.

LOL. While cruising around the floor at champs this year, I saw hundreds of hotspots. No one cared :slight_smile:

The hotspot police wasn’t out either!

They’re capable as a Wi-Fi 6E client, not an access point/hotspot here in the US. It is possible to make a 6E hotspot in some countries with a battery powered device however. This is a regulatory thing per the 6ID requirements.

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This is how 1706 does it and it works great most of the time. if possible try and put it higher up in your pit. We had connection differences from moving from a tabletop to on top of a toolbox, depending on the venue

I did notice a distinct lack of “please turn off your hotspots” announcements compared to previous years, hoping that was an intentional change. :slight_smile:

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Upstairs in FTC there were signs asking you to turn off both Bluetooth and Hotspots. I personally for how much I walked around the FRC floor didn’t see a single sign about it.

I’ve brought this all around and nothing has happened, i’ve heard of truckers using this driving all around the US with no problems.

Late this season we started using a Netgear Nighthawk M6 Pro with a boosting antenna and had the WiFi disabled. It worked great on a Verizon data plan until we burned through our allocated high speed data and then we couldn’t stream the event in our pit higher than 144p on the standard low speed data. I’ve been struggling to find hotspot specific data plans that have greater than 30gb of allocated high speed data.

I am wondering if something like a Straight Talk prepaid home internet plan with unlimited data would work? It looks like the modem has two ethernet ports.

Could pay for two months and that should cover the season.

Be careful with some of these home internet devices as even when they say they turn off the Wi-Fi AP the AP is actually still transmitting with a hidden SSID. We struggled to find a good consumer version of this that didn’t keep the wifi on but finally caved and bought a PepLink solution that is way overkill.

We used a Netgear LM1200 4G Modem for the PIT (https://a.co/d/d6DZ8nD). Along with a Unifi USG and 8 port switch. Had 3 PIT PC’s hooked up to the network, and used a ethernet tether for the robot. Anytime the robot is plugged into the pit, we have 2+ driver stations we can use, and a full code development machine for deploying code/grabbing logs.

Used a Tello wireless plan - $25 per month for unlimited data (35GB - Create a new Tello account | Register in less than a minute) - referral link.
https://tello.com/

This worked really well for web browsing, git push/pull and for FRC queue. For streaming, we couldn’t do much better than 360p on the stream, but that was not the primary use case. I’m happy with the setup, and Tello offers pay-as-you-go service, so we don’t need to pay for the plan over the summer until next year.

We used AT&T prepaid data, $90 for 100GB no restrictions on streaming. We went through 78.6GB (total) for both States and Championship. Only caveat is you need to disable the ‘stream saver’ feature to get full streaming. Didn’t realize that was a thing last year. Worked great at both events.

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