Einstein Field issues Handled correctly?

Inferring nothing about the teams that played in the finals I believe the field problems were handled very poorly. I know there are time concerns but that was unacceptable. What do you think?

Edit: btw this happened to us (Code Orange 3476) twice on the Archimedes field.

Agreed. They should have moved to another field and tried again.

Honestly, While I completely disagree with how things were handled, what else could they do? All other fields were torn down, and they spent every second not playing trying to find the root of the problem.

That is also a problem… they need to keep at least one other field ready to go in case this kind of thing happens…

They should have gone to Galileo after the first replay when 118 sat dead in the replayed SF1.1

The other fields were not torn down, but even with that in mind, there really was nothing that they (logistically) could do. Add that to the huge storm, they handled it the only way they could. They couldn’t move everyone, it would be a logistical mess. They couldn’t change the field or change the red alliance station, that would take way too long. The only thing that I think they could have possibly done(and even this is a longshot, I think the FMS would prevent it from going smoothly) would be having the red and blue alliances switch so that they could make ONE HUNDRED PERCENT sure that it was the field, and not the robots*

*I’m not saying it was the robots, but this would make it so that there’s absolutely no way they could say, ‘It’s you, not the field’

I feel bad for 180, 25, and 16. Sure they were declared the winners, but it will forever be a tainted win. We will never know who the real winners should have been.

I’m sure for next year, this is going to be on the list of “things to make happen.”

For me, I can’t be sure if they did the right thing or not. Under the circomstances, they probably did while in retrospect they didn’t. Obviously there wasn’t some backup plan in the event of the Einstein field having such errors, if it was the field at all. It might have been a “Einstein, the unsinkable field” mentality that it’s been given time and time again, so having or needing a backup plan in case all goes haywire wasn’t on anyone’s mind.

That being said, as a volunteer myself I tend to give credit to the other volunteers and give them the benefit of the doubt that they did all they could. I won’t say the field was to blame, but I would site the field as a probable culprit.

TL;DR, I don’t know. But at least we know next year will have a lot more backup plans just in case of similar situations in the future, as well as a series of steps that would be taken to handle the issues correctly.

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Based on the situation they should have taken a break (30-45 minutes) to correctly review the issue and to allow the teams to test their connections. Just allow the teams spectating and competing to go break for a dinner break instead of just allowing the teams to suffer. How they handled the situation was very unprofessional as they did not even acknowledge after the replay any remaining issues and just remained quiet for an extended period of time before announcing the results.

I don’t know that I would call it a tainted win because we don’t have any real information (other than our observations) to support that it is a field problem. Yes, this is the first time we’ve seen this kind of failure on Einstein but I don’t think anything should be taken away from the winning alliance. We’ll probably learn more soon…hopefully.

Did they handle it right? I’d say that they handled it well after the first 2 failures by replaying the matches. After that, I’m sure they did the best they could. No one wants to see robot bricks on any field at any level.

Logistically, they did almost everything they could have. Replaying the first two semis was the only thing they could, I doubt from that point on they could realistically have replayed more matches, or used more time. They have a schedule to keep to.

However I do agree that they should have swapped sides, I’ve never been a volunteer but I imagine that’s not too burdensome to change, and they should come up with a back-up plan in case of failure.

All in all it was the problem itself that was disappointing, not necessarily the solution. How they handle this problem hasn’t been concluded, so I’d await further judgement. If they come out with some sort of explanation, it would help immensely.

I may take some flack for this, so I’ll try and explain my thought process as thoroughly as possible. I’m not yet entirely convinced that it’s the field/FIRST’s problem, and I don’t think I know enough to make an educated call. I agree that it looks very suspicious, but this is how I see it.

These problems are very hard to diagnose the root cause of. There have been numerous long threads here listing as much evidence as we can, and many of the greatest minds in FRC haven’t yet figured it out. These are not easy problems to solve, and I have full confidence that the FRC staff is working as hard as they can to work this out.

Many times, it is actually a robot problem. There have been loose connectors, USB issues, and more. After the CT Regional (which had its fair share of communication issues), I spent some time talking to the FTA. We agreed that some (but not all) of the problems were team caused - IIRC, there was a team that admitted its own fault on this. For the rest of the problems, the FTA said that he simply didn’t know. There are so many variables constantly changing, and it’s extremely hard to debug with the tools available. WiFi networks can be very tricky, especially regarding interference. I’m not saying it’s FIRST’s problem, and I’m not saying it’s the teams’ problem. Just trying to look at the big picture here.

Now, with a little more respect to today’s Einstein matches, specifically. Yes, it is fishy that for some teams, this was the first sign of communication trouble. Yes, it is fishy that the robot at Red 2 was totally dead for 3+ matches in a row. Yes, this is a huge problem - just look at Dean and Woodie’s facial expressions during their speeches, they both looked REALLY stressed out, and with good reason.

But if you were in their situation, what would you have done? Consider the weather: electrical storms and hail. That can’t be good for the field networks. Now, I’m not in St. Louis now, but I think the inclement weather started right around the same time as the Einstein matches (EDIT: apparently, it started for the finals. But it’s still possible for there to be electromagnetic interference before and after the hail started, since the storm was still in the area). Thunderstorms and field trouble are correlated, in this case (but this doesn’t imply causation, however). But I think the weather played a large part in the trouble - the field network had to have had some problems with all the electrical interference in the air, from both the weather and people’s devices in the stands. I would love to see some data from the FMS logs, DS logs from teams competing on Einstein, and any data about wifi traffic in the area. It may shed some light on the problems.

I do think they should have considered moving to another field or switching red/blue, and I hope they did consider that. But they decided not to, for whatever reason, and I remain confident that they chose this with a rational explanation; I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt on that one.

Let’s be frank: getting eliminated due to connection issues is just an absolutely awful way to go. There’s no ifs, ands, or buts about it. It sucks. A lot. We see that we have a problem. Complaining won’t solve anything. Let’s look at the big picture, and try to see how all the many variables fit into place. The problem is complicated enough on its own. Let’s put our heads together, collect as much hard data points as we can, and try to fix things.

tl;dr: I’m not going to pass judgement on how things were handled and whose fault it was. I wasn’t in St. Louis, and I don’t know all the facts that the field people knew. Until I know as much as possible, I’m going to refrain from saying it was either party’s fault. Let’s try to get as much data as possible into the open and work together to solve the problem instead of mudslinging on whose fault it was.

EDIT x2: I’m not saying that it’s nobody’s fault. It’s possible that it is entirely FIRST’s fault. But I don’t feel comfortable making that call with the current information available to me.

So let me get this right… The general consensus is that it was the Einstein field in particular causing the issue?

Because the way I see it, it was more likely caused by the large number of 3g phone signals creating massive wireless noise.

180, 25, and 16 played and won on the red alliance. The field issues seemed to be just with the red alliance, so I would not consider it a “tainted” win.

I cheered when they announced replaying both matches. That was the correct decision, and as far as I know, the only decision they could have made.


Yes, the issues on Einstein were horrible, but after the first replay all you could really do is watch the train crash happen. The single most important thing is how FIRST addresses the problem in the coming weeks and months. If there isn’t any comment or statement out of FIRST within a week or two, then I think we should all be highly concerned.

Simply not true. Blue alliance had com issues as well. Although strangely they surfaced later in the tournament.

That and the weather…

I am curious as to how it would be possible for electrical interference in an enclosed dome where there was no apparent power surges or outages. Not to sound rude but is that even possible?

This makes a lot of sense. To me, a field doesnt simply “go bad” for random driver stations at random times. It must have been an external cause

I don’t know if its possible or not, but after living in ST. Louis my whole life, I have seen this stuff happen during bad weather. Sometimes during bad weather I will lose wireless, without a power surge or outage. I wouldn’t put it past the Midwest…