Are we alowed to use a sonaelrt on our operator interface???

Mike O’Brien
Team 384

You have no restrictions on what you can use with the OI, other than the signal coming from the OI LED outputs is limited to about 10 mA, if that is what you want to drive the Sonalert. And if that is not enough to power the Sonalert, be careful not to require AC power.

No restrictions is a bit of an overstatement. If I understand what a Sonalert is (a buzzer of some sort, right?) FIRST might have a little trouble with that. We can’t use lighted switches, but we can pull +5V off of the joystick ports to drive LEDs. Strange, but them’s the rules.

I would suggest that you post the question on the Yahoo question site. Just to make sure.

An alternative is to modify the Dashboard program and bring up a laptop. You have more latitude with what you do that way. You can make the laptop buzz or flash red on the screen. With all of the noise on stage, I think visual cues are more effective.

Both replies are correct in this respect…
The rules allow you to design any type of operator interface within the guidelines that the digital outputs can be used to drive LEDs but are current limited to 10ma each. 10ma is capable of lighting a single LED but just barely and you only have five volts available when the ouptput is “high”. If your Sonalert fits that criteria, 5volts @10ma max you might be good to go. FIRST has limited sound at competitions and may frown on sounder devices in the player station. Finally, if you are a rookie team, I can tell you from years of experience that a sounder will have to be really loud to hear over the roar of the crowd.
Good Luck All,