Field issues - 01/20/12 Team Update

This is the update from 01/20/12. Has this been tried at all? Seems to be more than a few field issues.

GAME - Team UPDATE - 2012-01-20
Code Bondé

Summary: If a competition’s wireless environment has too many Access Points (AP’s), the wireless bridge provided to teams will not be able to connect to the field’s AP. Should FIRST determine that an event meets this criteria, we will employ an emergency procedure, called Operation Bondé, to insure that the event continues with minimal impact. This determination will most likely be made Wednesday or Thursday morning, and will be communicated to teams as early as possible. In the event of an Operation Bondé, teams will use a DLink DIR-825, provided by FIRST in the queue, instead of the DAP-1522 that’s required by the rules.

Background: The DAP-1522 wireless bridge required for competition will not link to FIRST’s field access point if there are more than approximately 60 active access points in the venue. FIRST is working with all scheduled venues to reduce the number of access points active during the competition.

In the event that a venue cannot limit the number of active access points, FIRST will implement the emergency WiFi plan. FIRST has identified and tested an alternate bridge, the DIR-825, which is successful at reliably connecting with the FIRST access point in hostile WiFi environments like those described above.

Detail: FIRST will ship a small batch of these devices to each event to be used in the event of a hostile wireless environment. Teams will be asked to trade out their DAP-1522 wireless bridge for the FIRST provided DIR-825 while they’re in queuing, use it in the match, and then return it to the field crew after leaving the field.

Teams will still go through inspection with their DAP-1522 (to meet size and weight parameters); the DIR-825 will not be subjected to inspection. Also, teams won’t have to configure the DIR-825, they will be preconfigured.

Other quick facts:
It’s larger: 7.6" x 4.6" x 1.2" versus 4.4" x 5.7" x 1.3".
It’s heavier: 0.7 lbs versus 0.5 lbs.
It has two external antennae.
It requires 12V and the alternate bridge will be provided with a 4 ½ ft power cord with connector. Teams will plug it directly in to the dedicated 12V supply on the Power Distribution Board (it doesn’t use the Current Logic converter).

We do not recommend teams purchase these devices as their use in the 2012 competition is improbable and if employed, the radios will be preconfigured so team-supplied DIR-825s will not be used.

Yup, they used it at FLR, seemingly without a hitch. (We didn’t have to trade radios every time we went out – each team was given one for the duration of the Regional).

Were there still field issues?

Not that I’m aware of, but it’s entirely possible that other teams had problems and I was too busy to notice. I know some teams were having problems with CPU lag, usually fixable by dropping the frame rate of their camera. Maybe Koko Ed could provide more details on that end.

I wonder why we were not given this option. I don’t know how many access points there were, but on my iPhone, there was a scrolling list when I checked it out on Thursday. I forgot about this update…

When I asked FTA about this, I was told that we would only get the alternative wireless bridge if all teams were experiencing problems. So this was not an option for our team