Today we experienced a very odd situation upon connecting to the field: the driver station connected fine (all 3 green lights), the RPi cameras worked fine, but on the tablet that the field has it said that we have Ethernet DS but not Robot… This mismatch between the two confused even the field staff, and restarting the robot, opening/closing the DS program, and unplugging/replugging Ethernet kept on returning us to a state of the DS saying everything is fine but the FMS tablet saying otherwise. Eventually, we restarted the DS computer, reconnected, and then both the DS and the tablet had connection.
Does anyone have any ideas for why this was happening? I think the field staff uploaded it to the HQ slack, but I’m not sure as we solved the problem by restarting.
You should be rebooting the DS computer between every match honestly. The symptoms you’re describing are not all that out of the ordinary, and several troubleshooting steps could have achieved the same result. I wouldn’t be too concerned unless its happening often.
Additionally, you could make sure you have any WiFi or other networking adapters disabled, computer is set to get IPv4 address via DHCP, and Windows Firewall is turned off.
A few different things can be happening to give the “X” over the DS tab of the Field Monitor.
The most common one is firewall blocking. I have seen robots connect to the field and cameras start streaming, but the Field Monitor will not acknowledge the DS app running because a firewall is running.
The second most common one is a bad DHCP address. With the robot radio now handing out IP addresses on the wired side of the network, tethering in the pits will give your laptop a DHCP address in the correct range. Sometimes, however, Windows does not release that IP address and request a new one from the field. This year, there is a new “refresh network” button in the Driver Station app (a little refresh symbol on the tab with all of the indicator lights). This will release and renew the IP address of the computer automatically, and it will typically connect after that.
Other times, it is just Windows waiting to “identify” the network, which can take quite a while on some laptops. Once it identifies the network, it will come up on its own. I have seen several team’s laptops take a long time to identify, and there is not much that can be done about it.
Definitely double check the firewall, but it sounds like it had a stale IP address that only got renewed when you rebooted.
I guess the next question (which I doubt you will remember the answer to) is this: was the stack light above your driver station still flashing?
There have been several times when I have been FTAA where the field monitor actually craps out on us and reports that some robots are not connected, but the field goes green and everything is ready to go. (I once stopped a countdown because the field monitor said “Match Not Ready” while the stack light was green and got a good lesson in how the process goes behind the scenes…)
Were they looking at the field monitor hooked to the FTA Toughbook on the scorer’s table? If there is wireless interference in the building, sometimes phones/tablets/etc. that the FTA/FTAA has will stop talking to the field AP for a bit and the field monitor on their device does not refresh.
In the long run - if it has only happened to you once, it was most likely a fluke. If it keeps happening, there may be something else going on. I have seen certain laptops just refuse to work, and swapping an identical model in works just fine. Windows can be Windows sometimes and just refuse to do its job.