First, some background. I’m working out details on upgrades to our broadcasting equipment at the Michigan Advanced Robotics Competition this year. I’d like to develop a more advanced audience display to integrate into Open Broadcaster for the web stream (and hopefully displays at the event itself), but I’m going to need some help in order to achieve it.
I’m looking for anyone who has knowledge of FMS to discuss possibilities for hooking into its match data in real-time. I know that the system runs on an MSSQL database and in the worst case I might be able to get the admins to create a read-only user and tie into that. I’m hoping to find out if there are more convenient event-based hooks in the software, however.
I know that custom audience displays are possible - we used one a couple years ago, but it displayed locally and we had to use a scan converter to fetch the video signal from FMS. I want to explore the possibility of expanding upon that with a daemon that will transmit data across the local network, so that hopefully we have an easily customizable display that we can run in HD.
So, if you know anything about this topic, any replies would be greatly appreciated. If this isn’t something we can talk about in the open, I’m open to private messages as well.
Please keep in mind that this is all just ideas at this point. If we don’t have time to get and test the equipment I’ll just fall back to the “legacy” broadcasting setup we have now.
I was more planning on having an application running alongside FMS that will transmit the data to a client. The issue is finding the best way for the server to integrate with FMS’ data. Accessing the SQL database is one option but I’m hoping there’s a better way.
That would certainly be the case in season events. Being that this is a large off-season event and everything would be done under the supervision of the FTAs, I don’t see a problem. We’ve certainly had custom audience view software running on it before.
Well, if I were going to approach this, rather than touching the FMS I’d look into impersonating the Azure back end. Of course then you’d have to have the in-season software not the post season software that disables syncing. That way as soon as the scorekeeper hit commit you’d have updated data. It would require a bit of networking and coding legerdemain but if it were accomplished it would be transparent on the FMS itself.
I know it is possible to get some data from the FMS (at least it was two years ago).
In 2014 we used a combination of a quasi light FMS to control the robots, with a bunch of custom software that would monitor the FMS and automatically start the custom hot goal and scoring software at the same time as the rest of the match.
My advice would be to get a copy of the off-season FMS and have a look with wireshark to see what you can get. See what packets are transmitted at match start, when you queue up a match, when you push scores etc.
You can also probably grab scores, rankings, team numbers and anything else on the standard display, as these are transmitted on the network to work with some of the audience displays.
First, a correction. The software has not been neutered in any way. The networking capability is simply not ready yet and the button was left in.
For now I’ve given up on writing software to integrate with FMS. Perhaps next year if networking capability is in I’ll give it another go. For now, I’m just going to work with the video out on FMS and a capture card.
On that topic, does anyone recall if the First in Michigan FMS unit has an HDMI out? I seem to recall that they’d installed one last year but I’m not really sure.
I believe the scorpion cases used by districts (those without scan converters) have HDMI outputs installed. Of course, I haven’t seen them since last year, and it may also depend on FiM’s A/V setup, which I have no idea about.