Have you experienced radio reboots during matches?

This is a poll. Hopefully this will give the CD community a rough idea of how prevalent the problems are, and what fixes teams have used.

Have you experienced scenarios with the OM5P-AN or OM5P-AC in which the radio reboots during a match, and if so, how did you fix it?

Option 1: Yes, and we fixed it by securing the barrel connector.
Option 2: Yes, and we fixed it by switching to PoE (Power over Ethernet).
Option 3: Yes, and we fixed it by swapping out the radio.
Option 4: Yes, and we fixed it by addressing an electronic issue somewhere else on the robot (not in the direct wiring interface of the radio).
Option 5: Yes, and we fixed it by doing several things and/or we’re not sure how we fixed it.
Option 6: Yes, but we could not diagnose or fix the issue.
Option 7: No.

Yes, and we fixed it by securing the barrel connector. (during our first Regional)
Yes, and we fixed it by swapping out the radio. (match was replayed due to our radio slowing down the entire field via lost packets)
Yes, and we fixed it by addressing an electronic issue somewhere else on the robot (we blew the fuse supplying power to the VRM and PCM, PCM was moved to seperate circuit)
Yes, and we fixed it by doing several things and/or we’re not sure how we fixed it. (during the championship we died on the field and still don’t know what happened :/)

Yes, and we fixed it by addressing an electronic issue somewhere else on the robot.

We had an LED ring light short out (I swear at some point it was mounted to Lexan, but it was just on bare aluminum when we had the issue. I still wonder where that Lexan mount ended up.), dropping power from the VRM. Oops. We no longer connect LED’s to the VRM, problem solved.

We had an issue at our first regional (Utah) where:

  • On the field, our roboRIO would always connect, but it sometimes could not connect to our vision coprocessor
  • In the pits (tethered to a switch), our vision would always connect, but we could sometimes not connect to the roboRIO

Our roboRIO was connected to the required port on the radio, and our coprocessor was connected to the other port on the radio via a switch. We figured out eventually that the other port on the radio would not work about 50% of the time. So this required many reboots on the field/in the pit to try to get it to connect, with some matches with no auto because even after 4 reboots it would still not connect.

It was really frustrating that we were provided a radio with a completely useless port. That coupled with the reboot time and lack of ports makes it a complete downgrade from the 2015 radio.

How about another option:
“No, but we also run passive PoE”

This was our exact experience as well.

Issue was when connected to field the two wired ports would not pass data, which made or vision targeting not work. The fix was to add a network switch to the bot and only use one port of the radio, and the network switch, although sold by Andymark, was not built to handle robot stress levels, and failed.

Yep. In Curie we had a weird issue. On the field we got hit decently hard but not the hardest thing I’ve seen. We lost comms with 94 seconds left in the match and didn’t regain them until after the match ended. I can’t quite recall what we found in the logs but it wasn’t much help to us. We wound up getting a loaned radio and hot glued the barrel connector in, and also switched to POE for the safety fallback. We didn’t have the issue again.

Before we got the loaned radio we banged on the spot where the radio was sitting maybe 150 times. We got it to reboot once, so it was not an easily replicable issue, but it was still there.

Last year, we had a few radio reboots which we eventually traced to being the barrel connector, despite it already being secured with copious amounts of tape. This year we switched to passive PoE, and the problems moved to the wiedmuller connectors on the VRM. After discovering that it took just a few matches before we could pull the wires out of the terminals with no effort, we replaced the VRM at Houston and have never experienced a problem since.

Hi, CSA here…

99% of the problems I have seen with radios fall under 3 categories.

  1. Barrel connector woes- AKA recommend buying a power over Ethernet, and taping the connector in for the meantime. Occasionally someone gets the wrong sized barrel connector, making it look secured and “in” but still has the ability to wiggle around in the jack itself, causing all sorts of weird looking issues while moving or getting hit.
  2. Tug Test fails- nothing like pulling on a cable and watching it pop out of its “secure” crimp.
    3.Teams decide that using Ethernet in the pits is just not their style, “deprogramming” their radio to make sure it wont hook back up while on the field.
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…wha? Not even USB?

Yeah, it happens. More because teams want to run wirelessly on the practice field in my experience.

“What do you MEAN we have to run tethered in the pits? I don’t want to make a student stand there with a 50ft Ethernet so I can run around on the practice field when I know I can hook up over WiFi!”

And then they come to the radio kiosk and tell you “Uhhhhh somehow our radio reprogrammed itself”. That’s an a actual quote by the way.

I have been tempted to start a thread titled “Teams say the darnedest things”. Among my favourites have been “Its not a wiring issue!” and pulling on a cable to prove it and having it disconnect at both ends.

We had our share of radio problems this year. Every single one was self inflicted.

Iw was during practice, not a match, but we had plenty of issues getting ready for stronghold. Once we secured our wires better, we didn’t have any electrical issues in Stronghold. We had a few electrical issues with STEAMworks, but not with the radio. Note that we use a right-angle barrel connector, which is much easier to secure to the radio case with a zip tie than a straight one.

Our team has had constant connection issues over the past two seasons (especially at our three events of 2017). At Tech Valley, we experienced a reboot at least once in nearly every single match we played. The issue seemed to die down through Hudson Valley and halfway through champs, when we began to reboot 1-2 times in each match, resulting in us losing our last three matches. Because the primary issue is with the barrel connector for the power cable from the VRM, and because our robot weighed <60 pounds, every time we were hit or collided with either a robot or the field, our radio rebooted. We tried swapping out the radio; unfortunately, there’s only so many swaps you can make when you’re on a team with two radios (one of which doesn’t really work) and who can’t afford any more.
Rant aside, hopefully we’ll see some changes for 2018.

This, 1000x this. In the pits and on the field, the second port was just completely not reliable. Also, after hot gluing every single connection related to the radio, we had no more reboots at champs, but I mean … should we really have a system that requires copious amounts of hot glue to work reliably?

We had multiple reboots during practice, switched to POE and never had an issue with the radio rebooting at all.

10/10 would recommend POE. It should be the only “LEGAL” way to power this specific radio.