How To Test Autonomous

You could copy and paste from user_routines_fast to user_routines. However, the loops run at different frequencies so teams using counters will get different results.

Here’s what you should really do:
Get an electrically inclined person to read this post or you could probably do it, it isnt too complicated.
Have them build you a nice competition port tester and all it will take to run the autonomous in user_routines_fast is to reset your robot and flip a switch. Plus, you’ll have another switch to disable your robot when it starts knocking over your toolbox in the pit (that of course would be the fault of a mechanical engineer, <wink> )

This will be a tremendous help for those teams trying to develope autonomous codes with a rapid schedule that only gives you 5 minutes of testing before your next match.

Please email me at for more information or to ask questions.

cout<<“Good luck”;


(out (- Team 888))

Or you could buy a nice one from andymark…

Make sure you don’t just wire up auto, you will need disable too. Just believe me on this one… you want a nice easy to use disable switch.

The link had the disable switch too. I’m sure AndyMark’s would work well, but teams on a tighter budget, you can the parts from Jameco for under 2 dollars rather than $36 from AndyMark (although the AM one does look nice).

Both loops should run at the same frequency (every 26.2 ms or ~38 hertz) so that should work. Though it is still better to be able to switch modes from the OI.

The loops will run differently due to additional processing and functions.

Pshh who needs these things. At our regional, we lost our auton dongle at the bottom of a box. We didn’t find it until we were packing things up to go home. A paperclip between pins 5&8 of the competition port works just fine. You need disable? Simple. just pull the tether out.

I know one of our electrical mentors made a smaller one this year, rather than the monsterously huge one we had last year. If anyone wants info on how to make one with an Autonomous mode switcher and a Disable switch, I’d be glad to ask him.

yeah 1745 uses a single 2" cat 5 wire to short out the auto pins . . and to disable we pull out the teather . . no need to spend any money on something that you just use to test

That is why I strongly recommend all teams build the Auto and Disable switches into the regular switch box. At least fasten them to the board holding the operator controls. Before we started doing this I was always looking for the separate one. I seem to remember finding it left at operator stations, toolboxes, back at the school, and at least once in the bag with Shop Rags.

we built one with a 6 foot cable in a box that is separate from the OI.

That way you can have one person hold the disable box, so they can hit the kill switch when needed, instead of the driver.

The driver always thinks they ‘have it’, until they run someone over.

Much easier to have a second person on the kill switch, who knows, when the robot crosses this line, shut her down!

Yep, I can see the advantage of a remote kill switch. I think we’ll add that. I will fasten that cable to the box so it doesn’t get lost and still keep the switch at the operator’s controls.

Oh so true! Our driver would keep going no matter what, until the robot is a smoldering heap of rubble, unless someone else was around to disable it. Then we all have to ask: “Were you the one making the robot spin around and bounce off the walls?” “Uh no, but I almost had it stopped!” :smiley:

Not a viable option… If you pull the tether and your robot is still powered, your robot radio link is now “live” and could interfere with robots on the field.


Not if its not plugged in on either end.

Our auto dongle has a kill switch of a different flavor.

The kill button has to be held down for auto to work. Let go and it is disabled.

Because people tend to walk away from the disable switch. If someone HAS to hold it, they can’t walk away. Forces… absolutly forces… the use of a safety officer.

In 2004, I wrote an auton simulator for practice matches. We had a lot of auto routines that year so we wanted to test multiple routines per match. Essentially it just called the User_Autonomous_Code() and kept the program in the autonomous loop for 15 sec with a nested loop.

Basically, the normal auto routine would run, then the drivers would drive it back to the starting position. The would flip a switches and run another autonomous would run. After practice matches were over, I would just comment out a macro that enclosed all parts of the auto sim and it was ready for competition.