Recently our team has been using our new scouting app in the Isr districts and we have been tethering internet to our computer with USB and I have figured out how to pass internet with Bluetooth and I wanted to know, does using Bluetooth for tethering internet disturb the fms?
No it does not, the FRC rulebook only outlaws Wi-Fi hotspots, bluetooth is A-okay. Many scouting apps are built on this allowance.
@Anthony_Galea is correct, but I will provide some specifics. There are two important rules at play:
E301 states “Teams may not set up their own 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax (2.4GHz or
5GHz) wireless communication (e.g. access points or ad-hoc networks) in the venue.”
H303 bans “any form of enabled wireless electronic communication” from the ARENA. It goes on to explain “Examples of wireless communication include, but are not limited to, radios, walkie-talkies, cell phones, Bluetooth communications, and Wi-Fi.”
The ARENA is “a space which includes all elements of the game infrastructure that are required to play RAPID REACTSM: the FIELD, CARGO, and all equipment needed for FIELD and ROBOT management”. It does not include the stands. This rule is intended to prevent members of the drive team from communicating with the rest of their team.
So technically Bluetooth, walkie-talkies, cellular, etc. are all allowed in the rest of the venue but many teams choose to selectively respect H303 across the venue. That is I don’t know anyone who shuts off their cell phone when they enter the venue, but I do know many who choose not to use bluetooth and walkie-talkies.
does using Bluetooth for tethering internet disturb the fms?
Technically it could, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth share spectrum and are similar protocols. In practice you shouldn’t have to worry about it.
E109 point F says no to walkie talkies.
To the OP, Bluetooth devices are ok as long as they’re not on the field. We used Bluetooth to transfer scouting data between our app and server for a few years.
I know a team that uses wired Ethernet for their scouts. Very old school but it works.
The field runs on 5ghz, so it doesn’t utilize the same spectrum as Bluetooth.
Every time I see the Wi-Fi rules, I’m tempted to find a 6 GHz Wi-Fi 7 (IEEE 802.11be) device just because the rules don’t cover it. Fortunately for everyone, they aren’t readily available yet and even if they were, they’d be prohibitively expensive.
6, why not 60?!
Not 60 GHz because that equipment is available and I’d rather not spend hundreds on a joke.
Should 2.4GHz hotspots be permitted then?
This is a question I’ve had for a while. My guess is it’s easier to enforce a hard “no wifi” rule than to scan for 5ghz networks only.
The 2.4 band is used by the field for the Pit display, handhelds used by the FTA/FTAA for field monitoring, the Game Announcer for matchups.
It’s not as critical as a robot stuttering in a match due to high venue bandwidth usage on the 5 GHz band, but it can affect smooth field operation.
As we did for many years, with laptops and a large battery pack / inverter setup under the stands to power everything. Cannot recommend, and some venues disallowed now very likely
Robot batteries might be OK in the venue…
The team would scout around for an AC plug and connect to it, almost always finding one. When not, they’d use a battery to power the Ethnernet switch (which ran on 12 V DC). Runs all day on a robot battery.
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