Microsoft Lifecam HD-3000 not working during competition

Hi guys, my first post here.

So my team has been having some problems with the camera. During pre and build season, we could just plug in the Microsoft Lifecam HD-3000 to the USB port on the robo-rio and pull up the camera feed on the default frc pc dashboard for Driver’s Station. Our team uses Labview so we don’t use smartdashboard or shuffledashboard because we don’t know how to utilize them.

When we are connected to our robot through wifi, ethernet, or usb everything works fine and we can see through the camera, however during competition when we connect the ethernet code to our laptop on the alliance station and select the camera, it gives us a connection error where it should show the feed. I’m sorry I don’t have screenshots as it happened only when we were connected to the alliance station but it says that it is trying to connect, shows a countdown of 5 seconds, and then fails to connect. For this reason we played autonomous blind in week 1, meaning we could only drive off the hab.

Has anyone else had this problem? We really need some help.

It’s hard to know exactly what’s going on without the type of error or other information.

When you connected to the robot in the pits would the camera come up?
How did you connect?
Was it through the radio? Which port?

When you flashed the radio in your shop did you check the bandwidth limit option?

There were several LabView fixes made available following week 1 events, including a new LabView dashboard version (2019.2.2). If you’re competing at another event, the CSA at that event can help you get the fixes integrated.

Sorry for not being clear. When we connected the robot in the pits the camera would not come up. It comes up when we are connected to via our own network, but the moment we are connected to the laptop via the ethernet in the pits, we can’t connect the the server or see the camera on the dashboard.

The camera is through the usb port on the roborio.

We use Labview and we updated everything a day before competition because we were notified last minute by our competition that new updates were released. I talked to a CSA at competition and he mentioned something about the new FRC update suite messing up the camera through usb if you used labview. I wanted to confirm with others if they had a similar issue.

To clarify Peter, we are using the default dashboard meant for labview when the driver station is installed, not labview’s data dashboard. Here is an image of the dashboard:

@AadilR you can find more steps to troubleshoot your camera, as well as the Dashboard version @Peter_Johnson is referring to, here: Robot Camera Images Not Appearing in FRC Dashboard


Thank you for the link, I will troubleshoot the camera according to the forum and will get back to you if it worked or not.

Just for emphasis, the updated dashboard it links you isn’t included in the latest FRC update suite; if you haven’t explicitly followed those steps or gotten the updated dashboard from a CSA, you don’t have it. It fixes most teams who can’t use USB cameras through the FMS.

If you’re curious, the issue many teams are running into is that, when connected through the FMS, the camera often takes 15-20 seconds to connect once a stream is requested; however, the original dashboard only has a 10 second timeout before giving up and resetting the connection. The updated dashboard extends this timeout to 30 seconds, among other minor consistency improvements. (When connected directly to the robot, the camera usually takes less than 10 seconds as expected, which is why you’re only having issues on the field.)

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The first step is to update to 2019.2.2, if you are still having issues, restarting the DS and the mDNS responder service usually resolves the issue.

If you want a more bulletproof solution, get a rasPi and install the WPILib image on it, almost every teak that has that has had basically no issues, and as an added bonus, the camera processing is offloaded from the Rio, and moved to the Pi.

Having CSAed Week 2 and 3(going for week 4 and 6 yeat this year), I really hope some improvements are made for next year, I think a camera co-processor could be a huge improvement.

camera co-processor is a huge improvement only if you have enough good radio ports to plug both the coprocessor and the RIO into the radio and the data reliably gets between them.

Not always the case…

I would recommend a nice metal 5 port switch used in conjunction, such as this one

I agree a switch is a solution, but it has it’s own set of issues.

  1. FIRST discourages putting anything between the radio and the RIO.

  2. Reliable power for a switch is something you need to design carefully.

  1. Weight…

You can ignore #1, and work hard on #2, and hopefully the swiss-cheesers can make room for #3.

It would be wonderful if FIRST could find a three or 4 port radio that works well with the FMS. As I understand it, the reason for going to the current radio is that they do better with the FMS than the DLinks did, and that seems to have been proven out; haven’t seen a christmas tree in years.


I sure miss the extra ports, and getting data passed reliably between the ports on the current radio seems very hit and miss (depends on the specific unit).

We bypass #1 altogether by plugging the RIO into one radio port and the switch into the other. #2 and #3 haven’t been issues for us with the plastic switches provided on FIRST Choice.

Edit: Oh, you don’t like using both ports. We have never experienced problems passing data between radio ports, though I admit we’ve heard of it (albeit not recently).