Number of radios to bring to competition?

How many radios should we bring to competition? Do we need one radio that is configured to be connected with the field and another radio that’s configured for tethering? Or do we just need one radio? This instruction manual by Team 302 seems to imply that we just need one:

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Should just need the one.

Won’t hurt to have a spare (for peace of mind, it doesn’t take up much space) but you will not need to swap them out for tethering, the one will do.


We bring two for just-in-case scenarios (which we have encounters, but mostly in off-season events). Also, if you want to save some time between events, having a dedicated at home radio is helpful to avoid reflashing when you get home.

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We bring every single one of our radios (which is only 3 btw), can’t have too much of them.


Don’t bring a radio configured for tethering, since it’ll violate the wireless communication rules. You can only use an Ethernet cable or radios provided at the practice field to control your robot off the field at events.

Otherwise, there’s no harm in bringing a spare radio.


We generally bring 2, since having a spare never hurts. Whenever we have to tether in the pit, we usually unplug the limelight and use that wire

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My team has horrible luck with radios so we typically bring 3-4 to each comp. This was justified last year when we rotated through all of those before we got one that could be configured at the competition without issues.

We bring 3. You can never be too safe when it comes to backup electronics

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Everyone else has the question answered pretty well, but I just wanted to add that if you do happen to need a spare at an event, each event should have a spare parts case that contains a number of robot radios that teams can borrow for the event if needed. The count is far less than the number of teams, so obviously not everyone can use them, but it’s a great backup option rather than bringing a bunch of spares with you.


Definitely agreed. We bring two, but haven’t had issues. I would have no problem lending our second out to teams who need it.

There are not radios provided, at least never anywhere I’ve been, you just have to use an ethernet tether

Regionals generally have them, but are rarely setup. Districts often don’t.

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If you add one of these with a buck converter you can keep everything plugged in and have access to your limelight setup without unplugging anything.

Since you highlighted something we had from 2017, we bring 2 or 3 radios. One to program for the event, the one we use in our facility (“at home use” radio) and a spare. So, far we haven’t had to program the “at home use” radio at comp, but it is there as a back up, if we need it. We did program the spare once because after the radio was programmed, it got dropped on the floor of the pit. We noticed the lights on the radio would sometimes drop out after power was supplied and if someone touched the radio. So we didn’t want to chance it on the field. We flagged the radio as dropped and only used it after that in our facility.

Yes. If they are set up, they’ll typically be in a box next to a Linksys router at the practice field. To be honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re set up more often than it looks, since it’s pretty unclear what they’re for if you don’t already know about them.

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