Power for Driver Station

Will there be 120V power available for the driver station? i know it says so in the rules, but just wanted to make sure since it had to be battery-powered last year.

Do you mean on the field or in the pit?

On the field it gets power through the comp port.

In the pit there are outlets.

The OI from last year didn’t have to battery powered, it’s always gotten power from the field.

This year the Driver’s Station get’s it’s power through the competition port. When you go onto the field it’ll be a black cable with a 9 pin connector. Make sure it’s tight when you put it in because that’s the last thing you want coming out in a match.


Teams, please make sure that the competition cable is firmly plugged into the Driver Station and keep the slack in the wire out of the way your drivers. There have been instances where drivers have bumped into the extra wire of the competition cable that they had hanging below the player station’s shelf and inadvertently disconnected their Driver Stations, leaving their robot inoperable for the remainder of the match. Such an occurrence does not count as a field error; it is YOUR responsibility to check. This is especially important because the stock screws on the competition cable are too short to thread into the holes on the DS.

According to the rules:


screws to short…

does this mean we should screw on 2 of those extenders included in the kit?

that way the thing screws into the driver station?

For teams who have competed in the semifinals or above and who have not been told to go back to the pit between elimination matches (such as we were in the quarters), how can you power your robot while on the side of the field? For example if you need power to reset, test, or fix features of your robot since the new system needs an AC power source for the controls? Is this available or is there another way to power the controls without being on the field or plugging into a wall? Or is there an outlet available for teams to tether up? I don’t know a whole deal about the new system, so please feel free to correct me if I have anything wrong.

Yeah, I was wondering about this too, since last year’s OI could get power directly from the RC, but this year it does not seem to be the case.

Thanks for any information!

Take the power from the Wireless bridge, and plug it into the drivers station, tethered.

This was an issue for us at FLR. We actually had to roll our robot and controls to the scorer’s table to get power to tether and run our robot. However I think we were only allowed to do this because we were also helping to diagnose a possible field issue during the finals round. I doubt that in the quarters and semis teams would have been allowed to simply setup at the scorers table whenever they please.

We’re looking into rigging up an assembly to run the DS from a battery for GTR.

Thanks for the quick reply. Just for clarification, is that what you just did or was that the specified procedure? I don’t mean to imply anything negative. I just never saw that anywhere.


Thats what we did.

Our alliance took our timeout and we reprogrammed the robot on the field at Midwest.

What we did was we hooked up a 12 volt battery to a ac adapter, and put an anderson quick connect on the other side. It worked great on the field for quick resets and charging our tanks and such. The lead inspector at our event told us that he wasnt exactly for sure what is legal and advised. He also said that knowing that tanks must charged by the compressor through the robot, that he had not a clue how we should be powering the DS. Therefore we were allowed to power it in that way. He said he would be in contact with first, so hopefully we will get that answer soon.

  1. Take a spare AC adapter with the appropriate DC barrel connector for the DS (doesn’t have to be the right voltage), cut the wire.
  2. Strip and tin the loose wire ends.
  3. With a multimeter, verify which wire connects to the inside of the barrel, mark this with red electrical tape.
  4. Connect this new cable to the power distribution board with a 20A breaker
  5. Enjoy your robot-powered DS

I gave this to another team in the finals at FLR so they could do a quick reprogram, and would have done so again for team 188 but it was faster to have you guys grab the AC adapter while we went over what could be wrong on the robot. If you tie up/safely attach the DC cord, you could keep it wherever you disconnect the bridge ethernet so it’s easy to swap both cables when you need a quick fix.

We used a 9v battery. It should last somewhere around an hour (but we haven’t measured it, or used it that much). Should be plenty for a few emergency uses.

The FTAs have been told to work with the production company to provide AC power on either side of the scoring table for teams’ use during the elimination rounds.


The really simple way to “tether” on the side of the field is to do the following:

  1. Take the AC power for the bridge (aka antenna) and plug it into your DS.
  2. take the ethernet connection at the bridge and plug it into your DS.

Viola! Instant tether. This is what we did and it worked great. Just make sure you have enough length in each cable to pull it off.

I know others said id, but I wanted to make it perfectly clear that this works. We did it at Midwest at least 4 times during eliminations.

Does anyone know the inner/outer diameter of the power plug
for the Linksys wireless game adapter? Using the robot
to power the driver station when tethered seems like a
great idea.

Its the same power cord. Just unplug the cord from your wireless router, and plug it into your driver’s station. It works.

I have something with much longer reach in mind,
and don’t have access to the connector to size it
right now, therefore the request.