So uh yeah... How 'bout that lap counter? Also Metallica.

Because I’m incredibly interested in seeing how exactly this thing works, and uh… Its not listed in the kit of parts, and its not in the kit of parts. Does anybody know if they’re just going to give us one there?

I mean, its not like we need it, just kinda wonderin’ whats going on.

Also, I was seriously considering making it play Metallica during the match, I know theres a rule against obnoxious noise, but I figure if its not that loud, they might not say anything about it.


I believe the lap counter will be supplied by someone at the events.
Seem to remember reading in the rules it will be attached at the start of the match.

Metallica should never be considered noise!


ROBOTS must use the LAP INDICATOR provided by the field personnel
during all official tournament MATCHES. The LAP INDICATOR is attached
to the stopper on the flag pole.
When the FLAG is placed in the flag holder, the stopper will insert
into the top of the holder.  To accommodate the LAP INDICATOR, the 
area within a minimum 180—degree horizontal arc around the top of the
flag holder must be kept clear of any obstructions within a 2-inch radius.
This region must be kept uncovered and visible from above. To ensure that every
FINISH LINE CROSSING is properly recorded, the LAP INDICATOR must be visible to the
Lap Detectors when the ROBOT passes under the OVERPASS. The LAP INDICATOR is
powered via a standard three-wire PWM cable. An easily accessible, powered, male PWM
connector must be located within 4 inches of the LAP INDICATOR mounting location. The
port may be either a direct connection to an analog or digital port on the Robot 
Controller, or a remote “pigtail” connection to the Robot Controller port.


Metallica should never be considered noise!

[LEFT]Hear hear![/LEFT]

[LEFT]Now how neat would it be to supplement a “gentle bump to pass” with the “aaaaaooooooooooooogaaaa” sound of a horn? I actually think such a device, if able to be heard over the din of the match without being a painful noise, would serve as an additional useful signal to let teams (and more importantly, referees) know that a bump request has been made.

doesn’t explicitly prohibit the devices; however, if they are deemed to be too loud or are used too frequently to annoying or distracting effect, a team may be prevented from using them. [/LEFT]

Items specifically PROHIBITED from use on the ROBOT include:
Shields, curtains, or any other devices or materials designed
or used to obstruct or limit the vision of any DRIVERS and/or COACHES
and/or interfere their ability to safely control their ROBOT.
Speakers, sirens, air horns, or other audio devices that generate
sound at a level sufficient to be a distraction or hindrance 
affecting the outcome of a MATCH.

Does anyone else wonder about the field of view on these ir lap counters? and what might happen if say another robot were in between you and the counter, or you are right next to the wall ect.?

There’s a thread started already with some details on these things:

i wouldn’t worry too much about the counters. the should work pretty well. they’ve probably takin’ that into consideration already.

if you play metallica from your cart, you would be ok, but the robot would be awesome

Sadly, no music is allowed on your carts either! Its not allowed per section 3.3.6 and 3.9.12: “Do not add music to the cart”.

Does anyone know the pinout of the lap indicator provided at the field? It’s a 3 pin PWM style connection. I assume 2 pins are power and the third is a signal line? Is it an input or output? Do we use the third line? If so, what do we do with it?

My guess is that we just power the indicator and ignore the third line, but I’m not sure.

Thanks everyone in advance for any help.

My understanding is that we don’t use the third line, just provide power.

If I had to guess I’d say they’ll also have refs at each line doing hand counts of robots that cross, the indicator is meant to be a way to keep a fairly accurate score on the scoreboard during the match, sort of like the counters for balls through goals in “Aim High”.

I think that depends on what Metallica you’re playing. If it’s stuff from Kill 'Em All, Ride the Lightning, Master of Puppets, And Justice for All, or Metallica; you’re fine. If it’s from Load, Reload, or St. Anger; it’s obnoxious noise and should be immediately shut off. Garage Inc. depends on the song. Their Ninth Album will be out by competition time, and hopefully it will return to their roots rather than continue down their current musical path. We’ll see. :slight_smile:

Now I return you to your regularly scheduled thread conversation.

We don’t play Metallica off our robot, we just get the DJ to play Enter Sandman, football-game style. Oh wait, that’s a Virginia Tech thing. It might seem trivial to other teams, but it really pumped us up during the semifinal rounds at VCU two years ago.