Team Update 15 - Very important

Team update 15 was just released with very important information about the radios and spare parts, examples of yellow card offenses, along with the usual minor rule clarifications.

I’m glad for the clarification on the yellow card rule.

And FINALLY, they discussed SOMETHING about the radios. I vote this one of the best updates for 2007 :stuck_out_tongue:

Agreed, very good update. For some back discussion about intentionally violating a rule for your advantage check this thread.

On another note, IFI only has Master Code v14a on their site. Are they going to release v15 today/tomorrow or just give it to us at the event? Anyone know?

I’m glad that IFI is trying to correct the problems with the new radio systems. It seems like they have a decent handle on some sort of a feasible solution. I also like the clarification on the yellow card rulings. I’m assuming that they mean that only a “repeat offender” will be penalized

yellow cards probably depend on the severity of the offense. I imagine that a serious offense would garner a yellow card on the first time around.

Would we be correct in thinking that given Update #15’s recinding of the language in REV 7 (R48) regarding having to throw ringers over , etc., that it is once again ok to hand ringers over the top of glass to our robots in addition to using the shutes as long as neither player or robot breaks the plane?

This Update only mentions rule <G48> and is re-emphasizing the fact that the Human player cannot enter game pieces until the beginning of the tele-operated period.

Anyway, to answer your question, Rule <S03> is the key and it states that robots and human players cannot break the plane of the chute and the plane should extend over the player stations. So, yes handing ringers/spoilers over the wall should be an acceptable way to enter game pieces onto the field.

V15 of the master code can be found at the bottom of this page:

Cool, i’m glad they posted. Now to download to flash drive…

Wow, this is big. But at least they went ahead and made it public, which helps every single FIRST team by saying that they do take team complaints seriously.

The fact that the higher cell phone frequencies forced a redesign of the radio was new to me. And considering that many times I see robotic team members using cell phone within 3 feet of the robot, well worth noting.

This explains a lot…glad to know IFI got it fixed in the end.

As an aside, I wonder why they used two different datapaths on different antennas? Did the old radios do that, or did the two datapaths use the same antenna?

The redesign was caused by changes in cordless phones, not cell phones. My understanding is that the old modems used a module out of a 900MHz cordless phone, and those are practically non-existent now, having moved to 2.4 and 5.8GHz. I’m guessing you don’t see teams using cordless phones near the robot too often :wink:

For what it’s worth, we got our repaired modems back from IFI yesterday and the RC side was marked as having v6 firmware. The difference was night and day. They now seem to work just as well as the old modems. I even buried the modem down inside the frame of our practice bot and mounted it horizontally to see how it held up, and it worked great. Didn’t see any dropouts all night. I think this is a good sign that IFI now has the problem well under control.

My concern with direct passing of game pieces over the alliance station wall is still having the heads of the drivers, human player and coaches within a few inches of a live robot whether or not a penalty for breaking the plane is given. I could easily see a defending robot pushing a well meaning robot trying to get a ringer from over the wall past the plane. I just do not want to see anyone get injured. That being said, whatever the FIRST decides or has decided is fine. The team I mentor could use passing over the wall to their advantage when placing ringers on the top row. Please read G08 below:

G08> Obtaining GAME PIECES - ROBOTS may obtain GAME PIECES via any of the following methods:
 Accepting a KEEPER prior to the start of the match as detailed in Rule <G04>
 Picking up RINGERS from the opposing ALLIANCE HOME ZONE that were placed there prior to the start of the match
 Grasping RINGERS or SPOILERS that have been placed in the CHUTE by the HUMAN PLAYER
 Picking up RINGERS or SPOILERS from the playing field surface
 Removing a SPOILER from a HANGING position on the RACK

I have not seen any updates to this rule stating that passing a game piece over the alliance station wall directly to a robot is an approved method to obtain a game piece. There is no “passing” method of any type listed in G08. There was a Q & A answer regarding R48 that said it was OK. Is it correct to assume that the Q & A answer would also apply to G08 even though it did not specifcally address it? Thank You.

Check out Q and A from today regarding G48…clearly states it is ok to hand ringers over top of end wall to robots as long as plane is not broken…good news for many teams.

Only the IFI engineers can say for sure, but if you have a transmitter
and a receiver close enough in frequency that the transmitter causes
the receiver interference problems, you can put them on different
antennas and position the antennas to minimize the coupling between
the transmitter and the receiver.

Given that there is an antenna out of sight in the radio modem case
it is very important that the modem be mounted well clear of any metal
structure on the robot. We mount our antenna on a piece of polycarbonate
a good distance away from metal structure on the robot and have not
had any problems with the radio, but we will be first in the line to upgrade
the radio firmware, and install V15 of the master code, at Portland.


The eWave design used an RF module made by Uniden for consumer cordless phones. The transmitter and receiver were duplex coupled onto a single antenna.

In both designs, the transmitters are constantly transmitting even when they are not conveying data. One radio transmits around 902MHz, the other around 928MHz.

To find other examples of full duplex operation on a single antenna, look no further than your nearest cordless or cell phone.

The principal is to provide enough isolation between the receiver and transmitter such that the phase noise from the transmitter at the co-located receiver’s input doesn’t affect the receiver’s sensitivity. By isolating the receiver from the transmitter the impedance from one of the tx/rx ports at that ports desired pass frequency will provide a good match to the antenna’s impedance and simultaneously provide a high impedance at the opposing tx/rx port. It can be accomplished with a pair of high pass and low pass filters, or could be done with a pass-notch type filter.

The physical seperation between the internal and external antenna provide little in the way of isolation compared to what filters would accomplish, so I suspect that there are still filters present on at least the transmitters, but maybe they felt it was easier than trying to match the the combined port to a single antenna.

IFI clearly had little time to design these radios, so probably took as little design risk as possible, and thus the dual antenna approach.

Clearly they’ve spent some additional time over these past few weeks working out some software changes, lets hope it resolves the problems some of the teams were experiencing.

uggh i cant believe people are still arguing over the ringer over the station wall thing.

in the original rule it said that you **may only **put it through the chute. then in the update it said you may put it through the chute. Get it? May ONLY changed to MAY

When I read this I started humming the russian chant from Hunt for Red October…Cheers!

I’m happy that IFI is not like so many other distributors, those that even in the face of massive complaint, don’t do near about anything. I would have hated to see a week of regionals go on where they went in thinking it was only a bug related to a few…only to find everyone was having problems, ruining that week of regionals.