Using other RF Frequencies during an event

Are we allowed to use RF frequencies outside of the wifi band during events?
E301 seems like it only bans the wifi frequencies, but are there any other rules that would prohibit this?

Depends on what you’re doing.

Walkie-talkies and similar are banned separately, for example. Cell phones are not.

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We were thinking of using radio frequencies for data transmission from the stands to the pits

As far as we are aware, there are no rules banning this today.
We’ve done a decent amount of investigation into this as we’re working on trialing a 900mhz LoRa system for stands<->pit data transfer.


Interesting question. Is the heading (the green part) part of the rule, or is only the black part the rule?

In general, if you’re doing something wireless, you’re going to be asked to demonstrate that you’re operating in the rules, and that you’re not transmitting on anything that might interfere with the 2.4/5 GHz bands.

Many years ago a team I know used 900 MHz for that. Just be sure to consider RF exposure limits.

Is RF a good thing or a bad thing?

#NeverForget the time a person tried to ban our alliance selection whiteboard by saying it was “wireless communication”.


Wait, you mean we can drive the robots with our eyes open?

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You’re really only going to run into problems in three areas: using Wi-Fi, which is expressly prohibited and can cause issues with the field, using any frequencies that would interfere with the radios event staff use for communication, or using it with the drive team on the field.

At a minimum, we know that cell phones are legal, everyone uses them throughout the season. Having both the pit and the stands access the same google doc works just fine, and really might be a simpler solution in many cases.


Unless data access becomes a required venue quality at FIRST events this won’t be possible sadly (especially at MSC)


The rules state that the headline is not the rule

Rules include colloquial language, also called headlines, in an effort to convey an abbreviated intent of the rule or rule set … . Any disagreement between the specific language used in the rules and the colloquial language is an error, and the specific rule language is the ultimate authority


This is exaclty our reason for wanting this, we want to be able to use data and not bother with this, but we had iffy internet this year and next year there will be way more people in the stands as spectators so we dont expect it to get better.

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