Wireless programming

Ok, I know you can send code wirelessly if you have a coprocessor with wifi. I am talking about using the kit radios to send code to the robot. Have one plugged into a laptop and the other in the programming port.


The radios are RS-422, and your laptop and the program port are RS-232. You could fry something…

They only way we have found to wirelessly communicate with the program port on the robot is to use a bluetooth setup. However, the one we have isn’t fast enough to program, so we just use it for feedback while we are testing.

I ditto Kyle’s comments. A Serial bluetooth dongle (check out www.blueconsole.com) is a great way to debug without tethers. Remember, however, you can’t use them at the venues or in competition and it won’t work for programming the bot. You still need to be tethered for that.

You can buy RS232/RS485 converters to adapt the kit radio DB9 interfaces, but you would need two (one for each radio) and I doubt you can buy one for under $50. They would not likely be useful for other applications that you have either.

Go with the Bluetooth setup.

If you are looking for an electronics project, consider basing it on the MAX3130 RS232/IrDA chip http://www.maxim-ic.com/quick_view2.cfm/qv_pk/1947

In addition to the RS232/RS422 problem, there’s also the fact that the radios run at 19200bps (versus the 115200 required for programming). Even if you could change the programming baud rate (which actually you should be able to do with some of the unofficial programmers), it would take forever to download code to the robot at that speed.

I have a wireless programming setup that works, runs about 75% speed of normal wired programming. Just turn off the verification option on the IFI loader, works great. Granted you cant use it for robot control, but you can program with it.

Here’s my post about something else but it includes links to MaxStream’s website… who makes i might add the awesomest FCC legal radios you can buy…


Ditto on the MaxStream stuff. I’ve been using their tiny little XBee ZigBee/802.15.4 to do wireless TTL via an FTDI serial USB to TTL chip. (Not for FIRST stuff, but it could work.) Amazing little things…I picked a signal five floors above the transmitter. More devolopment required than the XTend radios, though - you would need to make your own circuit board for them. But for $19/$32 depending on the trasmit power, they are cheap enough to play with.

Were are curently working on a wireless programmer for the RC. The user will be able to send and recieve data, set the robot into program state, and reset the RC all from the loader terminal. No release date yet. It should be available before nationals. It will use a blue tooth interface and operate at the same speed as the wired com. The product will be called Chicken Wire.


Put me down on your pre-order lists for both your Chicken Wire and Chicken Aid. 1503 and 1680 will both also volunteer to do any testing you’d like to do in the field.


FYI to all,

We’re both (1503 & 1680) using a pair of Chicklets ( 1 for the Logitec 3D joystick and one for the Logitec Wired Gamepad) with great results. (The only problems to date have been self induced … DOH!)