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Hardware wish list for next design iteration of Robot Controller

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  • Hardware wish list for next design iteration of Robot Controller

    1. Separate battery port on the Control Hub dedicated to powering the SBC only.

    2. RP-SMA Female port(s) for attaching external WiFi antennae.

    3. Upgraded SBC: better CPU, more RAM, a DSP, ...

    4. MIPI CSI port for connecting CSI cameras to the CSI bus on the SBC.

    5. ???

  • #2
    Interestingly enough, I believe there is an SMA adapter inside the CH housing (on the controller board). The CH actually comes with an "external" antenna that is mounted inside the plastic housing (under the face that reads "Control Hub").

    In testing the WiFi performance with this external antenna was quite good. I'm not sure if I agree about the utility of having an external (external to the plastic housing) antenna option.

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    • #3
      Another thing to note: we tried to use the worst antenna phones and considered adding a partial Faraday cage to the receiver for better performance. The newer the phone, the more sensitive the radio, the smaller the signal that it could detect and thus when sharing the channel with other phones, the further away those other phones could be and still be detected. We only need the phones to communicate with the robot when it's very close, thus reducing the amplitude of far-away interferes improved performance.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Tom Eng View Post
        Interestingly enough, I believe there is an SMA adapter inside the CH housing (on the controller board). The CH actually comes with an "external" antenna that is mounted inside the plastic housing (under the face that reads "Control Hub").

        In testing the WiFi performance with this external antenna was quite good. I'm not sure if I agree about the utility of having an external (external to the plastic housing) antenna option.
        PS "In testing the WiFi performance" means that we actually measured the signal strength using a spectrum analyzer and it was quite strong with the internal antenna installed within the CH housing.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tom Eng View Post
          Interestingly enough, I believe there is an SMA adapter inside the CH housing (on the controller board). The CH actually comes with an "external" antenna that is mounted inside the plastic housing (under the face that reads "Control Hub").

          In testing the WiFi performance with this external antenna was quite good. I'm not sure if I agree about the utility of having an external (external to the plastic housing) antenna option.
          Hi Tom, there are many factors that can affect signal-to-noise ratio in the FTC competition environment, such as:
          • size, shape, construction, and movement of the bot
          • size, shape, construction, and movement of adjacent bots
          • placement of the control hub within the bot
          • proximity of the control hub to DC motors within the bot
          • proximity of the control hub to DC motors in adjacent bots
          • size, shape, and construction of game elements, which vary from season to season
          • RF interferences at the venue
          If teams had access to the SMA port(s) inside the control hub then teams could mount COTS WiFi antennae in optimal position(s) on the bot in consideration of factors affecting SNR.

          Also, if REV has any plans to sell the control hub outside of FIRST, then an SMA port external to the control hub housing could be a feature that non-FIRST customers would need.

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