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Strain relief for driver station

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  • Strain relief for driver station

    My official team FTC forum login is still not working, and in the interim the Tournament section of the Game Q&A forum was cleared of posts. There were a couple of queries related to my question, but since I'm now unable to reply or link to them, I'll submit my question here.

    The Field Configuration Guide describes two options for the driver station device: either placing it on a stand or wearing it on an armband. The queries that were deleted seemed to imply that these were strict guidelines.

    We are concerned about strain relief for the driver station. With the combined weight of the OTG cable, attached mini-USB hub, and two game pad cables hanging from the micro-B USB port on the device, it is highly likely that it won't survive very long with all the field-side excitement. Also, drive team coaches may have a need to check telemetry data from time to time. The stand option seems unsatisfactory since it requires taking eyes off the robot to look down to read telemetry (in the small text area provided). While the armband option allows for the coach to lift the device to look at it, cable strain becomes an issue.

    We had envisioned fashioning some sort of driver station board on which we could clip down the phone, OTG cable, mini-USB hub, and game pad connectors so that they could not move relative to each other. The board could have handles for the drive coach to hold, and could be lifted up to read the telemetry data when necessary. The board could be placed on the ground or on the stand during the autonomous period. It could be made out of wood shaped something like a small kitchen cutting board with either protruding handles, or oval cutouts to grip.

    Would this sort of "control panel" be allowed?
    Joe Higham
    Mentor, 18 Techno Chix

  • #2
    I agree that this is a thing that our team would like to have as well. We've lost connectivity with not-great results a few times already.
    FTC6460 mentor (software+computer vision+electronics), FPGA enthusiast. In favor of allowing custom electronics on FTC bots.
    Co-founder of ##ftc live chat for FTC programming--currently you may need to join and wait some time for help--volunteer basis only.

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    • #3
      I don't know why that part of the forum was deleted, but they answer my question, which was similar to what you are asking. I asked about my teams being able to bring a small briefcase, which would allow us to hold the controllers and phone during transport. Once we got to the field, we would then open the case up, with the phone attached to the lid portion of the case, where it would stay for the remainder of the match.

      Their answer was "Yes"

      Please keep in mind that the driver station stands that will be supplied are not going to be big. Arizona decided to build stands that would connect to the field wall. They asked me to build them. They can be seen here. https://twitter.com/mentormat/status/656499828818505728 Please keep in mind that your event will probably have a space about the size of AZ's for both teams to use. (i.e: each team gets a 1' x 1' space for their devices.)

      Of Course, The answers still need to come from the Official Q&A forums, so I hope they can reinstated those posts.
      2015 FTC World Champion - Valley X Robotics 2844 - Founding Memeber

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      • #4
        Originally posted by jphigham View Post
        We had envisioned fashioning some sort of driver station board on which we could clip down the phone, OTG cable, mini-USB hub, and game pad connectors so that they could not move relative to each other. The board could have handles for the drive coach to hold, and could be lifted up to read the telemetry data when necessary. The board could be placed on the ground or on the stand during the autonomous period. It could be made out of wood shaped something like a small kitchen cutting board with either protruding handles, or oval cutouts to grip.

        Would this sort of "control panel" be allowed?
        A new post in the official Q&A thread says something like this is legal (yeah!).

        Quoting the post,

        Q: "Can teams mount their driver stations (Android device, cables, hub) together on one small handheld board to make them easier to carry and to help make sure that the cables don't become unplugged during a match?"

        A: "Your team can mount the drivers station to a handheld board for easier transportation of the driver station phone and controllers."

        Also, note this interesting related post and ruling.

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