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  • What is the recommended phone?

    Hello,

    I am wondering what is the recommended phone for the upcoming season. I see that the Moto G 3rd Gen and Nexus 5 are now approved to be used in the US, and Game Manual Part 1 says more may be approved in the future. I am looking for an official answer as to which one is the recommended or best one for the competition, particularly one that has channel-changing capabilities. Thanks!

    Sincerely,
    Varun Singh
    Programmer for Team 4997 Masquerade -- 2012 World Champions, 2014 - 2016 Division Finalists
    Founding Member of Team 6433 Neutrinos -- 2015 World Champions

    Check out my intro video to the new tech platform
    Check out my team's Robot Reveal for Res-Q

  • #2
    I have no help for you, but you brought up something that I think is an issue. It never occurred to me that the updates to the Game Manual would include expensive equipment changes. Our coach just ordered 4 Motorola 2Gs for our 2 teams. Some teams state that the 2Gs were a significant reliability improvement over the ZTE. What if the 3G or Nexus is found to be better in some way. Then that can happen again come September. Waiting to buy equipment until September is not a viable option. Teams potentially could be shelling out several hundred additional dollars to stay competitive. Major equipment decisions should have been locked in with the first version of the game manual IMHO.

    John Courter
    Mentor 3805

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    • #3
      The reality of the phone market is that they don't operate on a year or longer schedule. There are new models month by month and old ones being obsoleted and becoming unavailable. I would rather that the list is expanded as new ones become available and tested. On the other hand - as an FTA trying to help teams get their robots running having fewer different phones to learn is nicer.

      From what I observed last year the Moto G2's were better mostly because they didn't have USB failures as much. I suspect better circuitry in their USB ports and/or some very low level retries being done. With the improvements in the SDK at the end of last season that is much less of a problem.

      I wouldn't worry about a G2 vs a G3. In fact the team I coach we will probably stay with the ZTEs because I don't see a major advantage of upgrading.

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      • #4
        The Motorola Moto G3 is now on sale at Best Buy for $70, with free 2-day shipping. We don't have firsthand experience, but will buy some for our team.
        --RoyM

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        • #5
          At the last workshop we had, there was a team who had MotoG 3rd gens, and certain code that was successful with the ZTE's did not run with the MotoG 3rd generations, and we found that the issue was because of the phones and not because of the software or electronics or anything (we ran the same code from the same computer on the same robot... the only variation was the phone). I've heard that using the MotoG 2nd generation with Marshmallow is a good option for this season, but we have not tried it yet.

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          • #6
            These phone sold at BestBuy for $70 has only lollipop on it and it's locked. It might not be easy to upgrade to Marshmallow.

            Does FTC RC software work on Lollipop on any Motor G (2nd or 3rd)?

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            • #7
              From my understanding, KitKat and Marshmallow are what should be used. I don't think Lollipop is compatible.

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              • #8
                Lollipop has a USB enumeration bug, if I recall correctly: it won't detect more than one attached USB device.

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                • #9
                  We bought a Moto G 2nd gen last year and jail-broke it to KitKat for its on-board gyro capability. However, we could not get meaningful rotation vector information out of it except in the pitch angle. Did anyone else have better success getting rotation vector info in all 3 axes? Is Marshmallow better than KitKat in terms of on-board motion sensing?

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                  • #10
                    As an FTA for Arizona last season, I had the opportunity to see many robots with ZTE Speed phones in action at tournaments. My experience is that if you are using the best practices for robot stability as outlined by Tom Eng (see forum post: Update on USB Disconnect Issues) robot stability using a ZTE SPEED phone can be very good. At tournaments the biggest problem I noted was instability of the control system when the charge of 12V and android batteries fell to unacceptable levels. Many teams may have trouble coming up with the costs associated with the more expensive phone options. For those teams operating on limited budgets I still recommend the ZTE SPEED phone as an acceptable option--just be sure to follow Tom Eng's best practices. The ZTE phone is being discontinued but if you act now you can purchase a ZTE SPEED phone for just $19.99 here: https://www.boostmobile.com/shop/phones/zte-speed/.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Varun Singh View Post
                      Hello,

                      I am wondering what is the recommended phone for the upcoming season. I see that the Moto G 3rd Gen and Nexus 5 are now approved to be used in the US, and Game Manual Part 1 says more may be approved in the future. I am looking for an official answer as to which one is the recommended or best one for the competition, particularly one that has channel-changing capabilities. Thanks!

                      Sincerely,
                      Varun Singh
                      I was told the Moto G3 cannot power 2 joysticks via it's OTG port. Would require a powered USB hub.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi FOlks,

                        I just wanted to Chime in... The moto G 2nd gen phones are very good phones. We added the 3rd Gen Moto G phones to the list because the 2nd Gen Moto G's are no longer in production. Even though they are older, out-of-production phones, the ZTE Speed and the Moto G 2nd gen phones have worked very well in our testing and both phones support channel changing. The Moto G phones (2nd and 3rd gen) will support (in the soon to be released version of the software) channel changing WITHOUT the need of an external app. These moto g phones can use the channel change feature built in to the Robot Controller app.

                        The ZTE speed phones continue to allow channel changing using the channel change app available from the google play store (free).

                        The nexus 5 and Samsung Galaxy S5 do not support channel changing. If you have super user/root access on these phones, then technically you could support channel changing using the RC app, but we do NOT recommend that you root your phones. If you do it improperly you can end up bricking your phone (i.e., making it useless... unable to even boot properly).

                        Tom

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by FTC5110 View Post
                          I was told the Moto G3 cannot power 2 joysticks via it's OTG port. Would require a powered USB hub.
                          FTC5110 - Regarding the Moto G 3rd gen... We found out that it can support a non-powered USB hub. However, there is a sequence involved. If you are using a Moto G 3rd gen, you have to plug in the non powered USB hub to the phone first, with nothing connected to the hub. The Moto G 3rd gen phone will detect the hub and provide power to the hub. Then you can plug in your gamepads. If you plug in the gamepads to the non-powered hub first, and then connect the non-powered hub to the moto g 3rd gen, it will not work. You need to plug in the USB hub solo first, then connect the gamepads.

                          This does not apply to the other phones. With the other phones in the list, you can connect the hub to the gamepads, then connect the hub to the phone and it works.

                          Tom

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                          • #14
                            Tom,
                            Thanks - is the Moto G 3rd gen a formally permitted phone for competitions in the 2016 - 2017 season?
                            Best,
                            Martin
                            Mentor, FTC 7539 TigerBots

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by mhaeberli View Post
                              Tom,
                              Thanks - is the Moto G 3rd gen a formally permitted phone for competitions in the 2016 - 2017 season?
                              Best,
                              Martin
                              Mentor, FTC 7539 TigerBots
                              Yes, it is. It is in the latest revision of Game Manual Part 1.
                              Programmer for Team 4997 Masquerade -- 2012 World Champions, 2014 - 2016 Division Finalists
                              Founding Member of Team 6433 Neutrinos -- 2015 World Champions

                              Check out my intro video to the new tech platform
                              Check out my team's Robot Reveal for Res-Q

                              Comment

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