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Disconnecting issues--so frustrating

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  • Disconnecting issues--so frustrating

    Since we have already completed our competition for this year, this info is to help us for next year. The kids on my team did a great job this year with making an autonomous program which pretty much always worked, as well as having many different capabilities for the driver controlled period. In all the practice times, whether here or getting together with several other teams to use a field which one of them has, they did not experience disconnecting issues. HOWEVER -- the competition day, out of their five matches, only one autonomous program successfully ran, the other times they could see that the driver station phone lost connection with the robot controller...and then in the driver controlled period they were having to keep hitting the play button on the phone, as it disconnected several times per match. They spent so much time trying to re-connect over and over that it was a very disappointing day for them, not being able to perform as they knew they could on the field. :/

    We have a young team so we are using the blocks program and wondered if that was why, but actually we saw it happen to many teams who were using android studio as well. Not all teams, though.

    Ideas? Suggestions? Help!!!! please I really don't know much about this at all and am wondering what happened and what we can do to avoid it next year. We are using the zte phones.

    Thank you in advance for your suggestions!

  • #2
    Hmmmm, were you running SDK 3.4 by any chance?

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    • #3
      Are you using the REV hub? We found that the cable connecting the phone to the 1st hub was a very loose connection, which caused this to happen. Not sure this was the best solution, but we hot-glued it into the hub. We tried tape & zip ties, but they still wiggled loose - the glue solved our problem. I think a 3-D printed stabilizer may be the better option, but it would need to hold it firmly.

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      • #4
        Yes, we were using sdk 3.4 and no, we were not using the rev hub...still using the modern robotics stuff.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Champlain View Post
          Yes, we were using sdk 3.4
          Well, that was the problem. Version 3.5 fixes a critical bug in 3.4 that caused random stops. https://ftcforum.usfirst.org/forum/f...-now-available

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          • #6
            We found hot-glue to be the best option for us. We found that it was difficult to use either zip ties or 3d printed mounts in a way that didn't apply some side pressure to the connection without extreme effort with regard to alignment. If you don't go overboard with the hot glue, it isn't much harder to remove than zip ties if you need to swap the hub module or the cable.

            Note that we have one hub module that appears to be internally sensitive to physical shocks, possibly a cracked trace or bad solder joint on the PC board. Swapping the module was required to address the issue.

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            • #7
              Hmm, so obviously we should've upgraded to 3.5. HOWEVER--in probably more than 100+ practices with these programs we did not have these disconnect issues. Only on competition day. This makes me wonder if it was something more. Any additional ideas? or basically just the version (which I'm sure will be different by next season anyhow) ? Thank you all for your ideas.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Champlain View Post
                Hmm, so obviously we should've upgraded to 3.5. HOWEVER--in probably more than 100+ practices with these programs we did not have these disconnect issues. Only on competition day. This makes me wonder if it was something more. Any additional ideas? or basically just the version (which I'm sure will be different by next season anyhow) ? Thank you all for your ideas.
                The bug that was fixed was related to the driver station incorrectly telling the robot to "stop".
                This condition is corrected by simply hitting play again.
                This is very annoying, but it sounds exactly like the problem your team experienced.

                One reason that you may have encountered the error more on game day, is that this bug starts occurring if the Robot controller app is exited and then re-launched (without actually swiping off the app). If the app is completely restarted between matches the problem does not occur. So, if you just let the phone go to sleep, the same problem will occur.

                During practice, this may not be common (since program updates require the app to be restarted) and you probably don't "exit" or sleep the app quite as much.

                But during the normal game day your behavior is different. To save power you may start the app and then possibly close and open it several times.
                This starts the bug occuring and it just gets worse until you swipe the app off to completely restart it.

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