There have been a number of questions lately on the Forum concerning losing connection during a tournament match, and various people figuring that the system itself must have something to do with what’s going wrong.
We have had a couple of legitimately dodgy field controllers passed around in the UK. We do of course blame the feild controller first but often it is stuff like not plugging in power expanders or code which makes the robot not work.
Are they really dodgy though?
The amount of teams that blame field control and still blame it even when:
You show them that their joystick is not plugged in because they broke the clip and the cable just falls out
Their joystick batteries are dead
Their robot battery is dead
Their battery backup is dead
They spent the last 2 matches dragging their poorly secured robot battery around the field and now the connector on their Cortex is broken so every time you tap it, the power cuts out
The USB socket for the VEXnet key is damaged so any vibration or a slight tap causes VEXnet to disconnect
Their thermal cutouts in their motors have tripped (but it works when it is not in the field officer, on the nice shiny hall floor where there is no friction)
There is one issue which I have never been able to resolve where some laptops just hate the match controller no matter what power saving settings you use, and occasionally will just disconnect from it. This does of course cause the driver interface to do some funny things. Normally, this means disabling one alliance and locking the other in driver control…
Looking at the condition of a number of remotes during competition, certainly it is a team issue in most cases. However, I would imagine it is the controller from time to time, like during the World HS round robin finals matches last year. Hoping when V5 is full implemented the issue goes away, but that is a few years down the road.