VexNet for wireless field control

for at least the past 2 years I have noticed that vex uses VexNets at worlds to connect the field control to the tournament manger computer. I was wondering how this worked and if I could do this.

I actually dont know.

This is incorrect. VEX uses the typical Ethernet/match controller set up. There were a couple changes from the typical tournament, however - in particular, the fact that raspberry pi’s were used to host the match controllers and the field display rather than the host server. However, this is no different than putting a laptop on the field and having the match controllers hooked up to that laptop and the laptop hooked into the network of the server. This would have required a custom build of Tournament Manager everyone saw and I don’t know if the Linux build be publicly released (I hope so!).

I’ve been wanting this for a while as our windows laptops (scraptops) are old and alsways seem to recycle with security updates mid-tournament. I don’t really need them all year, just tournament days.

I can flash a sim card with a dedicated TM instance just fine on a Pi. Please release it!!

in the divisional areas I saw the match controllers hooked up to vexnets mounted to the side of the field and the tournament manger computer had an array of vexnets plugged in. however in the dome they did use raspberry pis and on of the had an error in one of the finals matches thats why there was a delay. I would love the custom build of the TM, but i am still curious on how it works or if they are used for something else

I saw a few techs walking around with those arrays and I know a little bit about what the keys on the side of the fields do. I’m not sure how much I can say, but I do know VEX is getting creative with their uses of keys to ensure reliable connections!

Honestly, the use-case for these keys is quite small (that is, specifically, the world championship). I haven’t heard of an event where VEXNet 2.0 keys have had issues. At Worlds, it’s likely a different story because there’s so many robots around that you’re bound to get interference.

You can run Windows 10 IOT on a Raspberry PI which is a very lightweight version. I wonder if they were able to run the field control software that way.

You need to compile the program to be able to run on Windows IOT. It should be not very much of a change but if you have certain libraries you depend upon that are not good for IOT you may have a long way to go.

Currently the only supported TM software from DWAB is here . The VEXNet Keys were not used to communicate but instead help the robots keep connection. DWAB uses special software which they are required to run for us at worlds. The products used at worlds seem to be easy to implement at a local level, but in reality it would be more of a hassle than what it is worth. Obviously things are advancing in technology everyday so something could change, but I do not see it being implemented in the foreseeable future.