Wireless for scouting

I know there appears to be a rule against using any sort of wireless communications but I was hoping to get some clarification on this. Is the official rule that No wireless networks are allowed within the area around the competition including the stands used by folks to watch the matches?

We have a group of folks scouting matches and want to be able to share information as they enter it by connecting laptops wirelessly to each other. I know for a fact that at most of the competitions taking place in schools that the schools do not disable their own wireless networks as they can be seen by any wireless capable device, but we certainly don’t want to violate any rules surrounding its use.

Is the issue the specific channels in use? Would restricting communication to the 5 GHz range work?


Wireless is less of an issue than it used to be due to the new VexNET key.

But… I’m not a radio guy (IFI has one, nice guy too), and I don’t run the event.

The keys work a lot like Bluetooth in the sense that they rapidly jump channels to deal with congestion or something like that.

I don’t know how Nazi-ish the guys at world are going to be. I know they’ve been pretty strict on WiFi before but again with the older keys it was a big problem.

Here’s my guess, a wireless N 5.0 GHz network will most likely be the least dangerous type of network to run since the keys are 2.4 GHz.

Someone like James or the radio guy can step in and correct me on this.

New keys run in higher 2.4Ghz channels not allocated to wifi, so wireless devices have a low chance of interfering, but switching to 5Ghz is always a good idea if you can

To answer your question, no the rule does not prevent people outside the driver box from using wireless devices, in fact a lot of competitions run their pit displays over wifi

Is there any rule against having devices while driving the robot or coaching the driver, such as a hz detector app that reads what pitch your speakers are playing?

No, the rule only applies communication from outside the field, though other tools like devices to load balls for you are illegal so you would have to get an official ruling

I know at worlds last year they were very strict upon the no-wifi rule, hotspots weren’t allowed either. They regularly checked for networks. My team got around the rule by having all of our laptops hooked up through an Ethernet switch which allowed us to share files across the computers and then we would run a usb to a master computer in the pit that had all the info on it for scouting and what not.