MN FRST – competition info from CSA’s

MN FRST – competition info from CSA’s

Team Leaders, welcome to Week 2. We had a wonderful inaugural event at the Great Northern Regional with 39 MN teams participating. Congratulations to the many MN teams that won awards ( ). Here are a couple of follow up items.

The MSHSL Championship rankings for Week 1 will be posted soon. Watch the MSHSL page weekly for updates ( ).

Webcasts – Northern Lights hosted by the FIRST Twitch.TV feed ( ). Lake Superior hosted by Duluth Denfeld DNA Robotics and the link to the webcast can be found at ( ).

Below is an important update from our Control System Advisors based on what they learned at the Great Northern Regional:

The CSA crew helped a number of teams at Great Northern Regional and here’s what we learned that should be of use to your teams at your next regional.


• Ensure power cables are firmly inserted and locked in to the PDP and Rio power connector. Use of ferrules / ferrels is highly recommended.
• Ensure power cables have NO copper showing on either end when they are inserted into the respective devices, PDP and Rio.
• Ensure Ethernet cable is firmly plugged in and locks in, if you don’t feel it snap or click in, push cable in further until it does or replace the cable.

Driver’s Station

• Turn off Windows Updates while at competitions.
• Turn off Windows Defender Firewall on private networks while at competitions.
• Turn off IPv6 on Ethernet, Wifi and USB – ethernet network adapters.
• Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the driver station while at competitions.

Robot Power

• Ensure battery connector is firmly attached. You should feel it snap closed.
• Optional: Run a long zip tie between the red and black wires on both ends to pull and lock connector closed. Pull zip tie tight, leave no gap.
• Ensure battery cable crimps are tight and cables are not bent at sharp angle immediately after crimp. Replace crimps if they are, use heat shrink over crimp and wire to help with wire relief.

PoE injectors

You may have heard of or seen the FTA’s and CSA’s working on multiple robots and adding additional ethernet cables to the robots on the field. This was done to bypass the KoP PoE for ethernet traffic between the RoboRio and the Radio. This was done to help clear up some connectivity issues with the robot and driver’s station. However, there is NO confirmation that there is an issue with the KoP PoE injectors at this time, this was done out of an abundance of caution. With that in mind, the following recommendations are being made until further root cause analysis can be completed.

• Use a standard ethernet patch cable to connect the RoboRio to the Radio, bypassing the KoP PoE injector.
• Optional: Use a barrel jack in additional the KoP PoE injector. Hot glue the power plug into the radio. Do NOT remove the PoE injector, still use it for power. The VRM can accommodate both the PoE injector and barrel connector at the same time. Use the 2amp 12v connections for both.
• Use a third party PoE injector.
• Partially tested suggestion: • Please note the above PoE injector needs to be cabled differently than the KoP PoE injector. This model should have it’s ethernet connector plugged into the RoboRio and it’s power lead connected to the VRM, then a standard ethernet cable run from the PoE ethernet jack to the ethernet port next to the power port of the radio. This is opposite of the KoP PoE ethernet cable routing. The power lead cabling is the same as the KoP PoE injector.

Competition Checklist – includes all the recommendations above and much more. Updated often as new items of note are vetted.

• URL:

As always, if you have any questions please contact your friendly neighborhood MN CSA, details below. Thanks and see you in Duluth!

Slack invite:
Twitter: @firstmncsa
First MN CSA Crew

Regards, Mark Lawrence
Chairman, MN FIRST Regional Planning Committee

2018-03-05T11:27:06+00:00 March 5th, 2018|