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FTC Questions (Bluetooth, All-In-One program, and Program Chooser)

So my team has been unable to connect our robot via bluetooth to the FTC Controller Station and get it to drive around via bluetooth. We got our robot to drive around while connected to the computer via USB, but bluetooth has yet to work. What can we do to fix this/what could we be doing wrong? Also, on the FTC platform blog Ken Johnson mentioned something about an All-In-One program. We assume this is essentially a template for FTC competition. How do we set this up and what do we have to do/download in order to get this working? Finally, Ken Johnson mentinoed something about a program chooser on the NXT as a step to get bluetooth to work, what do we have to set the program chooser to?

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Hello UDRI,

I'll try to address your issues one-by-one.

First, Bluetooth. To start with, make sure you've got the Bluetooth dongle that came with the FTC kit plugged into the computer that's running the Controller Station. If you're using NXT-G or LabVIEW to code, make sure you've updated the firmware on your NXT brick to version 1.21, which comes with the FTC software. If you've got these two things squared away and are still having problems, try turning the brick on and off. If that doesn't work, try taking the battery pack out of the brick and putting it back in. If it still doesn't work, post back here and I'll walk you through some of the hairier Bluetooth troubleshooting - going into the Windows Bluetooth manager and whatnot.

Second, the All-In-One program. I'm not familiar with the blog post you mentioned. We're planning to put together some template code in LabVIEW and NXT-G to help the teams write their programs, but we haven't released any of it yet. When we do, we'll put it up on our central update page and you'll hear about it in the weekly email blast. If this doesn't answer your question, let me know.

Third, the Program Chooser. This isn't related to your Bluetooth problems. For the purposes of FTC competition, you can choose whether to use a single program for both autonomous and tele-operated mode, or to use two separate programs (one for each). If you choose to use two separate programs, then the field management system used at the competitions will automatically kill your autonomous program and run your tele-operated program between autonomous and tele-operated modes. To do this, you have to use Program Chooser to designate a program on your NXT that you'd like to run in tele-operated mode. Program Chooser saves the name of the program you select in a file on the brick which is read by the field management system during match setup. The FTC Controller Station will automatically download Program Chooser to your NXT if it's not there, and you can run it on your brick to pick from the different programs you have. You can also test out the dual-program scheme for yourself with the Controller Station. If you've used Program Chooser to select a tele-operated program, the Controller Station will automatically kill the program running on your NXT and start your designated tele-operated program when you switch the match mode from Autonomous to Tele-Operated. Make sure you hit the "update" button if you use Program Chooser while the Controller Station is running and connected to your NXT.

If you have any further questions, I'd be happy to help.

Ramsey Nasir
Senior Software Engineer, InsightCM R&D
National Instruments
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Here is the blog post being mentioned by the OP:

http://firsttechchallenge.blogspot.com/2008/10/bluetooth-connection.html

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The program chooser info was exactly what we needed thank you. However, Bluetooth problems still persist. We have tried all of the basic trouble shooting methods that you have provided and it still does not work. Because the NXT has the symbol that indicates that the NXT is ready to recieve the bluetooth signal we assume the problem lies in our installation of the Bluetooth or some other computer problem. However, the computer does seem to register that the NXT is connected. It seems like the NXT and the computer each recognize the other but don't communicate with each other. If you could walk us through some of the advanced trouble shooting methods we would be greatly appreciative.

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What operating system are you running? If you're running Windows XP, here's the next step to try:

1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Administrative Tools > Services

2. Find & select the Bluetooth Support Service, right click and select Properties.
3. Click the Stop button on the General tab.
4. Select the Log On tab, and select the radio button next to Local System account, then click Apply.
5. Go back to the General tab and click the Start button.
6. Click OK to close the Properties dialog.
7. Restart computer to make sure the change takes and things work.

Some fairly recent Windows updates have messed with the settings on the Bluetooth Support Service, causing problems similar to the ones you're seeing. If that's the case on your machine, then this sequence should fix the problem. If not, we'll go into the Bluetooth Manager next.

Ramsey Nasir
Senior Software Engineer, InsightCM R&D
National Instruments
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The Bluetooth Support Service isn't on the list... Did I forget to do something earlier?

Also, we are running Windows Vista, not XP.

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I'm not familiar with using Vista at all, but I'll try to help as best I can.

Have you tried using MINDSTORMS or the NXT Terminal in LabVIEW to connect to your NXT via Bluetooth? Are you able to connect successfully with one of those? If not, what happens when you try?

Ramsey Nasir
Senior Software Engineer, InsightCM R&D
National Instruments
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After reading the replies, I can think of one other possibility. Are you using a Dell computer? I have a Dell desktop running Vista at home. There is something about the Bluetooth hardware/drivers where the NXT will not connect up to a Dell. I think the "bad" hardware/driver is Toshiba and the "good" hardware/driver is the WidComm. There are complaints about in on some of the NXT forums, but I know I have not been able to find a solution yet. You may want to check this out. Of course if you are using the dongle, then that isn't the issue.

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Hello RNasir,

We think we are having problems with the Program Chooser.  First we tried selecting the joystick program on the NXT to make it run and then run the Controller Station VI.  This kills the program running on the NXT.  We tried running the program chooser, choosing dual mode, then selecting the VI we want to run.  Then when we run the Controller Station.vi, it does not make anything run on the NXT.
  Isn't it supposed to deploy the specified program?  Is there documentation anywhere on how to use the Controller Station VI?  How can I make it so that it does not use the Program Chooser (I tried deleting it, that didn't work).  I would like to just choose my program, then start the Controller Station and have it connect to the already running program.  Thanks.

Chris

FSE - Chicago

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Hello RNasir,

I think we figured it out.  So the Program Chooser has to be pointed towards "FTCTeleOp.rxe" to allow us to manually pick which program is running.  Does that sound right?  Is there documentation on all of this? Thanks.

-Chris

FSE Chicago

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