SparkFun Forums 

Where electronics enthusiasts find answers.

For the discussion of Sparkfun events such as Free Day, Antimov, AVC, etc.
By wholder
The walkthrough video (at about the 3:27 mark) indicates the width of the ramp as being 4.5' (feet). However, the diagram on the page at shows this same measurement as 45" (inches), which is substantully narrower at 3 3/4' (feet). Can you confirm which measurement is correct?

Also, the length of the ramp is not specified, but appears to be the same as the width, but it would be nice to get an exact measurement in order to compute the exact slope of the ramp.

In addition, can you tell me what the diameter of the tall vertical pipe is in the stanchions? This measurement is not specified. Likewise, can you advise on the diameter of the pipe used to make the hoop. Thanks.

By SFE-Toni
Hi Wayne,

I checked on this with our AVC team and the ramp is actually a square, measuring at 45". We didn't have the exact measurements for the pipes, but the estimates are as follows: "1-2" for the hoop, and 2-3" for the stanchion". They did recommend though that you base any sensors more on colors instead of sizing of the pipes.

Hope this helps! Best of luck on your AVC project!
By wholder
Thanks for clearing up the issue with the ramp dimensions and for the guidance on the stanchion and hoop pipe diameters. That helps a lot.

On a different subject, the rules say "The vehicle must be fully autonomous and self-contained. No transmitters or communication beacons (other than GPS) of any kind are allowing. You may NOT tether to a laptop or other device. Everything necessary for the vehicle’s navigation/processing/sensing must be attached and part of the vehicle itself."

Some of us over at the DIYRovers forum (!forum/diyrovers) like having a transmitter handy to take back control of a ground vehicle should it get out of control. Many of us use an FailSafe Mux device ( that lets an RC transmitter switch to RC control. Will we be allowed to bring a transmitter (in the off position) into the center area as a precaution?

Likewise, some of us have been considering building ground stations to record telemetry from the vehicle for post race analysis and debugging. The vehicles themselves are still fully autonomous, as the RF links would be send only from the vehicle (except for resend protocol packets.) Is this kind of telemetry forbidden?

By wholder
I did read through the rules carefully, but it doesn't seem to address the two specific cases I asked about, at least with respect to ground vehicles. Manual intervention seems to be allowed in the Aerial category, but it's not clear if I can carry, or use a transmitter to stop a ground vehicle if it gets out of control. Frankly, at my age, I'd rather not to have to chase after my car to stop it, as it can move a lot faster than I can.

And, while the rules clearly state that " No transmitters or communication beacons (other than GPS) of any kind are allowing" it then goes on to say " Everything necessary for the vehicle’s navigation/processing/sensing must be attached and part of the vehicle itself" which implies that the first restriction is designed to prevent having a laptop remotely control a ground vehicle via a wireless link, not to prevent transmission of simple telemetry messages that do not control the car in any manner.

By SFE-Toni
Hi Wayne,

I tried checking on this again, and our AVC team would prefer you contact them at, instead of posting in the forums. They will be able to answer all of your questions directly there.
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