393 vs V5

My team is planning on and is going to be using 393 for the Turning Point season, but we were wondering if this is a good choice to make and were seeking feedback from the community.

For those who use V5, what are the significant pros and cons of using V5 over 393? Do you regret switching? Have you seen a performance difference in competitions when facing off against the teams who are still using 393?

For those who are sticking to 393, why are you doing so? We decided to stay with 393 because we thought that it would be too stressful to get the parts at the end of 2018, and that we would not have enough time to make a robot we were happy with.

Thanks, and good luck with your seasons!

I’d just like to clarify that V5 refers to the V5 system as a whole and 393 is a specific type of motor in the cortex system.

I’m sticking with Coretx because it’s what I know. I’ve seen V5 issues and want to be sure about what I’m doing. Later in the year, around my second robot (of about 2.75, probably) I plan to change over. But only after I’ve played with it more.
I designed my robot to be able to switch to V5 later, but have since tacked on a couple of subsystems that I feel are more effective than my main robot’s goal. I wouldn’t have been able to allocate enough motors with V5.

My team is switching to v5 but it is mainly because of what we have experienced in competition when it comes to going against robots with v5. Most people who are using v5 have 4 motor drivetrains which are way better than most v4 drivetrains out there right now so you have to be smart with your driving. really the main disadvantage with v4 is not being able to win pushing battles with v5 robots but v4 does have its advantages. you get 4 more motors with v4 if you are not using pneumatics so you can have more subsystems that are powered by motors or make your current subsystems more powerful. id say that if you do not have v5 yet then you should not worry about it until you get closer to getting it. VCS comes with a learning curve along with PROS so will probably need time to familiarize your self with these especially if you are used to using robotC. v5 motors are relatively fragile and can often times stop working. Our sister teams have v5 and combined they have had 6-7 v5 motors die on them which is even more strange because they were all on tasks that would be easier for the motors like ball intakes. Overall v5 can give you a significant advantage in how fast your robot can do tasks and can also give you an advantage for drivetrains but if you play it smart v4 can also be pretty good depending on your region. A decent amount of teams in my region have v5 and a handful of them were at our most recent competition where we were able to go undefeated until finals so generally I would say that at this point in the season v4 is probably fine.

Our student’s experience with v5 has been very positive, we’re glad to have made the switch.

Hardware alone isn’t the sole ticket to performing well at a tournament, there’s more to the picture and teams will do well with either system.

One V5 aspect I haven’t seen mentioned yet is its much easier to begin using complex coding solutions. The Smart Motor has a way more user-friendly UI through the V5 brain and also data such as motor position and angle.

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Thanks for clarifying, that’s what I meant :slight_smile:

I do regret switching. We will be switching back to the old cortex after our upcoming competition. Not that V5 is bad, but it just doesn’t meet the needs of our robot. While there certainly are positives like PID, actually good integrated encoders, and extra power, it’s just not worth it. The motors simply are NOT twice as powerful as 393s and that kinda was what we were expecting when we designed the bot. We will most likely be revisiting V5 as soon as the season ends. I have had several issues though - batteries being weird, I’ve had 2 motors just die randomly, and VCS sucks butt. Overall still not a bad experience. Honestly its fine and dandy, I just feel like having more motors this season is quintessential for my team’s bot this year.

also motors and everything are heavy/bulky as #%^*. even the cables are a lot thicker which just makes everything more annoying.


is swearing not allowed?

No, it is not… Seems like as good a time as ever to read the Forum Rules.


well thats my bad. sorry about that. thanks for the link

We switched to V5 because of the trade-in I think, but also because vexnet connection was pretty bad for cortex. I do miss having more motors, but I like the challenge of using less motors for more systems.

Ever since the new season started, we decided that we were going to stick with the old system (393 motors). We made a launcher that used four 393 motors and although it worked, I designed it in a way were we could switch between the old motors and the new motors very easily. We did some testing with the old system and it worked fine. When we switched over to V5 we only used two motors. But we shocked when we saw a significant improvement in the launcher’s strength. we can shoot across the entire field and hit the high flags using only two motors. However, although we were happy with our robot’s performance, the following days were a bit weird. Our motors were not reaching 200 rpm. instead they were going at only about 40 rpm. This is because the motors, instead of overheating, they will simply request less power. This happened when we were testing the robot for more than an hour. This shouldn’t happen in a match because they are only a few minutes long. keep in mind that powering off and restarting the robot won’t solve this problem. So far. We only have this problem after a long period of testing or practicing. We are still working on ways to reduce the cool down time. Coding wise, we haven’t had any problems but I do know some teams have had a few glitches here and there. Right now we are using V5 for the first competitions. Although you can’t use 12 V5 motors, the V5 motors are strong enough were you can use 2 motors instead of 4 or 1 motor instead of 2. Although we were going to stick the old system, after testing the V5 motors we found that they were better for our build. This might differ if you have many systems using just 1 motor. Overall I think if V5 is used properly, you can gain an advantage over someone using the 393 motors simply because of how much stronger a single V5 motor is compared to the 393 motors.

My club has had a lot of issues with v5. The new smart cables if you have the cables angled a certain way it will short out and kill a port on the brain so one of our teams kept having to switch motor ports because they wouldnt work. Also an issue i personally found at our last comp was the radio disconnecting from controller(we termed this red screen of death) or when the brain just freezes and has a solid white screen (termed the white screen of death) other than these problems v5 is much better than cortex because you have the inbuilt motor encoders and you can set brake types in codes which is good for flywheels so you dont have to build a wratchet system. Personnally though i think Vex needs to release more OS bug fixes so v5 can operate at its full capacity

People that know me know that I’m adament about the fact that you really should not need V5 until January or so. Wait until everyone has some semblance on how to use the system and it’s not filled with bugs. That’sy 2 cents on that matter.

As for competition I haven’t seen a harsh difference in V5 and 393 excluding a 6m V5 drive train. The past 2/3 competitions in my state were won with 393 robots solely (And I would like to think we are fairly competitive). Also, as for the drive train argument ai pushed a 4m v5 4" 200rpm drive with my 6m 3.25" 5:3 speed drive across the field (granted, I did have wedges) so drives shouldn’t really be a problem.

Overall, people should stick with what they know and fine tune 393 robots until it becomes essentially mandatory to have a v5 robot (my estimate is around end of January)

The first tournament we went to we used 6 motor 393 base with the possibility of 8 motor base. Unfortunately we found that we were easily pushed by any robot with a v5 base. To make matters worse, we would burn out if we attempted to right someone pushing us. We switched to v5 and that issue no longer is a problem.