Broken V5 Smart Ports

So after about 2 months of using our V5 system, we decided it was complete rebuild time. When we went to go put the electronics on our new bot, many of our ports were working intermittently and the wire would have to be held in a certain way. We chalked this up to the pins bending inside the ports from the wires being pulled tight. However, We are now out of ports that work without bending the wires in weird ways to get the connection to stay. The only thing I can chalk this up to is broken or bent pins in the ports. Does this sound correct? Has anyone else had this issue/tried to fix this issue by themselves? I am worried that trying to RMA the brain will cause us to not have one for worlds.

If it is due to strain on the ports, making sure no stress goes into the ports is a must. Ziptie your wires down in a way that they don’t flex until away from the brain.

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We had left slack in the wire with our last rebuild assuming it was strain. The ports are still intermittent

Sound like a similar issue I had with my headphones yesterday. All strain on the cord would go straight to the aux port on my phone, until the aux plug on my cord bent, making the audio really janky unless I bent the cord just right. My solution was to secure my new cord through my phone case so the strain went to the case rather than the port.

Just confirmed by looking very closely at the ports that the ports that arent working well do have the pins bent back alot more than the port that is completely fine.

I have heard multiple scenarios in regard to the ports. Some assume it’s static and others believe it’s the ports being pushed to their limit. If anything, make sure that nothing is being pushed to their limit and make sure there’s extra slack to motors if they encounter random friction moments. Most of my broken ports were from my 6 motor drive on my cap bot, as I always put it to its limit by pushing robots continuously.

Do the pins look bent in any way? The actual connector is a throughhole solder, I doubt it would fail in a way to cause this. It sounds a lot like a cable issue to me. Maybe try cleaning the pins off with some airduster aswell.

The pins in some ports appear to be farther back than pins in the completely fine ports. This happens regardless of the cable used. I will try to clean them after school.

We dont push any of our motors too hard and havent encountered an issue like this.

I’ve only had one port of mine permanently die. At my first competition this season, I had a spinning claw at the end of a DR4B connected to port 19. About halfway through one of matches my claw just stopped working and I figured out that the port wasn’t working. So I moved it one over to port 18, still didn’t work. That entire quadrant of ports, 16-20, no longer worked. I plugged it into 9 with the same wire and same motor and it worked fine again. All of them but 19 work now though. I didn’t really research it much or inspect it so I don’t really know what happened, maybe the pins are jacked and the rest stopped working as a safety precaution or something. No clue.

But that can definitely be attributed to stress and overworking of the motor as it was a great distance and got jammed sometimes, the cord probably got caught expanding sometimes. I can probably look at it later today and take in depth journey to see what’s wrong with it.

The problem only occurs when rewiring the robot. Its not something that randomly affects us in the middle of a match.

We’ve had 5 die, but concluded that it was a frayed wire that was shorting the ports. Our wire got caught on a sharp c-channel cut and then apparently the c-channel formed a bridge between 2 or more of the individual wires in the RJ11

yes we shorted 5

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Yikes, We had 1 get cut clean in half from rubbing when going up the platform on our early season bot. That didnt damage any ports as far as we know but we were confused on why our vision was inconsistent.

Are you using any custom length cables? We had to for a bit because the long vex cables had yet to arrive. They burnt out 5 of our ports before we realized they were causing issues, so if you have any custom length ones I recommend considering swapping them out.

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We know the issue is bent pins inside the ports. All of our wires are custom length but this isnt the issue. My question is still if anyone has a fix?

I’m not sure about fixing the ports- our brain developed issues in not uploading the code so we had to swap it anyways. However, the custom cables are what tend to bend the pins. At least, at a faster rate. I recommend not using them unless you really have to but that may just be me.

Another school from our county is letting us use their set for worlds so we can RMA or wait on another set to come in. Thanks!

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I’m glad you got an alternative. Sorry no one could help your problem much, I guess that can be expected with a new system a little. Props to that team in your county.

Good luck at Worlds.