Competition software inspection for Cortex

Help! I’m the “Chief Inspector” for most of the competitions/tournaments in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, and I’m mainly a mechanical guy.

###*** What are the procedures for running software inspection on the new Cortex microcontroller based robots? ***###

Do I have to use EasyC v4 to work with the new microcontroller, or can I somehow rig v2 to work?

At the last competition, we just asked the 4-5 teams w/Cortex to try out their robots on the competition field to make sure they interfaced w/ the field control software OK. All seemed to, but we had complaints from several of the teams that “all of a sudden, during the rounds, both/all their right side motors quit”. (Or maybe it was the left?)

We need guidance! Please respond with a comprehensive checklist, or set of instructions for performing any required software or electronics systems inspection on the Cortex microcontrollers.

Best Regards,
tHe fReE rAdICal {;~]> :smiley:

The best way to inspect teams is with Cortex / VexNet Upgrade is with of these.

You just plug the Ethernet cable into the competition port.
Power up Disabled and in Autonomous
Enable Autonomous (only needs to run for a few seconds)
Disable Autonomous
Switch to Operator Disabled
Enable Operator verify controls.

This is the same procedure with the VexNet upgrade also.

Based on my experience, (I’ve been to every major competition since the release of Vex) 99% of the time the complaint “1/2 my robot stopped working” is a elctro-mechanical issue. Ether they are overheating the motors or tripping the fuses in the Cortex/PIC/Power Expander. The issue normally arises when a team gangs a bunch of motors together and a weak motor gives out transferring the load to the other motors. This causes the extra load of having being down a motor and now having to back drive a dead motor. This causes a cascading effect and leads to the robot not running on one side or an arm to stop working.