Cortex and MicroController

Its been rumored there is a new Cortex and MicroController set coming out, with no 3 wire ports, as well as a discontinuation of 3 wire motors for the game… any truth to these rumors?
Thanks for the wonderful systems for the compotitions each and every year.

I haven’t heard any such rumors and I think an updated Cortex would be HIGHLY unlikely. It wouldn’t, however, surprise me if VEX discontinued the regular 3 wire motors. But we should still keep the Servos.

I believe the 3-wire motors are already discontinued.

Ah, yes. I suppose you’re right. I haven’t just browsed the VEX store for quit some time. :o

I REALLY hope they don’t get rid of the 3-wire motor ports on any new microcontroller. We just spent nearly $200 on 3-wire extension cables. I don’t want to make the choice between old technology and replacing that. I guess we could use the 3-wire cables for sensors, but I can’t see needing nearly what we have, and I don’t think we own nearly enough 2-wire extension or Y-cables.

Can someone explain how it would be an improvement to use only 2-wire cables, other than getting rid of the ugly, grey Motor Controller 29 boxes?

I really don’t think there would be any; when a MC29 burns out, you can replace it/repair it relatively easily, but when it’s placed inside the cortex as part of the circuitry… things get difficult rather quickly.

I highly doubt they would do this, particularly because no other microcontroller i’ve ever seen only has 2 wire ports for motors…

I think one of the VEX guys gave a really good reason for not having an all 2-wire microcontroller. I’d have to find and dig it up, but I’m pretty sure it’s the same reasoning as eliwu26 gave.

It seems unlikely that the cortex would be replaced at this time unless it were for minor hardware improvements. If there were a new control system, what other features would you like to see that the cortex does not have? How much would those additional features be worth?

I agree that there’s very little chance of a new Cortex coming out, especially because the full potential of this one has not even been reached yet (ie RobotC only allows 12kB of the RAM to be accessed.)

Also, how would the servos be operated?

I want them to change the circuit breakers to handle more pull from the battery. It would be really awesome to have 5 on the Cortex (1/2, 3/4, 5/6, 7/8, 9/10) and 2 on the Power Expander. We have the extra batteries if that’s the problem. More battery ports on the Cortex would actually be kind of cool.

We trip them sometimes, and it would be great if that never happened. Can someone explain why they’re so low?

You should reference the following thread for some tips:

There’s really no need for a whole new system to fix these “deficiencies” as they can be overcome with a little extra thinking.

With the weird design we built this year, that’s not actually possible. Generally, we do exactly what they’re recommending and split up the mechanisms across the 3 circuit breakers. We don’t even trip them with this design, to be honest. I just wish we could completely forget about them. Then the nagging voice in the back of my head saying “Your robot is going to die in Finals. You did something wrong.” would finally stop bugging me.

Ahh yes, i tripped the breaker in my brain last year in finals at worlds becasue i was running all 10 motors off of one battery, and my 4 bigs were all geared for strength so they were all drawing power from the same breaker… i blew something in the brain… this taught me to use the battery expander this year.

Shh. Stop making me worry even more.

By the way, sensors are on a separate breaker, right? Or do Ultrasonic Range Finders and Gyrometers not pull enough power to worry about?

All digital and analog IO is powered from a separate 1 Amp 5 volt regulator in the cortex. The only time this would be a problem is if you had many (and I mean more than 10) pneumatic solenoids firing together. Standard sensors use almost no power.

That is fantastic news. We just spent nearly $500 on sensors for Worlds, and forgot to check before-hand. We haven’t done anything like this before. When you finish your Autonomous the night before competition, there’s rarely enough time to order sensors for what you want to do.

You can see the power distribution for the cortex in this thread. The only sensors not on the dedicated 5v rail are the IMEs that are powered from a second 5V switching regulator powering the rest of the system.

Note that if main battery power is lost and your code is running on backup battery power, then the sensors will not be powered and will give incorrect values. This can happen at the end of a match when you power off the cortex.