Extra USB port on the cortex, hidden?

There is an extra USB port on the Cortex, hidden under the plastic cover?

Does this USB port have a function (debugging, special firmware downloads, etc.) or is it because buying two was cheaper than buying one?

jpearman, I’m hoping you could answer this, because of your thread on open source cortex development! (https://vexforum.com/t/open-source-development-for-the-cortex/21578/1)


It’s not used and was removed from later versions (I assume you have an older cortex). Here is an A3 version (new “hump” cortex).

You are one of the quickest men alive, jpearman! Congrats on your “Mentor of the Year” award!

Was it completely unused, or did it have the same function as the top USB port? (VEXnet, Cortex programming, etc)

Also, do you have the list of revisions of the cortex’s so we could see how old our cortex is? Thanks!


I never did find any functionality, it did look like it was connected, perhaps IFI had plans for it but, as far as I know, it was never used.


I don’t have any sort of comprehensive list but here are some unofficial notes.

The original version had a flat top, the board would have been marked NC1 with a date code of 2009, the case would have been marked NC1 or NC2 (which was a slightly modified NC1, sometimes the NC2 was written using a sharpie), most of the flat top units still around are NC2 units.

The revised version that elevated the VEXnet key was marked A3 on the board with a date code of 2010. I have no idea if there were any A1 or A2 units. There is an A4 version also but I don’t know if it has any functional difference from the A3 version, it was most likely just a minor manufacturing change in the parts used. I have no idea if there are any versions beyond the A4.

Thanks so much!