good time to start a vex U team? (2017-2018)

Hi all, I along with 2 others are in the process of starting a Vex U team this year but with the announcement of the V5 control system coming out next season we are wondering if it is even worth it to invest in a control system that will be replaced in a year…

This is pretty discouraging considering we really want to participate this season but really don’t want to waste our funds on a control system that will be worthless next year…

I see a few options and would like your opinions on these options and others if you can think of any.

  1. completely forget this season and wait for the next season with the new control system
  2. buy only the bare minimum control system related equipment needed to build a single Vex U robot
  3. buy enough control system related equipment to build a really top of the line robot and hope the trade-in program gets us at least some significant return on our outdated control system components next year

On a side note I really wish they would give us some sort of an idea on what the trade in rates will be so new teams can figure out whether it would be worth it so start a new team in the 2017-18 season or wait for V5…

Thanks for your help everybody!

If you’re just starting a VEX-U team, you should see if a grant is available, it might get you all the basics, including a control, so you don’t have to worry about costs. You could explore connecting with a large nearby team too (your profile doesn’t say where you’re from). We run teams from 3rd grade IQ to VEX-U, and thus can share parts between many teams.

I looked at that team grant page but I didn’t think any of those applied to VEX-U.

Thanks for reminding me to add a location to my profile :slight_smile: (Sheboygan WI).

I’d get on the phone with your RECF rep (as soon as Worlds are over…) and see what is available. It never hurts to ask. There have been VEX-U grants in the past (but we couldn’t get one because we already had a program in place).

I could be wrong but they mentioned that they will allow trade-in for a major discount on the new V5 system.

it’s just the uncertainty that bothers me.

Our plan is to buy what we need and hope for the best. Grants would be nice, Saint Mary’s doesn’t have their own engineering department so they don’t have any funds available. It will be a lot of fund raising for us.

You might want to keep an eye on ebay over the summer and see if a cortex shows up. That’s how I got mine a couple years ago and there were several sold that summer for about $100 less than normal.
I agree though, the cost of upgrading to a completely new electronics system is rather worrying.

They will be allowing a trade-in for a discounted price so it’s not the end of the world. We’re in the same position as you guys but our plan is once the V5 system is released and we have purchased it, to then use our older gear for educational purposes for mentoring high-school teams. That way we keep it’s use for as long as possible!

Yeah, I suppose there will always be some use for the older system.