Legacy Cortex without Program

Is it possible to use a legacy cortex to power a motor without writing a program? I’m a classroom teacher and would like to make use of my old VEX equipment but no longer have RobotC on my classroom computers. If so, how?

1 Like

Check out the fifth page of this document.

I believe pressing the Config button on the front with a paper clip (possibly a 5/64" allen wrench?) will reset the Cortex to its default code.

(I did a googlesearch of “VEX Cortex default code” to find this)


Here’s a link to the old cortex “clawbot trainer”. http://cmra.rec.ri.cmu.edu/products/cortex_video_trainer/lesson/media_files/clawbot_base.pdf
If you look near the end of the build instructions, you’ll see that Ports 1, 6, 7, and 10 are assigned by the default program. Clear the cortex memory, and you’ll have control of 4 motors, at least.


Is there a big hurdle to installing software on the computers?

ROBOTC is available for free here

And if you prefer you could use Robot Mesh studio entirely web based programming environment(also free)


Oh, so you have not met my school district systems admin?


My school admin team likes doughnuts and coincidently my VexCode software and websites seem to work fine. :grinning:


Muffins for the win here! Never forget to stay on the best side of the Superintendent’s admin and the IT director. But if you have to pick one, the building chief engineer is the one to pick. Events live and die.

1 Like

Ya I definitely considered it a possibility that installing was a complete nonstarter because of IT. From my experience with IT at school it would be at best annoying and at worst a minefield.

But there were a few other reasons I thought someone might ask the OP’s question but benefit from a different answer.

  1. Have chrome books now and so ROBOTC was nonstarter, so RMS would be useful recommendation
  2. Had purchased ROBOTC a million years ago on old computers, and didnt know it was free and easy to grab now.

There is a bit of an XY problem to the OPs question.
Where it is unclear what the constraints and exact desired outcome(presumably free, easy control of cortex to turn on motor) is.

This answer is an excellent, even pretty clever answer to the OP’s direct question.

Just as a general rule for helping people, I want to make sure other (potentially better) solutions are considered too.


There’s really no way to get back to factory default code without being able to hookup to a PC and run the Vexnet firmware update utility. As soon as something like RobotC, Robotmesh or EasyC is used, the default code is replaced with programming created by them. The utility is very old, it may or may not run under the latest windows without some TLC.