operating 6 motors with 3 switches?

alright. im using a four wheel drive for my bot. im also thinking of having a tank tread to pick up those cubes for the elevation contest. It something like “Steve the Robot”. the problem is that do i need to put in another jumper so i can control the two tank treads with two motors? one tread for one motor. im gonna use the switch on the back of the remote to control the treads. im just trying to think of how to work through this problem. sorry if i sound confusing. im basicly asking if it is possible to operate 6 motors with 3 different switches. hope that helps.

To answer your question simply, yes you can run 6 motors with 3 channels on your transmitter. To answer it not-so-simply, yes you can and there are a few ways to do it. Perhaps the simplest option that comes to mind is using the four wheel drive mode on your robot. You can accomplish this by plugging a jumper into port 15 on your microcontroller and plugging your four drive motors into ports 2,3,7,and 8 for tank-style four wheel drive. If you want “12” style drive, you can use port 16, and motor ports 1, 2, 7, and 8. (you can find all of this information in your inventor’s guide) You will still need to get the two motors you are using for tank treads on the same channel though. You can do this by using a Vex “Y” cable to run two motors through the same port. Note that running too many motors at once will trip the robot’s internal circuit breaker.

The other way you could do this is to program the robot so that it runs two motors on the same channel. I’m not really familiar with programming, so someone else will have to advise you there. This would give you the freedom to run each pair of motors on the controller axis of your choice.

EDIT: It seems ManichMechanic and I posted at the same time

A few possibilities for 2 motors on one channel:

  1. If both motors are going in the same direction, you can use a Y-splitter cable from one motor port to control 2 different motors.

  2. Use the Tank command (2 motor) to control 2 motors at once in opposite directions.

  3. You can use 2 separate commands to map each motor to a certain channel. If you’re using the transmitter R/C, use one command to program a channel to control motor X, then another command to program the same channel to motor Y. To activate them in opposite directions, program one to go in the inverse direction.

Edit: Sorry BMX670 for repetition. We answered at the same time.

allright thanks guys

btw-what is the max amount of motors i can run w/o tripping the circuit breaker?

You can run 8 motors (8 PWM ports) or 16 motors with the use of Y-cables.


though any more than 8 will probably lead to a decrease in functionality. i would not advise trying to run 16 simultaneously.

I agree, but with the introduction of the new power expanders, running 16 motors at full speed might become a reality… we’ll have to wait and see…:slight_smile:


Just so you know, you cannot use the default code that comes preloaded on the controller in the VRC competition. The robot must be reprogrammed with a competition template and the MasterCode must be V7.

I don’t know if you have the programming kit or not or which programming software you are using, but it is very easy to control any number of motors with whichever channel you want.

I have EasyC V2 and the Motor and Servo Block both have drop down menus allowing you to easliy select the motor number and the channel controlling it. You could easily program one channel to control all eight motors if you wanted!

I don’t know about RobotC, but I imagine that it shouldn’t be too hard to do using it either.

We’d like to know how to program for the RC Control the “Y” cable to run two motors through the same port using the same channel.

When using the Y cable you only “see” one motor when in fact you are driving two. There is nothing special you need to do when using a y-cable.

Thank you, we’ve found out how to use it correctly.

Very original idea.

I would have to agree with using the Y splitter cable as that is what I did for my tanktreads I was testing. Seemed to work quite well.

good luck mate:D